For those of you who didn’t know, George McGovern was a huge supporter of Tallgrass. His entire life was affected by alcoholism. George visited our campus many times through the years. Touching the lives of the staff and guests alike. His very public struggles with his daughter’s alcoholism and eventual death, brought him to the front lines of fighting the stigma of the disease.
As a woman who battled her own demons with the bottle, having lunch with him at Tallgrass in my early sobriety, touched me. So from all of us at Tallgrass, thank you, George, you will be missed.
Joan Swenson alumni #113
I met George McGovern, personally, in March of 2008. I had the opportunity to help someone he was very close to make it to Tallgrass. Whenever our paths would cross his first comment was always asking how was I doing and how grateful he was for Tallgrass. As time went on, I got to visit with George more, it became very apparent to me that this was one of the most compassionate, caring and honest people I have ever met. As I began to get to know him better he shared the story of his daughter who had died as a result of her addiction to alcohol. He also gave me a copy of the book that was wrote about her life.
I would occasionally have the opportunity to see George from time to time and he would always remember me and always tell me how grateful he was to Tallgrass. The last time I got to visit with him was when I went to pay respect to the family when his son, Steve, died. Once again he greeted me the same way he always had every time I would see him.
There are very few times in a life time that a person gets the opportunity to meet someone who leaves a lasting impression with you. The kind of person that gives you the feeling, that you, have met someone who has made a difference in the lives of many people in this world. The three people that I can really tell you that have affected me this way are Jim Stoneall, my dad (Howard Livingston), and George McGovern. If I should never get the opportunity to meet anyone else that affects my life like this again, I can tell you that knowing George McGovern has been a gift that I will always cherish and will know that I had the chance to meet one of the good guys. George may you rest in peace.