Jerome Bryce Lammers passed peacefully in the company of his wife of 60 years, Nancy, in the early hours of May 9, 2023, at the age of 85. Funeral services will be 2:00 PM, Saturday, May 13, 2023, at St. John Lutheran Church in Madison. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery. Visitation with the family present will be 4-6 PM, Friday, at the church, with a prayer service at 6.
Jerry was born in Madison, to Jerry (J.H.) and Regina (Kramer) Lammers in 1937. After graduating from Madison High School in 1955, Jerry attended undergraduate and law school at the University of South Dakota, finishing in 1961, before joining his father in the law practice he had established in Madison in 1923. Jerry continued practicing “country law” until 2021.
In 1960, Jerry talked his high school sweetheart, Nancy Jones, into returning to South Dakota from Washington state to be his wife. They were married in Madison on October 6, 1961. Jerry and Nancy were blessed with a son, Ryker, in 1968 and a daughter, Heather, in 1971. Ryker and Heather both went on to get law degrees at the University of South Dakota, following the family tradition started by Jerry’s father in 1914.
Jerry’s professional and political accomplishments were varied and many. The highlights included: State Bar Commissioner (1973-1975), 16-year representative in the South Dakota State Legislature (1977-1992) with stints as Speaker of The House (1983-1984) and House Majority Leader (1986-1992), Chairman of the Executive Board of the Legislature Research Council (1979), and Member of Board of Directors for the South Dakota Cement Plant Commission (1995-2010).
In 2012, Jerry was inducted into the Dakota State University Innovators and Influencers Hall of Fame, an accomplishment that was especially sweet for him, as he had been a champion of (and largely responsible for) changing the University’s mission to technology focus in 1984.
While Jerry was certainly proud of his professional achievements, where he found the most joy was in spending time with family and friends, as well as indulging in his hobbies and charitable ventures. Jerry bought his beloved Piper Dakota low wing four-seater plane in 1977 shortly after he and his wife learned to fly. In addition to commuting to Pierre for the legislative sessions, he enjoyed flying to various places throughout the country, often with the family in tow. In 2002, Jerry and Nancy flew to New York as part of the Flight Across America tribute to the victims of 9/11. In the 1980s, Jerry and Nancy began volunteering for AirLifeLine, an organization that helps medical patients get to treatment centers that are too far away for them. When it was time to return to the lake home that he and Nancy owned since they were wed, there was always a Corvette in the garage, one of his few, true self-indulgences.
Jerry was also active on many local organizations and boards in Madison. His life-long commitment to the Kiwanis organization is just one of the ways Jerry showed a steadfast commitment to the community he called home.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Nancy, his son, Ryker (Molly) Lammers of Honolulu, Hawaii, daughter, Heather (Jay) Lammers Bogard of Spearfish, and grandchildren Regina Lammers, Nicolai Lammers, Kjellen Bogard, and Breon Bogard.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jerry H. Lammers and Regina Lammers, as well as his brother, Gerard Lammers.
Memorials are preferred to the Madison Central School Foundation.
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