MONTPELIER — Sometime in the mid-1980s, the Montpelier American Legion Post 107 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 944 both relocated from separate buildings into one single building, at 216 Empire St., in Montpelier.
They share the building but have kept the posts separate.
Three years ago, in late October 2016, local veterans surprised WWII veteran Dane Michael by christening the building the Dane Michael Veterans Center.
It was named after Michael because of his community contributions over the years, especially to local veterans, according to Kevin Motter, American Legion Post 107 Commander.
Motter is also a village councilman, and during Monday’s council meeting, Motter took a moment to publicly recognize Michael, who passed away Feb. 7 at the age of 93. Interestingly, and maybe fittingly, Marjorie (Dane’s wife) passed away the day before — Thursday, Feb. 6 — which was also the same day they celebrated 71 years of marriage. Marjorie was 92.
In comments to The Bryan Times in November, Motter said Michael was a World War II veteran and served almost 20 years on the Williams County Veterans Service Commission.
He was the post commander at the American Legion for 30 years and volunteered hundreds of hours of community service to local veterans, transporting them back and forth, in his own car, to their medical appointments in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Toledo.
“He delivered for the food (pantry) years ago when it was in (a local church). He and Marjorie took food right to people’s homes, using their own car, too,” Motter said, adding that Michael had a history of presenting the American flag to the next of kin at the funerals of local military veterans.
Motter said while Dane could present a gruff exterior, it was just for show and he had a heart for people and Montpelier.
“I’ve never heard him say a negative word about anyone,” Motter said.
Services for the Michaels were Wednesday.
In other action from Monday’s meeting, council heard the 2019 annual report from Kevin Mercer, supervisor of the village electric department, who said the department had no lost time due to injury, which he called “rare.” The department also had 771 requests last year to locate electric lines, and, through a contractor, had $42,000 worth of tree trimming performed, which contributed to fewer “lost service” reports in 2019, he said.
Mercer also said the department had a vendor perform structural tests on electric poles and found about 50 — which was just 5 percent of all poles tested — that may need replaced or repaired.