Outdoors broadcaster and conservationist Tony Dean died early Sunday as a result of complications from an appendectomy.
The 67-year-old was among immediate family members at his home in Pierre, where he had been seated in the living room overlooking the Missouri River.
"He could see the water; he could see the ducks," said his wife, Darlene DeChandt. "He knew he was sick, but he said, 'You know, I'm not afraid.' "
The family is organizing a service to celebrate Dean's life. His body will be cremated and the ashes sprinkled over lands where he liked to hunt and fish.
Dean had his appendix removed in Pierre in late September and was moved to a Sioux Falls hospital a week later to treat complications. He returned home Thursday. His death was not a surprise.