Judge S. Michael Wilk, age 76, lifelong resident of Kenosha, died on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee with his family by his side. A lifelong Kenoshan, he attended Lincoln Elementary and Middle School and graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1957. He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Princeton University (Biochemistry) and the University of Michigan Law School. In Ann Arbor he met the love of his life, Joan Ramsey, and they returned to Kenosha where he practiced law with the firm that became Heide, Hartley, Thom, Wilk and Guttormsen. In 1994 he was elected to the newly-formed Kenosha County Circuit Court Branch seven where he proudly served for 22 years until his death. Michael loved working as a judge, and he had a profound respect for the law and the people with whom he worked, both in the court system and those who appeared before him.
Michael was honored to serve his community and he was involved in the Kenosha Downtown Rotary (Paul Harris Fellow), Bradford Alumni Association, UW-Parkside Foundation, Carthage College, Kenosha Redevelopment Committee (Kenosha Marina Project), Senior Housing Development (Lakeside Towers), Legal Action of Wisconsin, State Bar of Wisconsin, Kenosha Ice Arena, Kenosha Symphony Board, and the Beth Hillel Temple Board. Formerly, he was a member of the Kenosha Unified School Board.
Founder of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys, he was passionate about skiing and cherished his 37 years as a National Ski Patroller at Wilmot Mountain, serving his last shift on the Saturday "A" Team ten days before he died.
Pie and pizza maker extraordinaire, he enjoyed his time on the water as a sailor, his time on the links with the SLUGS, ski trips to Brule, travel with the Elderly Eight, fishing trips to Canada, and three Kenosha dinner clubs. Michael possessed a keen and curious intellect, a calm and kind demeanor, and a playful wit.
More than anything he loved his family; his wife of 53 years, Joan; daughter Deborah, her husband, Steve Burnham, and their children Jacob and Simon; son David, his wife Lynn, and their children Jackson and Audrey; his sister Judy Meyer and her husband Fred, and his brother-in-law Rob Ramsey, niece Gina and nephews Jac and Dan and their children. He was preceded in death by his parents, Phil and Bettye Wilk, and his sister-in-law, Victoria Yais Bassat Ramsey.
He was a regular at Lambeau Field, the Lyric Opera, G and G Camp, The Buena Suerte Golf Invitational, Holy Rosary Sports Night, and every single music, theater, and sporting event of his four grandchildren, who he adored. He particularly enjoyed his annual trips to London and Mackinac Island, and the time spent in Egg Harbor, Door County, a special place for the Wilk family.
Funeral Services for Judge Wilk will be held on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM with Rabbi Dena Feingold presiding. The service will take place at the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha (1330 52nd Street). A procession and graveside service will follow immediately at Sunset Ridge Memorial Park.
Shiva service will be held Monday evening at Beth Hillel Temple (6050 8th Avenue) at 6:30 PM in the sanctuary. The family will then greet friends and well wishers in the temple’s social hall. The public is invited to attend.