Douglas James St. Onge (87) was born on February 14,1934, in St. Paul Minnesota to Jean Otremba and Lester St. Onge. He died on July 11, 2021, in Bemidji, MN surrounded by his family.
Mass of Christian burial was held July 15 at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Bemidji, MN. Interment in the St. John’s Abbey Cemetery in Collegeville, MN.
Doug was raised by his special grandmother and parents in Minnesota. He attended a one room schoolhouse near Brainerd until he was in the 6th grade. He attended Washington High School in Brainerd, graduating in 1952. He attended St. John’s University in Collegeville Minnesota for 3 years. He obtained a journeyman’s plumbing license in 1959, working his way through college. He then transferred to the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks where he graduated with a BS degree in social studies and English.
Doug married Theresa (Terre) Lizakowski, the love of his life, on September 13,1958 in Minto, ND. sharing 62 wonderful years together.
His first teaching position was in Alvarado, MN. High School. In 1969 they moved to Bemidji, MN., for a position at Bemidji HS where he taught and coached wrestling for 13 years. His favorite students were the 7th graders. During his teaching career he also stayed busy with his St. Onge Plumbing and Heating business.
In 1972 Doug was elected to the office of Minnesota House of Representatives, District 4-A. He served four terms (8 years) spending much of his time at the State Capitol. He was a member of many committees authored and worked on many bills, favoring the working class of northern Minnesota.
Some of his noted achievements and authored bills include teachers’ pension plans, the right for teachers to strike and for wait staff in restaurants to keep their own tips. Doug was instrumental in starting the RN program at BSU. He also obtained funding to start the local PBS television programming in Bemidji, legislation and funding to increase the state bicycle trail and the right for Authorized the bill for senior citizens to attend college classes for free. Doug was instrumental in passing the bill changing Bemidji Ave./Highway 2, to State responsibility, becoming Highway 97. Doug lobbied to keep the State Highway Department building and jobs in Bemidji. He was a big part of other bills that benefited this entire rural area.
He simultaneously planned and developed St. Onge Chippewa Heights. The first development in the city of Bemidji containing 100 lots on 160 acres of wooded land.
Doug has always been a long-standing member of the St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Elks Club, Eagles Club, Teachers Union, and the Local #126 Plumbers and Fitters Union.
He loved to spend his free time with his family. He enjoyed picnics, fishing, hunting, and camping in a conversion van that he designed and built from scratch.
Survived by his wife Terre and 6 children: Benedict (Faye) St. Onge of San Marcos, CA, Monica (Bruce) Landfield of Yorba Linda, CA, Susanna (Michael) Wildt of Surfside Beach, SC, Rebecca St. Onge of Marblehead, MA, Paul (Heather) St. Onge, and Joseph St. Onge all of Bemidji. Extended family includes 12 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
In addition to all his wonderful accomplishments, Doug suffered several health-related setbacks throughout his lifetime.
Doug was a fierce fighter for his ideals. He will be missed dearly and forever remembered in our hearts.
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