This is an archived article that was published on in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Services are scheduled Wednesday for former restaurateur and Utah Democratic Party leader Milton Weilenmann.

Weilenmann, a state party chairman in the 1950s and Democratic nominee who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Sen. Wallace F. Bennett in 1968, died Friday. He was 89.

"He had a zest for the [political] battle," Milton Weilenmann's son Mike said Monday. "He just loved to get out and meet people."

Milton Weilenmann was the owner of Bratten's -- a popular seafood restaurant -- with locations in downtown Salt Lake City and Sugar House. He also owned the Restaurante Della Fontana.

Weilenmann served in the administration of Gov. Cal Rampton as head of the state industrial promotion and economic development.

He was chairman of the state Democratic Party in the 1950s and stayed active in the party for many years.

Oscar McConkie, former state Senate president and a lifelong Democrat, described Weilenmann as a "very sensitive, generous person."

He recounted a time when Weilenmann, then president of the Alaskan Canadian Mission for the LDS Church, took an unauthorized trip home to Utah and was "caught" by Hugh B. Brown, who served in the First Presidency of the faith.

The fast-thinking Weilenmann, who was carrying with him a polar bear rug, said "'the saints gave me this beautiful white bear rug to give to President Brown.'"

McConkie chuckled as he recalled later seeing the rug "on President Brown's wall."

Weilenmann is survived by seven children, 48 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren.

Services are set for noon Wednesday at the Ensign Stake Center, 135 A Street. A viewing will be tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple.