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Late Idaho Congressman Honored At Capitol Rotunda

Boise State University Library, Special Collections and Archives
Former Idaho State Historian Merle Wells (left) and former Idaho congressman (1968 - 1975) Orval Hansen (center) speaking to a younger man in the Student Union main ball room at Boise State University.

A three-term Idaho congressman laid in state at the capitol in Boise the morning of November 20 before a final sendoff later in the day.

From 1969 to 1975, Republican Orval Hansen represented Idaho’s second congressional district. The Navy veteran and Air Force reservist hailed from the small town of Firth in the eastern part of the state.

A graduate of the University of Idaho, Hansen got his start in the state legislature in the late 1950s and eventually served as Majority Leader in 1961 and 1962. After a single term in the Idaho senate, Hansen was off to congress in Washington, D.C.

While Hansen laid in state in the capitol rotunda, the Spokesman Review reports Lt. Governor Brad Little, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and former Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Jones were among those to pay their respects.

Following the ceremony at the capitol, Hansen’s funeral was held at the nearby St. Michael’s Cathedral downtown.

Hansen died earlier this month due to complications from lung cancer. The Idaho lawmaker is survived by his wife June, seven children, 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Orval Hansen was 91 years old.

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