Former State Representative & Senator Gene Abdallah passes away
Long-serving State Legislator Gene Abdallah passed away this weekend after a long-illness at the age of 83.
Gene Abdallah was a member of the House of Representatives from 2001 until he was appointed to the State Senate to assume the term of office for Dave Munson, who resigned from the state legislature. Abdallah served with distinction in the Senate until he was termed out of office in 2010. After exhausting his term in the Senate, Gene turned around and ran for an additional term back in the House of Representatives from 2011-2012.
Abdallah, who is remembered fondly by his many friends and colleagues in the Republican Party and State Law enforcement, was the longest serving United States Marshall in South Dakota history. Abdallah also served as head of the South Dakota Highway Patrol for five years.
One of the most enduring and important parts of Abdallah’s legacy is the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner, which started as the “Law Enforcement Game Feed” nearly 40 years ago. This event allows local business and community leaders to come together and honor law enforcement officers in the state, and raises millions of dollars for children’s charities in the name of law enforcement.
Gene’s generosity and wit will be sorely missed by all of South Dakota. Our prayers and thanks go out to the Abdallah family for the gift of Gene’s time to make our state a better place.