'A giant in Montana': Eric Feaver, longtime union leader, Helena city commissioner, dies

PHIL DRAKE

Eric Feaver, longtime state employee union leader, current Helena city commissioner and a driving force behind state politics, has died, it was announced Thursday.

Feaver, a Democrat who was not afraid to ruffle feathers, could often be seen at the state Capitol during legislative sessions, lobbying and testifying on issues that impacted state employees.

He died Wednesday, officials said. He was 77.

Feaver’s death was announced at Thursday’s Hometown Helena meeting, a grassroots group event which Feaver would attend.

Former Helena Mayor Jim Smith, who emcees the meeting, was saddened by the news, saying he had just attended a ribbon cutting with Feaver.

“Eric was a legend at the Capitol and not just in his own mind,” he said, sparking some laughter from the audience. “He was a giant of the lobby and made a difference here in Montana.”

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Feaver was elected city commissioner in November and was the top vote getter in a race for two open seats. He pushed the issues of housing, parks and recreation, and local authority during campaigns. He said Helena had been his home for nearly

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