Late Congressman Jim Ramstad has a legacy as a dedicated public servant and now he is forever memorialized with a Post Office dedicated in his name.
Ramstad passed away in Nov. 2020 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
On Sept. 2, a dedication ceremony was held at the U.S. Post Office in Wayzata, renaming it in his honor. The event was attended by many residents, friends, family and former colleagues of Ramstad, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Dean Philips. His former staff was also in attendance.
For nearly 30 years, the North Dakota native and longtime Wayzata resident served first as a member of the Minnesota State Sentate, and later as a representative of Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. Congress.
His wife Kathryn described him as a moderate Republican who strived to work with colleagues on both sides of the political aisle. Having Klobuchar and Phillips — both Democrats — pay tribute to Ramstad was indicative of his dedication to bipartisanship. Kathryn noted it was Rep. Phillips, the current representative of Ramstad’s former District, who penned the bill to dedicate the Post Office. It was later signed by President Joe Biden. Bills were signed by all representatives in Minnesota and Ramstad’s native state North Dakota.
“He was all about bipartisanship,” Kathryn said. “It was very important to him to reach across the aisle to work on legislation with Democrats as well as Republicans. It’s not something we see as much anymore.”
During the ceremony, the keyword Kathryn spoke of was gratitude. The gratitude she felt seeing legislators in two states work to honor her husband. And the gratitude Jim felt being able to serve Minnesota for 9 years and represent the state in Congress for 18 years. He retired in 2009.
“It really was a special day. It was a great turnout,” Kathryn said.
While Ramstad was born in Jamestown, N.D., he called Wayzata home since 1981. Kathryn called Wayzata Jim’s favorite place on earth.
“Wayzata, to Jim, meant many special things. Lunches at the ‘Muni’ with his dad, Marv; Breakfast at the Sunsets with the guys,” she said. “And of course, the highlight of the campaign season, walking with the Ramstad team in the James J. Hill Days Parade and then treating everyone to pizza at Maggies.”
Klobuchar, who Kathryn said Jim greatly respected, said the Post Office will stand as a reminder of what is possible when Democrats and Republicans can work together. Phillips echoed this sentiment.
“This is how we will pay it forward — coming together in the spirit of decency and friendship and possibility,” he said.
Kathryn said the Post Office bearing Jim’s name is another great way to remember him and carry on his legacy.
“As we remember Jim and keep his memory alive in our hearts, let’s live out the lessons he taught us,” she said. “We can all learn from each other and work together to find the right answers. And above all, be grateful for all that we have been blessed with in this life.”