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Former state Sen. Ross Doyen dies at 87

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 8 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 8:01 p.m.

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The Kansas politician most responsible for adding the word “Kansas” to the state flag and for the current location of the Kansas Museum of History was both honored in Topeka last week and buried in his hometown of Concordia.

Throughout his political career from 1959 through 1984, state Sen. Ross Doyen never lost in 22 elections.

In 1961, when Kansas was celebrating its centennial, Sen. Doyen – as a state representative – proposed adding “Kansas” to the flag.

On Thursday, members of the Doyen family helped mark the 30th anniversary of the museum building in Topeka by attending the opening of the museum’s newest gallery, “Real People, Real Stories,” according to an e-mail sent by the Kansas Historical Foundation.

“He was always a strong supporter of the (state) Historical Society in the appropriations process,” Ramon Powers, former director of the Kansas Historical Society, said in a phone interview Sunday with The Eagle.

Sen. Doyen was born on Oct. 1, 1926, in Rice. He was a graduate of Concordia High School and, during World War II, served in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft mechanic on C-54 transport planes. He died July 3 at age 87.

Sen. Doyen’s funeral was Wednesday.

Sen. Doyen received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering form Kansas State University.

He was a state representative from 1959 to 1968, when he was elected to the Kansas Senate, where he was president of the Senate from 1975 to 1984.

In Concordia, he served on the Brown Grand Theatre Board and was an advocate in relocating the National Orphan Train Museum Complex to Concordia.

“In everything we did, he was always one of our great supporters,” Powers said.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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