Donor Stories

Charles (Chuck) and Madge Westlie: A Personal and Community Legacy

The Minot State University Development Foundation, Bishop Ryan Catholic School Foundation and the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation were beneficiaries of a final legacy gift from the estate of Chuck and Madge Westlie, whose generosity will help the community continue to grow.

Chuck Westlie, a Minot native, was president and general manager of the family business, Westlie Motor Co. and was also the chairman of the board.

Madge Westlie was born near Karlsruhe and was married to Chuck for 67 years.

The Westlies were deeply involved in community and regional affairs, supporting a number of foundations and charities through the years.

Madge passed away in January 2010, and Chuck passed on October 2011.

Representatives from all three beneficiaries commented on the Westlie’s commitment and intentional action to make a legacy gift. Minot State University Development Foundation President Maynard Sandberg said Chuck and Madge often said “We will always try to do our part”. He added “They helped so many people and organizations, and through thoughtful planning on their part, their attitude and legacy will go on forever.”

Bishop Ryan High School Superintendent Terry Voiles commented on being included in the Westlie’s philanthropic spirit, “The Westlies shared a vision for the Minot community that was well-rounded and far-reaching.” Citing Pope Francis he added, “Charity, patience and tenderness are very beautiful gifts.  If you have them, you want to share them with others. This charitable gift from the Chuck and Madge Westlie estate mirrors the message of Pope Francis.”

David Reiten, Chairman of the Høstfest Heritage Foundation, thanked the Chuck and Madge Westlie family for their generous gift to the Foundation. He highlighted the importance of the gift beyond its financial impact, “To be chosen as a beneficiary honors not only the missions of the Foundation’s primary beneficiaries Norsk Høstfest and Scandinavian Heritage Association but the efforts of the countless individuals who dedicate time and energy to their existence. The Foundation was founded as a means of ensuring the preservation and growth of Scandinavian heritage and culture in North America … and as stewards of this tremendous gift, we pledge to follow the model of growth and excellence championed by the Westlie family as we put it to use.”

Chuck and Madge Westlie provided a well thought-out and prepared estate plan utilizing a series of trusts to provide a gift of $1 million to the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation upon their passing. There gifts represent their personal goals, their commitment to community, and their respect for the generosity of others whether it was of their time, talents or treasures. The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation is honored to include them as members of our legacy Valhalla Society.


Visit the official Hostfest site
Visit the Scandinavian Heritage Association site
Visit the Scandinavian Hall of Fame site