As Idahoans mourn the loss of former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus, Idaho leaders and close friends of Andrus are sharing their memories of the well-known Governor.
Andrus served as United States Secretary of the Interior under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. In a statement Friday, President Carter said Andrus was the only person he considered for the cabinet post.
President Carter recalled the success the two had together while working to conserve national parks.
“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,” said President Carter.
The former President also shared a special memory he shared with Andrus and his wife.
“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,” said President Carter.
Former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne was close with Andrus as fellow Idaho Governor alumni. In a statement, Friday, Kempthorne shared one of his favorite memories of Andrus.
"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, DC 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," said Kempthorne.
Governor Andrus was the last Democrat to serve the State of Idaho as Governor. Andrus served his second stint as Idaho Governor from 1987 to 1995.
Remembering former governor and Idaho icon Cecil Andrus
Friday the Idaho Democratic Party remembered Andrus as a “remarkable and influential leader.”
Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Bert Marley offered condolences to the Governor's family and fellow Idaho Democrats.
"Governor Andrus was an inspiration to me. As a candidate and a legislator, he was always available for advice and support. He was the honorary chairman of my campaign when I ran for Superintendent of Public Instruction and was someone who I could always turn to. Governor Andrus was continuously supportive of the work we did to try to improve the lives of all Idahoans," said Marley.
Current Governor of Idaho, Governor Butch Otter, called Andrus a mentor and a man who raised his standards and inspired people to think big.
“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," said Otter in a statement.
The College of Idaho was remembering Andrus, who helped the college through serious financial difficulties when he was governor and during his service on the college's Board of Trustees. He began his ervice on the board in 1983, and served one term as its chair in 1985.
“He was there during the (former president) Bob Hendren and Joe Albertson discussions which led to a significant upgrade in the facilities and activities on campus,” College of Idaho interim President Dr. Bob Hoover said.
The additions in the early 1990s included the J.A. Albertson Activities Center and the Kathryn Albertson International Center.
“His leadership, and that of other members of the Board, was extraordinarily important in guiding the College at a very important time,” Hoover said.
The Cecil D. Andrus Scholarship was endowed at the College of Idaho in 2007. It's awarded annually to an Idaho student who demonstrates academic excellence and community leadership.
“That scholarship in his name is so worthy of what his role has been in terms of the College of Idaho,” said Hoover. “It is worthy of supporting kids who may go on to have potentially the same kind of impact on the state. One of them has probably already graduated; another may be on the way, who was supported through college by that scholarship.”
Idaho Sen. Jim Risch released a statement Friday morning saying that Governor Andrus was one of the most accomplished, successful and masterful political figures he ever 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," said Risch.
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson said in a statement, "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."
Boise Mayor David Bieter said, "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."
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said, "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."
"Governor 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," said Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.
Rep. Raúl Labrador said, "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."
The family has asked tributes in honor of Governor Andrus be made to the Cecil D. Andrus Center Chair for Environment and Public Lands to educate students on the balance and wise use of our environmental resources and public lands.
Boise State University Foundation
Cecil D. Andrus Chair (SE009)
1173 W. University Drive
Boise, Idaho 83725