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In Memory of The Honorable John G. Bartholomew


5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson, and one hour prior to the service at the church

Funeral Services

2:00 p.m Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at Bethel Lutheran Church, 920 Third St., Hudson

The Honorable John G. Bartholomew, born July 28, 1919, in Lodi, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on October 22, 2015, with his family at his side.  His wife, Martha, preceded him in death.   

John was the seventh child of John Barker Bartholomew (1870-1956) and Mary Peterson Bartholomew (1881-1923).  His siblings included sisters Ruth, Esther, Catherine, and Francis.  His brothers were William ”Bill”” and James.  All of his siblings and a granddaughter preceded him in death.  He is survived by four children, Sarah G. Bartholomew, John S. “Jack” Bartholomew, JoEllen “Jody” McNaughton (Michael), James R. Bartholomew (Amy), former daughter-in-law Patricia Bartholomew, 8 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, and step-grandchildren.  

John grew up in Lodi, Wisconsin, a city settled by his great grandfather, Marston Clark Bartholomew, in 1848.  His mother died of tuberculosis when he was four.  John attended Lodi High School, graduating in 1937.  His older sisters made his college education financially possible at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  They compiled $155 for tuition in 1940, and John started law school thereafter.  After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, John enlisted in the United States Army with his brothers.  His initial training was at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, and he then joined the Sixth Armored Division.  His education and skills had him selected to Officer School and he was transferred to the 1850th Headquarters Company unit, to investigate service related accidents, deaths, and airplane crashes, as an assistant to the inspector general.  Working for the Judge Advocate’s Office, John attended courts-martial proceedings and taught German prisoners at the camp stockade.  An army chaplain baptized John.  As Staff Sergeant, he was discharged in December 1945, and days later, married Jean Zemke (his first wife), of Gillett, Wisconsin.  He enrolled at Marquette Law School, graduating in March 1947. 

Moving to Durand, Wisconsin, in October 1947, he was elected District Attorney and served from 1948 to 1956.  In the judicial election of 1963, he defeated the appointee of Governor Gaylord Nelson to become Pepin County Judge.  

John and a handful of other community leaders founded Faith Lutheran Church in 1964.  

In 1967, he defeated the appointee of Governor Warren Knowles to become judge of Western Wisconsin’s Eighth Judicial Circuit (5 counties) until 1979.  He was the last judge to so serve.  John was transferred to Branch 1 Circuit Court for St. Croix County and served from 1979 to 1989, when he retired.  Almost 10 summers were spent teaching at the national college for judges in Reno, Nevada.  He desired a Bench and Bar that was not only intelligent and skilled but honest and principled.  Presiding over more than 800 jury trials and 17 first-degree murder trials, he was a wealth of knowledge and influenced many legal careers.  His judicial career spanned 40 years.  

In 1982, John married Martha Scheide of Hudson, Wisconsin.  After retiring, he traveled throughout the world with Martha, and held court as a reserve judge (into his 80s).  He was by Martha’s side until her death in December 2000.  

John loved to fish and did so his entire life – with fly-in trips to Canada, even into his 90s.  Cooking and candy making were also passions of his.  “Snickers” candy bars were an ever present fixture in John’s life. 

As a student of the Bible, John knew his Lord and Savior had a plan for him.

Visitation will be held 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson.  Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at Bethel Lutheran Church, 920 Third St., Hudson, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church.    Military honors will be held immediately following the service.  Interment will take place 12:30 p.m. Thursday, October 29 at Garden Bluffs Cemetery in Lodi, WI.  

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The Honorable John G.'s Tribute Wall

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    • Thank you, Judge B, for all that you taught me, for giving me a chance when I was a fresh out of school, and for always believing in me. I think of you often. Even though you have left this Earth, you have touched so many of us that I know we will continue to feel your presence. Rest in peace, Your Honor.
      Debbie Monturiol