The following is a release from the office of Senator Cynthia Lummis –
This week, Wyoming is mourning the loss of a gentle giant, Senator Mike Enzi. Mike spent his life working to make Wyoming a better place while creating opportunities for our people.
As the mayor of Gillette, a state legislator, U.S. senator and senior statesman, Wyoming has had no greater champion than Mike Enzi. He always put Wyoming first, and worked harder than anyone to serve his constituents.
Growing up, Mike’s dad would say, “I don’t care if he is a doctor or a lawyer or a ditch digger. I just want him to be proud of what he does. If he’s a ditch digger, I want any darn fool to be able to look at that ditch and say, ‘that’s a Mike Enzi ditch.’” That creed became commonplace in Mike’s Senate office. I’ll echo Mike’s former Chief of Staff, Coy Knoble, by saying, I think it’s a pretty good ditch.
Mike was a soft-spoken leader, but the many legislative wins he delivered attest to the impact of his service. At a time of increasing political incivility, Mike Enzi managed to tactfully and graciously navigate the upper chamber, producing results that will be felt for generations to come.
His retirement left a hole in the Senate, and his death to this world leaves a hole in our state and in our hearts.
Throughout Mike’s career in the Senate, he came up with multiple plans to address our debt and deficit. As an accountant by training and trade, he knew how to balance a budget and make it through the lean times. He wanted to set our great nation up for success for his children and his grandchildren.
My prayers are with his wife Diana, children Amy, Emily and Brad, and his four grandchildren at this very difficult time. I know they’re proud of the powerful legacy he leaves behind. We all are and we have every right to be.
To me personally, he was more than just our senior senator. I’ve known Mike since the early 1980s and over the last 40 years he’s been my personal friend and, as Senator John Barrasso has also said, mentor.
We first worked together when we were both in the Wyoming State Legislature. Then we served together in the Wyoming State Senate. Finally, when he came to the U.S. Senate, I followed him a few years later in the House of Representatives. I always joked that I was just following him around like a puppy dog my whole life.
Mike taught me about legislating, but he also taught me about life. He had a rock-solid faith. His faith was his guiding light. It’s something that my late husband had too, and I take comfort knowing that Mike is peacefully at home in Heaven with his Lord and Savior.
I’m Lutheran, and in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, it says that Christians, like Mike and me and John, are redeemed so that “I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.”
I note that because Mike was such a servant leader. He gave his earthly life to public service. And as Heaven is an everlasting service of the Lord, I know that no one is more prepared for that than Mike. He was a servant leader on earth, and I know he will be a servant leader in Heaven.
I’ll add one last thing. Mike’s unexpected death is a reminder that you can never say thank you to the ones you care about and appreciate too soon or too often. I was blessed to be able to pay tribute to Mike’s lasting accomplishments and impact on Wyoming just last week when John Barrasso and I recorded a tribute to him and his service to Wyoming’s mining community. At this event honoring Mike Enzi, at which he was in attendance in his home town of Gillette, he joked, he had fun, and he got to enjoy the camaraderie of the people in the state he loved so very much. I’m grateful that I was able to take that opportunity to say thank you to him one last time.
I am heartbroken that Mike has passed away from this life. I will miss him terribly. He was a beloved, kind member of the U.S. Senate. He was an accomplished quiet leader. He was Wyoming’s friend. He was my friend.
God bless you Mike. We will see you down the road. Happy trails.