Gerald (Jerry) F. Apa

April 5, 2021Obituaries
Gerald (Jerry) F. Apa

Gerald (Jerry) F. Apa of Lead, South Dakota passed away on April 1, 2021 at his home. Jerry was born Aug. 18, 1940 to Frank and Helen (L’Esperance) Apa.

Upon graduating from Rapid City High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on July 28, 1958 and was honorably discharged Mar 30, 1962. He married MartyAnn Ferrero on Aug. 10, 1967 in Augusta, GA. In 1972 they moved to Lead, and in May of 1973 they bought the Silver Star Bar which they owned and operated until August of 2001.

Jerry began his political career with his election to the Lawrence County Commission, serving from January 1979 to December 1986. He was elected, once again, to the Lawrence County Commission from January 1993 to December 1996. Jerry also served in both the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1997 to December 2000, and the South Dakota State Senate from January 2001 to December 2008, the last six years as Chair of Senate Appropriations. He then retired from politics until he was elected mayor of Lead for one term in 2013.

Jerry proudly served the citizens of Lead and Lawrence County at both the county and state level and was always appreciative of the support and encouragement he received from the citizens of Lawrence County; but he always considered his election as mayor of his beloved Lead as the pinnacle of his political career.

He was extremely proud to be a founding member of the First Interstate Bank Lead-Deadwood Community Foundation. This was a project near and dear to his heart, and he constantly worked to make the foundation’s annual chili feed a community and fund-raising success. Jerry was also an original member of the Lead Fire Protection District, serving as the district’s first president and later as the financial secretary of the district. Jerry enjoyed volunteering for various organizations but maintaining the grounds and helping with building maintenance at St. Ambrose was always a pleasure.

The family will always be appreciative of the many friends who made the effort to visit and spend time with Jerry to brighten his day. We will be eternally grateful for the many prayers and thoughts in Jerry’s behalf from a multitude of people.

He is survived by his wife MartyAnn, his sons Jarrett Apa, Jeremy Apa (Amanda), granddaughters Berkeley and Elouise Apa; his brothers Mike Apa, Bob (Sue) Apa, Greg Apa, and Chris Apa; his sisters Janet Avery, Patty (Terry) Larson; and many nieces and nephews and a special cousin Angelina Trujillo, who was always there when we needed help and advice. Jerry was preceded in death by his mother and father and his oldest son Jason

Rosary services will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church starting at 6pm Friday, April 9, 2021. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 10:30 at St Patrick’s with Fr. Leo Heisman officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Ambrose Church, the First Interstate Bank Lead-Deadwood Community Foundation, or your favorite charity.

Arrangements are under the care of the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel of Lead, online condolences may be written at