Former South Dakota First Lady Jean Rounds dies from cancer

PIERRE, S.D. — Jean Vedvei Rounds, the wife of former South Dakota Governor and current U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, has succumbed to cancer at the age of 65.

She passed away in her Fort Pierre home Tuesday morning, according to a release from Rounds’ office, where he gave the following statement:

“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 Vedvei was born Oct. 4, 1956, and grew up on a farm in Lake Preston. She met her future husband while enrolled at South Dakota State University.

She became First Lady of South Dakota in January, 2003, when Mike Rounds was elected as the state’s 31st governor. During her husband’s two terms as governor, Jean helped design the residence for state governors, in addition to pursuing civic causes like launching a children’s internet safety campaign.

Rounds was diagnosed with cancer in 2019, and underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Categories: Politics & Elections, South Dakota News