Deputy killed on duty receives new headstone 90 years later

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 8:25 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Burleigh County Deputy George Peipkorn was killed in 1930 after he was stabbed responding to a domestic violence call in Wing.

In honor of his legacy and ultimate sacrifice, the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department honored him once again 90-years later with full military honors and a new headstone.

Nearly a year ago, a Burleigh County deputy on patrol stumbled upon the Wing Cemetery.

“Something compelled me to stop that day and I walked the cemetery and found his grave. I found it to be pitted and worn since from 90 years,” said Sgt. Elliot Carvell.

George Piepkorn’s grave was withered and his story of sacrifice was nearly forgotten.

“There have been multiple attempts over the years by past sheriffs and employees of the department, and no one has had the success in finding any relatives,” said Deputy Sheriff Tom Schroeder.

More than a year later, deputies located Heather Woodlee, a seventh-generation family member.

She flew up from Texas to be present at Piepkorn’s headstone dedication.

“It’s awesome that he would do that, and start all of that for someone he never even knew, but at the same time there’s a bond, and you don’t forget a fellow officer,” said Woodlee.

Piepkorn was honored with military respect and many prayers from fellow deputies.

“It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with the family and to show our entire department that we support those who come before us and after us,” said Carvell.

As Peipkorn’s face watches over the town engraved in stone , flags line and proudly wave around his grave.

Deputies driving by will now have a place where they can salute a man who once wore the same uniform and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The headstone was donated by First Western Bank and Trust.

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