Michael J. "Mike" Spector
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Spector, Michael J. "Mike" A retired Chairman of Quarles & Brady LLP, a leader in Wisconsin public education, and a long-time participant in and supporter of public life in the Village of Shorewood, died at home on October 31, 2014 of prostate cancer at the age of 74. He is survived by Joan, his wife of almost 50 years, their sons John (Marcie Berger) of Whitefish Bay, Tom of Boulder CO, and Joe of Miami FL, and their grandchildren Sarah and Michael A. Spector. Mike graduated from Shorewood High School, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (with High Honors in History), and the Harvard Law School, and studied British and American Economic History at the London School of Economics. During his 47 years of association with the law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP, he primarily represented school districts in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties (including in the Milwaukee Interdistrict desegregation litigation of 1984-87) and corporate clients. Between 1987 and 2002, he served as Q&B's Chairman during a period of substantial multi-office and lateral hire growth, and as one of the firm's appointees to the Greater Milwaukee Committee.. Mike was a practical problem-solver who led by example and always sought to bring out the best in those whom he managed. His leadership style emphasized common sense, a sensitivity to the long-term good of the organization, collaboration, inclusiveness and calm consensus-building. While on a leave of absence from Q&B between September 1973 and December 1974, he was selected to serve as a White House Fellow assigned to the U.S. Dept. of Justice. As a deputy assistant in the office of the Attorney General, he assisted three Attorneys General on, among other matters, the Watergate controversy. Mike's formal involvement with the Village of Shorewood included School Board Member (1969-73) and School Board President (1970-73); Member of the Shorewood Plan Commission (1977-81), Village Trustee (1982-85); Village President (1985-91); and a founder of the Shorewood Historical Society. While Village President, he was Chair of the Milwaukee County Intergovernmental Cooperation Council. Mike managed and coached various Shorewood Little League and Senior League baseball teams, and was very proud of Shorewood's Spector Field. Since retiring from Quarles & Brady in late 2002, Mike served as Chair of the statewide Governor's Task Force on Educational Excellence (2004); a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and its Vice-President and President ; the Executive Director of the United States Law Firm Group, Inc.; a Director of Assisted Living Concepts, Inc.; a Director of the Jewish Museum Milwaukee; and a Director of the BMO Bradley Center. He taught Education Law at Marquette Law School, UWM, and Cardinal Stritch University. Previously, he had also served as President of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Phi Beta Kappa, as a Director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, as a Director of the Council for Basic Education, Washington, D.C., and a Director of the National Association of School Attorneys. Mike thrived on family trips, playing golf, good books, and spectator sports ranging from WIAA State Tournaments to the Super Bowl. Mike leaves more than 10,000 slides and digital pictures and movies taken since 1954 of family, family trips, flowers, children's and grandchildren's sports participation, and friends. He was a man of love, generosity, curiosity, patience and empathy, and characterized by strong beliefs in community, patriotism, a strong work ethic, and meaningful friendships. Details of a memorial service will be forthcoming. Memorial contributions are suggested to: The Shorewood Historical Society, 3930 N. Murray Ave., Shorewood WI 53211; the Michael J. Spector Fund for Honors Excellence of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, 1848 University Ave., Madison WI 53726-4090; or the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, 1360 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee WI 53202.

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Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Nov. 2, 2014.
Celebration of Life
02:00 PM
Shorewood High School Auditorium
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
January 11, 2015
It was through my mother Adele Sisson's devotion to Shorewood and her successful achievement bringing the Shorewood Village Halll to be part of our country's National Preservation Trust during Mike's tenure as president of the Village of Shorewood. It was through her dedication and Mike's support and photography through sharing wonderful memories of the rededication of the seat of Shorewood Village government that he was so proud.of. My deepest sympathy to all of the Spector Family. In His grip, Bonny Sisson Stilwell
Bonny Sisson Stilwell
November 27, 2014
Mike was the legal counsel to the Whitnall School District while I was Superintendent. I can not put into words the impact Mike had upon the Whitnall School District and me as a young Superintendent. Mike was always the epitome of civility and cooperation. I am truly saddened by his passing on. Mike had a profound impact upon his community, several school districts, and the State of Wisconsin. Most of all Mike was a wonderful husband and father. My condolences to his wife, children, relatives and friends.

William R. Hittman
Whitnall and Sheboygan
Superintendent of Schools
Willim Hittman
November 7, 2014
jane levin
November 5, 2014
Mike was the epitome of a great partner. He was a wonderful mentor and leader, and he will be missed.
Dave Kern
November 5, 2014
Mike will be remembered as a person of great influence in building a great Shorewood community. His contributions to the community and our children live on. Our condolences to Mike's family. We are sorry for your loss.
Suzanne and Richard Powers
November 4, 2014
Mike was an extremely principled gentleman who cared deeply about education and the children of Milwaukee. He was a man of great integrity and a skilled negotiator. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. My sympathies to his family.
Bob Lehmann
November 4, 2014
Sarah and Michael,
May the love and good works of your grandfather never leave your hearts. I am sorry for you loss.

Ruth Zarling
November 3, 2014
I was shocked and saddened to read of our loss of this wonderful human being. He was a credit to the legal profession and a genuine friend to all at Quarles & Brady. Having worked with him for a number of years I always found him to be a caring, honest man. We will miss him in this world, but heaven has gained a new star.
Bonnie Helminski
November 3, 2014
As a former member of the Kewaskum School Board, working with

To have had Mike Spector as our school district lawyer was indeed an honor and privilege. Though I was a very small fish in the pond, Mike was a true statesman in every sense of the word.
Mike treated every person on the board with respect, patience and helped us through some very contentious times.
I send my deepest sympathy to the entire family.
Sincerely, Ruth Schmitt
November 3, 2014
I worked at Quarles & Brady from 1997 to 2009. As a new legal secretary at Quarles & Brady in 1997, I received a phone call from Mr. Spector welcoming me to the firm. I remember thinking what a nice gesture that was -- he had not yet even met me at the time, yet he took the time to make that call. I found out later that it was his custom as Managing Partner to do just that with new employees. Until his retirement from the firm, he always had a smile and a greeting to everyone he saw, even if he didn't work with you on a daily basis. He treated all staff and attorneys with courtesy and, above all, respect. That is something that is all to rare these days. Rest in peace, Mr. Spector. It was a privilege to have worked with you.
Pam Heup
November 2, 2014
It was my most sincere privilege to be both a relative and a friend of Mike's. A truly honorable man, in every sense.
I will miss you, and treasure our times together...
With love,
Sari Steinberg
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