County Board honors Rukavina during first meeting of 2019

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DULUTH, MN — The first meeting of 2019 for the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners started off with honoring one of their own.

Former Minnesota Democratic State Representative and St. Louis County Commissioner, Tom Rukavina, died Monday after a year-long battle with leukemia. He was 68 years old.

On Tuesday, all board members shared their favorite memory of Rukavina.

They described him as a hard-working man, someone who would give you the shirt off his back, and always put Iron Rangers first.

“You know, Tommy spoke eloquently. He’s great in Croatian. He also spoke Finn. But I knew enough… where I knew I was in trouble at home. Tommy spoke it. I could pick it up. But I’ll see if I can do this justice,” said Vice-Chair Mike Jugovich, who then spoke a phrase in his best Croatian, “and in translation it means, ‘Until we meet again.’ I’ll miss you,” he added with tears in his eyes.

Rukavina was first elected to the House in 1986, serving 13 terms as a legislator.

Billy Wagness

Billy Wagness

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