Sioux Falls residents share memories of President George H.W. Bush

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - On Wednesday, well-known guests, Presidents, first ladies, and many more filled the Hilltop Cathedral in Washington, D.C. to say farewell to former President George H.W. Bush.

“So through our tears let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great, a noble man, the best father a son or daughter could have," Former President George W. Bush said.

Former President George H. W. Bush visited Sioux Falls many times, and Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead was able to help keep him safe alongside secret service.

"I was honored to have a chance to meet him, honored to help protect him on a number of occasions," Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said.

Milstead remembers speaking with the former President briefly before he took off.

"I had a very short interaction with him, but I had great respect for him as a President and today like the rest of the nation we mourn his loss. But, you know he was a great president, he was a great father, he was a great husband," Sheriff Milstead said.

Kayla Mellema also had a chance to meet President Bush. She met him at the Houston Steakhouse.

"As we're sitting there at the table all of a sudden, they were like President George H.W. has just arrived. I was like no way," Sioux Falls resident Mellema said.

She immediately called her brother who medically retired from the Navy and he asked her to get a picture.

"I said I will ask the secret service. So I go over there and tell them the story of my brother and they said yeah, you actually seem normal and we can let you take a picture. Meet us at the elevator, you’re the only one who is going to get to take a picture with him," Mellema said.

Kayla got her picture and said there's one thing cooler than taking that picture.

"Probably one of the cooler things was he had American flag socks on and you could see them, they were like his staple," Mellema said.