On what would have been his 90th birthday, hundreds of people packed the Capitol Rotunda in Pierre to pay their last respects to former Governor Walter Dale Miller.

A memorial ceremony was held on Monday afternoon. Miller, who reached the age of 89 was the 29th Governor of South Dakota. Miller assumed the post as next in command when George Mickelson and members of his staff died in a plane crash. He served the rest of Mickelson's term. He was never elected to the post after being ousted in a Republican primary for Governor in 1994 serving only through January 1995.

When tragedy struck our state on April 19th of 1993, Daugaard says that Miller took office during a time of sadness. “He was the right man at the right time, a seasoned steady cowboy.”

“Cowboy Walt” loved South Dakota but more importantly loved his family and God. Attorney General Marty Jackley said that Miller was a versatile man. “Whether he was on the ranch branding and calving or spending time with Presidents Regan and Bush he fit any role.” Kevin Larsen of KCCR reports that other speakers included Steve Kirby, Mark Mickelson, and Frank Brost.

Former Gov. Miller’s funeral service has been set for Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m. MDT at the Calvary Lutheran Church, 5311 Sheridan Lake Rd., Rapid City. Burial will follow at Viewfield Cemetery, near Miller’s Meade County ranch.


Andy Ogan