Roger William LeGrand Jr.
Roger William LeGrand Jr., 75, of La Crosse passed away Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, at the Gundersen Health System. He was born in Milwaukee, Jan. 16, 1946, to Roger William LeGrand Sr. and Ruth Harrington LeGrand.
Roger lived a life of service to others. This started with his time studying to be a Catholic priest in the Servite Order and at Our Lady of Benburb Priory, in Northern Ireland. After graduating from St. Louis University, he continued to serve as a VISTA volunteer, working with migrant workers in central Florida, where he met his wife of 50 years, Sondra LeGrand, who was also a VISTA volunteer. In 1969, Roger joined the Peace Corps, training English teachers in remote south, India. In 1970, Sondra joined Roger in India, to marry him amongst their Indian and Peace Corps community.
Roger continued the theme of service in his professional life. After the Peace Corps, he attended the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was president of the Student Bar Association and received the Salmon Dahlberg Award, as the outstanding graduate of the class of 1975. After graduating from law school, he began a general law practice in La Crosse. He also taught business law at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Western Wisconsin Technical College. From 1979 to 1983, he served on the La Crosse City Council. In 1983 and 1984, he was District Attorney of La Crosse County. In this role he established the first victim-witness program and founded the La Crosse Domestic Violence Task Force. He also served on the La Crosse school board from 1987-1992 and 1995-1998.
From 1992-2006, Roger served as the Family Court Commissioner, and in 2006, Governor Doyle appointed him Circuit Court Judge. While on the bench, Roger established the Law Information Center at the courthouse and was cited for judicial outreach and education programs. After the bench, he was appointed to the State of Wisconsin Tax Commission.
In retirement, Roger stayed active in the La Crosse community, serving on many boards including, the La Crosse Community Foundation, the La Crosse Public School Foundation, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Foundation, and the Rotary Club of La Crosse. Roger and Sondra also continued their lifetime relationship with India, through two global grant projects around Tirunelveli and multiple Rotary friendship exchanges.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sondra; and daughters, Julia LeGrand (Jim Tharp) and Erica LeGrand (Nick Wilson); and grandchildren, Luca and Aria Tharp. He is further survived by his siblings, Kathy LeGrand (Morrie Heider), Mark (Nancy) LeGrand, Stephen LeGrand (Sharon Ott), Monica (Dan) Trudell, and Barbara Miner (Bob Peterson); as well as many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, David LeGrand.
Roger lived a life of adventure, traveling to many international destinations and relishing a good road trip. He made many friends all over the world and the country, always seeing the best in people. He lived life by this motto: to live, to love, to learn, to celebrate, to savor and be grateful for every moment.
The LeGrand family extends their gratitude to the staff of Gundersen Health System, their friends and family, and to the greater community of La Crosse, who supported Roger throughout his life and career.
A ceremony of love will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Roncalli Newman Center, 1732 State St., La Crosse. Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, at the Dickinson Family Funeral Home, 401 Main St., Onalaska, and again from 10 a.m. until time of ceremony Saturday at the church.
A live stream link of the ceremony can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U6c25k7dmI.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the La Crosse Community Foundation, (https://www.laxcommfoundation.com/donate); or the Rotary Club of La Crosse, (https://www.rotarycluboflacrosse.org/). Online condolences may be given to the family at www.dickinsonfuneralhomes.com.