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Eken, Willis Roy

House 1971-72 (District 66A); House 1973-84 (District 2B)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  Clay, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 4/12/1931
Birth Place: Ada, Minnesota
Birth County: Norman
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 5/8/2010
Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Twin Valley
Occupation (when first elected): Farmer

EDUCATION

Twin Valley High School; Secondary; Graduate, 1949

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Betty
Children: Four children: Loren, Lee, Kyle, and Bernhard Kent "Kent" (sons)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
Bernhard Kent Eken  - Son

GENERAL NOTES

He was a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

He served as President of the Minnesota Farmers Union from 1984-1991.

His Star Tribune obituary reported that his political career began with advocating for improved education for special needs children. He was the father of a mentally disabled son.

He died, of complications related to Alzheimer's Disease, at Twin Valley Living Center in Twin Valley, Minnesota. His funeral was held on May 18, 2010 at Zion Lutheran Church in Twin Valley, Minnesota.

Religion provided by the Catholic Bulletin, 3/21/1975 and his obituary.

Total Days Served: 4958

SESSIONS SERVED

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 02B
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Twin Valley
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 8/1/1984 (unfinished term)
Counties Represented: Clay, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk
Occupation: Farming
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Agriculture: Farm Policies and Programs
  • Rules and Legislative Administration (Chair)
  • Rules and Legislative Administration: Permanent Rules (Chair)
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Economic Development Division
Leadership Position: Majority Leader
Leadership Notes: He resigned on August 1, 1984. A Majority Leader was not elected to finish his term; rather Harry A. Sieben, the Speaker of the House, appointed himself to the position.
Reason for unfinished term: Resigned
Session Notes: He resigned on August 1, 1984 to become President of the Minnesota Farmers Union. A special election was not held for this seat.

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 02B
Elected: 11/4/1980
Residence: Twin Valley
Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
Counties Represented: Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Reapportionment and Elections
  • Rules and Legislative Administration (Chair)
  • Rules and Legislative Administration: Permanent Rules (Chair)
  • Rules and Legislative Administration: Personnel (Chair)
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Tax Laws Division
Leadership Position: Majority Leader

71st Legislative Session (1979-1980)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 02B
Elected: 11/7/1978
Residence: Twin Valley
Term of Office: 1/3/1979 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Agriculture: Agriculture Programs and Policies
  • Education
  • Education: School Aids Division (Chair) [He was the Chair in 1979 only.]
  • Rules and Legislative Administration (Chair) [He was the Chair in 1980 only.]
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Division II - Property and Natural Resources Division

70th Legislative Session (1977-1978)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 02B
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Twin Valley
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/2/1979
Counties Represented: Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Education: School Aids Division (Chair)
  • Taxes

69th Legislative Session (1975-1976)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 02B
Elected: 11/5/1974
Residence: Twin Valley
Term of Office: 1/7/1975 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Appropriations
  • Appropriations: State Departments Division
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance

68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 02B
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Twin Valley
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/6/1975
Counties Represented: Clearwater, Mahnomen, Norman, Polk
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Appropriations
  • Appropriations: State Departments Division
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Local Government
  • Transportation

67th Legislative Session (1971-1972)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 66A
Elected: 11/3/1970
Residence: Twin Valley
Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
Counties Represented: Norman, Polk
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Commerce and Economic Development
  • Environmental Preservation
  • Local Government
  • Transportation