VIDEO: Yoder Tribute to Former Representative Larry Winn, Jr.
Washington, D.C. – This morning, Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to honor and remember the life of former Representative Larry Winn, Jr., who served Kansas’ Third District in Congress from 1967 to 1985.
Click here to watch Yoder's remarks.
The following are Yoder’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor and remember the life of a long time servant of this body, one of my predecessors, a former Kansas 3rd District Representative Larry Winn, Jr. Larry passed away New Year’s Eve at the remarkable age of 98, and he will be dearly missed by his family and the people of the 3rd District.
Larry will long be remembered in our community and in the halls of Congress as a devoted public servant. Representative Winn served in this body for eighteen years, from 1967 to 1985. His time in the House spanned across nine Congresses and five presidential administrations – from Lyndon B. Johnson to Ronald Reagan.
He served alongside some of the great statesmen of his time. Larry’s freshman class in the House included George H.W. Bush. Larry and his wife Joan became good friends with the Bushes; Joan and Barbara Bush were proud members of a club for Congressional spouses called the “66 Club.” Larry became close friends with and greatly respected President Gerald Ford, who once visited the 3rd District and drew a huge crowd in my hometown of Overland Park. Larry also represented our state along with one of the most prominent Kansans ever: Senator Bob Dole. Larry was known as a congenial Member, who worked to find consensus and developed strong relationships with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. While he spent his entire time in Congress in the minority party, he made a priority of seeking out opportunities and friends on both sides of the aisle.
Representative Winn served on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for many years, ultimately rising to the position of Ranking Member on the committee. During his time working on Foreign Affairs, the United States grappled with major world events, such as the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and conflict in the Middle East. In addition to his role on the Foreign Affairs Committee, he also represented the U.S. as a Congressional Representative to the United Nations, appointed by President Reagan. In all of these roles, he was an excellent representative of our country to the rest of the world.
Larry took pride in serving the people of the Third District. Constituent service was always one of his top priorities, and he believed that solving problems for his constituents was one of his most important responsibilities. If someone had an issue with a federal agency, Larry and his staff would make sure that it got resolved. This principle of valuing and serving each individual constituent in the district is one that I try to follow as a Representative.
He lived a great life outside of Congress as well. Larry was an alumnus of the University of Kansas school of Journalism, and a proud Jayhawk. I’ve even heard he taught life-long Wildcat Senator Pat Roberts how to Wave the Wheat. When WWII began, he was unable to join the military due to the loss of one of his legs in an accident. However, he still served his country admirably by building airplanes in Kansas City. Other accomplishments of his included serving as director of the National Association of Home Builders and the founding of the KCK Chamber’s Congressional Forum, which I have the privilege of regularly addressing as it is still going strong today, starting its 50th year.
Larry was a mentor to me and so many aspiring elected officials in Kansas, dispensing valuable advice and old war stories to help guide us along. He had a gift for humor, and an ease with people that served him well in all of his endeavors. Most of all his was a good man.
While we mourn the loss of Larry, I take comfort knowing that he is now being reunited with Joan, his beloved wife of 73 years who passed away in 2015. Larry also leaves behind a large and loving family. His legacy will live on through his four children: Larry Winn III, Douglas Winn, Janet Payne, and Cynthia Burr, plus eight grandchildren and sixteen grandchildren.
Larry’s legacy will live on in other public servants who he mentored and inspired. He left an indelible mark on this body, and because of his leadership here, Kansas and the United States is better off for it. Larry, on behalf of the United States Congress, we are thankful for your service to our country; you are in God’s hands now and may you rest in eternal peace.”