Wyoming State Treasurer Joseph B. Meyer died Saturday following a battle with cancer. He was 71.
Meyer died in Cheyenne with his family by his side, his family said in a statement. He died after battling lung cancer and a lengthy illness, longtime family friend Dave Picard said.
“This is a tremendous loss for all of Wyoming," Gov. Matt Mead said in a statement. "Carol and I send our deepest condolences to Joe’s wife Mary and their children. Joe cared deeply about this state and its people and always put Wyoming first. His legacy of service is unmatched. He will be remembered for his wisdom and his wit. I feel most fortunate to have had his counsel and friendship.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a longtime friend, called Meyer "a friend to be proud of, one of the finest public officials ever to serve the people of Wyoming.
"I know of no one who knew more about the workings of government than Joe," Cheney said in a statement released by the family. "He put his knowledge to work for the benefit of our state, and he shared it generously. knew "of no one who knew more about the workings of government than Joe. He put his knowledge to work for the benefit of our state, and he shared it generously.
"The nation and our state were better because of Joe Meyer.”
Meyer announced in 2009 that he had lung cancer. Earlier this year, he underwent surgery for a "cancer deposit" in his brain.
Meyer was a graduate of Natrona County High School in Casper, the University of Wyoming and the UW College of Law. He was a practicing attorney for four years, two as Fremont County deputy county attorney and two in private practice.
He became the assistant director of the Wyoming Legislative Service Office in 1971 and held that position until 1987.
Meyer served as Wyoming attorney general from 1987 to 1995 -- the longest tenure of anyone in that position. He was named special assistant for governmental relations to the UW president that year, serving until 1998.
He served two four-year terms as Wyoming secretary of state before being elected state treasurer in 2006. He was re-elected without opposition in 2010.
In addition to his work in government, Meyer was active in many community organizations. He was chairman of the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Board; a member of the board of trustees of the Longs Peak Council, Boy Scouts of America; chairman of the Frontier Certified Development Co. He was also on the transition team for the Bush-Cheney team in 2000 and was very involved in the Wyoming Futures Project. In 2007, he was honored as the Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Longs Peak Council, Boy Scouts of America.
On Monday, the University of Wyoming announced that Meyer was one of three graduates who would receive Distinguished Alumni Awards during UW Homecoming on Saturday.
Mead ordered the U.S. and Wyoming flags be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset for 15 days.
The state Republican committee will submit three names to Mead, and the governor will have five days to select a replacement from the list.
Meyer is survived by his wife, Mary Orr Meyer; two sons, Vince and Warren; and two grandsons.
Services are under the direction of Schrader Funeral Home in Cheyenne. Funeral arrangements were pending.