Remembering former Elkhart Mayor Dave Miller

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - In the year 2000, Dave Miller began serving as the mayor of Elkhart, while also serving a higher power.

He not only began each day with a prayer at city hall, he took on those who sought to remove a Ten Commandments monument that had been on municipal property since the week before Dave Miller was born.

“I think the word to describe Dave? Passion. Exuded passion throughout everything he did,” Elkhart Common Councilman David Henke told 16 News Now.

Henke said Miller left fingerprints on major projects all over town including the railroad overpass at Indiana Avenue. “And again, the overpass was a big deal. We didn’t agree on where it was located, but it happened. $35 million. The Elco theatre wouldn’t be where it was today had that plan not have been a part of his vision. He saw the river district before the rest of us did. Had prints of the buildings coming down and we thought, well what’s going to go there?”

A former graphic artist, Miller was called a great visionary who always saw the best in people and never took himself too seriously.

“The mayor had a great personality, a great sense of humor. He really liked to envision our town as kind of, Mayberry, so you would once in a while see him wearing a tie that remembered, you know, Barney Fife,” said Inova Federal Credit Union President and CEO Dallas Bergl.

Dave Miller was 62 years old when he passed on Sunday. A social media post dated May 6th said Miller was on a ventilator and in need of prayers at that time.

“You know, we were prayerful. I’m a health care worker. I know COVID. We get that and how serious this was. We were hoping for a great outcome,” explained Henke. “But I would suggest that the end is, Dave’s in a greater place and we all know that.”

Dave Miller was mayor from 2000 through 2007. His attempt at a political comeback in 2019 was not successful. During his last campaign, Miller twice fainted during public appearances and blamed it atrial fibrillation.

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