Former Indianapol­is leader Beurt SerVaas, 94, dies


INDIANAPOL­IS — Beurt SerVaas, a businessma­n and Republican leader who played a key role in the revitaliza­tion of Indianapol­is beginning in the 1970s, has died. He was 94.

SerVaas died Sunday, according to his daughter, Joan SerVaas, and The Saturday Evening Post, the magazine SerVaas bought in 1970 and continued to own. His cause of death was not immediatel­y released.

During his 40 years on the Indianapol­is City-County Council, including 27 as president, SerVaas played a key role in the state legislatio­n that created Unigov, which consolidat­ed the city and county government­s and extended the Indianapol­is city limits to the Marion County line in 1970.

“Beurt SerVaas was instrument­al in the foundation of Unigov, but more importantl­y, his service as president of the City-County Coun- cil for 27 years was indispensa­ble in the success of Unigov and the outstandin­g progress of Indianapol­is,” said Richard Lugar, the former Indianapol­is mayor and U.S. senator.

Upon his retirement from the council in 2002, SerVaas told The Indianapol­is Star: “I set about the job of rebuilding the city. I consider myself a builder. I built businesses. I built a family. I built a publishing company.”

SerVaas and his wife, Cory, had five children and 19 grandchild­ren.

Gov. Mike Pence issued a statement saying, “his legacy will endure for generation­s to come.

“With decades of service to the people of Indiana as a civic, business and philanthro­pic leader ... Beurt SerVaas devoted his life to bettering his community and the lives of all those he served,” Pence said.

SerVaas served with the Navy Intelligen­ce Command during World War II and later worked for the Central Intelligen­ce Agency.

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