Just a quick note that will be of interest to my local readers. Senator Leo Foley passed away at the age of 87, just a few days ago. Senator John Hoffman, who now hold Senator Foley's old seat, wrote this:
Last Friday, Feb. 5 former Coon Rapids Senator Leo T. Foley passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones; he was 87. Sen. Foley served the Coon Rapids area for 14 years, serving from 1997 to 2011. I took up the mantle of serving the area following Sen. Foley’s retirement.
I first met Leo in 2002, and ever since then I was incredibly proud to call him my State Senator. Leo Foley lived a life of service, first for 33 years as a Minnesota State Trooper, and later as an assistant Anoka County Attorney and as a senator. I really appreciated and admired his work and his passion for the community. Leo always had an ear to listen, and you could sense he really cared about improving the lives of those he represented. He will be missed by all who knew him.
A Celebration of Leo's life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. at First Congregational Church of Anoka. Visitation will be held one hour prior.
I only met Senator Foley a couple of times. He was still Senator when I moved into his state Senate district. But, I frequently recall one conversation we had, just before he retired.
I don't remember what we were talking about, but at some point he asked me, "So, what kind of vehicle do you think we used back in the early 60s when we went around Coon Rapids to survey it for all the planned development and road building?"
He was referring to the time before the big highway that now passes through the town was built, when the majority of the development here was farmland, but large areas were being partitioned and platted for residential and commercial building. Senator Foley was, at the time, on the County Commission (IIRC) and he and other officials were looking over the landscape to see if the planned development made sense, etc.
"I don't know, a Land Rover maybe?"
"No, not a Land Rover," he replied. I could tell that whatever the vehicle was, it was something odd.
"A tractor?" I suggested, realizing that much of the town was farmland at the time.
"Nope. A boat. A Lund Fishing boat with a 40 horsepower motor."
Of course, that made sense. Most of Coon Rapids sits on a sand plain that formed in the near-delta shallows of an ancient glacial lake. Except better drained parts (ironically) near the Mississippi, it would have been a big wetland. A boat would do it!
Anyway, RIP Leo Foley, and thanks for your excellent service.