Remembering Former Sen. Enzi

Photo by Walter Sprague/NLJ

Former Sen. Mike Enzi visited with NLJ Managing Editor Kim Dean outside of the paper’s office in August of 2020. Dean always took time to visit with Enzi!

 

W

e are deeply saddened at the News Letter Journal by the news of former U.S. Senator Mike Enzi’s death from a tragic bicycle accident near his home in Gillette.

Senator Enzi frequently visited the NLJ office during his many years in office, and it was usually on a Wednesday. Wednesdays are the days that our staff is busy assembling our weekly newspaper. I recall that he would present his hand for me to shake and I would hesitate and show him my blackened hands from the newspaper ink and it never deterred him from shaking my hand. As a small business owner himself, I think he fully understood that it takes everyone’s hands to make a business go round.

I always put extra pressure on him, since he was, for a majority of his service, the only accountant in the Wyoming Senate. I let him know that as a country, we should not be spending our grandchildren’s dollars they haven’t earned yet. He agreed with me, and one time shared with me that this issue actually kept him awake at night many times. His wife, Diana, could vouch for this.

I remember our last visit was on a Wednesday, which happened to be on my birthday in August of 2020. He was making the rounds in this part of the state prior to his retirement. We shook hands, mine blackened as usual, and he asked how things were going in our community. I recall telling him that we were pretty worried about our coal miners keeping their jobs, and he said that Gillette was worried about theirs also. I thanked him for all his years of service in his lengthy career, and told him he was “leaving big shoes to fill.” He was most humble, and expressed confidence that Cynthia Lummis, and her staff (many of which she kept from his staff), would serve us well. 

Senator Enzi acknowledged that his work wasn’t done, and that he intended to find other ways to serve. I am saddened that he will not get the chance to spend more time with his family and continue serving, and hope that he enjoyed his short retirement.

We lost a true public servant, whose heart was truly in serving the people that elected him. From the entire NLJ staff, our sincere condolences go out to Senator Enzi’s family.

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