|State Representative Richard "Rich" P. Myers, 62, of Colchester, passed away peacefully with his wife and daughter by his side at 8:55 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at McDonough District Hospital.
Rich served as State Representative since 1995. He was born on December 27, 1947 in Macomb, the son of John and Martha Myers. He married Christine Sims on August 9, 1975 in North Henderson, Illinois. Rich and his wife, Chris, have a daughter, Alison and a son (deceased), Nicholas.
Rich graduated from Colchester High School in 1966 and earned a B.S. in Agronomy from Western Illinois University in 1973. He farmed the family farm for 29 years before becoming a full-time legislator. Rich served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was an active member and elder of the Scotland Trinity Presbyterian Church.
During his farming career, Rich was active in the Farm Bureau organization, serving in various capacities at the local, state, and national levels. He served 12 years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Farm Bureau. During that time he represented the Illinois Farm Bureau on the Board of Directors of Interstate Producers Livestock Association, U.S. Meat Export Federation, and numerous other agriculture related organizations.
Representative Myers served several years as minority spokesperson of the Appropriations-Higher Education Committee and was a strong advocate for increased funding for the state's public colleges and universities, and for the state's community college system. He also served on the Agriculture and Conservation, Higher Education, State Government Administration, Elections and Campaign Reform, and Renewable Energy Committees. Rich also served as a member of the Passenger Rail Caucus, a group of legislators advocating for continued and expanded Amtrak service throughout the state.
Representative Myers was co-chair of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, a bi-partisan legislative commission of members from both chambers. Their responsibilities include forecasting state revenue projections, oversight of employee insurance programs, and conducting hearings on proposed closure of state facilities.
Beyond Illinois, Representative Myers served as co-chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee of the Midwest Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments. The Midwest Legislative Conference is a regional organization of legislators covering 11 mid-western states and 3 Canadian provinces.
Rich is survived by his wife, Chris; daughter, Alison; mother Martha; brothers Donald (Sue) Myers, Charles (Ann) Myers; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Nicholas; father John; and brother, Wendell who died in infancy.
A Memorial Service will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the University Union Grand Ballroom on the Campus of Western Illinois University with burial to follow at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Colchester. Friends may View at the Jones Mortuary in Colchester, on Friday, December 3, from 9:00 A.M to 9:00 P.M. and on Saturday from 8:00 A.M. till 11:00 A.M. The family will receive friends from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Scotland Trinity Presbyterian Church, 14950 North 900th Road in Macomb.
Memorials can be made to Scotland Trinity Presbyterian Church, the McDonough District Hospital, and the Representative Rich Myers Agricultural Scholarship at Western Illinois University.
Services are being handled by Jones Mortuary and Dodsworth Piper Wallen Funeral Homes.