A longtime resident of Fountain Hills and former Mayor Jerry Miles passed away this weekend. Miles served as Mayor from 1996 to 1998 and will be remembered for his legacy of community service, passion for the arts, and dedication to supporting local non-profit organizations.
"There is so much Jerry Miles accomplished that will be spoken about in the coming days and weeks, but what immediately comes to mind is that Jerry embraced Fountain Hills as his hometown and left no doubt about his commitment to our community," said Town of Fountain Hills Mayor Ginny Dickey. "Jerry and Jackie's generosity of time and resources in many areas… including his public service as Mayor, the arts and education… benefited many over the years, and we are the better for it."
Miles and his wife Jackie "retired "to Fountain Hills in 1985 after he retired as an attorney from Southern California. They became full-time residents in 1990.
According to the Lower Verde Valley Hall of Fame website, Miles served as a Director of the Golden Eagle Foundation, the River of Time Foundation, the Senior Services Foundation, the Library Association, Civic Association, Historical Society, and Sunridge Foundation. He was the founder and first president of the Neighborhood Property Owners Association, a past president of the Noon Kiwanis Club, and an elder of the Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church. He was the Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year for 2003.
Former mayor Miles provided free legal services to numerous local non-profit associations, helping them become incorporated and acquire tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service rules.
The Miles were one of the driving forces behind the development of the Town's public art collection by being the most significant benefactors toward the acquisition of public art in the community. Today, the Town's art collection features 150 pieces. In 2011 the public art collection was named "Milestones, an Odyssey Through Public Art" as a tribute to Jackie and Jerry Miles.
In 2012 he was instrumental in recommending to the Centennial Committee the naming of the plaza area adjacent to the Community Center and the Library/Museum as the Centennial Circle in celebration and recognition of the 100th Anniversary of Arizona’s statehood. The sculpture garden in this area was dedicated on March 18, 2017, as The Jerry Miles Sculpture Garden in recognition of his many contributions to the visual arts in Fountain Hills.