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John A. Yngve ’44

May 21, 2019, in Golden Valley, Minnesota

John contributed to the public good through his participation in 18 public offices and commissions. He served three terms as a Minnesota state representative, was a member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, chaired the Metropolitan Transit Commission, and served on the Village Planning Commission and Village Council. In his own words he strived “to make government work a little better.”

He began his commitment to public service at an early age. Volunteering to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he was assigned as a meteorologist on Okinawa. He attended the premeteorology program at Reed in the mid-’40s. After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School, he entered a law practice with his father, Justice of the Peace Anton Yngve; his mother, Esther Yngve; and his brother, Albert Yngve.

Not one to shirk a difficult task, John’s tenure on the Minnesota Board of Regents was characterized by his commitment to safety and order during a period of major demonstrations against the Vietnam War on the university campus. His particular skill lay in his ability to find the common path toward community betterment. As a state representative, he helped sponsor a major effort to decriminalize mental health sufferers and a precedent-setting bill to establish unemployment compensation.

His acumen and personal integrity led him to positions of leadership in business. He became president of Nortronics, Inc., chairman of Bondhus Corporation, and chairman/founder of Cincinnatus, Inc. His success in business and devotion to community improvement led to his appointment by Governor Arne Carlson to chair Minnesota Technology, Inc., where he focused state resources on leveraging technology to create business success.

Despite his demanding public life, he was an ever-present guiding and loving star to his family, especially his youngest son, John Per, who was tragically lost to cancer in 1999 after a lifelong battle with illness.

John is survived by his brother, Albert Yngve; sons Rolf, Aron, Hans ’82, and Hal; and his wife, Carrie Yngve, who brought five stepdaughters into his family, Linda, Nancy, Kathleen, Joni, and Janet.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2021

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