Douglas Mayor Dies After Long Battle With Cancer

in Wyoming Obituary/News

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By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily

Douglas Mayor Rene Kemper died early Friday morning after a long battle with cancer.   

Kemper was beloved throughout both the town and the state, and will be remembered for her kindness and helpfulness toward others, according to Douglas City Administrator JD Cox.   

Cox declined to say how Kemper died, but Kemper was open about her cancer diagnosis and in May 2022 dispatched a lengthy statement about her struggles and treatments.   

“Cancer isn’t in charge of my life, God is,” wrote Kemper. “Thank you all for your continued support and prayers for myself and my daughter.”   

Cox said he received a call at 2 a.m. Friday morning that Kemper had died. The news hit the town hard, he said.   

“It’s been a very emotional week for us and it’s been hard; it’s very somber here as a result,” he said. “She was loved by everybody.”  

Rep. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, said Kemper was a “true public servant.”

“Whether it be her work in public office or social services, our community and state are so much better for her selflessness,” Boner said.

Outside of her work as a two-term mayor, Kemper ran an organization that helped troubled youth, said Cox. He said she was also a “rock solid anchor” for the city council and staffers.   

“People kind of looked to her for her leadership and her ability to bring people together,” he said.   

Wyomingite For Life  

Kemper was born and raised in Cheyenne and graduated from Cheyenne Central High School in 1981, according to the City of Douglas website. She graduated in 1987 with a secondary English education degree from the University of Wyoming. She then received a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix in 2004.  

She has served with numerous civics and charitable organizations, the site says.   

She has one daughter, Dorina, who graduated from Douglas High School and UW.   

Kemper was first elected to the Douglas City Council in 2016.   

After The Service  

After Kemper’s memorial service the City Council members will choose a new mayor from among themselves and accept applications from the public to fill the empty council seat, Cox said. Until then, the Mayor Pro Tem will fill the post. 

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