Legislators pay respects to former lawmakers who died in 2022
From baseball hall of famer to political powerhouses, 11 past public servants remembered
PIERRE — South Dakota lawmakers finished their work early Thursday to pay remembrance to their predecessors who passed away last year.
In all, 11 former South Dakota legislators who represented constituents from across the state were honored during the Joint Memorial Service of the House of Representatives and Senate, held in the House chamber.
(Excerpts pulled from the official ceremony program)
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Carrol (Red) Allen
July 4. 1934 - May 3, 2022
Carrol (Red) Allen was born July 4, 1934, in Royal, Nebraska. Red graduated from Lake Andes High School in 1951. Red loved playing baseball and worked his way up to signing a professional contract with the Baltimore Orioles. An injury, however, kept him from continuing to play the sport. He did coach baseball for 50 years, as well as coaching basketball and softball, and served as a referee and umpire.
Red met Gladys Herrold at the bowling alley, and they were married for 59 years. Gladys passed away in 2012. Red met Judy Tuttle in 2015 and they married and moved to Kansas where they spent seven happy years together.
Over the years, Red held several jobs including delivering milk, butcher at the IGA, and popping corn at the movie theater. At one time, Red owned a truck stop, then spent 25 years as a custom harvester. In 2000. Red was inducted into the South Dakota Baseball Hall of Fame. In addition to serving as a State Senator, Red served on the Township Board, the School Board and the County Commission.
Red served in the Senate from 1979 to 1984 and again from 1987 to 1992. During that time, Red was a member of the LRC Executive Board. He was the Democratic State Party Chairman in 1985 and ran for Governor of South Dakota in 1994.
As a legislator, he served the counties of Aurora, Bon Homme, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Douglas and Yankton Counties.
June 13, 1949 - Nov. 10, 2022
Debra Anderson was born June 13, 1949 in Bryant, SD. Debra graduated from Bryant High School in 1967 and graduated cum laude from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD in 1971. Debra served as Majority Whip from 1985-1986 and became South Dakota's first woman Speaker of the House in 1987. Debra served on the LRC Executive Board from 1987-1988.
Debra resigned from the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1989 when President George HW. Bush appointed her as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in The White House.
Debra married John D. Milne on August 8, 1992 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD. They lived in St. Paul, Minnesota where Debra served in the office of Governor Arne Carlson as Commissioner of Administration from 1993-94. John and Debra moved to Washington, DC in 1998 where she was still active in the politics, volunteering in the George W. Bush White House.
Debra was a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
As a legislator, she represented a district within Minnehaha County.
O.L. (Larry) Anderson
Sept. 28, 1930 - Oct. 25, 2022
O.L. (Larry) Anderson was born on Sept. 28, 1930. Larry attended Beresford High School and graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Larry married Jone Sager on Dec. 27, 1952. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged after receiving the Bronze Star. Larry returned home to run the family farm and operate a well repair business. After farming for many years, he became a New York Life insurance agent.
In 1993, Larry married Marilyn Pruitt, and lived in Sioux Falls until his passing.
Larry's service in the legislature included serving as the chair of the Appropriations committee. Larry was involved in many community activities, including membership in First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls where he enjoyed fellowship with the men's morning coffee group and woodworking proiects in the Church basement workshop.
As a member of the House of Representatives from 1971 to 1980, he served the counties of Lincoln, Turner and Union.
Henry Carlson, Jr.
May 24, 1925 - July 14, 2022
Henry Carlson Jr. was born May 24, 1925, in Sioux Falls. After graduating from Washington High School in 1943, Henry enlisted in the Army Air Force to become a pilot. Henry studied at Lafayette and Amherst colleges, and after WWII he studied Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado. He left school and worked for construction companies in South Dakota and California before returning to South Dakota to work for the family business. Henry became president of Henry Carlson Company upon his father's death and held that position for 45 years.
While in California Henry met Eleanor Daunis and they were married in December of 1957.
Henry served in leadership positions in many business organizations such as the South Dakota Association of General Contractors, Federation of Independent Business, the American Institute of Contractors, Lions Club, Mason, the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Minnehaha County Republicans. Henry loved the outdoors where he enjoyed hunting and working with his horses.
In 2009, Henry Carlson Jr. was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.
Hailing from Minnehaha County, he served in the Legislature from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1983 to 1984.
Aug. 16, 1941 - May 31, 2022
Sheldon Cotton was born August 16, 1941, in Volga. Sheldon graduated from Volga High School in the spring of 1959 and married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Nagel, in September of 1959.
Sheldon attended South Dakota State College and Augsburg College in Minneapolis, receIving his degree in 1964
The Cottons returned to Volga in 1964 and began farming and raising Angus cattle. They moved to Bangor Township, west of Volga, in 1966, where they farmed and raised Angus cattle until spring of 1983. The family then liquidated their farming operation and moved back to Volga.
Sheldon was elected to the House of Representatives in November of 1980 and served in the House from 1981 through 1984. He resigned from the House in July of 1984. In November of 1984, Governor Janklow appointed Sheldon to serve as Commissioner of School and Public Lands. where he remained until January 1987.
Sheldon worked as the territory manager for Gerber Industries for a few years, and in 1990 he became the marketing manager of the Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern Railroad, where he worked for 21 years.
Sheldon was active in his church, First Reformed Church in Volga, where he served as a deacon, elder, and led men's Bible studies. Sheldon had a great love for music and sang for many weddings and funerals.
He served in the Legislature from 1981 to 1984, representing a Brookings County district.
Feb. 21, 1948 - June 28, 2022
Gary Jerke was born February 21, 1948, in Scotland, SD. Gary graduated from Scotland High School in 1966. He attended Augustan College for his undergraduate studies, and the University of Nebraska where he received a master's degree in social work. Gary met Janice Claassen while interning as a lay pastor in Bancroft. Gary and Janice were married in August of 1971, and lived in Yankton, Lincoln, Sioux Falls, and Tripp before returning to the Jerke family farm near Kaylor, in Hutchinson County.
Gary was a pastor, farmer, social worker, legislator, local and state Jaycee leader, and worked in financial services for Lutheran Brotherhood. Gary helped start the local Germans from Russia Heritage Society club and he and Jan endowed funds to Northern State University to create the Claassen-Jerke Germans from Russian Cultural Center. Gary and Jan's legacy project was renovating the buildings on the family homestead that was founded in 1878.
Gary was appointed by Governor Rounds in 2005 to fill the seat in the House of Representatives vacated by Bill Van Gerpen. He continued to serve as a State Representative through 2008, serving on the Ag and Natural Kesources committee and the Health and Human Services committee
His legislative district encompassed Bon Homme, Douglas, Hutchinson, and Turner Counties.
March 28, 1931 - April 25, 2022
Marguerite Mickelson was born March 28, 1931, in the home of her grandfather near Fruitdale. Marguerite graduated from island High school in 1949. After receiving her degree from Black Hills Teachers College, she taught business classes in Hettinger, ND. While teaching in Hettinger, Marguerite met Les Kleven and they were married March 15, 1957 in Nisland.
Marguerite taught business classes at Williston Community College, and in the spring of 1962, she and Les moved to Sturgis and built a radio station. Over the next 52 years, the Klevens built and operated several radio stations in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota. They had two children, Andy and Jezal, and five grandchildren.
Marguerite belonged to many organizations and served on several boards, including Zonta International. Beta Sigma Phi, High Plains Western Heritage Center, Meade County School Board, the Western Ag Conference, and the Sturgis Senior Center. She also enjoyed bowling with her women's bowling league on Wednesday afternoons.
Les Kleven passed away in 1995 while serving as a State Senator. Governor Janklow appointed Marguerite to finish out her husband's term. She continued to serve in the Senate until 2004.
While serving in the Senate, Marguerite was a member of the National Order of Women Legislators, the Council of State Governments (CSG) annual meeting planning committee, and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) workforce committee. She also chaired the Government Operations Audit Committee for six years.
Her legislative district included Butte and Meade Counties.
Gordon J. Mydland
May 12, 1922 - Oct. 6, 2022
Gordon was born on May 12. 1922 near Hetland. He graduated in 1940 from Lake Preston High School and briefly attended Augustan College before enlisting in the U.S Navy in 1942 and serving in World War II in the South Pacific. Gordon graduated from South Dakota State College in 1947. In 1956 he received his law degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion where he met Esther Lorraine (Lorrie) Grange.
They were married May 29. 1958.
Gordon opened a private law practice in Brookings, eventually becoming State's Attorney for Brookings County.
Gordon was elected South Dakota Attorney General and served trom 1969 to 1973. Gordon and family moved back to the family farm in 1973. He served as Circuit Court judge for the 3rd Judicial Circuit based in Brookings from 1973 until his retirement in 1987.
Gordon was preceded in death by his wife, Lorrie Mydland in 2000. Gordon married Delores Kurvink in December 2012.
Gordon relished the time he could spend on the farm and loved raising draft horses. Gordon continued to serve others atter his retirement as a hospice volunteer.
He served in the Senate from 1963 to 1968.
James (Jim) Peterson
March 16, 1943 - April 11, 2022
James (Jim) Peterson was born March 16, 1943, on his grandparent's farm in Grant County. Jim married Jane Krause on March 22, 1964, and after graduating from Augustana College in 1964, they moved to Parker where Jim taught Junior High School. The Peterson's eventually moved back to the family farm Revillo to work with his parents. where they raised their four sons.
Jim served on man boards including his township, church, elevator, and school boards. He helped establish the ethanol plant in Big Stone City and served as president of Northern Growers for six years. Jim enjoyed hunting and fishing and he and Jane loved to travel.
During his time with the Legislature, Jim served on the Executive Board, as well as being selected a Minority Whip. Jim served on the Ag Land Task Force both during and after his time serving in the Legislature, from 2001 to 2004, 2005 to 2010 and 2013 to 2016.
His district included parts of Brookings, Codington, Deuel, Grant and Moody Counties.
John (Joe) Reedy
Aug. 23, 1927 - March 22, 2022
John (Joe) Reedy was born Aug. 23, 1927, in Midland. As a young boy, Joe's family moved to Garryowen region outside of Vermillion. After graduation from Vermillion High school, Joe enlisted in the Navy in 1945. After the war ended, he joined the SeaBees and helped build bridges in Saipan. After returning home, Joe worked at the Gambles store in Vermillion where he met Beverly June Johnson. Joe and Beverly married in 1953. In 1964, Joe and Beverly purchased the hardware store on Main Street, Vermillion, and operated Reedy Hardware until 1998.
Joe was an active part of his community serving as a member of the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce, the fire department, VFW, Lions, Eagles, Knights of Columbus and the South Dakota Retailers. Joe was a supporter of the University of South Dakota, as well as the arts.
Elected in 1990 to the State Legislature, Joe served in the House of Representatives from 1991 through 1996 and in the State Senate from 1997 through 2004.
Joe spent the last ten years of his life in Washington State so he could be closer to his daughters and grandchildren.
May 14, 1935 - Oct. 18, 2022
Harvey graduated from Doland High School in 1953. He was elected senior class president, was a high school debater, and won First Superior as a baritone soloist the state music contest.
Harvey attended Bethel College in St. Paul, and finished his education at Huron College with a degree in business administration. He met Anne Geigel while both were members of the Huron College Choir. They were married on Dec. 30, 1958.
Harvey served two years In the U.S. Army with the Third Armored Division in Frankfurt, Germany. Harvey accepted a teaching position at Doland High School, teaching US History and US Government and coaching the debate team to three state championships.
Harvey served as Senate Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader. He was elected as Governor Richard Kneip's Lieutenant Governor in 1974 and became governor in 1978 when Kneip was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.
After serving as Governor, Harvey was appointed by President Carter to be a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army in 1979. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Huron College, Chairman of the Board at Huron Regional Medical Center, Township Board Chairman, member of his church Board of Mission and services, as well as a member of the board of the Fresno Pacific Seminary, and 10 years on the Board of Directors for Community First Bank of Fargo, ND. Harvey loved to fly. He flew single and twin-engine airplanes for 60 years. Harvey was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2017.
As a legislator from 1969 to 1974, he represented constituents from Clark, Day, Hand, Hyde, and Spink Counties.