Mendakota Country Club

Location

Mendakota Country Club
2075 Mendakota Drive, Mendota Heights, MN 55120

Date

Dec 11 2021

Time

8:30 am - 11:00 am

December Breakfast Meeting

Senator Rudy Boschwitz

Rudy Boschwitz was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930.  Being an immigrant, Rudy can never be President, which led Bob Dole to remark: “He’s the only Senator I trust.  He can’t run for President.”  As an after-thought, Bob would add: “and at last count Rudy was the only Senator not running!”

Rudy attended Johns Hopkins University and New York University, completing college at 19, and receiving a law degree at 22.  After a couple of years in the U.S. Army, he soon found legal work too confining, so “I decided to become a client instead.”

He joined his brother in a plywood manufacturing business in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1957 (my New York friends though I had lost my sanity…moving to Oshkosh!!), and came to Minnesota in September 1963, where he started Plywood Minnesota in an old railroad building in Fridley.

Fifteen years later (by which time the company had grown to 68 stores), Rudy ran successfully for the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1978-1991, whereupon the voters returned him to his business.  “It wasn’t part of the plan, but it was in the midst of a recession, and I was able to be of some help to my sons who were running the business, as this was their first recession.”

In the Senate, Rudy was a member of the following committees: Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Budget, Small Business, and Veterans.  Rudy was elected by his Republican colleagues to the leadership of the Senate, the only Minnesota Senator other than Hubert Humphrey to attain a leadership position in the 20th century.

In 2005 President George “W” Bush appointed Rudy to be the Ambassador to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. Geneva was lovely. The Commission unfortunately wasn’t.  It’s main order of  business was condemning Israel. Yet Israel was the only UN member which could not be a member of the Commission. Israel’s defender- most

often it only defender- was the U.S.  It was a busy, interesting and important place to be.

Rudy and his wife of 65 years, Ellen, reside in Plymouth, Minnesota. Tragically, they  lost their eldest son, Gerry at age 60, to cancer  December 2018  Their other sons Ken, Dan, and Tom all live in the Twin Cities. They have two granddaughters and five grandsons.  “Our family is our greatest success.”