PIERRE, S.D. – Walter Dale Miller, the 29th Governor of South Dakota, passed away last night. Miller, 89, served as governor from 1993 to 1995.
“Gov. Miller was a friend and I will miss him,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Walter Dale Miller assumed the governorship at a time of tragedy and sorrow. He provided a steady hand as our state mourned the loss of Gov. Mickelson. Through his long career in public office, Walt worked hard and put South Dakota first. Linda and I express our deepest sympathies to Pat and the entire Miller family.”
Miller was born Oct. 5, 1925, near Viewfield, South Dakota, and spent his life on his family’s ranch. He served for 20 years in the South Dakota House of Representatives, and is the only person in state history to serve as speaker of the house, speaker pro tempore, majority leader, assistant majority leader and majority whip.
Miller was elected lieutenant governor in 1986 and was South Dakota’s first full-time lieutenant governor. He succeeded to the governorship in 1993 after the tragic loss of Gov. George S. Mickelson and seven others in a plane crash. As governor, Miller ended a riot at the state penitentiary without loss of life, responded to historic flooding on the Missouri River and its tributaries, and imposed emergency budget cuts after a court ruling shut down video lottery in the state. He left office in 1995.
Gov. Daugaard requests that all flags in South Dakota fly at half-staff, effective immediately, and continuing until Gov. Miller’s interment.