J Jean Rounds, former South Dakota First Lady and wife of current U-S Senator Mike Rounds, passed away Tuesday following a two-year battle with cancer. Services have yet to be determined.
The 65-year Rounds was first diagnosed with an aggressive tumor near her sciatic nerve in June 2019. Treatment was successful, but her 90-day checkup last year discovered another malignancy.
Senator Rounds issued a statement after her death calling her “everything to us,’ but that “The love of my life is with the Lord. No more treatments. No more pain. Just peace.”
She leaves behind her husband, four children and ten grandchildren.
Jean Rounds was a South Dakota native and met her husband while both were attending South Dakota State University. They married in 1978.
She told reporters at different times that she allowed her husband to run for governor the first time only after he promised never to run a negative campaign ad and to never make her give a speech.
Jean Rounds is credited with playing an integral role in the building of the current South Dakota executive mansion, while her husband was governor. She went on to serve on the Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Committee
She was very active in her church and in his statement Senator Rounds said “ prayers and support we received throughout this battle were powerful and made a difference. We ask for your continued prayer as we remember her life and grieve.”