July 27 (UPI) -- Mike Enzi, a retired Republican Wyoming senator, has died after being seriously injured in a bicycle accident last week, according to his family. He was 77.
His death was announced late Monday on his personal Twitter account in a post that said he "passed away peacefully today surrounded by his family."
The announcement of his death came hours after his family said that Enzi was air lifted Friday to the UCHealth Medical Center in Loveland, Colo., after he sustained "serious injuries" while riding his bicycle near his Gillette, Wyo., home.
Enzi's family said they are planning to hold "a celebration of a life well-lived" event with details to be shared later.
"His family expresses their deep appreciation for all of the prayers, support and concern. They now ask for privacy and continued prayers during this difficult time," a statement said.
Enzi began his career in politics nearly 40 years ago when he was elected at the age of 30 to mayor of Gillette, a position he held for seven years, according to his congressional biography.
Then from 1987, he was a member of his state's House of Representatives and then its Senate before eventually being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. He would be re-elected three more times and then serve from 1997 to 2012 as chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, his biography said.
He retired last year after having passed more than 100 bills since taking office.
In his farewell speech on Dec. 3, he told Senate lawmakers that "it's been an honor of a lifetime to serve the great people of Wyoming" and that he has really enjoyed being a senator but not for the titles and publicity that come with it but because "I love solving problems for folks in Wyoming and America. I like working on legislation."
"Mike's colleagues on both sides of the aisle were sorry enough to see him depart the chamber and begin his well-earned next chapter just a few months ago," he said. "Mike and Diana were a fantastic Senate couple in every respect -- from the major legislative accomplishments to the generosity and kindness they showed to everyone from Senate staff to the pages."