Community, family members gather for Tou Ger Xiong's funeral

Members of the Hmong community in St. Paul and beyond said goodbye to a beloved activist, comedian and performer on Saturday

Hundreds gathered to remember the life of 50-year-old Tou Ger Xiong, including dignitaries like Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, U.S. Senator Tina Smith and Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Xiong was a champion of equality and social justice, dedicating his life to building bridges between communities and cultures. He used humor and comedy as a way to connect with people and founded Hmong Minnesota Day at the Minnesota State Fair. 

The passionate way he lived his life is a stark contrast to his tragic passing. 

Xiong was found dead in early December after arriving in Colombia as a tourist. Officials say he was kidnapped, robbed, held for ransom and killed. Four people have been charged in connection with his murder.

Xiong's family has created an endowment fund in his honor.