Funeral scheduled for SD state representative killed in kayak incident

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Craig Tieszen


Gov. Dennis Daugaard has requested that all flags in the state be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. until sunset on Monday, Dec. 4, to honor the life of state Rep. Craig Tieszen. The funeral will be held Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre in Rapid City. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Rapid City Club for Boys, an organization Tieszen passionately supported for decades.

A public visitation for Tieszen's brother-in-law, Brent Moline, will be held on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 5-7 p.m. at the Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home at 2700 Jackson Blvd. in Rapid City. The family will hold a private funeral for Moline at a later time.


RAPID CITY, S.D. - State Representative and former Rapid City Police Chief Craig Tieszen, 68, has drowned, according to 1 News in New Zealand.

1 News cited sources from the island of Rarotonga, located in the Cook Islands. Those sources said that on Wednesday, Tieszen's brother-in-law capsized a kayak outside the reef in Avana Harbour. Tieszen attempted to help Brent Moline, 61 (pictured below), but both men drowned. Their bodies have been recovered.

Brent Moline

The men were attending a family wedding.

Tieszen was in his first term representing District 34 in the State House of Representatives, after having served in the State Senate from 2009-2016. Prior to his legislative service, Tieszen spent 32 years in law enforcement, retiring as Rapid City chief of police.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender issued the following statement upon hearing of the tragedy.

"I am heartbroken to inform you that state representative Craig Tieszen and his brother-in-law Brent Moline were killed yesterday morning in a kayak accident near the Cook Islands.  The Tieszen family traveled to the Cook Islands last week for their daughter Leslie's wedding which was to be the same day.

"Craig, former police chief and current state representative, was a mentor and a friend.  Shirley and I are in shock over this devastating news.  I have never met anyone so likeable, so professional and so dedicated to public service.  We extend our personal sympathies and the condolences of the community to the Tieszen family."

Gov. Dennis Daugaard will order flags to fly at half-staff statewide in honor of Tieszen on the day of his funeral, which has yet to be determined.

“Craig Tieszen was a good man and a dedicated public servant, and his loss is very sad,” said Daugaard. “Craig Tieszen spent his life serving the public. He was a thoughtful and conscientious legislator, and a leader on criminal justice issues. More importantly, he was a true gentleman who was respected by all who knew him. Linda and I offer our deepest sympathies to the Tieszen and Moline families during this difficult time.”

The families of Craig and Brent issued the following sentiments through the Mayor's Office Tuesday morning: 

            "We wish to express our heartfelt appreciation for the outpouring of support our families have received in the days following the tragic deaths of Craig and Brent.  We continue to work through the logistics of returning Craig and Brent to Rapid City.  In response to the numerous media and citizen inquiries, we anticipate announcing a date for funeral services by Thursday."

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