DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Former U.S. Rep. Arlan Stangeland, who served in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District from 1977 to 1990, has died. He was 83.

Stangeland died Tuesday at his home at Lake Lizzie, according to Dobmeier Funeral Home.

According to the Minnesota Historical Society's website, Stangeland was elected to the Minnesota Legislature in 1966 as a representative from the Barnesville area. He was elected to the 7th District during a special election in 1977, after U.S. Rep. Robert Bergland resigned to become U.S. secretary of agriculture.

Stangeland won the seat in 1978 and went on to serve six full terms in Congress, until losing his 1990 re-election bid to Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat. Stangeland then became a lobbyist in Washington.

"I just saw him a couple of months ago. He looked great," Peterson told the Fargo Forum on Wednesday. Peterson said despite being political rivals, he and Stangeland remained friends.

"I didn't always agree with his political positions, but he worked hard and I think represented the district well on the agriculture committee," Peterson said.

Stangeland's son, Stuart, said his father made friends easily.

"The greatest thing about him was his love of people. There was never a stranger he couldn't talk to," Stuart Stangeland said.