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Doris Eleanor Finstad 96, formerly of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, died on April 26, 2017 at Wheatland Memorial Healthcare in Harlowton, Montana. She came to Harlowton in 2014 and lived with her daughter Karen until March.

Doris was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on February 14, 1921 to Tjarald and Serena (Hanson) Wasley and grew up on their farm, attending a country school. She left home at a young age and spent several years working for other farming families in the area. She later worked in Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota before coming back to the family farm to help her parents. She met her future husband, Kenneth A. Finstad while working at his parents’ farm near St. Hillaire, Minnesota. They were married on July 18, 1945, after his discharge from the United States Army following World War II. They lived in Thief River Falls most of their married lives, except for four years from 1963-1967 when they lived in Harlowton, Montana.

Doris was active in her church, and until her health prevented her, she sang in church choirs. In Harlowton, she was instrumental in starting a choir at American Lutheran Church. Music was a big part of her life and she played guitar and piano by ear. She was a member of the Harlowton Women’s Club with one of the highlights of her four years in Harlowton being her participation in that group’s chorus during the bicentennial celebration and in the minstrel Shows.

Doris is survived by four of her six children, Terry (Florian) Finstadof Tigard, Oregon, Karen Hammel of Harlowton, Montana, Darlene (Ken) Rhoden of Algonquin, IL, and Dorothy Finstad Lisa of South St. Paul, MN; two sisters, Ruth Engelstad of Carrington, North Dakota and Margaret Copp of Lake City, Minnesota; three grandchildren Brent Hammel of Billings, MT, Brooks Hammel of Park City, MT, and Taral Finstad of Forsyth, MT; several cousins, and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Goldie Lamberson and brother-in-law Reuben Finstad (Peggy).

She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Kenneth Finstad; her parents; two sons Brian Finstad and Wendell Finstad; brothers Sigurd Wasley, Leon Wasley, Harold Wasley and Elmer Wasley; sisters Esther Qualey and Agnes Hayden.

Memorial Services for Doris Finstad were held on Sunday, April 30th, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at American Lutheran Church in Harlowton, Montana. A memorial service and burial will take place in Thief River Falls, Minnesota at a date yet to be determined. The Perkins Funeral Home assisted the family.

Memorials may be sent to Wheatland Memorial Healthcare Foundation or to the charity of your choice and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036 or may be posted on-line at

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