George McGovern moving items from Mitchell homeFormer senator, 90, to spend more time near family in Sioux Falls.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
George McGovern grew up in Mitchell and spent a lot of time here over the years. He has also maintained a home here, but that is coming to an end.
McGovern, who turned 90 last month, has a residence on McGovern Avenue on the Dakota Wesleyan University campus, but his grandson, Matt McGovern, said the family is moving items from the house.
It is stuffed full of photos, books and memorabilia from decades in the public spotlight.
The house is a former parsonage the university bought about a decade ago. When DWU was raising money to build the George and Eleanor McGovern Library, the house was offered to the McGoverns for their use.
The street out front was named McGovern Avenue in honor of the hometown boy made good — a former senator and presidential nominee — and he and his wife moved in.
Eleanor McGovern died at the home in January 2007. George McGovern has since had a home in Florida and two in South Dakota: the Mitchell residence and one in Sioux Falls, DWU President Bob Duffett said.
Matt McGovern, the former senator’s grandson, said George McGovern is giving up his Florida and Mitchell homes. In the past, he has also spent time at a home in Montana owned by Ann McGovern.
George McGovern was at the Mitchell home when he fell while walking across the street to the museum for an appearance on C-SPAN on Dec. 2.
After the fall, McGovern was hospitalized, one of a series of illnesses and injuries he has suffered in the past year. He has spent little time in the house ever since, according to his grandson.
Since that time, he has spent more time in Florida and in Sioux Falls, where he lives near his daughter Ann.
“Anybody 90 years old living alone, you’ve got to have some concerns,” Duffett said.
But he said McGovern enjoys returning here.
“He loves Mitchell,” Duffett said. “He feels this is his town.”
No decision has been made on what to do with the house in the future.
“We haven’t thought about it,” Duffett said.