Tuesday, December 26, 2017
10:00 AM CST
St. Patrick's Catholic Church
1100 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to ADAM c/o Margaret Johnson
420 6th Street
Racine, WI 53402

Life Story / Obituary


Joseph Thomas Kivlin, Jr., age 91, passed away on Tuesday December 19, 2017, surrounded by family at All Saints Medical Center, Racine, Wisconsin. He was born on February 3, 1926, the only child of Maude (Holden) Kivlin and Joseph T. Kivlin of Gardner, MA.

He obtained a BS in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, where he met his future wife, Louise Nappi, a student at nearby St. Mary’s College. During his college years he also served in the US Army at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1948.

Georgetown University Law School was next, during which time he also was employed as a Patent Examiner.

Upon graduation he worked as an Attorney in Washington, DC. Joe then joined S. C. Johnson & Son where he worked in the Law Department for over 30 years. Many patents were granted through his effort, including those for the well-known products RAID, Glade, and Edge.

After retirement from S.C. Johnson, he engaged in the private practice of law with Hartig, Bjelajac & Michelson. It was this time in private practice, when he was appointed as a public defender, that he found most rewarding. Joe was able to help people accused of crimes to find their way to freedom or to reduced jail sentences. He brought a similar passion to his work on substance abuse treatment policy with the Alliance for Drug and Alcohol Management.

At heart, Joe was a family man, who regularly attended St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, loved sailing and wanted a better life for those less fortunate than he was.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Louise; sons Peter, Michael, Joe (Jenna) and John (Patricia); daughter Mary (Thomas); 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at 10:00 am at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1100 Erie St., Racine, WI.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to ADAM c/o Margaret Johnson, 420 6th St., Racine, WI, 53402; St. Patrick’s Catholic Church; Racine or Siena Center, Racine.