Though it was a funeral, friends and family did not waste time talking about McGovern's death. Instead, they spent time reflecting on such a big life.
"Goodbye George. But not forever. Just for now until we meet again in a better world," Monsignor James Doyle said.
Music filled the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls as a video featuring a photo montage of McGovern played on a big screen.
McGovern had said he wanted to live to be 100. The 90-year-old didn't make his goal, but he accomplished so much more. In pictures, you could see why he is remembered as a hero to the hungry, a voice for the voice voiceless and an inspiration to the Democratic party.
"There's a little girl in Malawi who has never heard the name George McGovern who has enough to eat and an education. There's a young man in Kenya committed to peace and justice. It is up to us to carry on that legacy forward. We love you Senator," Rep. Jim McGovern, who isn't related to McGovern but worked as an intern in his office, said.
Many of us know he took a then unpopular stand against the Vietnam War, and crossed party lines. All of those were touched on as Republican politicians, including South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, Mike Rounds and U.S. Senator John Thune looked on.
We also heard about McGovern's devotion to the St. Louis Cardinals. His love for baseball perhaps started with his dad when a very young when George and his brother were playing catch.
"They were stunned when their father took that baseball and threw it in a straight line and hit a mouse. I guess that was a transformative experience," McGovern's son-in-law Jim Rowen said.
Through laughter, tears and stories, everyone proved McGovern didn't have to live 100 years because they say his legacy is timeless.
"He said, I've learned a long time ago to tell people what you believe in here, than tell them what you think they want to hear," Senator Tom Daschle said.