Governor Bill Janklow appointed several judges in the state during his 16 years in office, and at one time every Supreme Court Justice was appointed by Governor Janklow, including current Chief Justice David Gilbertson.
Janklow was an attorney before he was a governor and Gilbertson says that's why he took judicial appointments so seriously during his four terms as governor.
“I know Governor Janklow took that responsibility very seriously and there’s a lot of us in the judicial system that were appointed by governor Bill Janklow,” Gilbertson said.
Gilbertson wrote letters to Janklow over the past two months while he was battling cancer. He says it was tough to see his health decline.
“It’s very sad to see a person who was a friend, and who I owe a lot of professionally to having to go through that, but sadly it’s a part of life,” Gilbertson said.
And Gilbertson says Janklow loved people, and loved South Dakota, and he tried to make sure he did everything he could during his time in Pierre to leave the state better than he found it.
“He believed in people, the goodness of people, to improve their lot in life. He believed in a limited form of government, but also that government should do things where people can’t do them themselves,” Gilbertson said.
And Gilbertson says Janklow left his fingerprints all over the capitol that is now flying flags at half-staff in his honor.
“He’s an incredible individual. He’s going to be missed."