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February 12th, 1938 – On This Day in History, we say Happy Birthday to Justice Richard Sabers South Dakota State Supreme Court Justice. Justice Sabers unfortunately passed away just one month ago on January 12th, 2022 exactly one month short of his 84th birthday.

Richard Sabers was born and raised in Salem, SD before going to St. John’s College in Minnesota and joining the Army Corp of Engineers and spending years of his life in stationed in Europe. In the early 1960’s he transitioned to the Army Reserves while he sought a law degree from USD. Upon graduation from USD and passing the bar Justice Sabers practiced law in Sioux Falls for almost 20 years!
On March 1st, 1986 Governor Bill Janklow appointed Justice Richard Sabers to the SD Supreme Court. He became one of the longest serving judges in South Dakota history, serving on the bench until his retirement in 2008. Richard wanted to continue to serve as on the Supreme Court, however state law mandates justices to step down upon reaching the age of 70. Justice Sabers accepted his forced retirement but continued to argue the mandatory retirement age should be 75 years old.

Justice Sabers was married to his wife Colleen in 1865. Together they had 3 children. Colleen tragically passed away in 1998. Richard would remarry in 2000 to Ellie Schmitz, they split their time between Sioux Falls and winters in Arizona.


Richard Sabers truly was a shining example of the hard work, dedication, and moral values of Sioux Falls, we are proud that he served as such an exemplary ambassador of our great city for so many years!