Remembering Dave Miller, The Founder of Common Ground

dave favorite.jpg

We are saddened to announce the passing of Dave Miller, one of Common Ground’s founders. Dave died on July 29th doing what he loved most — fishing.

From the staff and family of Common Ground, our hearts are saddened over the loss of Dave, a man who was profoundly invested in the lives of men and women recovering from substance use disorder. Without his vision, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Dave and his wife, Jeanne, founded Common Ground in 2000 after working in passionately in the field for years prior. Dave used the hope of his own recovery to fuel his passion for others. Having been sober since February 14th, 1985, Dave used his sense of humor and wisdom to connect with others on the sometimes difficult, yet indescribable and rewarding journey of recovery.

When he passed, Dave had been sober for more than 33 years.

“I have always admired Dave’s passion for helping others,” says Common Ground’s CEO, Mattea Schmitz. “I’ve learned a lot from Dave. He was truly one of the most influential people I’ve met in my life.”

Dave and Jeanne formally sold Common Ground in 2015, but remained close friends, mentors and supporters of the company they started 18 years prior. We will miss Dave’s humor and mentorship and all of the ways these qualities contributed to helping others.

“Dave’s internal passion and God-given gift to provide relief and support to those suffering with addiction was a blessing I was able to witness, and a gift I have been able to absorb,” says Eric Spagenski, Common Ground’s Treatment Director. “Godspeed, Dave.”

A funeral for Dave will be held at Ranfranz and Vine in Rochester, Minnesota on Saturday, August 4th from 4-6pm. More information can be found here.


A favorite poem of Dave’s, I’m Free (Author Unknown).

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.

Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I’ve found the peace at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.

A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life’s been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.