SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota has lost a long-time public servant. Gene Abdallah has passed away, his son Scott confirms. He was 83 years old.
Born in 1936, Gene Abdallah served both in the South Dakota House of Representatives and the Senate. But his public service goes well beyond that.
South Dakota’s law enforcement and Gov. Kristi Noem paid their respects on social media throughout the day.
Abdallah was also superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, which was mentioned in a tweet Saturday from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office paid tribute in a tweet on Saturday as well, describing Abdallah as a “legendary lawman.”
Sioux Falls Police sent out a tweet attributed to Chief Burns on Saturday, posting “We are grateful for his long service and impact upon public safety across our state. Rest in peace sir.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has high praise for Abdallah, describing him in a tweet Saturday as “a South Dakota institution.” The governor goes on to post that Abdallah “was a force to be reckoned with and a lifelong supporter of our state’s law enforcement.”
Gene’s Scott tells KELOLAND News that his father served as a U.S. Marshal for 12 years and is in the South Dakota Hall of Fame.