Wyoming Rep. Sue Wallis dies at 56

2014-01-28T13:45:00Z 2014-12-17T12:06:50Z Wyoming Rep. Sue Wallis dies at 56By KYLE ROERINK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

Four-term state lawmaker Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, died this morning.

She was 56 years old.

The cause is still unknown, said Campbell County Coroner Tom Eekhoff.

Wallis and state Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau were high school friends and had known each other for 40 years.

“It’s a huge loss to the state of Wyoming,” Lubanu said. “She was an incredible asset. She was a woman of principles who spoke her mind whether it was politically correct, whether it was popular or not. She’s going to be a huge loss to the community.”

Wallis’ politics were a unique blend of libertarian and Republican. She budgeted conservatively on the House Appropriations Committee but sponsored an array of legislation that didn't always conform to Republican principles.

Wallis supported equal rights for same-sex couples, medical marijuana and the opening of horse slaughter plants across the country. She also was pro-choice.

Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, just attended a State Agriculture and Rural Leaders Summit with Wallis earlier this month in Oklahoma City. She received a standing ovation when she spoke at the event, Driskill said.

“It’s a big loss for the agriculture community in Wyoming,” he said.

Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, had heated debates on the House floor with Wallis.

“But at the end of the day,” he said, “we were the best of friends.”

Wallis’ western zeal didn’t just end with agriculture and politics.

She wrote her own poetry and would recite it on the floor of the House and at other political events.

“She was an adept cowboy poet,” Lubnau said.

Wallis was preceded in death by her husband, Rod McQueary, in December 2012.

“She didn’t miss any legislative duties because she’s a woman of principle,” he said. “I am happy to see her reunited with the love of her life.”

Wallis’ seat will not be vacant during the upcoming budget session of the Legislature.

Members of the state GOP’s Central Committee from Campbell County will provide three names of candidates to the Campbell County Commission. The commissioners will then choose an appointee before the session begins Feb. 10.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(13) Comments

  1. wildhorsewrites
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    wildhorsewrites - January 29, 2014 12:55 pm
    My condolences to Sue Wallis's family and friends. I'm sure she will be dearly missed. As an anti-horse slaughter advocate I strongly disagreed with her stance on that issue and was critical, It was sad to see her say slaughter is a humane solution for horses humans did not want or could care for any longer when there are more humane options. Just as I have compassion for horses brutally slaughtered, I also have compassion for Sue Wallis losing her life so young and for those who loved her.
  2. Bristol-blu Persuasion
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    Bristol-blu Persuasion - January 28, 2014 10:19 pm
    RIP Madame Wallis. I wish you were with us, healthy, and watching the US Congress sending the SAFE ACT to the POTUS, to be signed into law. Blesses be.
  3. Iloveanimals
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    Iloveanimals - January 28, 2014 6:03 pm
    My prayers go out to her family and friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Though I did not agree with some of here political views, everyone is entitled to their own views. It is tragic, always, when someone this young dies suddenly, but at least she is now reunited with her husband, and that should be a comfort to family. May she RIP.
  4. Iloveanimals
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    Iloveanimals - January 28, 2014 5:56 pm
    I agree that this is a great loss for her family, as she was still quite young. My prayers are with them tonight, but my thoughts are glad that she is with her husband once again in Heaven. I may not have agreed with her politics, but she was still loved by many, and I feel for their loss. RIP
  5. icecreamdreams
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    icecreamdreams - January 28, 2014 5:37 pm
    I'm not going to apologize for breathing a HUGE sigh of relief that this woman has passed. While some want to be politically correct, let's not forget she single-handedly made it her mission in life to advocate the torture of horses by slaughter. I believe it's called karma.
    She will forever be known for that issue despite any other efforts she might have advocated for.
  6. RonnieG
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    RonnieG - January 28, 2014 4:12 pm
    I am anti-horse slaughter, so disagreed with Mrs. Wallis. Her death is a great loss to her family. Her husband, father to her 7 children, died in 2012. She has 1 grandchild. My sincere condolences to her loved ones. May her soul R.I.P.
  7. Linda Hart
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    Linda Hart - January 28, 2014 3:56 pm
    What a loss to Wyoming and those who worked with her. A lady with strong ethics who was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in. I was honored to have worked with her on a few projects for horses and dogs, and have always had the utmost respect for her. Condolences to her family and friends. She will be missed by many.
  8. Betty B
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    Betty B - January 28, 2014 3:53 pm
    Sue was a strong passionate woman and legislator. It matters very little now, how one feels about horse slaughter, women's rights, or marijuana. She put herself out in the line of fire repeatedly; many of us should be so willing to do that.
    Goodbye Sue.
  9. JH22
    Report Abuse
    JH22 - January 28, 2014 3:01 pm
    As a strong horse advocate I was opposite side of the fence with Sue Wallis, but my heart goes out to her family and friends who must now deal with the loss of her in their lives. Know that we are share in your grief at losing a friend and family member. Blessed Be!
  10. Wyoming Girl88
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    Wyoming Girl88 - January 28, 2014 2:45 pm
    What sad news. She was a good woman and an amazing person. My thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues.
  11. mkmg365
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    mkmg365 - January 28, 2014 2:15 pm
    I may not have agreed with Sue on horse slaughter but I am sorry for her family and loved ones. As a horse advocate I'd like to just say that I know of the pain you feel and the loss. In the end we are all human and loss like this hurts.

    AI am truly sorry for your loss and the pain and grief you are currently experiencing.
  12. Old Troupadour
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    Old Troupadour - January 28, 2014 2:06 pm
    RIP Honorable Sue Wallis
  13. David Bush
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    David Bush - January 28, 2014 1:59 pm
    Kyle, it won't be the state GOP central committee's job to send 3 names. It will be the Republican precinct people in Rep. Wallis's district that will get together and pick 3 people to send to the Campbell Co. Commission.
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