McGovern receives hospice care while South Dakota reflects - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

McGovern receives hospice care while South Dakota remembers his impact

Posted: Updated:

Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate George McGovern is receiving hospice care.   

His family asked for peace and privacy and said "he's nearing the end." 

McGovern was raised in Mitchell, SD where he also attended college Dakota Wesleyan University.   

"We really consider him a part of our family. He grew up in Mitchell and attended University at Dakota Wesleyan," said Donald C. Simmons, the Director of the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service at Dakota Wesleyan University.   

McGovern served the State of South Dakota for many years as a U.S. Congressman and Senator, but his story goes far beyond our state's borders.   

At 91 years old, McGovern has had a front row seat to some of the most well-known events in U.S. history.  From flying in World War II to working with President Kennedy to end world hunger and even running for president in 1968 and 1972 against Richard Nixon.   

He gave President Bill Clinton his first job in politics, making him the campaign manager in Texas. McGovern was also the other side of the Watergate scandal.  Members of Nixon's staff broke into Democratic headquarters, including McGovern's office. 

After his presidential campaigns, McGovern spent much of his life working at the United Nations to prevent World Hunger.   

But with all his national and world wide involvement, the people who know the former Senator best say he is happiest when sitting at a café somewhere in South Dakota.  

For the past few years, when McGovern visited Sioux Falls, he could be found at the Original Pancake house at least two or three times a month.    

"When he comes in, it's like there's a celebrity in the restaurant," said Original Pancake House Waitress Holly Dziobeclei.

But this wasn't his first long-term relationship with a restaurant.  Simmons said McGovern loved to spend time at cafes talking to people. 

"Anyone who knows him would say he's always campaigning for something," said Simmons.

That campaigning paid off in a big way, landing him a seat as a U.S. Senator and Congressman for many years and two consecutive presidential campaigns.  

"People always come up to him and he always smiles and shakes their hands," said Dziobeclei. 

But people don't just come up to him because of what he's done, its also because of the kind of person McGovern is.   

"He's just really a good soul.   You can't beat South Dakota people," said regular Pancake House customer Joyce Lawrence.  

The waiters and waitresses at the Original Pancake House said McGovern is always very genuine and nice to everyone at the restaurant; whether it's a customer or a bus boy, he is always extremely friendly and down-to-earth. 

McGovern took that approachability to the national stage.  He has touched the lives of many presidents and important political leaders. But to him, some would say the most important lives he has touched are those he helped to feed.  

"One of the things he's proudest of is the legacy he leaves here through the University. We have a program set up where we send students to work with hunger and HIV/AIDS and other humanitarian issues throughout the world," Simmons said. 

  • De Smet community raises $450,000 in less than 24 hours

    De Smet community raises $450,000 in less than 24 hours

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:07:12 GMT
    The community of De Smet has been raising funds for a new community wellness and events center for the past year. Last week, the town was till half a million dollars short and many people feared the projectMore >>
    People in De Smet came together to raise nearly half a million dollars to complete a new community center.
    More >>
  • National park visits will be more expensive this year

    National park visits will be more expensive this year

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:01:04 GMT
    CUSTER, S.D. (AP) - Visitors will have to pay more to tour the two National Park Service caves in the Black Hills starting April 30.    The service on Wednesday announced fee increases for tours at JewelMore >>
    Park Superintendent Vidal Davila says the fees fund facility upgrades. He says the increases were discussed at public meetings.More >>
  • Wastewater lagoons bring bad odor to Brandon this spring

    Wastewater lagoons bring bad odor to Brandon this spring

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:48:46 GMT
    For the past two weeks, many people in Brandon have noticed a not-so-pleasant odor. The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built inMore >>
    The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built in the 1980s, but the city's recent growth has made the odor much more noticeable.More >>
  • STD rates spike in Minnesota

    STD rates spike in Minnesota

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:16 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:16:54 GMT
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State health officials are concerned that Minnesotans aren't getting the message about safe sex and about testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.    The MinnesotaMore >>
    Increases were much higher for some diseases, with syphilis up 64 percent and gonorrhea up 26 percent.More >>
  • Neighbors react to southwest Sioux Falls murder

    Neighbors react to southwest Sioux Falls murder

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:00:54 GMT
    Sioux falls has seen its second murder of 2014 and again, the victim is a woman in her 50's. It happened in a home on the 5600 block of Misty Glen Place  in southwest Sioux Falls. Neighbors were surprisedMore >>
    Sioux falls has seen its second murder of 2014 and again, the victim is a woman in her 50's.More >>
  • Keystone XL Pipeline remains a divisive issue

    Keystone XL Pipeline remains a divisive issue

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:53:07 GMT
    Former President Jimmy Carter joined a group of fellow Nobel Peace Laureates Wednesday in stating his opposition to TransCanda's Keystone XL Pipeline. If approved, it would carry oil from Canada, throughMore >>
    The potential environmental impact isn't the only issue pipeline opponents have raised. One widespread belief is it will have little to no domestic benefit. Howard says that is not true.More >>
  • New cane ball courts diversifying Huron

    New cane ball courts diversifying Huron

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:58 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:58:27 GMT
    Cane ball, a game similar to volleyball and soccer, is growing popular in the city of Huron, and a group of students are doing something about it. Middle schoolers, originally from Thailand and Burma,More >>
    Cane ball, a game similar to volleyball and soccer, is growing popular in the city of Huron, and a group of students are doing something about it. Middle schoolers, originally from Thailand and Burma, are so in love with the game, for their Destination Imagination (D.I.) project they petitioned to get some courts set up in town.More >>
  • Sioux Falls swimmers anticipate indoor aquatic center

    Sioux Falls swimmers anticipate indoor aquatic center

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:37 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:37:40 GMT
    Sioux Falls swimmers could see a new indoor pool open at Spellerberg park in the next two years.That's just east of the VA in central Sioux Falls.KSFY News spoke to people who love taking to the water.More >>
    Sioux Falls swimmers could see a new indoor pool open at Spellerberg park in the next two years.That's just east of the VA in central Sioux Falls.KSFY News spoke to people who love taking to the water.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.