RAPID CITY, S.D. — Hundreds of people gathered this week to honor the late Rep. Craig Tieszen at his funeral in Rapid City.

The Rapid City Journal reports that roughly 900 people braved wintry weather Monday to celebrate Tieszen’s life as one worth emulating.

The 68-year-old Tieszen and his brother-in-law, 61-year-old Brent Moline, drowned in a kayaking accident last month off an island in the South Pacific.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard described Tieszen, of Rapid City, as a “model legislator.” He told attendees that South Dakota is a better place because of Tieszen.

Rapid City police Chief Karl Jegeris says it was a gift for the state to have such a “pure peace-seeker” in the legislative process.

Tieszen spent 32 years in law enforcement before retiring as police chief of Rapid City in 2007.