Former Governor Lucey has died

Former Gov. Patrick Lucey

Former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey died Saturday at the age of 96.

Lucey, who was born in La Crosse, grew up in Ferryville and graduated from Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, died Saturday night at the Milwaukee Catholic Home after a brief illness.
Lucey was a hard-nosed Democratic politician who was elected twice as the 38th Governor of Wisconsin, from 1971 to 1977, and later as the United States Ambassador to Mexico from 1977 to 1979. He also ran for vice president of the United States as an independent in 1980.

His best known accomplishments in office included 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.

On Oct. 2 2013, then 95-year-old Lucey visited Prairie du Chien and Ferryville, where he was joined by community members of the area, elected officials, family and friends, for the unveiling of the “Governor Patrick Lucey Highway” along the scenic Great River Road. The commemorative roadway extends along State Highway 35 in Crawford County from the village of Ferryville to the city of Prairie du Chien.

At the unveiling, Lucey’s son, David, said his father was honored by the dedication, saying, “The ride along the Great River Road is the most beautiful in the state—and perhaps the whole nation.”

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