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  Rukavina, Thomas "Tom"
<-  2018-01-01  
NameThomas "Tom" Rukavina
Virginia, Minnesota , United States
Born August 23, 1950
DiedJanuary 07, 2019 (68 years)
ContributorThe Oncoming Storm
Last ModifedRBH
Jan 07, 2019 05:50pm
Tags Married - Union Member - Straight -
InfoTom Rukavina is refreshingly honest.

A small guy with a big heart, Tom values liberty and loves people. He’s rooted in community and understands the importance of education and jobs. He has the experience, the compassion, and the leadership skills for public service.

Tom always remembers were he came from.


Tom Rukavina grew up on the north side of the small Iron Range city of Virginia. Surrounded by Italians, Swedes, Poles, Slovenes, Finns, Croatians and others, Tom lived in a unique American neighborhood and community. His dad was a miner and a union organizer. His mom was a janitor at the local public utilities where her own mother worked. (Now, Tom’s daughter Ida is the union representative for AFSCME at the same public utility-three generations!) Tom’s parents were hard workers, union members, and big promoters of education. In those days, Tom earned money with a paper route.

Tom attended Marquette parochial school, where he was a constant challenge to authority. But he learned respect, how to work hard, and the importance of a good education. He graduated from Virginia High School, Mesabi Community College, and the University of Minnesota, Duluth, with a B.A. in Political Science (cum laude).

Tom married Lenore Lampi and had two children, Ida and Victor. Together, they cleared their rural land, built a house with wood from that land, and raised their children the old fashioned way – with hard work and the love and participation of a large extended family.

What a career start he had: garbage truck driver from Buhl to Embarrass, truck driver/milkman for both Tower and Aysta Dairy, and a mine worker at U.S. Steel where he was a Steelworker Union member and active union organizer. Tom also had his own small business, Pike River Logging. Tom Rukavina knows how to work and understands what the majority of Minnesotans face every day in the workplace.

His fellow citizens elected Tom as the youngest person ever to the Virginia School Board at age 22. He also served as an elected township officer. He made a positive difference in his local community by active involvement in the Pike Cooperative Board, the Natural Harvest Whole Foods Cooperative, the Northern Club, the board of Range Respite, little league, and as a community organizer.

He continued building his career as the Assistant Director of Giants Ridge Ski Resort where he helped manage and direct capital spending. He also managed the World Cup Cross Country Ski Championship, the only time a World Cup event was held in Minnesota. Tom then joined Trenti Law Firm as a paralegal.

In 1986, Tom was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 5A and is currently serving his 12th consecutive term.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
May 11, 2012 09:00pm News Colorful lawmaker from Virginia, Minn., retires  Article RBH 

Importance? 0.00000 Average


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