The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner
Statesman Will Be Missed Here
State Representative Richard "Rich" P. Myers, 62, of Colchester, died of cancer December 1, 2010, but he will not be forgotten.
Myers worked tirelessly representing the residents of the 94th District.
His colleagues respected him, village leaders and fire districts depended upon him, Ag organizations and local clubs and business leaders knew he would represent their needs well in Springfield, and he was a strong advocate for education.
The large stretched out 94th District of which Myers traveled, demanded his constant attention, and ""Rich" seemed to be everywhere when an event was going on.
Can you imagine the meetings, the discussions, the time management skills, and the patience it took to be so many places.
I saw him at every Highway 34 Coalitions meeting. I saw him at Gladstone Board meetings when a railroad crossing was being discussed for closure.
I saw him during the times we had floods. I saw him at the Maple City car show, and at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Oquawka and Anniversary celebration of the Hancock County courthouse, dedication of the Raritan Veterans Memorial, etc.
After 9-11, Rich quickly agreed to come to a Veteran's salute in Stronghurst to greet and thank hometown heroes for their service, the Quill had. He has attended numerous events such as this no matter the size of the event.
When I think of "Rich," I think of him as a quiet caring servant, intently listening to his constituents, and pondering the issue.
The last time I saw "Rich" he was upbeat even though he had just gotten out of the hospital. It was the Saturday before the November Election, and Rich joined the caravan for his fellow Republicans who were going around the county. He had been to Hamilton before he arrived at The Pink in Lomax. He walked with a cane and his wife was by his side, but it was business as ususal for "Rich" and he seemed to ignore any discomfort.
I took his picture and asked him what he liked best about his job, a question I pose to anyone I can for The Hancock County Quill's question of the week series.
It was an easy question for Rich and he quickly responded:
"What I like best about my job is helping constituents of the district address their needs with the state"
Myers worked across party lines to accomplish what was best for our area.
At his funeral, a large bouquet of flowers came from Chicago Mayor Daily and his wife. Along with his friend Senator Bill Brady (R) Senator John Sullivan (D) gave a eulogy and told how they would work together on issues to accomplish.
Besides his many accomplishments as a legislator, Myers served 6 years in the U.S. Army Reserves and he was an active member and an elder of the Scotland Trinity Presbyterian Church near Macomb.
Rich passed away peacefully with his wife and daughter by his side at 8:55 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1, at McDonough District Hospital. He had served as State Representative since 1995.
He was born two days after Christmas, December 27, 1947 in Macomb, and would have been 63 in a few weeks. He married Christine Sims August 9, 1975 and they have a daughter Alison and a son who also died of cancer, Nicholas.
I will remember how "Rich" and Christine would regularly come to Relay For Life in Henderson County and read the names to honor those who have cancer and to remember those who have passed away.
In 2011, I will light a special candle for "Rich" Myers, public servant, and good humanitarian and remember all the time he remembered us and gave to our small rural communities.
In March 2010, Representative Rich Myers received recognition for his help in seeking funding for Highway 34 improvements. The presentation was made by members of the West Central Youth Coalition. Riley Cavanaugh (above) and Stephanie Ackermann made the presenation.