Gil Koetzle, 1952-2013

Organized labor had a strong advocate at the state Capitol when Gil Koetzle walked the halls. He died Thursday at age 60 in his hometown of Sioux Falls. He was a Democrat and a union man and through every year I knew Gil I have to admit I didn’t know which he loved more. He served 16 years in a row in the Legislature and was the first double-term-limited lawmaker. He started in 1993 in the House of Representatives, and served the maximum of four consecutive terms in the same chamber that was allowed under the 1992 amendment to the state constitution. He moved to the Senate in 2001, serving again the maximum four consecutive terms, and retired from legislating after 2008. He was funny so much of the time, but he could be outraged — and he knew how to outrage when he felt it necessary. He was the kind of legislator who didn’t need a leadership title to be a leader among his Democratic caucus.

6 thoughts on “Gil Koetzle, 1952-2013

  1. Troy Jones

    When I worked for Governor Mickelson is economic development, Gil wass, it seemed opposing us at every turn. Yet there were few legislators I respected more. His passion was sincere, his cause just, and his integrity impeccable. Rest in Peace. You made our world better.

  2. Bob Mercer Post author

    The post was written prior to the additional information about the search warrant and the results. The post’s contents remain true. Just as true is the bafflement about how and apparently why his life ended. I stand by the post. I stand by the bafflement. And, until some other explanation is substantiated, I stand by the absolute disgust I feel about child pornography.

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