Honorable John S. "Jack" Jude

December 22, 1945 - February 11, 2017
Racine, WI



Friday, February 17, 2017
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM CST
Siena Center Chapel
5635 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402


Friday, February 17, 2017
6:00 PM CST
Siena Center Chapel
5635 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.

St. Patrick Catholic Church
1100 Erie Street
Racine, WI 53402

Women's Resource Center
1547 College Avenue
Racine, WI 53403

2000 DeKoven Avenue
Racine, WI 53403

John XXIII Educational Center
1101 Douglas Avenue
Racine, WI 53402

One's favorite local charity

Life Story / Obituary


John Jude, who his friends affectionately called Jack (and everyone called him Jack), was a man of immense passion. Passion for his family, passion for his friends, passion for his profession and passion for his community. My father served all of these loves of his life with all of his heart. This is a heart that has no horizon, only new beginnings. His callings were of the highest order, to education, to justice, to community, to God, and perhaps his greatest calling, to his family. He has left an indelible mark, a timeless gift to all of those who were touched by his presence, this is Jack's legacy and it will last forever.

John Sherman Jude was introduced into the world on December 22, 1945 to his proud parents at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. He was born in Racine and save for his academic pursuits, lived his entire life here. He was the big brother of Sue, Jimmy, Mary, Paul and Kevin.

Jack spent his early schooling at St. Edwards, followed by a calling to the seminary where he spent years in devotion to his studies in Divinity. There he met his wife to be, Peggy.

Jack and Peggy were married after a short somewhat clandestine courtship on and in the campus of St. Francis. They started their family immediately and in earnest. Jordan was the first to arrive then follow in quick succession Talferd, Meaghan and Caitlin. After a short respite Michael was added to the Jude Brood.

Jack immersed himself with his whole heart into fatherhood and into his profession. He felt drawn to the pursuit of law, enrolling in Marquette Law School in 1974 graduating in 1977. In his professional life Jack represented his compassion, his sense of social justice, his legal acumen and his untiring dedication in all of his endeavors and responsibilities. Jack worked for the State of Wisconsin in the juvenile justice system. Then as a partner in a private law firm until 2004 when he was elected by the people of Racine to the Racine County Circuit Court. He retired July 2016 to spend more time with family. Jack enjoyed nothing more than this.

Jack's life can be described as full in fact, the vessel overflowed. His guiding principle was rooted in service of and for others. Serving his community in many capacities, many non-profit boards, a volunteer for a list of organizations too long to list, the president of the board of Center for Community Concerns, Family Service of Racine (Volunteer Center of Racine County), and United Way of Racine. Most recently Jack was serving as president of the Siena Retreat Center Board.

He volunteered and contributed to United Way throughout his lifetime, serving as co-chair of the task force that preceded United Way’s leadership in creating HALO in 2003-2004. Jack was always a strong advocate for the homeless, for families, for mental health organizations, for young people and for initiatives that brought people together. He was respected by the entire health and human service community of founders and providers and the volunteers and staff who helped others. He insisted upon and promoted inclusiveness in every organization in which he participated. But above all and most important to Jack was his service to his family.

Jack was a student in perpetuity, learning about life, about others and about himself. And as he grew in understanding he only held onto what he found long enough to give it to others. He found a great peace, joy in this growth. The evidence for this inner happiness was his smile, which grew wider across his face as he grew older.

Jack loved to meditate, to exercise his soul. To draw nearer to his Creator. To draw nearer to Nature. He flexed this muscle on his bike, in his canoe and in his kayak. Also when he would take down any number of books from his shelf or put down a magazine, to pick back up at a later date...years maybe.

Jack had a deep connection to sports, coaching youth soccer for Michael but also watching and supporting his UW teams, Packers, Brewers, Bucks, and yes, even the San Antonio Spurs. Of course he aligned himself with the greatest of all the sports franchises, embodying the great qualities that they shared with him. He also had a place in his heart for the Cubs. He recently fulfilled a seemingly lifelong dream, last year attending Wrigley Field for a game. To show their appreciation for the honor, they promptly won the World Series.

Jack loved to spend time at some of his favorite get-aways. Visiting his family, always first on the list. San Antonio would see him often along with Boise. He also loved family vacations closer to home. Family reunions and excursions to Booth Lake, road trips to Governor Dodge State Park, and cherished memories held at Green Lake.

Jack loved to sing and to dance. Self-taught in both respects! Many enjoyable moments watching Jack dance. His singing was sacred to him and he enjoyed sharing with all as a member of the Choir at St. Patricks, and anytime you would ask him.

Jack frequented a multitude of events; Downtown Racine Pops, SnowDance, 6th Street Choral Group and anywhere where his Grandkids were present.

Jack also created his own events. He was famous for his impromptu lunch and dinner dates. Jack was not one to ever dine alone.

Jack Loved dogs, especially Butters; but man, did he hate those cats.

Jack will live in our lives forever. He will live our memories of him but also how he touched our lives, how we are better people for knowing him. For him being in our lives. He was a man unmatched in compassion, in grace, and in courage. He was one of the men that restored faith in each other. He could give patience, forgiveness, truth until you felt it too. His laugh was sincere and infectious that everyone could testify to, but his giggle was a rapture of the soul saved for only a precious few. Jack was a judge who never judged another. His presence was complete and total. His spiritually was alive and all inclusive. He was humorous, funny and intensely serious. He was magnanimous and loyal. He was honest and disarming. He was a righteous man who was always an equal.

Jack will be missed in places that have no depth. His heart will live forever in our hearts. Our souls will never remember life before him and when we miss his warm face we need only look in the faces of his grandchildren.

Honorable John S. “Jack” Jude, age 71, passed away unexpectedly, Saturday, February 11, 2017, in the comforts of his home. His beautiful legacy will be carried on in the hearts and lives of his loving wife of forty-nine years, Peggy; his children, Jordan (Veronica) Jude, Talferd (Brigid) Jude, Meaghan (Chris) Kaplan, Caitlin Jude, Michael (Kerry) Jude; his grandchildren, Jack and Lucia Jude, Seamus Patrick and Colin Jude, Devin and Declan Kaplan, Alice Jude; brothers and sister, James (Shari) Jude, Mary (Steve) Dodds, Paul (Angela) Jude, Kevin (Sally) Jude; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Susie (Sam) Romano; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many dear friends in the greater community of Racine. In addition to his parents, Jack was also preceded in death by his sister, Sue Simanek.