Pam Roberts remembers her friend Jean Rounds

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- Flags will fly at half-staff across South Dakota today in honor of former First Lady Jean Rounds of Pierre and Fort Pierre, wife of former Governor Mike Rounds.

Pam Roberts served in senior leadership roles in the administrations of governors Janklow, Mickelson, Miller, Rounds and Daugaard, but she tells DRG Media Group it wasn’t politics that connected the two women.

Roberts says she and Jean come from similar backgrounds.

Roberts says Jean was fun, but never liked having the attention focused on her.

Roberts says Jean also helped design the new Governor’s Residence in Pierre.

A mass of Christian Burial will be held today at 10am at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Jean Rounds passed away Tuesday at the age of 65. Jean Rounds had been undergoing treatment for cancer since May of 2019. Doctors initially found a malignant, aggressive tumor near her sciatic nerve and she underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy and surgery. In September of 2020, her husband said doctors found another tumor during a checkup.