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Subject: Roger Eddy, Farmer and Connecticut Politician

Dead @ 83
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Date Posted: April 03, 2003 4:48:42 EDT

Roger W. Eddy, a former state senator and representative who ran an unsuccessful United States Senate campaign against Christopher J. Dodd in 1986, died at his home here on Saturday, his 83rd birthday.

Mr. Eddy had been ill for a short time, his family told The Hartford Courant.

A decorated World War II veteran educated at Yale, Mr. Eddy ran his family's farm on Cedar Street and sold fruits and vegetables.

In addition to his work in farming and public life, in 1952 Mr. Eddy invented the popular Audubon Bird Call, a finger-size device of wood and metal that produces a chirpy, birdlike sound when twisted.

The device was assembled at his farm and has sold steadily for decades. Customers were calling his home ordering spring shipments the day he died, his family said.

He served on the Republican National Committee and wrote four books, two of which became television screenplays, The Courant reported.

Senator Dodd easily beat Mr. Eddy to retain his Senate seat in 1986, but Mr. Eddy waged a gritty campaign.

"I'm going to go after him," Mr. Eddy said at the time. "He's never been gone after, never been challenged."

Mr. Eddy was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1959 and served a single two-year term. He also served two terms in the State Senate, from 1967 to 1971.

Mr. Eddy served terms on the Newington school, library and conservation boards and was the town tax collector. He was also a member of the State Board of Higher Education and chairman of the Metropolitan District Commission.

During World War II, he served with the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment during the invasion of the Aleutian Islands and later served with the 10th Mountain Division in the Italian campaign against the Germans. He was awarded two Silver Stars and a Bronze Star.

Mr. Eddy is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Deborah Bankart; two daughters, Heidi B. E. Riggs of Sharon, Conn., and Lucy Fox of Wakefield, R.I.; and four grandchildren.

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