A Week Of Remembrance For Janklow
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
January 18, 2012 9:19 PM
The 2012 legislative session was set to start as usual in Pierre, but before the governor addressed the senators and representatives, he delivered some disheartening news. Bill Janklow, who had been battling brain cancer, was being moved to hospice care.
“I want all of us to remember his great service to the state and all he did for us and ask that you keep his family and him in your prayers,” said Governor Dennis Daugaard.
And the end of Janklow’s life wasn’t far away. Just two days later he passed away and South Dakotans began to mourn.
"I think people will remember him as the larger than life figure, someone who was audacious in some ways, bold," said Daugaard.
And just as people mourned they began to remember the positive impacts Bill Janklow had on the state of South Dakota.
The mayor of Spencer remembers when Governor Janklow Helped her town in a time crisis.
"It was not about who you were or what you were or how much money you had. He didn't care. It was, if you were somebody who was worth going to bat for, he was there to, do it,” said Donna Ruden.
One banker in Sioux Falls believes his life would be different if weren’t for Janklow’s work in office.
"He allowed native South Dakotans, like myself, to stay in our state, to get a good job with good pay and good benefits and work and live and raise our families here," said Jerry Nachtigal of Citibank.
Back in Pierre, two days of the legislative session were cancelled to pay homage to a fallen leader.
As Judith Meierhenry said at Bill Janklows memorial service in Pierre, "We stand and applaud, with tears in our eyes and love in our hearts, and with a pride and celebration because we know that one man can, and did, make a difference."