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Former SD Governor Frank Farrar dies, Gov. Noem orders flags at half-staff

The former one term Governor passed away at the age of 92 surrounded by family.
Former South Dakota Governor Frank Farrar passed away at the age of 92 on October 31st, 2021.
Former South Dakota Governor Frank Farrar passed away at the age of 92 on October 31st, 2021.(SoDak Governors)
Published: Oct. 31, 2021 at 2:13 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Former South Dakota Governor Frank L. Farrar passed away peacefully at the age of ninety-two on October 31, 2021, in Rochester, Minnesota, surrounded by family. Governor Kristi Noem has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff statewide effective immediately in his honor. Flags will remain at half-staff until the day of Governor Farrar’s interment, and those arrangements will be announced at a later time.

“Frank was an incredible leader for our state and a mentor to me over these past years, as well,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “His heart for people and his enthusiasm for public service have been an inspiration.

“Frank stayed active up until the day he died, as evidenced by the statue of him running on the Trail of Governors,” continued Governor Noem. “He even competed in triathlons and Ironman competitions into his eighties. We should all hope to be able to live as active, caring, and full a life as Frank.”

Farrar was elected governor in 1968 at the age of 39 and served as the 24th Governor of South Dakota from 1969 to 1971. He also served as the state’s 22nd Attorney General from 1963 to 1969. Prior to that, he served as Marshall County judge, Marshall County state’s attorney, and as the only governor of South Dakota Boys State to later be elected governor.

Farrar joined the South Dakota ROTC while attending college at USD before commissioning as a lieutenant and serving in the Korean War. He continued serving as a captain in the Army Reserves for 15 years. A detailed biography of Governor Farrar can be found here.

It was six years ago to the day, on October 31, 2015, that his wife of sixty-two years, Former First Lady Patricia Farrar, passed away. Frank is survived by five children – Jeanne Farrar, Sally Farrar, Robert Farrar, Mary Turner (Randall Turner), and Anne Farrar (John Ingwalson) – as well as eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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