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Former IRRRB Commissioner Gustafson Dies

Updated: 07/28/2014 3:38 PM
Created: 07/28/2014 3:36 PM WDIO.com

Jim Gustafson, who represented Duluth in the state Senate and headed the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board for seven years, died July 23 at the age of 75.

Gustafson, an Independent Republican, was a business owner who served on the Duluth City Council before being elected to the state Senate in 1985 in a special election to replace Jim Ulland.  He represented the former 8th Senate District, which included parts of Duluth and Carlton County.

He was re-elected in 1986 and 1990 and appointed as IRRRB Commissioner in 1992.  During his tenure, Gustafson helped complete Giant's Ridge Golf Course, negotiated the Northwest Airlines ticket reservation center, and cut Ironworld's subsidy by $1 million.  In his 1999 resignation letter to Gov. Jesse Ventura, Gustafson said he was "proud of the agency's accomplishments...and is leaving on a positive note."

Gustafson had three children, Eric, Steve, and Jill.  His wife Patricia died in 2004.

Funeral arrangements are being made by the Bell Brothers Jarvi Dowd Funeral Home in Duluth.  Services have not yet been announced.

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