Members of the Cheyenne League of Women Voters gathered April 16, 2019, to review the draft of a script to be used as a presentation celebrating Wyoming’s 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage at the July 10 ceremony marking the reopening of the Wyoming Capitol.
The Cheyenne League of Women Voters were among those who welcomed 24 new United States citizens at their naturalization ceremony March 18, 2019.
Following the oath of citizenship at East High School, the LWV presented the citizens with a Wyoming constitution, information about voting in the state's 2020 primary and general elections and a rose with a special congratulatory message attached.
The 16 native countries represented were Nepal, Philippines, Columbia, China, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Indonesia, India, El Salvador, Ukraine, South Korea, Zimbabwe, Greece, Congo (Kinshasa) and Nigeria. The citizens came from Cheyenne, Laramie and Rawlins.
All four participating federal judges and the guest speaker, Paty Gierau, who was naturalized in 2017, stressed the importance of voting as a hallmark responsibility of citizenship.
Pointing to the League members in the audience, U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson noted Theodore Roosevelt had written that "the first duty of an American citizen, then, is that he shall work in politics," comments made 37 years before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote.
Reminding the new citizens that the oath they took has been used since 1778 at Valley Forge, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly H. Rankin praised them for "bringing the best of your cultures" to enrich the United States. He said they would enjoy the right of there being "no single way to think or believe in America."
U.S. District Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal said she took delight in watching the children in the audience jump up and down after the oath was administered to their family members,"an oath that takes courage to turn your back on your native country." She also quoted U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter, who immigrated to America from Austria in 1894 at the age of 12 and became a naturalized citizen: "In a democracy, the highest office is the office of citizen."
Referring to the University of Wyoming's new slogan "the world needs more cowboys," U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Casey Parker, welcomed the diversity of these new cowboys as exactly the kind the world needs.Cheyenne League members participating were Joan Anderson, Judy Dunn, Marguerite Herman, Lindi Kirkbride, Keren Meister-Emerich and Rosalind Schliske.
The League of Women Voters of Cheyenne is making plans to honor longtime chapter leader Susan Mackey "Sue" Riske, 74, who died on January 4, 2019, at her home in Cheyenne following a year-long battle with leukemia.
Those who wish may send a tax-deductible donation to the League of Women Voters Education Fund in Sue's name in care of Joan Anderson, LWV of Cheyenne treasurer, 1002 Randall Ave. #1, Cheyenne, WY 82001. Donations will support voter education initiatives in Cheyenne and the state.
Sue was born December 21, 1944, in Fresno, California, to John S. Mackey and Sally H. Mackey. She was raised in Laramie and Pinedale, graduating from Pinedale High School in 1963. Sue earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wyoming. She taught skiing and English at the American School in Leysin, Switzerland, from 1967-69 and English at Rawlins High School in 1970.
She married Don W. Riske in 1971 and resided in Cheyenne since that time. She taught English and journalism in the Cheyenne school system for 34 years at both Carey Junior High School and East High School.
She was an active member of the League of Women Voters, the Cheyenne Schools Foundation, Board of Visitors for the College of Arts and Sciences at UW, the Pi Beta Phi Alum Club and served on the board of Habitat for Humanity. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church, serving as a deacon and elder. She enjoyed her tennis group, book club and a women's research/discussion group. Her favorite times were the summers she spent camping with her grandchildren, family and friends on Fremont Lake and the winters spent teaching each of her grandchildren to ski.
Sue brought her energy to the Cheyenne League of Women Voters as she did to everything she did. She organized meetings and projects that re-energized the Cheyenne LWV that included a push to recruit leadership and members, a Making Democracy Work nomination and celebration, and an encouragement of all efforts to help people be informed, make their voices heard and vote.
Sue is survived by her husband, Don; daughter, Megan Cormier, of Denver; daughter-in-law, Kezia (Dylan) Riske, of Canon City, Colorado; sister, Molly (Ken) Olson, of Pinedale; sister-in-law, Marilyn (Steve) Mackey, of Pinedale; grandsons, Tyler Hearn and Rayden Riske; granddaughters, Reilly and Sadie Cormier; brother-ln-law and sister-in-law, Phil and Kris Riske, of Chandler, Arizona; sister-in-law, Ann Riske, of Mesa, Arizona; and seven nieces. She was preceded in death by her son, Dylan; her parents; her brother, Steve Mackey; her husband's parents, Joy and Milt Riske; and brother-in-law, Jack Riske.
A memory service was held February 2 at First Presbyterian Church.