State Representative Craig Tieszen was buried on Monday.
He died on Thanksgiving during a kayaking incident in the Cook Islands while attempting to save his brother in law.
Tieszen leaves behind a statesman’s legacy.
He wore many hats in his 68 years. He was born in Canistota, a School of Mines graduate, a Rapid City police officer and chief, state legislator and family man.
But most of all, he was there for people.
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender says Tieszen was a rare state legislator who sought peace, despite tense political climates.
“There’s no political party that has all the answers and he realized that. So in his adversarial relationship with some of the legislators, he still respected them and he spoke of them in high regard," Allender says. "And that is quite an example to all of us, I think.”
Tieszen spent 32 years in the Rapid City Police Department, 7 of those as the police chief. He retired in 2007.
During Tieszen’s funeral, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says despite seeing people sometimes in their worst moments, Tieszen found the best in them.
“I think that’s why so much of his legislative service was committing to giving people second chances," Daugaard says. "He saw that once a person had paid his debts to society, the best thing we can do for them is to find a place where he can contribute in a family, in a job, in a community.”
Tieszen is buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Rapid City.