JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Department of Natural Resources Director Carol Comer has died.
“We are greatly saddened and heartbroken to hear of Director Comer’s passing,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “Carol was an extremely talented and accomplished leader, and the entire state of Missouri grieves alongside her friends and family. Carol brought expertise, energy, and an enthusiastic smile to every project, and she will be deeply missed among our cabinet and in the thousands of lives that she touched. She was a dedicated public servant who loved this state, its people, and the great outdoors. We could not have asked for a better advocate for Missouri’s natural resources. Teresa and I will keep Carol’s loved ones in our prayers as we mourn the loss of this extraordinary individual.”
Connie Patterson, director of communications for DNR, said, “We plan to carry out her vision for the agency moving forward. We are thankful for the strong leadership of Deputy Directors Dru Buntin and Katie Jo Wheeler.”
Comer led DNR since January 2017. Before coming to Missouri, Comer worked in Indiana’s Department of Environment Management in a variety of capacities, serving under then-Gov. Mike Pence. As a lawyer, she has represented companies regarding environmental and utility matters in Indiana and Arizona.
Comer is an alumna of Indiana University School of Business and earned a joint master’s and a law degree from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. At the latter, Comer was its first Environmental Law Fellow.
When Comer first publicly revealed her cancer diagnosis, she held her employees and colleagues at the forefront of her mind. She praised her staff, the Governor’s Office, and other Cabinet officials and said she was “being well cared for.”
Director Comer’s passing is a huge loss for Missouri. She was a dedicated public servant, a fantastic director and, most importantly, a good person. She will certainly be missed. Sending thoughts and prayers to her family and the entire @MoDNR team. #moleg
— State Senator Greg Razer (@SenGregRazer) June 9, 2021
She was a treasure and a true friend that will be missed by all who had the privilege to walk life’s road alongside her for even just a little while. Rest in peace my friend. https://t.co/lDzKDCKIXJ
— Hannah Kelly (@HannahKellyMO) June 9, 2021
We are greatly saddened and heartbroken to hear of @MoDNR Director Comer’s passing. Carol was an extremely talented and accomplished leader, and the entire state of Missouri grieves alongside her friends and family. pic.twitter.com/hGoas3ChMB
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) June 9, 2021
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.