Fargo mayor called legend at funeral

Published 10:03 am Monday, December 8, 2014

FARGO, N.D. — Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, who led the city’s fight against several floods, was remembered as a North Dakota legend at his funeral.

Hundreds turned out Sunday to say goodbye to Walaker. The three-term mayor died Tuesday at age 73, several months after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp were among those eulogizing Walaker at Reineke Fine Arts Center on the campus of North Dakota State University. A police and fire department honor guard escorted his flower-draped casket onto the stage.

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Dalrymple said Walaker will be remembered as a true North Dakota legend. Hoeven said Walaker had a gruff demeanor, but was a “teddy bear” underneath.

Walaker spent most of his career as Fargo’s public works director.