Rancho Mirage Mayor Pro Tem Gordon Moller died of unspecified natural causes Monday at the age of 73, the city announced.
Moller died at the Eisenhower Medical Center with his partner of 42 years, Charles Townsend, at his side. The flag over City Hall was lowered to half-staff in his memory, according to the city's statement.
The Minnesota native served four years in U.S. Navy and moved to California in 1960. Six years later, he and Townsend relocated from Pasadena to Rancho Mirage, city employee Sylvia Nino said.
Moller and his partner co-owned and operated Charles Townsend Collection, a home furnishings and decor business, for 30 years, and Moller served 25 years as an executive with International Aluminum Corp.
Moller, who served two terms as president of the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to the City Council to fill a vacancy in April 2006. He was elected to a four-year term in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, when he ran unopposed. He served as mayor pro tem in 2008, mayor in 2009, mayor pro tem this year, and was scheduled to become mayor again in 2013.
"Mayor Pro Tem Moller will be greatly missed, not only for his dedicated service to the residents of Rancho Mirage, but also for his genuine concern for those who relied on services and assistance provided by the city," the city's statement says. "It was Gordon's belief that 'government is here to serve the public, not to complicate governmental processes.' He was devoted to doing everything he could to simplify the red tape involved with providing services to the public."
Moller is survived by Townsend and his sister, Marilyn Moller of Austin, Texas.
Funeral arrangements were pending.