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Richard VAN DEUREN


1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Richard VAN DEUREN Obituary
VAN DEUREN, Richard A. February 18, 1929 December 17, 2017 Richard A. Van Deuren, Chairman Emeritus of Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren, s.c., died on December 17, 2017 at 88 years of age. He was a loving husband of over 17 years to Nancy Best Van Deuren. Beloved husband of 45 years to Joan Christman Van Deuren, deceased April 9, 1998. Adored father of Susan (William) Donovan and Pamela (Gordon) Linke. Most adored grandfather of Kaitlin Donovan (Jason) Gannett, Kelly Donovan (Craig) Stevenson, Mackenzie Donovan (Matthew) Kiefer and Trey Linke. Great-grandfather to Theodore Donovan Gannett. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Mr. Van Deuren graduated cum laude in 1951 from Harvard University where he went on to earn his juris doctor degree in 1954 and was admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin that same year. Following two years of US Army service, Mr. Van Deuren joined the firm in 1956 along with fellow associates Allen Rieselbach and Richard Norris. He rose quickly to become a partner in 1961. Along with Jack Reinhart, Roger Boerner, Allen Rieselbach and Richard Norris, he led the firm through a period of unprecedented growth that culminated in it becoming one of Wisconsin's largest law firms. In addition to serving as Chairman of the firm, Mr. Van Deuren later became the firm's first CEO, a position he held for many years. Mr. Van Deuren was an advocate of specialization vs. generalization in the practice of law and guided the firm to embrace specialty law practices long before many of its contemporaries. Early in his career, he was already doing ground-breaking work in the area of employee benefits. His counsel on pension and profit sharing plans, starting with his innovative work for Marine Bank, was widely adopted by leading corporations. Mr. Van Deuren was a pivotal figure in the formation of what became known as Taft-Hartley plans, establishing the firm's ongoing dominance in this area of the law and founding the firm's Employee Benefits Department. This also led to his role as founder and first president of the Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans in Washington, D.C. Following the passage of the Small Business Investment Act in 1958, Mr. Van Deuren was also instrumental in the formation of one of the nation's first Small Business Investment Corporations and went on to develop a reputation for mergers and acquisitions that the firm holds to this day. He practiced extensively in the field of corporate and business law and represented many corporations, venture capital, and private investment banking firms over the course of his career. He was consistently ranked as one of the nation's top corporate lawyers in both Best Lawyers in America and America's Leading Business Lawyers. Mr. Van Deuren was also awarded Martindale-Hubble's highest peer review rating for legal ability and ethical standards. In addition to the State Bar of Wisconsin, Mr. Van Deuren was a member of the Milwaukee, District of Columbia and American Bar Associations. Mr. Van Deuren was an Advisory Director and Chairman of the Attorneys' Committee, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and served as Co-Chairman of the American Bar Association Subcommittee on Pensions. He was the President of the Harvard Club of Wisconsin. Mr. Van Deuren served as a Director at Allen Edmonds Corporation, Arandell Corporation, Generac Power Systems, Inc., and Rexworks, Inc. He was also a Member of the Advisory Board at Calder Capital Partners. He was an Advisory Chairman of the Medical College of Wisconsin and was instrumental in the Medical College of Wisconsin's 1978 move to newly expanded facilities on the campus of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. Words cannot express the enormous impact Dick Van Deuren had on our law firm," said Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren CEO Jerome M. Janzer. "Without Dick's immeasurable contributions and visionary leadership, we would not be the firm we are today. He was a tremendous attorney, partner and friend, and we will miss him dearly. Today, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren carries on Mr. Van Deuren's legacy as an industry-leading business law firm with more than 200 lawyers who continue to honor his principles of exceptional client service fueled by unmatched understanding, partnership and innovation. In addition to his many business involvements and accomplishments, Mr. Van Deuren was an avid student of architecture, interior and garden design. He built his family home in River Hills with exquisite perennial, woodland and Japanese gardens. He was involved in the design and building of 1000 North Water Street, the office building where Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren, s.c. is located today. Mr. Van Deuren enjoyed travel, golf, the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and spending time with family and friends. Visitation will be held at Howard-Quattlebaum Funeral Home, 745 US Highway 1, North Palm Beach, Florida on December 20, 2017 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. A mass of Christian burial will be said at Saint Paul of the Cross, North Palm Beach, Florida on December 21, 2017, at 10:00AM. Following the service, the Van Deuren family invites all to a reception in his honor at the Lost Tree Club, North Palm Beach, Florida. The family will host a reception at The Milwaukee Country Club at a future date. The family asks that memorials be made in his name to the "Joan Van Deuren Center for Breast Cancer Research" at the Medical College of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 26509, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226-0509, 414-955-4700 or any .
Published in The Palm Beach Daily News on Dec. 20, 2017
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