Jean Rounds, former South Dakota First Lady and wife to South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, passed away Tuesday as a result of her battle with cancer.
Rounds, born in 1956, grew up in Lake Preston. She met Mike while the pair were attending South Dakota State University in Brookings. The two married in 1978, shortly after moving to Pierre.
Senator Rounds says “the love of my life is with the Lord. No more treatments. No more pain. Just peace. South Dakota knew her as First Lady. We knew her as wife, daughter, mom and grandma. She was everything to us. The prayers and support we received throughout this battle were powerful and made a difference. We ask for your continued prayer as we remember her life and grieve together as a family.”
Jean is credited for playing an integral role in the construction of the current South Dakota Executive Mansion, which was constructed during Rounds’ time as governor. She is known for remaining active in several charity organizations throughout her life, most notably her church in Pierre, St. Peter and St. Paul.
After being the first lady for eight years, Jean served on the Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Committee, a group tasked with overseeing enlargement and beautification of the Capitol Complex in Pierre. Jean leaves behind four children and ten grandchildren. Services are pending.