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George Pillsbury Dies at Age 91

Lifelong Lake Minnetonka resident was the patriarch of one of Minnesota's most influential families.

George Pillsbury died at his Wayzata home over the weekend. A former state senator, Orono School Board member, U.S. Marine and lifelong influencer in both business and politics, Pillsbury had suffered a recent stroke.

Pillsbury was a familiar face in the Wayzata and Lake Minnetonka area, and he lived in a house on Brackett's Point.

Lori Sturdevant, a 30-year veteran editorial writer and columnist for the Star Tribune, wrote a book with Pillsbury that was published last year. "The Pillsburys of Minnesota" detailed the family's significant contributions in business, education, architecture and politics. It also included a timeline dating back to when the Pillsbury family first arrived in the U.S. from England in 1640.

George Pillsbury was instrumental in the book's penning, and the two appeared in Wayzata last year to talk about the Pillsbury family's role in Minnesota's history.

Funeral arrangements have not been made public.

Friends react:

"We send our thoughts and prayers to the family of George S. Pillsbury, steward of this state and our historic club."—Minneapolis Club.

"We lost two good men this weekend, George Pillsbury and Sen. Arlen Specter. I will miss their independent voices & fighting spirits."—U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.

"RIP George Pillsbury. A Minnesota icon and outstanding fan of all local sports. Great friend to many."—Dave St. Peter, President of the Minnesota Twins.

"Minnesota lost a great leader, and Libby and I lost a great friend with the passing of George Pillsbury. Our sympathies to Sally and family."—Tom Horner, former Minnesota candidate for governor. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with George Pillsbury’s family and many friends today. His leadership and generous heart touched many— whether it was his service in the Minnesota State Senate, the Republican Party of Minnesota, or the numerous charitable organizations he worked with. His absence will be felt by all Minnesotans."—" Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Pat Shortridge.

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