Longtime state lawmaker Duane Berentson passes

The Associated PressJuly 9, 2013 

MOUNT VERNON — Longtime state legislator Duane Berentson, a former head of the Washington state Department of Transportation, has died.

Berentson was 84 and died Friday. Berentson, a Republican, served as the 40th Legislative District representative from 1962-1980.

While in the Legislature, Berentson served on the House Transportation Committee and in 1979 became co-speaker of the House with Democrat John Bagnariol when it was split 49-49.

Berentson later served as the state Department of Transportation secretary for 12 years, ending in 1993.

Berentson was a star basketball player at Anacortes High School and also worked as a coach and a teacher of journalism and biology at Burlington-Edison High School. Nephew Steve Berentson told the Skagit Valley Herald that Duane Berentson instilled a love for journalism in himself and others.

The Associated Press

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