Wirch, Wanggaard push resolution to honor late colleague

Wirch, Wanggaard push resolution to honor late colleague


Wisconsin state senator Bob Wirch has sponsored a joint resolution to honor former state senator John Maurer, who died earlier this year.

The resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 42, was introduced by Wirch and state senator Van Wanggaard on May 30 and will be taken up in the assembly on Tuesday, June 18.

Though Wirch had only met John Maurer a couple of times, he knew about the things John Maurer had accomplished in his life not only in politics, but in his World War II military service in the Army Air Corps, where he commanded a B24 “Liberator” in 1945, and his work as a pilot for United Airlines where he flew for over 25,000 hours.

“It’s important to honor those who served,” Wirch said. “With a record like his, he deserved the honor.”

The news of the resolution came as a pleasant surprise to John Maurer’s wife Arlene.

“It was marvelous,” Arlene Maurer said. “It brought tears to (our children and grandchildren’s) eyes.”

Arlene Maurer said that her husband always rose to the top in whatever he did, and he did so to help others. With John Maurer having only met Wirch a couple of times, the reputation he left behind in Madison is why she said someone who barely knew him would want to sponsor a resolution for him.

John Maurer died on March 31 at the age of 96. He was born in Kenosha and attended college at Marquette University following World War II.

Before being elected as a state senator, John Maurer served as the Town Chairman of Pleasant Prairie from 1969 to 1975. He then represented the 22nd Senate District from 1975 to 1984.

In 1985, John Maurer was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs and served until 1992. During his tenure, he was a key member in the creation of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Since then, the Union Grove Veterans Home has dedicated Maurer Hall in his honor.

“John was modest of all of his accomplishments,” Arlene Maurer said. “After he had a building named after him, I never heard him tell anyone about it in his social encounters.”


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