Indiana lost a dedicated and long time public servant and I lost a mentor and good friend when Senator Potch Wheeler died on Monday. Potch served locally as a trustee, a county commissioner, a school board member and a hospital board member. He served Senate District 17 for 19 years in the Indiana Senate. He was highly regarded at the state level and for 14 years he was elected Caucus Chairman by his peers in the Senate.
Potch used to like to joke that he was just an old well driller from Larwill. Although I have known Potch for many years it wasn’t until I went to the Statehouse as State Representative, worked with Potch on some issues and saw him work with others that I began to get a true measure of the man. He was highly intelligent, had excellent judgment and common sense and he did his homework. He had the respect of people on both sides of the aisle. He was known as a man of his word and a man of integrity. He knew how to work with people and get things done and he had great fun doing it.
As you can see there are many things that I respect about Potch. However, one thing that stands out is the way that he treated people. I have seen him interact with people at the highest level of government and I have seen him interact with the man on the street. He treated everyone the same, with respect and consideration. Potch put on no show. With Potch what you saw was what you got. I am going to miss that old well driller.
State Senator Gary Dillon
Senate District 17
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