RAPID CITY | Craig J. Tieszen, 68, died on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

Craig was born October 24, 1949, in Canistota, SD, to John and Catherine Tieszen. He was the oldest of three children. Craig graduated from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in 1971, with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He then served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps for four years in Kenya.

In 1975, Craig started his 32-year career with the Rapid City Police Department, ultimately serving as police chief from 2000 to 2007 when he then retired. He was elected to the State Senate representing District 34 from 2009 to 2016 and was currently serving his first term in the State House of Representatives.

Craig was an avid traveler and sought out local, authentic adventures in his travels abroad and throughout the U.S. He also held a deep respect for the great outdoors and regularly enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, and bicycling in the Black Hills. In addition to his public service, Craig sat on many nonprofit boards of directors, including Rapid City’s Club for Boys for 35 years.

Craig is survived by his wife of 37 years, Deb; his eldest daughter Leslie with her husband David Hagele; his youngest daughter Laura with her husband Steve Kamarainen and their two children, Cate (3) and Rhett (8 months). Craig is also survived by his brother, Reed Tieszen; his sister, Jan McDonnel, and their families. Craig was loved by many as an uncle, cousin, mentor, colleague, teacher, community leader and friend.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Rapid City Club for Boys. Please also consider sharing your memories of Craig with his family by sending them to memoriesofcraigtieszen@gmail.com.

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Services will be at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec, 4, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre. Interment at Mountain View Cemetery in Rapid City.

Craig’s online guestbook is available to sign at www.osheimschmidt.com.

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