Bast, founder of Hilltop complex, dead at 73

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 1/5/00.

Long-time Paynesville businessman Dale Bast, 73, died Dec. 27, 1999, at the St. Cloud Hospital.

A native of Dawson, Bast moved with his family to Guelph, N.D., in 1933, and to Paynesville in 1937. He graduated from Paynesville High School in 1944.

At his funeral, his granddaughter, Annie Rose Schindler described him as a man who did everything for himself. "At age 18, he started his first company, a gas station. From then on, he always had his own company. Dale never received a paycheck from anyone in his whole life," she read.

At one time, Bast owned the Sinclair gas station in Eden Valley. Then he opened a Sinclair station in Paynesville, where Piano's Plus is now located. "At one time or another, Bast owned gas stations in Fergus Falls, in South Dakota, and western Minnesota," his wife, Jeanette, said.

Bast also owned a number of other businesses in Paynesville. At one time he owned the hotel on the corner of Washburne and James Avenue, the former post office building (now Sheri's Studio), and a Standard gas station where Corner Floral now stands. "He became the station agent at Standard when Austin Seastedt retired," Jeanette said.

Bast was the founder and first manager of Hilltop complex. He also had a bulk gas plant and warehouse where M&M Lumber is today.

"Dale never really retired," Jeanette said.

Pastor Ric Koehn said Bast was a man who loved his church and used the gifts God had given him to help benefit his church. "Dale was an active member who was unable to attend church because of his health. He was looking forward to the remodeling project and the elevator being completed so he could rejoin us in worship," Koehn said.

Bast was the church treasurer and church trustee for many years. He currently was serving as the church business manager.

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