Times Editorial - Lieder was a throwback in the best sense of the word

Mike Christopherson

    When people gaze into the past, often longingly, and remember various people, sometimes they’ll describe them as a “throwback.” That description isn’t always 100% percent positive, however; an NHL player the other day who was assessed a particularly egregious penalty was called a “throwback” by one of the TV announcers working the game, and it meant that he was kind of a dirty/cheap player who would have fit in well in the NHL of days gone by, when his kind of play would have been more accepted.

    But when it comes to politicians, war veterans, community leaders...you name it, maybe just human beings in general, Bernie Lieder was a throwback in the best sense of the word.

    The World War II veteran, longtime state legislator representing Crookston and his district in St. Paul and just genuine great person passed away over the weekend. Word spread quickly online and on social media, and the accolades understandably began to pour in.

    Lieder was a Democrat, but he had many respected friends on the Republican side of the aisle. He believed in compromise when necessary. He was humble, even on the countless occasions when he was obviously the smartest person in the room.

    And Lieder was tireless. Even after his many years in the legislature came to an end and he eclipsed the age of 90, he’d still pop into the Times’ newsroom every now and then to talk about various important issues in Minnesota, including the one he worked so vigilantly on over all those decades, transportation. When maybe he was past the time where actually visiting the Times was no longer an option, he was quick to pick up the phone and call the newsroom to chew the legislative fat, so to speak.

    He was a treasure in Crookston and far beyond who will be greatly missed.