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January 17, 2012 04:57 PM

People Pay Tribute To Janklow At Capitol

pierre, sd


More than a thousand people from across KELOLAND filled the South Dakota capitol on Tuesday to remember former Governor Bill Janklow.
Some drove for hours and lined up before the capitol even opened.
 
As piano songs filled the room, people filled up the capitol at a memorial service. From Governor Dennis Daugaard to legislators to everyday people who had not even met Janklow, it was the type of tribute as robust and full of life as the man himself.

The first real signs of winter weren't enough to keep people from paying their final respects to Janklow.

"He doesn't have to suffer anymore," Lola Busch said.

The once blank pages of some guest books quickly filled with signatures. Many of these names belong to people who admired his accomplishments from afar.

"The one that comes to mind first is the World War II Memorial that he realized that nothing had ever been done about it," Busch said.

"I was in World War II. I was on the Honor Flight and it meant a lot to me. It meant a lot to me," Doyce Busch said.

To the ones who knew him up close and personal.

"He was like a dad to us," Olowan Big Crow said.

Big Crow's father was good friends with Janklow. In fact, she and her sister would have picnics with Janklow on the lawn of the governor's mansion. When her own dad died in 2007 and her family filed a wrongful death suit, Janklow would be the one to stand by her family's side. She says Janklow's heart was made of gold. And as she says goodbye to her second dad, her own heart is broken.

"There's just, it's just... I don't have words to; I don't have words to finish.  To even walk up the stairs. Great people leave and you can't do nothing but remember everything they brought to you. That was life, that was love and that was a heartfelt person," Big Crow said.
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  • Pierre, SD
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