Jerry L. Pollard, age 65, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Monday, June 8, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family.
A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, June 12, 2020, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Yankton, South Dakota with Reverend Larry Regynski officiating. The funeral will be streamed online. To watch the live stream, please go to https://www.facebook.com/WintzRay/live
Following the Mass, burial will take place in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Yankton. A public visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Thursday, June 11, 2020, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton. The public is welcome to join the family at the visitation or at the cemetery.
Pallbearers are Joe Trudeau, Dr. Tom Holland, Rob Keilman, John Devine, Jim Hargins, Barney Ruehl, Kirk Hogan, and Butch Becker. Honorary pallbearers are Dana Larson, Kevin Becker, Chuck Becker, and Dave Cornemann.
Jerry was born on August 17, 1954, to Asa and Roma (Ruff) Pollard. He was raised in Clarks, Nebraska, along with his three brothers. The Pollard boys shared lots of fun and a little mischief. In high school, Jerry excelled in football and wrestling. Jerry’s football skills earned him a football scholarship to USD, where he became a fixture on the offensive line from 1971-1975. He helped win North Central Conference titles from 1972-1974. In 1974, the NCC cited Jerry as one of the best blockers in the conference and named him to the NCC All Conference Team. Jerry remained a devout USD fan throughout his life and loved connecting with his football brotherhood. He was inducted into the USD Hall of Fame for football in 1998. Jerry graduated from USD with a bachelor’s degree in 1976. Following graduation, he taught social studies, coached football and wrestling at Norfolk Catholic High School. In 1979, he entered the USD Law School, graduating with his Juris Doctorate in 1982.
On August 28, 1976, Jerry married his college sweetheart and best friend, Marti Johnson. He was a devoted husband and father. His greatest times were coaching his children, vacationing, attending sporting events, and enjoying a good story. Jerry loved the Yankton community. He was esteemed by many as a wrestling, softball, baseball and football coach; as a referee for football and basketball for 18 years; as a volunteer for the Haas-Hansen tournament. He served on the Yankton Youth Baseball Board (President from 1989-1999) and the Great Plains Affiliation of the America Diabetes Association board. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, a member of the Knights of Columbus (Marty Chapter), and the USD Howling Pack.
Jerry practiced law in Yankton for 36 years. His legal career genesis was at C.E. Light Law Office, where he worked until 1989. In 1989, Jerry joined the firm of Kabeiseman, Hosmer, and Kettering. In 2002 Jerry and John Kabeiseman formed Kabeiseman & Pollard Law. Following John Kabeisemen’s untimely death, Jerry continued the firm, mentoring and molding multiple young lawyers, including Dana Larson, who joined in him in business partnership in 2012.
Jerry was a member of the South Dakota Bar Association, Nebraska Bar Association, Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court, and the Yankton County Bar Association. He was admitted to practice in numerous State Courts, Federal Courts, and Tribal Court. In 2017, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe held an honoring ceremony for Jerry, expressing gratitude for his dedication and advocacy for tribal members. Jerry practiced criminal defense and civil law and served as the city attorney for Gayville, Volin, Utica and Fordyce for many years. Jerry’s legal practice ranged from drafting simple deeds and defending traffic tickets to conducting million-dollar transactions and defending murder trials. He was the Yankton County Bar President from 1987 to 1991.
Jerry faithfully served his clients, taking time for everyone who needed their rights protected, regularly helping clients work through their struggles and directing them on a healthier path. He consistently offered calm and supportive wisdom, advice, and care to those who fell on hard times, often saying, “We’ll deal with it.” Gifted with compassion, Jerry treated the impoverished with the same dignity and respect he bestowed upon his multi-millionaire clients. Jerry loved a good story and a firm handshake. His handshake was worth more than the best drafted contract. Jerry’s word was gold and so was his heart.
Whether he was suited up to play in his “glory days,” suited up in his USD Coyote fan attire, suited in stripes to referee with his crew, or suited up for court, Jerry was in his element. He lived his life with steadfast courage and kindness, even as he faced his final battle with brain cancer. He left us too soon, but he left the legacy of a servant-filled life. He will be deeply missed.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Marti Pollard; his three children: Michael (Amy) Pollard of Casper, WY; Kasia Pollard of Crooks, SD; and Eric (Darci) Pollard of Winner, SD; six grandchildren: Devin and Abbye Pollard of Casper; Mason and Cole Hendrixson of Crooks; Kenli, and Karter Pollard of Winner; his brothers, Rod (Loretta) Pollard of Clarks, NE; Randy (Connie) Pollard of Clarks, NE; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Mary Pollard of Grand Island, NE; Adrian and Janine Mohr of Sioux Fall, SD; Dr. Geoffrey and Betty Johnson of Brookings, SD; and numerous nieces and nephews, his USD Coyote brothers, “the boys” (his lunch-time cronies for decades), his football referring squad, and many friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Asa L. Pollard, and nephew, Andrew Pollard.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Jerry Pollard Memorial Scholarship at USD.