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MailTribune.com
  • Onetime legislative leader Boivin dies

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  • Medford resident Harry D. Boivin, a longtime member of the Legislature known as The Fox for his wily ways in politics, died Monday at Rogue Valley Medical Center. He was 95.
    Boivin was born on Feb. 7, 1904, in Ashland, a son of Henry and Nellie Boivin. He graduated from Riverside Grammar School and from Santa Clara University High School. He earned Ph.D. and law degrees from Santa Clara University.
    In 1935, he began a quarter-century career in the state Legislature representing Klamath County as a state representative. He was elected the youngest House speaker in the the state's history. He later became a state senator. During his time in the Senate, he helped Gov. Tom McCall move the Oregon Air National Guard's headquarters from Portland to Klamath Falls.
    He was elected twice as Senate president, a position that made him the lieutenant governor and a stand-in for the governor on occasion.
    Boivin was known as The Fox -- a Portland Journal editorial editor had described him as wily and wise in ways that legislative politics could be played. He doodled foxes on his legal pad when Senate debates dragged on, and was given many fox figurines over the years.
    Outside of the state Legislature, he held many other positions, including chairman of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission; member of the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce board of directors; Klamath County deputy district attorney; Klamath Falls city attorney; Dorris, Calif., city attorney; special assistant to the U.S. attorney general; and as a member of the state Board of Education and the Governor's Commission on Senior Services. He had an office on West Main Street.
    He also was honored by the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce in 1980 for his contributions to business, and received an honorary doctorate of technology degree in 1992 from the Oregon Institute of Technology. He was honored with a service award from OIT in 1995.
    Survivors include his wife, Ruth, of Medford; a son, Robert D. Boivin of Klamath Falls; a daughter, Kathleen R. Boivin of Crescent City, Calif.; a stepson, Joseph W. Padgett of Eugene; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
    Disposition was by cremation. A Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The Rev. Charles V. Dreisbach will officiate. Private inurnment will be at Klamath Memorial Park.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Tech Foundation, 3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.
    Arrangements: Ward's Klamath Funeral Home.
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