Landmark legislator VanLeeuwen dies at 97


December 7, 2022

Courtesy of LCSWC

Former State Rep. Liz VanLeeuwen, left, here representing Linn Soil and Water Conservation, interacts with FFA students at a soils competition.

Liz VanLeeuwen, a longtime mid-valley farmer who represented Sweet Home and Lebanon in the Oregon state Legislature from 1981 to 1999, died Nov. 27 on her farm on Irish Bend Loop, near Halsey.

She was 97.

"She was an amazing lady," recalled Coreen Melcher, who served as VanLeeuwen's legislative aide in the 1990s after the legislator called her up one day and asked Melcher to help her out.

Alex Paul, former publisher of The New Era, and his wife Debbie, knew VanLeeuwen well.

"She was a tireless worker for the people, for rural people, especially – for agriculture, timber," Alex Paul sa...

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