For the past week we've focused on George McGovern's decades-long political career as a United States Senator, presidential candidate and world hunger advocate. While McGovern remained connected to South Dakota, he was also a Washington D.C. fixture.
“In every interview I've had since I've come out here, every time I say I'm from South Dakota, every time someone would say, ‘Oh, Senator George McGovern was from South Dakota,’" Brittany Ellis Schmidt said, who now works on Capitol Hill.
One of Ellis Schmidt's interviews landed her a job working with the former Senator at a Washington D.C. law firm. During her year and a half working there, Ellis Schmidt says she didn't always have the most face time with McGovern, but when she did, he held true to his reputation.
“You'd never know Senator McGovern wasn't your very best friend and hadn't known you your entire life and everything about you,” she said.
The Senator kept up his legal work and continued charitable endeavors on global issues like hunger until shortly before his death this week. His memorial services will pay tribute to that work as friends and colleagues make the journey to McGovern's home state to say goodbye.
“He had a way where you were just so comfortable. You felt like he understood your day-to-day life and he was interested in you. And I truly believe that he was. It wasn't an insincere thing. It wasn't a political thing. It was George McGovern," Ellis Schmidt said.
Among Thursday’s list of prayer service speakers are Vice President Joe Biden and former South Dakota representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin.
The family is expected to be present during public viewing immediately before the evening memorial service.