Wyoming's congressional delegation, Sen. Mitch McConnell to attend Enzi's funeral
GILLETTE — Wyoming’s congressional delegation of U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, are expected to attend former senator and Gillette mayor Michael B. Enzi’s funeral services, which begin at 1 p.m. Friday.
Press representatives from their respective offices confirmed their plans to attend.
“There are so many people that love him,” said Laura Mengelkamp, Barrasso’s communications director, about Enzi.
She said that because of that fact, she doesn’t think there are any votes scheduled in the U.S. Senate on Friday to allow those interested in attending the opportunity to do so without missing Senate business.
“I think you’ll see quite a few of them make the trip,” she said, adding she did not have details on who might be attending beyond the Wyoming delegation.
“Leader McConnell and many senators will attend Senator Enzi’s memorial service," wrote David Popp, a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in an email on Wednesday afternoon.
In addition to expressing his sympathies after Enzi's death, McConnell praised Enzi on the floor of the Senate ahead of his retirement.
"Our colleagues here in the United States Senate are, to put it mildly, an impressive bunch," McConnell said on Dec. 8, 2020. "That always makes it a challenge to pay adequate tribute when one leaves our ranks. But even by the high standards of this place, the course charted by the senator whom I have to send off this morning stands out. The senior senator from Wyoming, Chairman Mike Enzi, has accomplished enough in one career to fill two."
Politico reported Monday morning that President Joe Biden was mulling a trip to Gillette for the funeral services as well, but no word out of Washington, D.C., has confirmed that the president intends to attend. Biden and Enzi were colleagues in the Senate for many years.
A public visitation for Enzi will be from 9-11 a.m. Friday, according to the Gillette Memorial Chapel. The visitation will be at the Gillette College Pronghorn Center, just off of the section of 4J Road that was named for Enzi.
Masks will be available at the Pronghorn Center but will not be required.
Lt. Brent Wasson of the Gillette Police Department said the police will assist with traffic control for the procession and with dispersal at the Pronghorn Center.
The family procession to the cemetery will be Enzi Drive to Second Street to Gillette Avenue, according to Gillette Memorial Chapel.
College Drive will be closed, Wasson said. Parking will be available at the Pronghorn Center and Gillette College’s main campus, but it will not be available at the nearby health sciences building, he said. That building will be used to accommodate the congressional delegation that’s attending.
Wasson would not comment on the potential attendees from the delegation.
“I would say that we certainly understand that there are a lot of people who want to pay their respects,” Wasson said. “So please be patient.”
Campbell County Sheriff Scott Matheny said the county requested that he put together an inmate cleanup crew to spruce up the highway leading from airport to Gillette. He said he put that request to the jail Tuesday as soon as he got it.
Enzi died July 26 from injuries suffered three days earlier in a bicycling accident near his home.
He served 24 years in the U.S. Senate, 10 years in the Wyoming Legislature and eight years as Gillette mayor.
The funeral service also is being live streamed for those unable to attend. It can be viewed at https://www.gillettememorialchapel.com/obituary/mike-enzi.