Alvin Wiederspahn

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Alvin Wiederspahn
Wyoming State Senator from Laramie County
In office
January 1, 1985 – December 31, 1988
Wyoming State Representative from Laramie County
In office
January 1, 1979 – December 31, 1984
Personal details
Born Alvin Laramie Wiederspahn
(1949-01-18)January 18, 1949
Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
Died October 24, 2014(2014-10-24) (aged 65)
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Resting place Beth El Cemetery in Cheyenne
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cynthia Marie Lummis Wiederspahn
Children Annaliese Wiederspahn
Parents J. Arling and Edwina Wiederspahn
Residence Cheyenne, Wyoming
Alma mater Cheyenne Central High School

University of Wyoming
Sturm College of Law

Profession Attorney; Rancher

Historical preservationist

Religion Lutheran Church

Alvin Laramie Wiederspahn, known as Al Wiederspahn (January 18, 1949 – October 24, 2014),[1] was a prominent attorney in Cheyenne, Wyoming, who served for ten years as a Democrat in the Wyoming House of Representatives (1979–1984) and the Wyoming State Senate (1985–1988). He was the husband of Cynthia Lummis, a Republican politician who was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2008, after having served as state treasurer, and like her husband, as a member of both houses of the Wyoming legislature, having represented the capital city of Cheyenne.

Biography[edit]

Wiederspahn was born in Cheyenne to J. Arling Wiederspahn (1916–2007) and Edvina Wiederspahn (1921–2004). The senior Wiederspahn was originally from Grand Island, Nebraska, but he moved in 1936 to Cheyenne. Arling Wiederspahn, a pioneer mortician in Cheyenne, from 1956 to 1987 owned and operated the Wiederspahn Chapel of the Chimes funeral home. A Democrat, he served as the elected coroner of Laramie County from 1963 to 1979 and was from 1970 to 1985 a member of the Laramie County Community College board of trustees. Arling Wiederspahn served by appointment of Democratic Governor Edgar Herschler on the Wyoming Board of Embalming.[2]

Al Wiederspahn graduated in 1967 from Cheyenne Central High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Wyoming at Laramie. He subsequently received a law degree from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado.[1]

Wiederspahn began courting the Republican Lummis while both served in the state House of Representatives. Each was elected to the House in 1978 and married in 1983.[1] Lummis was elected to the state Senate in 1982, when Wiederspahn won his third term in the House. She served in the Wyoming Senate for three terms through 1994, but Wiederspahn completed only one four-year term in the Senate, having been defeated for reelection to the Senate in 1988.

Lummis was elected state treasurer in 1998 and reelected without opposition in 2002. She was term-limited from seeking a third election as treasurer in 2006. In 2007, shortly after the death of her father-in-law, she filed as a Republican candidate for the vacancy in the United States Senate created by the death of the Republican incumbent Craig L. Thomas. However, Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal chose then state Senator John Barrasso of Casper to succeed Thomas.[3]

Through his Wiederspahn and Reese firm in Cheyenne, Wiederspahn specialized in public utility law, municipal finance, estate planning, real property, health care, securities, and corporate law. Lummis was also a lawyer, a graduate of the University of Wyoming Law School. Wiederspahn was a director of First National Bank of Wyoming and was formerly on the board of the Rocky Mountain Bank.

Wiederspahn was actively involved in historic preservation. He served on the advisory committee of Cheyenne's Vision 2020 project. A founder and the first chairman of the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority, he served on the board of advisors to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He was the developer in the renovation of the Plains Hotel, a Cheyenne landmark that dates to 1911, and the Grier Building. The Cheyenne Historic Preservation Board honored him for his work in the area. He was a Wyoming advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A conservationist and a fly-fisherman, Wiederspahn was a former chairman of the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust.[1]

He was active on the board of the Cheyenne Homeless Shelter. He was an elder of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Cheyenne. He was a volunteer judge of the juvenile drug court for Cheyenne.[1]

Wiederspahn was active in the field of mental health and was president of the Laramie County Association for Retarded Citizens. He was a member of the board of the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra.[citation needed]

Wiederspahn and Lummis owned ranches in Wheatland and Lincoln County near Kemmerer in western Wyoming.[3] The couple had one daughter, Annaliese Wiederspahn (born 1985),[1] a graduate of Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Wiederspahn had a sister, Janet Wiederspahn Hogg Haught, wife of Dwight Haught, also of Cheyenne.[4]

On October 24, 2014, he died at the age of sixty-five[5][6] in his sleep of a heart attack.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Alvin Wiederspahn". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ Obituary of J. Arling Wiederspahn, Wyoming Tribune Eagle, April 12, 2007
  3. ^ a b Anthony J. Sacco (September 2008). "Cynthia Lummis: Wyoming's Rising Star?". saccoservices.com. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Obituary of James E. Hogg, Jr. (1944-2011)". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Former legislator Wiederspahn dies at 65". Houston Chronicle. 
  6. ^ "Alvin Wiederspahn, former legislator, husband of US Rep. Cynthia Lummis, dies at 65". 25 October 2014.