Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Harveydale Maruska (1921-2008)

Portrait from the 1963-64 Minnesota State Manual.

   After several profiles centering on political figures from North and South Dakota, we continue our stay in the midwestern United States for a look at the life of Harveydale Maruska, a lifelong Minnesota resident who served terms in both houses of his state's legislature.  Born in Tabor, Minnesota on November 29, 1921, Harveydale Maruska was the son of George and Mary Vavrina Maruska. His early education occurred in the town of his birth as well as the Warren, Minnesota High School, from which he graduated in 1938.
  Following graduation from the North Dakota Agricultural School in Fargo, Maruska engaged in farming in the Polk County area and married in August 1944 to Harriett Olson (1919-2008), to whom he was wed for over sixty years. The couple would have three daughters, Joanne, Mary-Beth, and Muriel. Named as a Master Farmer in 1958, Maruska would raise grain, potatoes, pumpkins, corn, and squash, and was a past president of the Marshall County Agricultural Association.
  Harveydale Maruska entered the political life of his state in 1958 when he was elected as one of two Polk County representatives to the Minnesota House of Representatives, garnering 6,117 votes on election day. The 1959-61 session saw Maruska sit on the committees on Civil Administration, Elections, Motor Vehicles, State and County Fairs, and Towns and Counties. He would win a second term in November 1960 and during that term was named to two new committees, those being Banking and Employees Compensation.
  In 1962 Maruska set his sights on a seat in the Minnesota Senate and in November of that defeated his opponent, Louis A. Murray, by a vote of 9,931 to 8,969. Maruska's one term in the Senate (1963-67) saw him serve on the committees on Agriculture, Elections and Reapportionment, Game and Fish, General Legislation, Public Buildings and Public Highways. One year after the completion of his term Maruska was named to the Minnesota State Fair Board, serving until 1978, and would hold the presidency of that board for four years.
  A member of the Marshall County Fair Board for over five decades, Maruska continued prominence in Minnesota public life following his time in state government, serving as a lobbyist for the Minnesota Association of Railroads for several years and also held seats on the state zoo board and the AAA board. Having removed to Warren, Minnesota in 1966, Maruska operated Quality Motors, Inc. in that town until retiring in the 1980s. Maruska spent the twilight of his life wintering in Mesa, Arizona and died aged 86 on January 19, 2008, in Warren, Minnesota. His wife of sixty-three years, Harriett, survived her husband by less than a month, and both were subsequently interred at the Greenwood Cemetery in Warren.

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