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Otremba, Mary Ellen

House 1997-2010 (District 11B)

Party when first elected:  Democratic-Farmer-Labor

Counties Served:  Douglas, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, Wadena

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 9/26/1950
Birth Place: Bertha, Minnesota
Birth County: Todd
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 7/16/2014
Gender: Female
Religion: Catholic
Other Names:
Former Name: Mary Ellen Dinkel
City of Residence (when first elected): Long Prairie
Occupation (when first elected): Teacher, Family and Consumer Science, Swanville High School

EDUCATION

Long Prairie High School; Secondary;
College of St. Benedict; B.A.; Home and Community Service
St. Cloud State University; M.A.; Child and Family Studies

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Ken (before she served); Widow (while in office)
Children: Four children: Andrew, Timothy, Kateri, and Elizabeth
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
Ken Otremba  - Husband
Steve Dehler  - Cousin-in-Law

GENERAL NOTES

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

Her funeral was held at St. Mary of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie, Minnesota.

Religion provided by the Natural Resources Defense Council's State Directories 2005 and Politics in Minnesota the Directory, 2005-2006.

Total Days Served: 4800

SESSIONS SERVED

86th Legislative Session (2009-2010)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 11B
Elected: 11/4/2008
Residence: Long Prairie
Term of Office: 1/6/2009 to 1/3/2011
Counties Represented: Douglas, Todd
Occupation: Substitute Teacher/Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs (Chair) Minutes
  • Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs: Veterans Affairs Division Minutes
  • Finance: Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division Minutes
  • Finance: Health Care and Human Services Finance Division Minutes
  • Ways and Means Minutes

85th Legislative Session (2007-2008)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 11B
Elected: 11/7/2006
Residence: Long Prairie
Term of Office: 1/3/2007 to 1/5/2009
Counties Represented: Douglas, Todd
Occupation: Substitute Teacher/Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs (Chair) Minutes
  • Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs: Veterans Affairs Division Minutes - Ex Officio Member
  • Finance Minutes
  • Finance: Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division Minutes
  • Finance: Health Care and Human Services Finance Division Minutes
  • Health and Human Services Minutes
  • Health and Human Services: Mental Health Division Minutes

84th Legislative Session (2005-2006)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 11B
Elected: 11/2/2004
Residence: Long Prairie
Term of Office: 1/4/2005 to 1/2/2007
Counties Represented: Douglas, Todd
Occupation: Substitute Teacher/Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:     2005 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture and Rural Development Minutes
  • Health Policy and Finance Minutes
  • Health Policy and Finance: Health Care Cost Containment Division Minutes
  • Ways and Means Minutes

83rd Legislative Session (2003-2004)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 11B
Elected: 11/5/2002
Residence: Long Prairie
Term of Office: 1/7/2003 to 1/3/2005
Counties Represented: Douglas, Todd
Occupation: Teacher/Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:     2003 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture Policy
  • Health and Human Services Finance
  • Health and Human Services Policy
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

82nd Legislative Session (2001-2002)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 11B
Elected: 11/7/2000
Residence: Long Prairie
Term of Office: 1/3/2001 to 1/6/2003
Counties Represented: Douglas, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, Wadena
Occupation: Teacher/Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2001 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2001 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture and Rural Development Policy
  • Health and Human Services Finance
  • Health and Human Services Policy
  • Ways and Means
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

81st Legislative Session (1999-2000)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 11B
Elected: 11/3/1998
Residence: Long Prairie
Term of Office: 1/5/1999 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: Douglas, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, Wadena
Occupation: Teacher/Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Health and Human Services Finance
  • Health and Human Services Policy

80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 11B
Elected: 11/4/1997
Residence: Long Prairie
Term of Office: 11/13/1997 to 1/4/1999 (Special Election)
Counties Represented: Douglas, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, Wadena
Occupation: Teacher, Family and Consumer Science, Swanville High School
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Health and Human Services Finance Division
Session Notes: She won the seat held by her husband, Ken Otremba, before his death in September 1997.
Articles & Books About
Brown, Jason C. "Todd County Loses True Advocate." Long Prairie Leader, July 18, 2014.

Kimball, Joe. "Mary Ellen Otremba, Who Served 13 Years in the Minnesota House, Died Thursday at 63." MinnPost, July 18, 2014.

Edenloff, Al. "Mary Ellen Otremba, Long-Time Legislator, Passes Away." Alexandria Echo Press, July 17, 2014

Sommerhauser, Mark. "Former Lawmaker Mary Ellen Otremba Remembered for Common Touch." St. Cloud Times, July 17, 2014.

Radomski, Lauren. "Agriculture Advocate Bids Adieu." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, June 1, 2010, p. 43.

Donovan, Sandra. "Otremba Wins House Seat in November Special Election." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, January 23, 1998, p. 16.

Edenloff, Al. "Ex-Lawmaker Remembered for Her Dedication to Public Service." Pioneer Press, July 20, 2014.



The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.