Verne R. Read

Notice Condolences

Verne R. Read Notice
Read, Verne R. Of Milwaukee and Oconomowoc Lake, died on November 25, 2012. He was a Managing Member of Wisconsin Securities Partners LLC, and retired Chairman and President of T.A. Chapman Co. Verne was born on June 23, 1922 in Hudson, OH, graduating from Western Reserve Academy, Amherst College, and Harvard Law School. He served as a Lieutenant in the Army Air Corp during WWII as a weatherman in the European theatre. He started his career as a lawyer in New York. He married Marion Merrill Chester of Milwaukee in 1949 and in 1954 moved to Milwaukee to work for the family department store. After the store was sold in 1982 he continued his business career as a Managing Member of Wisconsin Securities Partners LLC. In 1972 he ran for U.S. Congress in the 9th District. Verne had numerous philanthropic interests including University School of Milwaukee, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. He co-founded Bat Conservation International in 1982 in Austin, Texas with Merlin Tuttle, Curator of Mammals at the Milwaukee Public Museum. He was instrumental in founding the National Park of Samoa for which he was presented the prestigious Chevron Conservation Award in 1989 in Washington, D.C. He was an avid tennis player, squash player, skier, mountain climber, and pilot. He and Marion celebrated their honeymoon climbing the Matterhorn and led three expeditions to the Himalayas. In 1959 he was critically injured in a fall in the Grand Canyon while rescuing a young woman from a ledge. The episode was reported in the London tabloids, "Milwaukee Businessman Falls For Blonde", and is still referenced in Grand Canyon history books. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marion Chester Read, brothers Frank and Douglas Read, brother-in-law William Chester, daughter Alice Read (Drew Palin), and sons, V. Ross Read III (Mary), Alexander Read (Cynthia), and Thomas Read (Lisa), twelve grandchildren, and numerous Read and Chester nieces and nephews. He is pre-deceased by sister Aileen Read, brothers David and Thomas Read and brothers-in-law, George and Chapman Chester. Reception at the Woman's Club of Wisconsin, 813 E. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee, WI, from 3:00-5:00 PM on Saturday, December 1, 2012, preceded by a private service and burial. Memorials can be directed to Bat Conservation International, P.O. Box 162603, Austin, TX 79716, Milwaukee Public Museum, 800 West Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233, and University School of Milwaukee, 2100 West Fairy Chasm Road, Milwaukee, WI 53217.

Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Nov. 27 to Nov. 29, 2012
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