SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Friends and family are remembering a longtime and well-known Sioux Falls resident who died at the age of 95 last week.
Dean Rallis was an attorney in Sioux Falls and a member of the South Dakota State Bar for over 50 years. He was also one of the driving forces in turning the old Washington High building in downtown Sioux Falls into the Washington Pavilion.
“My dad loved this community, and he was very involved with it,” Dean’s son Chris Rallis said.
Dean Rallis was born in Greece in 1927 and moved to Sioux Falls with his parents two years later. He graduated from Washington High School, USD Law School and served as a U.S. Army officer during the Korean conflict.
“Came home to Sioux Falls. Practiced law. A good deal of the work that he did was pro bono. He would work with immigrants, Greek immigrants oftentimes because of our Greek heritage, getting them citizenship,” Chris said.
One of the projects family members say Dean was most proud of was serving on an advisory board for the new Washington Pavilion and saving the old Washington High building from being torn down in 1993. It was a big debate and vote for the future of that building, as well as constructing a new convention center by The Arena.
“He realized that both things were good for Sioux Falls. It was a successful election but just by a few votes, so he affectionately likes to believe, or did believe that making that extra effort as a joint force, that we were blessed with the pavilion today,” Chris said.
Chris has been married to Susie Rallis for almost 51 years. Susie lost her dad as a teenager and says Dean helped fill that void.
“I was blessed with a wonderful father-in-law who took me as one of his daughters and treated me so well, and we had a great relationship,” Susie said.
Dean will be missed by family and other members of the community.
“Dearly loved his country and loved the community. Loved his family. Loved God. He was a wonderful dad, and I can hope I only learned even a fraction of the lessons that he made available for me to learn because he was a tremendous guy in that respect,” Chris said.
The funeral for Dean Rallis is at 10:00 Tuesday morning at the St. Joseph Cathedral.