Wyoming State Treasurer Joe Meyer Dies At The Age Of 71
In a release from the family of State Treasurer Joe Meyer, it was announced that Joe had passed away earlier today in Cheyenne with his family by his side.
Joe was in his second term as Wyoming State Treasurer having been re-elected to that position in 2010.
Joe’s reach went far beyond the borders of Wyoming and thoughts were expressed by longtime friend Vice President Dick Cheney.
“Joe was my great friend,The two of us were dear friends for
over fifty years, and had so many shared memories
that it is hard to think of the world without
him. He was 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. He put his
knowledge to work for the benefit of our state,
and he shared it generously. If you had a
question, he had the answer, and no matter how
busy he was, he would sit down with you and
explain itand make the process enjoyable,
too. The nation and our state were better because of Joe Meyer.”
Throughout his life, Joe made a significant contribution to his native state and was recently
honored for his 40 years of service to the state of Wyoming by Governor Mead. During those 40 years, Joe served as State Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Government Affairs and Communications Assistant to the President of the University of Wyoming and Assistant Director of the Legislative Service Office. A graduate of the University of Wyoming, Joe used his education and talents to better his community and state and was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Wyoming in 2012 for his outstanding achievements.
Joe received his Bachelors degree in Mathematics/Chemistry from the University of Wyoming in 1963 and went on to obtain his Juris Doctorate degree from the UW Law School in 1967.
He married Sheridan native Mary Orr in his second year of law school and the couple moved to Lander, Wyoming after graduation. There he served as Fremont County deputy county attorney and later was a practicing attorney in Lander at the Smith and Meyer Law Firm.
In 1971 he was recruited to be the assistant director of the newly created Legislative Service Office in Cheyenne.Joe’s accomplishments while at the LSO included modifying programs to prevent the financial failure of the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Fund.
In 1987, Governor Mike Sullivan appointed Joe Wyoming Attorney General. He served in that position more than eight years and remains the longest serving AG in Wyoming's history. During his two terms, he argued several cases before the Wyoming Supreme Court, including the school finance case in 1994. Besides his impact at thestate level, he was lead attorney for the 50 state attorneys general on Indian gambling and taxation issues and frequently, on western water law consultations and negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
After his tenure as Attorney General, Joe returned to his alma mater as Government Affairs and Communications Assistant to the President of the University of Wyoming. There he worked with legislators and other UW administrators and faculty to obtain more funding and to improve and expand the physical plant.
Joe entered his elective political life in May of 1998 when he filed for office in the open-seat
race for Secretary of State. He was elected Secretary of State and went on to be instrumental in implementing the historic Help America Vote Act. After eight years as Secretary of State he ran successfully for State Treasurer,where he oversaw the state’s $15 billion investment portfolio. As one of the five stateelected officials, Joe was also an active member of the Wyoming State Retirement Board ofDirectors, the Wyoming Community Development Association Board, the State Land Board, the State Loan and Investment Board and the State Building Commission.
Joe spent his life serving the public in many capacities. He was Chairman of theCheyenne-Laramie County Health Board, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Longs Peak Council, Boy Scouts of America, governing board member of the National Association of Secretaries of State,Chairman of the Frontier Certified Development Company, chairman and senior Western States attorney general of the Conference of Western Attorneys General, and Chairman of the Western Conference of State Treasurers. He was also on the transition team for the Bush-Cheney team in 2000 after their historic election and was very involved in the Wyoming Futures Project during the Governor Herschler years. In 2007, Joe was honored as the Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Longs Peak Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Born in Casper, Joe graduated from Natrona County High School. He is survived by his wife of 46years, Mary Orr Meyer, his sons, Vince, and Warren (Cory), grandsons Ethan and Devin, all of Cheyenne and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Services are under the direction of Schrader Funeral Home in Cheyenne. Funeral arrangements are pending.