Hundreds attend Senator David Tomassoni’s funeral
DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - Hundreds showed up Friday to a church in Chisholm to say their final goodbyes to Senator David Tomassoni.
The senator died at the age of 69 last week from ALS, after battling the nerve disease for more than a year.
Those who knew him well got the chance to say goodbye to the Iron Range Senator.
“I realized the world shaped him during his life and he shaped the world at the same time,” Dante Tomassoni, Senator Tomassoni’s son, said.
At St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chisholm, Tomassoni told stories of his dad, a once Italian hockey star. Around the time he played in the Olympics, his son Danny was born.
“It started as just a feeling in the locker room beforehand as he was set to play the Soviet team in the 1984 Olympics,” he said.
Tomassoni said “the feeling matched his goal against the Soviet red army team, Italy’s only goal, February 9, 1984.”
Hundreds of community members, family and even high profile state politicians, who sat in pews, were in attendance. One of those politicians was Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.
“The word you heard here was sense of humor, sense of community, sense of service,” Walz said.
Walz recognized Tomassoni’s ability to bring people together.
“It’s a sad day, but it was also a day to take stock about what’s good about our communities, good about our state and good about a man like David Tomassoni,” he said.
Governor Walz also talked about the work Tomassoni did to invest in research to save others from ALS. The law will also give funding to caregivers of people living with ALS
“David knew it wouldn’t help him,” Walz said, “but it’s crucial because now we’re leading the nation in this.”
Others remembering Senator Tomassoni included Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who shared a funny memory of the Iron Ranger while in a parade.
“They were throwing candy from their truck, which technically you’re not supposed to do when you’re a politician,” she said “and I’m like I can’t do that.”
But without missing a beat, Tomassoni said, “we can do whatever we want up here!”
“I go ‘no the rules say I can’t throw candy,’” Klobuchar said.
The upbeat senator may be gone, but the crafty legislator’s legacy will live on forever on the Range.
“and he’d tell you, every priority is a number one priority,” Dante Tomassoni said.
Tomassoni was laid to rest at a cemetery in Chisholm.
Senator David Tomassoni served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001. He was a State Senator from 2001 until his death this year.
He is survived by his wife Charlotte, sons Dante and Danny and his daughter Chauntell, as well as six grandchildren.
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