Iconic city leader Beurt SerVaas passes away

Beurt SerVaas

The city of Indianapolis has lost one of its iconic leaders.  Dr. Beurt SerVaas died Sunday.

SerVaas may have been best known as the President of the City-County Council for 30 years.  He served on a number of boards and was the President of SerVaas Incorporated.

Pacers executive Jim Morris called SerVaas a "business genius" and remembers SerVaas buying the "Saturday Evening Post" and brought it out of bankruptcy.

"He had the uncanny ability to bring people together," said Morris.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Dr. Beurt SerVaas was 94.

Chairman/CEO of CMG Mark Roesler called Dr. Beurt SerVaas "an iconic, positive person, a wonderful human being, a great leader."

And Pacers executive Rick Fuson remembers Dr. Beurt SerVaas as "a passionate leader and helped to make our city what it is today."

Former Sen. Richard Lugar said, "Beurt SerVaas was instrumental in the foundation of UNIGOV, but more importantly, his service as President of the City-County Council for 27 years was indispensable in the success of UNIGOV and the outstanding progress of Indianapolis. I admired Beurt SerVaas as a successful business innovator, but I treasured his loyal friendship in politics and governance because he was intelligent, courageous, and always present to serve in good times and bad. My thoughts and prayers are with the SerVaas family at this time of grievous loss."

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Beurt SerVaas, whom I consider a long-time friend. With decades of service to the people of Indiana as a civic, business and philanthropic leader, as well as military service to this great nation, Dr. Beurt SerVaas devoted his life to bettering his community and the lives of all those he served. His legacy will endure for generations to come. On behalf of the state of Indiana, I offer my deepest condolences to all those he held dear as they honor the life of this beloved Hoosier leader," said Gov. Mike Pence.

Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN5) released the following statement:

"Beurt SerVaas was a global citizen with a unique and transformational vision for the city of Indianapolis. I will always remember the giant map of the world he so proudly displayed in his office. It symbolized his unique and refreshing approach to life, business and service. The wonderful and world-class city we all call home would not be possible without his dedication and leadership.

During my time as Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis, I was immensely proud to know and work with Beurt SerVaas as he led the Indianapolis City-County Council. He was always kind and generous, and he was someone who supplied invaluable guidance on how to keep Indianapolis residents safe and sound.

He has earned the right to be called a forefather of our great city, and we will always hold a special place in our hearts for a man who led a truly fascinating, remarkable and giving life."