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Mary Ellen Otremba, who served 13 years in the Minnesota House, died Thursday at 63

Otremba was first elected in a 1997  special election after her legislator husband died, then served six more terms before retiring in 2010.

Mary Ellen Otremba, who served 13 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives from the Alexandria area, died Thursday. She was 63.

Otremba was first elected in 1997 during a special election after her husband, Ken Otremba, died during in his second term in office.

Mary Ellen Otremba, a DFLer, won the special election and was elected six more times to represent the Douglas County area.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

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According to the Echo Press:

She chaired the House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Committee, and was a member of the Ways and Means Committee. She also served on the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee for the Veterans Affairs Division, and on the Finance subcommittees for the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division and the Health Care and Human Services Finance Division.

She was assistant minority leader from 2001-2004.

Funeral arrangements: Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie. Visitation 4-8 p.m. Sunday at the church. Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org or Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life at www.mccl.org.