Darwin Hindman, who served Columbia as mayor for 15 years, died early Monday. He was 86.
"He was amazing — he left quite a legacy," Hindman’s son-in-law and fourth ward Columbia City Council member Ian Thomas said.
Columbia’s longest-serving mayor, Hindman held the position from 1995 to 2010.
An avid bicyclist, he was responsible for laying the groundwork for the Activity and Recreation Center and, along with Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, secured $22 million in federal grants to promote cycling and walking. He served as a chairman for a foundation dedicated to extending the Katy Trail to Kansas City.
Barbara Hoppe worked with Hindman on the council from 2005 until his retirement.
“He had the greatest of work ethic and integrity,” Hoppe said. “He helped shape Columbia to be the best aspects of Columbia today. People will enjoy Columbia and his effect on their lives for years to come.”
Hoppe credited Hindman for his advocacy as a proponent of Columbia’s parks and trail system. She said he was interested in preserving Columbia’s history as well as planning for the future.
“He was the right mayor to have to be receptive to our interests and the community interests in acquiring and preserving Stephens Lake Park and then having the vision to [create] the Parks Act to fund future trails and parks.”
Hoppe said she will also remember Hindman for his leadership qualities.
“Especially in today’s times, being a person and leader of integrity, fairness, sense of humor and intelligence. He contributed so much to Columbia to help make it what it is for the last quarter of a century.”
Hindman’s family said his death of lung disease came after struggles with illness for a couple of years. Memorial services will be held Saturday afternoon at Calvary Episcopal Church.