Patrick J. Lucey, who was twice elected Governor of Wisconsin died on Saturday, May 10 in Milwaukee. He was 96.
Patrick Lucey was born in LaCrosse, grew up in the Village of Ferryville and graduated from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien.
He served with distinction as the 38th Governor of Wisconsin from 1971 to 1977 and later as the United States Ambassador to Mexico from 1977 to 1979. Lucey’s best known accomplishments in office include the formation of the University of Wisconsin System, an overhaul of the state shared-tax formula, the strengthening of ethics laws, mental health treatment reforms and progressive land conservation initiatives.
“I am grateful that Governor Lucey and his family were able to attend the dedication ceremony for the ‘Governor Patrick Lucey Highway’ in Praire du Chien and Ferryville this past October. As Governor Lucey noted that day, the Great River Road is one of the most beautiful areas in our state and perhaps the whole nation,” said Wisconsin State Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Governor Lucey’s many accomplishments are eclipsed only by his love of family and his commitment to public service. His legacy and his contributions to the great state of Wisconsin will never be forgotten.”
“It was a particular joy to be with him last summer for the 40th anniversary of Kikkoman in Fontana. Governor Lucey was a dedicated public servant who loved Wisconsin,” said current Governor Scott Walker.
“He was a political icon,” said U.S. Representative ron Kind. “I have always admired him immensely. The integration of the university system was a monumental achievement that faced a lot of political resistance and his reform of the court system was long overdue. The good governance he brought to the Governor’s position, bringing people together rather than dividing. We need to get back to that model of working.”