Remembering Cecil Andrus: Death prompts outpouring of remembrance, tributes

August 25, 2017

The death of longtime former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus late Thursday prompted an outpouring of grief, remembrances and tributes from all sides of the political spectrum on Friday.

Among them:

Former President Jimmy Carter: “Rosalynn and I join thousands across our nation in mourning the passing of Cecil Andrus, a friend from the time we served together as governors. Cece was the only person I considered for the cabinet post of secretary of the interior, and together we made conservation history with the successful passage of the Alaska lands legislation, which doubled the size of the National Parks, established large additions to the National Wildlife Refuge System, designated new wild and scenic rivers and protected for future generations entire ecosystems such as the Gates of the Arctic. A special memory Rosalynn and I cherish is the float trip with Carol and Cece down the Middle Fork of the Salmon, competing in catching the most trout. Cece loved the outdoors and was a genuine conservationist. Americans are better off because of his service, and I am better because of his friendship.”

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter: “Cecil Andrus made everyone around him better. He was a mentor to me and many others, raising our standards and inspiring us to think big. He combined stubborn idealism with common sense – a lunch-bucket liberal proudly reflecting his timber country upbringing and values. Whatever you thought of his politics, Cece was always true to what he believed, and he believed in Idaho. His voice will be missed in our public life, and I will miss his counsel and friendship. Carol and the Andrus family are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Bert Marley: “A remarkable and influential leader, Governor Cecil Andrus was a true public servant. He was an authentic and dignified statesman and even when serving in the highest offices of our nation, he remained an Idaho outdoorsman, a neighbor, and a friend. A giant of a man, Governor Andrus was Idaho’s longest serving governor and leaves behind a legacy that Idahoans will forever cherish. His practical, sincere, and kind-hearted leadership will be truly missed.”

Former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne: “I clearly remember in 1977, as a recent graduate of the University of Idaho and a new employee of the Idaho Department of Lands, going upstairs in the State Capitol, standing in line with many other Idahoans, outside the Governor’s Office, to shake the hand of Governor Cecil Andrus. It was his last day in office before heading to Washington, D.C. to become Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. I remember I was proud to shake his hand and to say, “God bless you, Governor Andrus.” Once again, I stand with many fellow Idahoans saying, “God bless you, Governor Andrus.” My prayers are also with Carol and all of the Andrus family members.”

Sen. Mike Crapo: “Gov. Andrus was a dynamic and effective leader who knew how to wield authority and get things done for Idaho, and for the nation. His leadership and sense of purpose as a public servant were demonstrated repeatedly during his long career in public service. He earned my respect, and I count him as a friend. He will be forever remembered as a leader of great accomplishment. I send my heartfelt sympathies to his family as they, along with Idaho, mourn his passing.”

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter: “Few can claim a place in Idaho’s history as esteemed as Cecil Andrus. His mark upon this state is indelible and respect for his capabilities near universal. He served his country and Idaho with integrity, charm and gifted foresight. Personally, he was a hero who always had wise advice and insight at the ready. No one helped me more, especially in the early years of my career. My thoughts and prayers go to Carol and the rest of the Andrus family. We have lost a truly great man.”

1st District Rep. Raúl Labrador: “Cecil Andrus was an Idaho original, a man whose independence and integrity earned the respect of Idahoans across the political spectrum. His blue-collar roots, connection to ordinary Idahoans and commitment to making the state a better place made him Idaho’s only four-term governor. Becca and I have Carol and the rest of the Andrus family in our prayers.”

2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson: “Idaho and our nation have lost a truly great statesman and conservationist today. Kathy and I send our prayers and thoughts to his family for their loss. Governor Andrus will rightly be remembered as a legend in the conservation field. It was fitting that he cut his political teeth protecting Castle Peak as I think they both have a lot in common. They are giants in Idaho and icons to those who believe conservation is a necessity and not a luxury. We will truly miss Cece, but we will always be reminded of how great he was as we are surrounded by his legacy of conservation.”

Sen. Jim Risch: “Governor Andrus was one of the most accomplished, successful and masterful political figures I have worked with. He had the judgment and strength to take matters where he wanted them to go. Vicki and I extend our condolences to Carol and his family and they are in our prayers.”

Idaho Democratic legislative leaders: House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding said, “Idaho lost a giant this week. The impact he had on Idaho in terms of protecting the state’s natural beauty, investing in education and fighting for the future of rural Idahoans has not been matched since. Personally, I have lost a mentor and friend whose influence on my life and career cannot be overstated.” Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said, “He was as strong as he was compassionate and he wanted nothing more than to see Idahoans from all walks of life succeed. Governor Andrus’ brand of leadership comes around once in a generation. Today is a sad day for all Idahoans.”

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden: “I am saddened to learn of Governor Andrus’ passing and send my condolences to his family. Few people have contributed so much to our state and our nation. Cecil was a statesman and a good man. His passion for Idaho helped make a great place even greater and his impact will continue to be felt for generations.”

Musician Curtis Stigers: “Cecil Andrus was one of the great ones, and we won’t see the likes of him again soon.”

You can read Andrus’ full obituary here.