Monday, February 3, 2014

In Memoriam: Dr. Beurt SerVaas (1919-2014)

You could try for 100 years, but you likely will never find another Dr. Beurt SerVaas.

The man who wielded power from behind a pair of usually dark-rimmed glasses is gone at the age of 94.

I knew Dr. SerVaas as a City-County Councillor, but others knew him for many other activities.  He was a prolific businessman who seemed successful in nearly every endeavor, but he was also a World War II veteran and intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy.  He also spent time in the CIA, but he made his real mark in Indy.

He was elected to the City-County Council before it was even called that.  Along with Mayor Richard Lugar and others, SerVaas was one of the driving forces behind UniGov...the consolidated City-County government now present in Indianapolis.  In 1975, he took over as President of the City-County Council, and he presided for the next 27 years before handing the gavel to Philip Borst.

Indianapolis grew and changed as a city. Hard to believe we've lost Andy Jacobs and Beurt SerVaas within two months of each other, but the longtime civic icons are gone.  

Thanks to Dr. SerVaas for his years service to Indianapolis.  He was a powerful man who mostly used his power wisely.

1 comment:

Bob Ostrander said...

I created a computer system for his Curtis Publishing Co. back in 1970s. He stiffed me for $1,000. Told me he wouldn't send me a 1099 instead of paying me.
(Prediction) We'll be finding out much more of his malfeasance this year - such as Curtis Pub's tax-exempt status.