Lundgren driving force behind church in Glacier

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Margaret Lundgren, a fixture in the Glacier National Park and West Glacier communities for decades died late last month. She was 95.

Margaret was the wife of Everett Lundgren. Ev, as he was known, was one of the founding partners of the West Glacier business community.

After World War II, Ev, an engineer with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, purchased the Belton Mercantile in West Glacier with his father, Dan Sr., Dan’s brother Conrad and family friend Dave Thompson from Henry Hutchings, George Stack, Ed Swetnam and Herbert Chatterton.

The partners changed the name from Belton to West Glacier.

Margaret married Ev in 1950 and was a well-known figure in the West Glacier community as she helped organize the first Christian church services in Glacier Park, starting in 1953 under the direction of the late Rev. Warren Ost.

“I felt there was a need,” she said in a 2010 interview. “I couldn’t see raising children without the benefit of Sunday school.”

Under the Christian ministry program, young ministers are recruited nationwide from colleges and seminaries to preach in the park. They take on 40-hour a week jobs from businesses both in and out of the park, and then they preach sermons on Sunday mornings.

The services have always been non-denominational and spiritual in message.

She spent 57 years serving on the board and as secretary for the Christian Ministry — 46 years at the national level, she said.

As secretary for the local board, Lundgren was responsible for sending out meeting notices and taking notes at every board meeting. As a national board member, she traveled the country for the group’s annual meetings which are always held in a national park. She also attended the worship services held in Glacier Park.

What she enjoyed most was working with the ministry team members in the West Glacier Mercantile.

“It has brought a lot of interesting people to the Park,” she said in 2010.

The church services continue today in Glacier during the summer months.

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