Cloquet native Lawrence Yetka, force in Minnesota law and politics, dies at 93


The person who had simply spent 20 years deciding the state’s highest-profile instances went to the Carlton County Courthouse with a request. He needed to ease the burden on native judges by volunteering his time to listen to small claims instances a pair days every week.

“It was uncommon for somebody of his stature to ask to do conciliation courtroom,” stated Bruce Ahlgren, a former Cloquet mayor and retired Carlton County courtroom administrator. “He was only a common previous man. He simply liked assembly individuals and being with individuals.”

Yetka, who spent greater than 50 years in public service by way of numerous native and state political and authorized roles, died Sunday, Nov. 12, in Cloquet. He was ninety three.

The one individual from northeastern Minnesota to serve on the state Supreme Courtroom prior to now half-century, associates and colleagues stated Yetka was a tireless advocate for the area all through his life.

As an affiliate justice, Yetka was cited as a pacesetter within the creation of an intermediate-degree Courtroom of Appeals and the development of the Minnesota Judicial Middle on the grounds of the State Capitol in St. Paul.

Previous to his tenure on the excessive courtroom, Yetka lengthy maintained an area regulation workplace, serving as Cloquet metropolis lawyer and representing quite a few different municipalities and governmental our bodies.

In his youthful days, he additionally served within the Minnesota Home of Representatives and was a serious drive in state DFL politics, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Congressman John Blatnik and future Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale.

“He was an exquisite chief for many of his lifetime,” Mondale stated Tuesday. “He helped the Cloquet space on a regular basis.”

Yetka adopted within the footsteps of his father, who had earlier served as Carlton County lawyer and Cloquet metropolis lawyer.

After graduating from the College of Minnesota, he opened a regulation follow in Cloquet in 1949 and was elected the subsequent yr to the state Legislature on the age of 26.

After 5 phrases within the Home, Yetka went on to chair the eighth Congressional District DFL and served because the lead organizer for President John F. Kennedy’s go to to Duluth in September 1963.

He turned concerned in statewide and nationwide elections — together with as a flooring supporter for Humphrey’s profitable nomination on the well-known 1968 Democratic Nationwide Conference in Chicago.

Certainly one of his three sons, Frank Yetka, is a 3rd-era Cloquet metropolis lawyer. Reflecting on his father’s entrance-row seat to nationwide politics, he recalled an event when Humphrey — because the sitting vice…



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