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Former lawmaker, teacher Edward Luders dies

Former state Rep. Edward T. Luders, who served in Democratic leadership in the Washington Legislature during the 1970s, died Friday at age 84.

Luders also taught economics and government at North Central High School for 20 years starting in 1954.

In early 1970, announcing his candidacy for the state House of Representatives, The Spokesman-Review reported that “Luders said he felt it to be the moral duty of any concerned citizen to be involved in politics.” He won the election on his 42nd birthday.

Luders served as chairman of the House Ecology Committee and as the House Democratic whip. He was re-elected in 1972 and 1974 and resigned from the office amid a party leadership squabble in January 1976, citing personal and financial reasons, according to news archives.

He continued teaching while in office and later became the curriculum director for the Intermediate School District 101, which is now Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101.

Luders retired from the district as superintendent in 1982 to become an independent logger and rancher in Pend Oreille County, according to S-R archives.

Luders was born in Spokane on Nov. 3, 1928. After attending Jefferson Grade School and Lewis and Clark High School, he graduated from Gonzaga University and later from Eastern Washington State College to earn his secondary teaching credentials, while also serving in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

He served on the Expo ’74 Commission and was the Spokane County co-chairman of Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s 1976 presidential campaign. He was the chairman of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission during the creation of the Centennial Trail.

Luders is survived by his wife of more than 62 years, Winifred, three children and their spouses, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services are planned at Heritage Funeral Home, 508 N. Government Way, Wednesday at 2 p.m.