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Minnesota ex-senator Conzemius dies

CANNON FALLS, Minn. -- Former Minnesota state Sen. George Conzemius died Thursday, Oct. 26. He was 81.

He died at the Twin Rivers Senior Campus in Cannon Falls, friends of the family said. Arrangements are pending at Lundberg Funeral Home.

Conzemius, husband of Karen Conzemius and father of four daughters, was senator from 1967 to 1976. He was a coach and science teacher in Cannon Falls when elected. He was a Hastings native.

A University of Minnesota graduate, Conzemius also attended the University of Moscow, University of Oslo and Rutgers University graduate school.

A Democrat, Conzemius rose to become assistant Senate majority leader.

Marcy Doyle of Red Wing, a longtime Goodhue County Democrat, called him a jovial individual. Part of the party's growing women's movement more than 50 years ago, she worked with him and Nick Coleman, state party chairman at the time.

"He was very sincere in his politics, which is what I really appreciated," she said.

At the same time, Doyle added, "he was just a good fella."

"He became a senator because he was a friendly, gracious person," she said. "He did well with his independence. That's why he won and was a successful senator."

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.