HURON, S.D. (KELO) — Family and friends remembered a former governor of South Dakota on Monday. 

Harvey Wollman, who died on Tuesday, Oct. 18, was honored during a funeral service at the First Presbyterian Church in Huron. Wollman served as the 26th governor of the state. Wollman became governor after Richard Kneip resigned to become the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore in 1978. He was the last Democrat to serve as governor in South Dakota.

Jody and Trudy Severson spoke about Harvey’s career and life. Trudy said Harvey always had a smile when he spoke about his grandchildren.  

Trudy said Wollman spent a lot of time in his tractor and believed in the power of bipartisanship. 

“His out-of-box thinking came from sitting in the cab of that tractor,” Trudy said. “He worked across party lines.”

Jody spoke about how Harvey helped “quarterback” the bill to create the four-year degree Medical School at the University of South Dakota, the bill that created the South Dakota Investment Council and helped create South Dakota Housing Development Authority.  

“He was so good at communicating with people and putting them at ease,” Jody said. “He was one of the best catalysts of change that South Dakota ever had.” 

Trudy quoted Harvey’s South Dakota Hall of Fame induction speech, where Harvey said, “We live in a great state. Its blessings outweigh its problems. Its future will be determined by the actions of ordinary citizens like you and me.”

Jody Severson speaks during a service for Harvey Wollman in Huron.

Don Mendel said Harvey will be remembered as someone who made a difference. 

“He made life better for others,” Mendel said. “He was the go-to guy if we had problems.” 

Mendel said people trusted Harvey’s judgment and respected his opinion. 

“That is how his friends and neighbors are going to remember Harvey Wollman,” Mendel said.

The officiant of the funeral was Rev. Andrew Crandall and music was preformed by Mark Neuharth (organist) and the Aberdeen Area Men’s Chorus directed by Clark Lunstrum.

Casket bearers are Jonathan Wollman and Laurie Freid, Christopher Wollman and Sarah Krupa, Timothy Wollman, Caya Wollman, Katherine Wollman, Micah Hoy and Jordan Hoy.