Former Republican State Senator Jerry Apa passes away

Former Republican State Senator Jerry Apa, who served in both the House and in the Senate, passed away on April 1st with funeral services this weekend in Spearfish:

Jerry began his political career with his election to the Lawrence County Commission, serving from January 1979 to December 1986. He was elected, once again, to the Lawrence County Commission from January 1993 to December 1996. Jerry also served in both the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1997 to December 2000, and the South Dakota State Senate from January 2001 to December 2008, the last six years as chair of Senate Appropriations. He then retired from politics until he was elected mayor of Lead for one term in 2013.

Jerry proudly served the citizens of Lead and Lawrence County at both the county and state level and was always appreciative of the support and encouragement he received from the citizens of Lawrence County; but he always considered his election as mayor of his beloved Lead as the pinnacle of his political career.


Rosary services will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic church starting at 6 p.m. Friday April 9. Mass of Christian burial will be on Saturday April 10, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at St Patrick’s with Fr. Leo Heisman officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Ambrose Church, the First Interstate Bank Lead-Deadwood Community Foundation, or your favorite charity.

Arrangements are under the care of the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel of Lead, online condolences may be written at

Read Senator Apa’s Obituary here.

5 thoughts on “Former Republican State Senator Jerry Apa passes away”

  1. I never knew him but my friends whom I trusted said he was an incredible asset to anything he belonged to……. we will all be on that plane headed out some day.

  2. Jerry was an icon, a true patriot. He wrote an incredible endorsement for me in my state house race and I am forever grateful. Jerry was brilliant; and will be missed in Lawrence County. He was one of a kind.

  3. Dear friend. Put up a heck of a fight with ALS, but even when he couldn’t talk, he type political arguments at you. A gem we will miss

  4. I enjoyed serving in the legislature with Jerry, both in the house and in the senate. Jerry was one that would and could cross the political divide, and work with everyone for the betterment of all South Dakotans. Although we didn’t always agree, we could always have a respectful conversation. May God bless and be with him in his final journey.

  5. What a legislator, truly one of the best. Jerry and I were freshman together serving in the state house. His word was solid as a rock. May God met him with the smile Jerry always shared with each of us.

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