Vice-President Cheney Remembers Joe Meyer
CHEYENNE — (AP) Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne remembered Wyoming Treasurer Joe Meyer on Friday as a lifelong friend who dearly loved his family and the state.Meyer died earlier this month from cancer at age 71. He was best friends with Dick Cheney, going back to when they played football together as boys in Casper in the 1950s.
Dick Cheney recalled how he and Meyer were roommates at the University of Wyoming in the early 1960s, sharing a one-room apartment with a bunk bed. Cheney had cooking duties, keeping a pot of chili or spaghetti constantly on the stove, while Meyer was responsible for taking out the trash, a job at which he reportedly did not excel. Cheney said Meyer dropped his playboy ways after he met his wife, Mary, a former Miss Wyoming. “He was toast from that point on,” Cheney said.
While Meyer graduated from law school and quickly found his way into state government, Cheney won Wyoming’s lone congressional seat in the late 1970s. He said he invited Meyer to serve in Washington as his chief of staff but said he was shocked when Meyer turned him down. Cheney said Meyer was right, going on to have one of the most distinguished careers in public service in Wyoming history.
Meyer worked at the Legislative Service Office from 1971 through 1985, drafting many state statutes. He served as Wyoming attorney general for former Gov. Mike Sullivan’s two terms. Meyer then served as an administrator at the University of Wyoming before he was elected secretary of state in 1999 and served two four-year terms. He was elected state treasurer in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.
Meyer announced he had lung cancer in late 2009, when he was 68. He said at the time he had been a cigarette smoker for 45 years.He returned to work after surgery to remove a malignant tumor from one of his lungs. Meyer’s family announced early this year that he needed further surgery to remove cancer from his brain and his health deteriorated after that. Former Gov. Dave Freudenthal remembered Meyer was a “straight-up guy,” who would speak the truth and keep his word.Gov. Matt Mead noted that Meyer had served the state for nearly one-third of its history. He said Meyer’s counsel and friendship was critical to him in the early days of his administration.
“God bless you my friend, Wyoming’s friend: Joe Meyer,” he said.