PIERRE, S.D., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Flags will fly at half-staff in memory of former South Dakota Gov. Bill Janklow, who died Thursday after a bout with brain cancer, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said.
He was 72.
"Our prayers go out to the Janklow family," Daugaard posted on his Twitter page. "Gov. Bill Janklow will always be remembered as one of our state's most consequential governors."
Daugaard asked that flags across the state fly at half-staff to honor Janklow "effective immediately and until his funeral sometime next week."
Janklow, elected to the U.S. House in 2003, saw his political career come to an abrupt end in 2004 when he was convicted of manslaughter after colliding with a motorcyclist and killing him. He also was stripped of his law license. Janklow said he was impaired by a diabetic reaction when he drove through a rural stop sign that led to the fatal collision.
He returned to the public eye last summer when he threatened to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over flooding along the Missouri River.
"I knew Governor Janklow for more than 30 years. He was one of the most colorful governors in South Dakota's history. We met during his first term as governor and my first term in the South Dakota House," U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said in a remembrance post on the Aberdeen American Web site. "He was not afraid of controversy. I sometimes agreed with him, and sometimes disagreed -- but I always respected him for his passionate sense of public service."
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said few South Dakotans "had a more profound impact" than Janklow.
"He was a larger than life figure," Thune said in a statement posted by the Aberdeen American. "He fought for his clients in the courtroom and for his state in the public arena and nobody could equal his level of energy. Today is a sad day for South Dakota and my thoughts and prayers are with Mary Dean and the Janklow family."
"Bill Janklow's politics was Bill Janklow," John Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University in Aberdeen, told the Rapid City Journal last year. "So if it meant trying to get dental care for people, he'd get them dental care. If it meant cutting deals with credit card companies, he cut deals. It meant doing whatever it took to consolidate his power and get done what he wanted to get done."