Sioux Falls lawyer, business owner Cutler dies at 77

May 10, 2019

Richard Cutler, longtime lawyer, entrepreneur and property investor, died Wednesday following a three-year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer.

He was 77.

An Army veteran, Cutler began his legal career at Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, where he practiced for 30 years before he and his son Kent formed The Cutler Law Firm in 1997. It grew from four to 20 attorneys in the past two decades.

“He took great pride in the fact that his family has continuously practiced law in South Dakota for four generations,” his obituary said.

Cutler also amassed a significant real estate portfolio, including many commercial properties, development land and farmland.

He founded Satellite Cable Services Inc. in the early 1970s, which owned and operated cable television systems in Brookings and 60 other South Dakota communities, and he once chaired the board of the National Cable Television Cooperative.

Cutler also bought Palmer Gulch Lodge in the Black Hills in 1972 and developed the Mount Rushmore KOA campground, the start of Recreational Adventures Co., which is now the largest KOA franchise and owns 13 campgrounds from Oregon to New York.

His vast community involvement included serving as campaign chair for the Sioux Empire United Way and on many boards, including the South Dakota Community Foundation, Children’s Home Society and as chair of the board of trustees at Dakota Wesleyan University, the USD Foundation and the National Music Museum at USD.

He was recognized for his contributions to the state during a 2007 induction into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

“Life has just really been a blast for me,” he said during a 2014 interview with the South Dakota Hall of Fame. “I had some challenging experiences … but I was prepared when opportunities came along.”

Cutler was a native of Mitchell, grew up in Wessington Springs and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from USD.

For information on funeral arrangements, click here. 

Hear from Cutler as he reflects on his career below.

Sioux Falls lawyer, business owner Cutler dies at 77

Richard Cutler, longtime lawyer, entrepreneur and property investor, died Wednesday following a three-year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer.

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