Walter Dale Miller, Former South Dakota Governor, died at 89

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Walter Dale “Walt” Miller, born on October 5, 1925 and died September 28, 2015, Walter was an American politician with the Republican Party.

He served as 29th Governor of South Dakota from 1993 to 1995, having assumed the office upon the death of George S. Mickelson.

Walter was, at age 67, the oldest person to serve as the Governor of South Dakota.

He was born in 1925 in the unincorporated community of Viewfield in Meade County, South Dakota. He attended the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Walter was the president of the Dakota National Life Insurance Company from 1970 to 1985.

From 1967 to 1986, Walter served in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

From 1975 to 1978, and again in 1986, he served as House Majority Leader. Walter was Speaker of the House in 1981 and 1982.

In 1984, Walter was the state chair of the Reagan-Bush campaign, and in 1988 he was the state co-chair of the Bush-Quayle campaign.

Prior to his service as governor, he served as the 34th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota from 1987 until Governor Mickelson’s death, when he assumed the governorship from April 20, 1993 through January 7, 1995. Walter was South Dakota’s first full-time Lieutenant Governor.

Walter was defeated in the 1994 Republican gubernatorial primary by then-former Governor Bill Janklow.

After leaving office, he continued to ranch north of New Underwood, on the boundary between Meade and Pennington counties, and resided part-time in Fort Pierre, where he was involved in various lobbying and ranching activities.

In 1948, he married Mary Randall, and had four children.

Following her death in 1989, he married Patricia Caldwell in 1993, becoming the first Governor of South Dakota to get married while in office, and has two stepchildren.

His second wife, Pat Miller, serves as deputy secretary of state.

She ran for state auditor in 2010 and secretary of state in 2014, but lost on both occasions at the Republican state convention.

Walter died on September 28, 2015 at the age of 89.