Former state lawmaker Gene Abdallah passes away

Published: Nov. 2, 2019 at 11:03 AM CDT
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Former state lawmaker Gene Abdallah died Saturday morning.

Abdallah's son, Scott Abdallah, shared the information with KSFY Saturday morning.

Abdallah was 83 years old.

Abdallah leaves behind a long list of accomplishments. He served the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office as a deputy sheriff in the 1960s.

He also served as head of the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

Scott Abdallah told KSFY News his father was the longest serving U.S. Marshall in South Dakota history. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan twice and President George H.W. Bush once.

Gene Abdallah served in the South Dakota House of Representatives twice, once in 2001 and again in 2011. He was elected to the South Dakota Senate in 2002 and served four terms.

Abdallah founded the South Dakota Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner in the early 1980s. In the 38 years of the event, millions of dollars have been raised for local children's charities. 2000 people attend the dinner every year, making it one on of the largest of it's kind in the United States. Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre is set to headline this year's event on November 13.

Scott Abdallah did not say how his father died. No funeral arrangements have been announced.