A prominent Madison attorney, UW alumnus and World War II veteran passed away Feb. 21, and his family, friends and associates will convene to celebrate his memory at a memorial service this weekend.
Jack DeWitt was a decorated war hero and one of the co-founders of the Immell, Herro, Buehner, DeWitt and Sundby law firm, founded in the 1950s. This firm evolved into the DeWitt, Ross and Stevens firm.
According to a statement released by the firm, DeWitt received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin when he was 23 and served prominently in the city as a litigator.
He was the chair of John F. Kennedy’s campaign in 1960 and served as Dane County’s District Attorney, as well as the president of the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors, the statement said.
“He was a very important part of firm, from the founding to today,” firm President Brad Raaths said.
The firm’s statement explored DeWitt’s life and career as not only an attorney in Madison, but also his contributions during the Second World War.
According to the statement, DeWitt fought in 1944 at the Battle of the Bulge, and came out of the war with a Distinguished Service Cross as First Lieutenant, the second highest military decoration for valor.
He was also awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action and the Purple Heart in 1944 and received the British Cross from the United Kingdom for his service.
According to the statement, after the war, DeWitt served with the United States Army Reserves and retired as a Brigadier General and Assistant Division Commander.
At the law firm, DeWitt contributed to much important legislation.
“He exemplified what it means to be a leader through his professionalism, his commitment to helping others and his relentless pursuit of excellence,” Raaths said in the statement.
DeWitt retired from his practice at the law firm in his 80s, but continued to be a member, the statement said. He passed away at home at the age of 93, the statement said.
Raaths said the public visitation will be held Saturday at the Cress Funeral Home from 1-3 p.m.