CAN-QC-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > CAN-QC-OBITS > 2004-05 > 1084493187
From: "Gary Boivin" <>
Subject: oBIT - Harry Dolan Boivin
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 18:06:27 -0600
Newspaper article as it appeared in the "The Oregonian" - Thursday March 18,
'The Fox' of legislative fame, Harry Boivin, dies at age 95
Positions held by the former Oregon Senate president
and House speaker include many in public service
By Nena Baker and Osker Spicer of The Oregonian staff
Harry Dolan Boivin, a former Oregon Senate president and House speaker whose
legislative career stretched from the New Deal to the Vietnam War, died
March 15, 1999, in Medford at age 95.
Mr. Boivin, whose political maneuverings earned him the nickname "The Fox,"
was elected to the House in 1935 from Klamath Falls. He served four terms
was speaker in 1937.
In 1955, Mr. Boivin, a Democrat, was elected to the Oregon Senate, and he
served in that chamber until 1972. In 1961 and 1965, his colleagues chose
be Senate president.
When he retired from the Legislature, a political column in The Oregon
noted how Mr. Boivin took pride in his nickname because it "said a great
about the achievements he had amassed."
"Harry Boivin was a master of the art of wheeling and dealing," the column
"If his approach represented something far less than what we would like to
our political process, nonetheless it must be conceded that he was a
user of power in the system as he found it. . . . There'll never be another
During his legislative tenure, Mr. Boivin spearheaded the drive to establish
now the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. He also was able to
persuade Gov. Tom McCall, a Republican, to move the headquarters of the
Oregon Air National Guard from Portland to Klamath Falls.
"He knew his constituency, and they were always No. 1 in whatever he was
said former Gov. Vic Atiyeh, a Republican who served in the Senate with
"He also had a knack for working with Republicans and was considered a
Once asked by The Associated Press about his most important political
Mr. Boivin replied: "Tolerance for both parties. Don't be bigoted. Recognize
each side has their problems and issues."
In 1971, Mr. Boivin, then Senate president pro tempore, used a procedural
to appoint two new members to the Elections Committee, which then voted to
adopt a resolution supporting the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,
was ratified on July 1, 1971, and gave the vote to 18-year-olds.
Afterward, then-Senate President John Burns, D-Portland, criticized Mr.
maneuver, which occurred while Burns was acting as governor because McCall
was out of the state.
"He had a mastery of Senate rules to get things done in ways that were kind
magic," said his son, Robert D. Boivin, a Klamath Falls lawyer who was his
law partner for many years.
Mr. Boivin served a total of 26 years in the Legislature, taking a break
World War II to work for the U.S. attorney's office in Portland. After the
returned to Klamath Falls and resumed a private law practice.
In 1992, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education granted Mr. Boivin an
honorary degree from OIT. Three years later, Mr. Boivin established a $1.25
million trust for the school.
Mr. Boivin was born Feb. 7, 1904, in Ashland. He moved to Klamath Falls in
He graduated from Santa Clara University with bachelor's and doctoral law
In 1934, Mr. Boivin married Vivian McCauley; she died in 1985. In 1986, he
married Ruth S. Padgett.
Mr. Boivin held numerous local, state and federal posts, including special
the U.S. attorney general; chairman of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission;
member of the Oregon Board of Education; member of the Governor's Commission
on Senior Services; deputy district attorney in Klamath County; city
Klamath Falls; city attorney for Dorris, Calif.; and board member of the
County Chamber of Commerce.
Besides his wife, of Medford, and son, Mr. Boivin is survived by a daughter,
Kathleen R. of Crescent City, Calif.; stepson, Joseph W. Padgett of Eugene;
grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
A memorial Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Sacred Heart Catholic Church in
Klamath Falls. Private interment will be in the Klamath Memorial Park of
Disposition was by cremation. The family suggests remembrances to the Oregon
Tech Foundation in Klamath Falls. Arrangements are by Ward's Klamath Funeral
Home in Klamath Falls.
Front Page Obituary from "The Mail Tribune", Medford, Oregon, USA
Onetime legislative leader Boivin dies...
By JULIE SWENSEN
Medford resident Harry D. Boivin, a longtime member of the Legislature known
"The Fox" for his wily ways in politics, died Monday at Rogue Valley Medical
He was 95.
Boivin was born on Feb. 7, 1904, in Ashland, a son of Henry and Nellie
graduated from Riverside Grammar School and from Santa Clara University High
School. He earned Ph.D. and law degrees from Santa Clara University. In
began a quarter-century career in the state Legislature representing Klamath
as a state representative. He was elected the youngest House speaker in the
history. He later became a state senator. During his time in the Senate, he
Tom McCall move the Oregon Air National Guard's headquarters from Portland
Klamath Falls. He was elected twice as Senate president, a position that
the lieutenant governor and a stand-in for the governor on occasion.
Boivin was known as "The Fox" -- a Portland Journal editorial editor had
him as "wily and wise in ways that legislative politics could be played." He
foxes on his legal pad when Senate debates dragged on, and was given many
figurines over the years. Outside of the state Legislature, he held many
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
assistant to the U.S. attorney general; and as a member of the state Board
Education and the Governor's Commission on Senior Services. He had an office
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
He was honored with a service award from OIT in 1995.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth, of Medford; a son, Robert D. Boivin of
Falls; a daughter, Kathleen R. Boivin of Crescent City, Calif.; a stepson,
W. Padgett of Eugene; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
1````````111was by cremation. A Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Sacred
Catholic Church. The Rev. Charles V. Dreisbach will officiate. Private
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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