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April 19, 2013 05:55 PM

Gov. Mickelson's Children Remember Their Dad

Sioux Falls, SD

Twenty years ago Governor George Mickelson and seven others died when the state plane they were in crashed near Dubuque, Iowa.

The group had traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to try and save the John Morrell packing plant in Sioux Falls.

Mickelson's children say time has healed their wounds.

While the anniversary of the crash was difficult in the first few years now this date has turned into a happy time to not only remember the accomplishments of the governor, but to remember the man who was their dad.

"My dad loved to hunt," Governor Mickelson’s son David Mickelson recalled.

"I went and sat in goose pits with him not because I wanted to but it was worth it to be with him," Mickelson's daughter Amy Mickelson said.

Mickelson was a husband and father and his oldest son Mark remembers a day of duck hunting with his dad and one of Governor Mickelson's friends.

"And I'm in the middle and they did the one, two, stand up thing and I get an elbow from each of them to shoot a duck," Mark Mickelson said.

It's those types of memories that the three Mickelson children like to share on the anniversary of their father's plane crash.

"In the early years after he passed away that was painful but over time it does help heal and you learn to reflect on the good times," Mark said.

"I think for the most part it is the happy thoughts and it's the accomplishments that he did but I think the three of us here always think of him as our dad and not necessarily always governor," David Mickelson said.

But there is no denying the impact George Mickelson had on South Dakota when he was the governor, and his children say it taught them life lessons as well.

"Even when he took office I think anybody who knew him very well would have said his family was his top priority," Amy Mickelson said.

"We've all learned to work hard following his example. It was expected and what he did," Mark Mickelson said.

And love for his family and love for his state is what will always be remembered about Governor Mickelson.

"He was the kind of person you wanted to be with and I think he enjoyed his role and wanted us to be involved in his life as much as he wanted to be involved in ours," Amy said.

"He had a great love for this state and I think one of the things he would be happy is we all settled and made our lives here in the state of South Dakota and that was really important to him," Mark Mickelson said.
 

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