Park renamed in honor of late Marv Wangen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 27, 2002

In commemoration of the late Marv Wangen, a man who served the City of Albert Lea for 25 years as mayor and city councilman, the Albert Lea City Council passed a resolution that will rename Wedgewood Park as Wangen Park.

&uot;I think it is a great honor to the memory of my father,&uot; said Aaron Wangen, Marv Wangen’s son. &uot;It is a wonderful way to celebrate his efforts to make Albert Lea a better place to live.&uot;

The resolution to rename the park came from the city’s park and recreation board, which voted unanimously to name it Wangen Park. The original idea, according to Councilman George Marin, came from Lilia Walther, a girl to whom Wangen was a surrogate grandfather.

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The neighborhood around Wedgewood was home to Wangen.

Wedgewood was originally named after the Wedge family, who, according to councilor David McPherson, were among the earliest residents of Albert Lea. The Wedges had had donated the land to the city.

Councilwoman Mary Kron said, &uot;I got a call from Mark Jones and he just wanted me to say that his great grandfather Wedge had donated that land to Albert Lea and that they wouldn’t be angry if we did still name it Wangen park, but they kind of would have liked it if they would have kept the name Wedgewood Park.&uot;

The park, located on the western edge of town on Wedgewood Road, has no signs indicating a name. Marin, hoping to find some way to satisfy the memories of both Wangen and Wedge, suggested the sign for Wangen Park could indicate both. &uot;Perhaps on the sign itself could be something about the property being donated by the Wedges,&uot; he said.

The council will further address the park-naming issue in the future.

&uot;I feel there could be no better name to be placed on a park in our community than that of our former mayor,&uot; said Ron Sorenson, city councilman from the Fourth Ward. &uot;He was a dedicated mayor to Albert Lea and was dedicated to all his friends.&uot;

&uot;I feel it very appropriate that this name change be made to name it Wangen Park.&uot;