Jerry L. Pollard

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

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.


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14 response to "Jerry L. Pollard"

  1. By: Mike and Barb Dooley Posted: June 9, 2020

    I loved that guy. So many good times over the years. I am so sad for you and your family. Jerry was a great friend and has left us all too early.. Condolences to all of you.

  2. By: Brenda Ruehl Posted: June 9, 2020

    Our hearts and thoughts are with Marti and the Pollard family. Jerry will be missed by all. May you all find peace in your love and memories of a wonderful man.

  3. By: Leon Cantin Posted: June 10, 2020

    My prayers and thoughts are with you guys, Adrian, thank you for advising the Diocese to let me know. Because of my health problems, I will not be able to attend any services. Jerry was an aggressive and assertive lawyer. When I was Yankton Chief, we “butted heads” a few times, but he was always a consummate professional who took care of his clients faithfully.. Now, Jerry knows where the angels live.. May God bless you and yours,

  4. By: Jae Lynn Vyhlidal Posted: June 10, 2020

    What an easy guy to treasure. Jerry was a student of mine during my first year of teaching. It was obvious he was incredibly intelligent, but he was also kind…like a big puppy. I saw him last year at Norm Manstedt’s retirement party. I’m an old woman in a wheel chair now. He was surprised that I remembered his name, but I assured him he was unforgettable. I will always keep him in my heart. May peace and grace surround you, and may Jerry’s sweet spirit remain in

  5. By: Duane & Sheri Cross Posted: June 10, 2020

    We never had the pleasure of meeting Jerry. After reading his life story, it’s clear why his nephew Brian ( & wife Christine) would drop everything and travel from Arizona to South Dakota to honor this dear uncle and support Brian’s Dad, Rod ( & Loretta) in the loss of his brother. Our thoughts and prayers are with you this weekend as you gather to celebrate a man who lived his life well. God Bless & Comfort you in your loss. Duane & Sheri Cross Chandler, Arizona

  6. By: Linda Ksiazek Posted: June 10, 2020

    I have so many good memories of the Pollard family when Jerry was a boy. I babysat with him and it is wonderful he had such a fulfilled life. Thoughts and prayers 🙏 to Jerry’s family.

  7. By: Mark Collins Posted: June 11, 2020

    What a good guy. I met Jerry when I began to practice law in Yankton in 1990. Over the next 5 years we tried lots of cases and hearings against each other. He was a good lawyer, but more importantly he was a kind and thoughtful fellow. My prayers and sympathies to Jerry’s family.

  8. By: LINDA Medeck/Willcuts Posted: June 11, 2020

    .Sorry for your loss…Our deepest Sympathy From the Willcuts and Medeck families…Jerry took care of a trust for our family .and he was always helpful when i would call for advice. One of the nicest guys I have met. And definitely liked to talk and tell stories. Will be missed..

  9. By: Lisa Posted: June 11, 2020

    Condolences to your family. I learned of Jerry through my mom and her experience with a difficult time with change in my dad. Jerry was a tremendous help to her, our family and continued to be right before her passing. He is a wonderful spirit who did so much for our family and we are all grateful for him. God’s love and peace to you all.

  10. By: Spencer Spires Posted: June 11, 2020

    Hi, Sorry to hear about Jerry.

  11. By: Rich/Deb Hierlmeier Posted: June 11, 2020

    We are deeply saddened by Jerry’s passing. We had the pleasure of sharing our days at USD with Jerry as a teammate and friend. Through the Coyote Brotherhood we have been able to maintain priceless friendships over the years.
    Jerry was a special friend as a gentle giant with a huge heart!! We extend our sympathy to Marti and their family in the loss of their husband, father, and grandfather

  12. By: Shiela & Ron Rederick Posted: June 11, 2020

    Just read about Jerry. He was not only our attorney and part time boss but a good friend. He will be so missed. Rest in peace big boy. A friend forever

  13. By: Becky Ridgway Posted: June 12, 2020

    My deepest sympathy to you all. May Jerry rest in God’s love, and may that same love give you peace.

  14. By: Tammy Kokesh Posted: July 2, 2020

    I am so sorry for your loss. Jerry was such a nice guy! I waited on the group at Fryn’ Pan when the businessmen would come in every week day morning. Your family will be in my prayers for many months to come. Sincerely, Tammy Kokesh

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