Becky Lourey of Kerrick entered the 2006 campaign for Governor of Minnesota with a solid foundation of varied life experiences and numerous public policy successes. She was completing 16 years of legislative service. With boundless energy and enthusiasm, Becky built an incredible record of legislative and public policy achievement out of her passionate advocacy for families and communities.
Born Sept. 24, 1943 in Little Falls, Minnesota, Becky is the younger daughter of Alice and Everett Savage. Known to most as “E.A.,” Everett's position with Minnesota Power and Light took the family to Park Rapids when Becky was age 2 where they remained until she was 12; the family then returned to Little Falls to settle permanently.
Despite the vast physical distance between them, Becky remains close to her older sister, Judy, who resides in Turkey. Recognized for her prodigal talents from an early age, Judy is a concert pianist and taught music at the Istanbul Conservatory of Music.
Her parents instilled in Becky a strong sense of service to the community. Often, civic leaders would come to the Lourey home to discuss the important local priorities of the day. Although she was routinely excused from these gatherings of adults, it was easy enough for her to eavesdrop from the top of the stairs. She learned that Republicans and Democrats alike can set aside their partisan differences and work together for the common good.
From an early age, Becky’s father filled her with a love of the outdoors, hunting, fishing and camping – activities from which Becky gained many useful life skills. Her marksmanship with a rifle earned her an award from Field & Stream magazine in 1960 when she took down a buck in Montana, shooting 650 yards from one mountain ridge to the next.
After a year at Asbury College in Kentucky, Becky married Eugene Lourey in 1962. She originally got acquainted with him as the brother of a close girl friend. Becky and Gene spent their “honeymoon” getting acquainted with the University of Minnesota where Gene was finishing work on his degree and Becky also attended as a college transfer.
The couple moved near Washington, D.C. where Gene had landed a job with the National Security Agency as a code-breaker. In 1968, Gene and Becky worked on the Presidential campaign for Hubert H. Humphrey in Pennsylvania. With a growing family of three sons, Gene and Becky made a conscious decision to move back to Minnesota in 1969 because they strongly believed their home state was the best place a raise a family.
The family lived in the Wedge neighborhood of Minneapolis and Gene worked at the University of Minnesota. Becky and Gene joined with others in their neighborhood to form the Wedge Neighborhood Association, helping transform a declining, high-crime area into a highly desirable quarter of Minneapolis. The organization today remains an energetic and important pillar of the Wedge Neighborhood’s success story.
Family is central to Becky’s life, and the experiences of raising 12 adopted and birth children are a touchstone for the publc policies she has pursed as a Minnesota Senator and member of the House. Becky and Gene have 15 grandchildren. The Lourey siblings are all very close and supportive of the family.
Oldest son Tim works for the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DoC) in Moose Lake, where he's a plant maintenance engineer (PME). Originally, Tim took an interest in farming when the Lourey family had cattle. He is an incredibly creative music writer and guitarist. Tim has three children, step-daughter Michella, and sons Dallos and Sal.
Matt always looked for fun. In track, he was especially successful and held high school records. Matt also enjoyed basketball, but wasn’t a regular player on the school team. On parents night his senior year, he played and contributed four points on two baskets – the margin of victory for his Askov basketball team; and the crowd cheered his success. Matt had a love of flying from an early age, and he fulfilled his dream by serving his country for 21 years serving in the Marine Corps and the Air National Guard. A decorated Kiowa Warrior helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army, Matt died May 27, 2005 as a result of injuries received in combat over Buhriz, Iraq where he was serving in his second tour of duty. He was married to Lisa, retired from the Army as a Major after two decades of service. She served as a Joint Chiefs of Staff / Office of the Secretary of Defense Intern, and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University in Policy Management.
Tony is a Minnesota State Senator where he chairs the Finance Health and Human Services Budget Division. He earned his J.D. from William Mitchell and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota. He often comments, “It helps to be a philosopher when you grow up in a household of 12 children.” His wife, Marlana, has worked both as a broadcast and print journalist. With a strong interest in politics, Marlana managed Becky Lourey’s successful state Senate campaign in 1996. Tony and Marlana have three children, daughter Chelsea, and sons Stuart and Colton.
Jay shared a bedroom with Matt, and they also shared various interests. Jay asked why airplanes drop bombs instead of love the night before he died during open-heart surgery in 1971 at age 5. That night he had drawn a picture of an airplane dropping loads of love, each one bigger than the last one. Jay was full of love for his family and everyone he met. While the tragedy shook Becky and Gene's confidence, Tim, Matt and Tony helped their parents regain their strength to adopt seven more children.
Leah was the human resources director at Nemadji Research Corporation (NRC) for many years, returning to Minnesota after running a dentist’s office in Alaska. She is known for her talents as a cook and ballet dancer. Her husband Ken is a carpenter employed by NRC in charge of remodeling and maintenance, and he runs the value-added wood operation. Leah and Ken have a son Kody, and daughter Sage.
Kristin is a physician working in an emergency room in western Wisconsin. She graduated from medical school after working as a physical therapist. In high school, Kristin was an MVP basketball player and Athlete of the Year in her senior year. Her husband, Scott, flies for the Air National Guard out of Duluth, operates two small businesses, and is an avid golfer. Kristin and Scott have a daughter JoLee and a son James.
Kim became CEO of Nemadji Research Corp. after her father Gene’s death, leaving in 2013 to start a new company. She has a college degree in international relations and languages. Kim entertains the family by providing a unique and often-humorous perspective. Her husband, Dan, is very musical, playing in a band and teaching music. Kim and Dan have a daughter, Emily, and a son, Matthew, named after his Uncle Matt.
Ben graduated with degrees in both psychology and communications, and then went to bartending school before moving out West. He also received an associate degree in paralegal studies. He earned his master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in global management while working for his current employer, Dolby Laboratories in California.
Heidi has a degree in criminology. Her never-ending generosity is an inspiration to the Lourey family. She was a gutsy little girl and kept her fearless, can-do attitude as she grew older. When the family moved to the farm in Kerrick, fixing the fence was on the list of repairs. Cows would wander right up to the house, and preschooler Heidi would step out the door and say, “Get out of here cows,” and they actually obeyed her. Since 1991, Heidi has helped run NRC. Based in Minnesota, Heidi is currently in charge of running the Alameda County (Calif.) project for NRC.
Maria has a degree in psychology and communications. She is known for keeping the pulse of the Lourey family, and she keeps everyone informed of all the happenings. At NRC, she works in both the production and billing departments . Maria is the NRC representative on the board of the non-profit organization providing child care and senior nutrition located in the same building as the business. Her husband, Joe, runs the equipment for the organic farming operation near the Lourey family homestead in Kerrick and in the down time works in the production department at NRC. Maria and Joe have a daughter Allison, and twins – son Jacob and daughter Isabella.
Fernando was big and strong and had a heart filled with love for all. His passion was his son, his family and the great outdoors. He was always the first one to give you that much-needed hug or smile. A very good football player in junior high school, he was especially difficult to tackle when he carried the ball. He came home one day expressing concern that so many opposing players had gotten injured trying to tackle him. “I don’t like hurting people,” he said, although he was well-liked and enjoyed participating on the team. So, he decided to stay with the team as water boy. At graduation, his teammates recognized his contributions and friendship. Known to most as Nondo, he inspired his co-workers when they got to know how he had overcome his special challenges. Working at a hotel in 2001, Nondo died in a swimming pool accident. Fernando has a son, Thomas.
Nick brings invaluable math skills and a steady temperament to NRC where he is responsible for several aspects of the business including accounting and claims payments auditing. He overcame 24 major surgeries as a child to earn high school basketball Most Valuable Player honors in his senior year. Nick’s very accurate three-point shooting on the court always made him a threat to score. Utilizing his basketball skills, Nick enjoys coaching players of all ages. Nick is married to Shana. They have a son, Quentin, and a daughter, Samara.