You may be gone, but never forgotten. Dr. Kermit Staggers, 1947-2019

You probably read the news reports I’m sure by now that Kermit passed peacefully in the night. I’m not going to rewrite all the things the news has said about him, but I did want to touch on our friendship and somethings I learned from him. I first met Kermit when I had an issue with the SFPD. I was told to call him, so I did. It was probably a 45 minute conversation where I did most of the talking, he listened (something he was very good at) and a couple of days later I got a letter in the mail from the city attorney telling me the issue was resolved.

Kermit did this for people all the time, listened to their concerns, took note, and tried to help. He was always very humble and modest about helping others.

I could never figure out when people would say to me, “I don’t like Kermit, he seems grumpy.” I would always ask them if they ever have met him, and I would introduce them if they wanted me to. There was a lot of people who didn’t know the truth about Kermit because the Argus Leader, headed by Randell Beck launched a smear campaign against him for years, and years. I was surprised he never sued for libel on some of the things Beck concocted.

Here some things I always took away from knowing Kermit;

• Always steadfast in his beliefs. Sometimes this can get criticism, but it is a sign of a true leader. Figure out what you are going to do, and do it.

• Never swore or said bad things about anyone.

• Honest.

• Very funny. This is something that a lot people didn’t know about Kermit. But he had an incredible sense of humor when it came to politics.

• Kept his faith private. Kermit told me once, “Never trust a politician that wears their religion on their sleeve.” AND “My faith in God is between me and God.”

• Always encouraging. Kermit always commended me for blogging, even when we disagreed on issues.

There will be many more stories in the coming days honoring him. Please feel free to leave your memories of Kermit.


#1 Frank Kloucek on 11.28.19 at 1:53 pm

Kermit Staggers was a true gentleman with a kind heart and kind disposition. He stood against unfair and unjustified tax increases, fought against corruption and disagreed with others on issues cordially and professionally. It was an honor to serve with him in the South Dakota Senate and be invited by him to be a guest speaker at two of his University of Sioux Falls college classes. He tried to help the working class mainstream people of South Dakota. He tried to do what was right for Sioux Falls and South Dakota. He was a strong republican but he almost always put people over party. Kermit Staggers you and what you stood for will be greatly missed. He loved his wife June and children very much and put family first. I saw firsthand what a people’s politician was really like and learned a lot from him. Kermit you will be missed.

#2 Sierra broussard on 11.28.19 at 3:47 pm

I hope that the governor declares the flags we flown have staff in honor of kermitt. Maybe one day they will have a wax figure of him and he will be displayed somewhere in siouxfalls or maybe pierre

#3 D@ily Spin on 11.28.19 at 4:19 pm

I’ve met a few of his students who praised and admired him. It would be interesting to hear from some of them. The way his wife looked at him told me right away this was a man with substance who respected the working class. Most politicians try to get wealthy from side deals. Not Kermit. He drove a bland compact car and lived from his income in education without characteristic local political bribes and corruption.

#4 l3wis on 11.29.19 at 8:10 am

You should have seen the car he had parked in the garage, Alfa Romeo convertible.

Wax figure? More like a bronze.