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John Maurer
Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

In office
May 1985 – January 31, 1992
Governor Tony Earl
Tommy Thompson
Preceded by John B. Ellery
Succeeded by Raymond G. Boland
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 22nd district

In office
April 1975 – January 7, 1985
Preceded by Doug La Follette
Succeeded by Joseph F. Andrea
Chairman of the Pleasant Prairie
Town Board

In office
1969–1975
Member of the Pleasant Prairie Town Board

In office
1961–1963
Personal details
Born John Joseph Maurer Jr.
(1922-07-11)July 11, 1922
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died March 31, 2019(2019-03-31) (aged 96)
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Resting place Green Ridge Cemetery
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Arlene Kulin
Children Lisa (Walls)
Thomas
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Parkside
Profession Airline pilot
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch  United States Army
US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg U.S. Army Air Forces
Years of service 1942–1945
Unit 15th Air Force
Battles/wars World War II

John Joseph Maurer Jr. (July 11, 1922 – March 31, 2019) was an American politician and airline pilot. He was a member of the Wisconsin State Senate from 1975 through 1985, and was the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs from 1985 through 1992.[1][2]

Biography[]

Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Anna (Schuenemann) and John Maurer, Sr. He graduated from Kenosha High School (Now Mary D. Bradford High School) in 1940. He joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1942 for service in World War II. He was a B-24 pilot in the European theater and served with distinction. After the war, he attended Marquette University and was a commercial airline pilot for Capital Airlines and United Airlines. He retired as a DC-10 Captain from United Airlines. He was a member of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, and the Air Force Association.

Political career[]

Maurer's career in politics began with his term as a member of the Pleasant Prairie Board of Supervisors, from 1961 to 1963. In 1969, Maurer was elected chairman of the Town Board, and would remain in that position until 1975.

Maurer ran for the Wisconsin Senate for the first time in 1972, but lost in the Democratic Primary to Doug La Follette. La Follette would go on to win the general election, but resigned two years later after he was elected Wisconsin Secretary of State in the 1974 election. Maurer decided to run again in the April 1975 special election to finish La Follette's term. Maurer would go on to win the election and would be re-elected in 1976 and 1980. His colleagues elected him Majority Caucus Chairman from 1981 through the end of his senate term.

Maurer ran for the newly-created role of Kenosha County Executive in 1982, but was defeated by Gilbert Dosemagen.[2]

He chose not to seek re-election in 1984, but in 1985 he was appointed to be Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs by Wisconsin Governor Tony Earl. Earl lost re-election in 1986, but his successor, Tommy Thompson, chose not to replace Maurer. Maurer continued as Secretary of Veterans Affairs until his retirement in January 1992.[3][4]

During his time as Secretary, Maurer was instrumental in the creation of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum on Capital Square, in Madison, Wisconsin.[2] In honor of his accomplishments as Secretary, the Department of Veterans Affairs named a building after him (Maurer Hall) in Union Grove.

Family and personal life[]

John Maurer married Arlene Kulin on December 25, 1977. They would have two children, Lisa and Thomas.

Maurer died in March 2019 at the age of 96, at his home in Pleasant Prairie.[5]

Notes[]

  1. Thursday, January 30, 1992 (Report). State of Wisconsin Assembly Journal. 1992-01-30. https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/1991/related/journals/assembly/19920130.pdf. Retrieved 2019-04-07. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Flores, Terry (2019-04-04). "Late Kenosha state senator remembered for his wisdom, collaborative leadership and attention to community". Kenosha News. https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/late-kenosha-state-senator-remembered-for-his-wisdom-collaborative-leadership/article_7c62fceb-53d4-5c6f-b17e-0129df35caab.html. Retrieved 2019-04-07. 
  3. 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1981-1982,' Biographical Sketch of John J. Maurer, pg. 64
  4. 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1991-1992,' Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, pg. 644
  5. John Maurer obituary

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