Court of Appeals
Paul C. Gartzke
District IV (1978-1996); Presiding Judge (1978-1996)
Paul C. Gartzke was elected to District IV in 1978 and served as its presiding judge untilhe retired in 1996. He considered those eighteen years to be "the most satisfying of my career."
Gartzke was born in 1927--his father was atelephone engineer and his mother was aschoolteacher-- and, with his sister and brother, attended schools in the Village of Shorewood. He attended Milwaukee State Teachers College until enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He served from the spring of 1945 until the fall of 1946, when he entered the University of Iowa. He graduated in 1949, Phi Beta Kappa with honors, and won the Swaine Scholarship to Harvard Law School.
After graduating from Harvard, he joined Stephens, Bieberstein, and Cooper, a Madison law firm with a general practice emphasizing administrative law, and he was a partner from 1955 until becoming an appellate judge. While in practice Gartzke was an organizer and the first president of Bayview Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that built 100 low- and moderate-income housing units in the Greenbush area of Madison.
In the same eventful summer that he graduated from Harvard and joined the law firm, Gartzke married Emy Denker of Verden/Aller, Germany. They had three children: Ann, Dan and Alice. Ann and Dan and his wife, Tracey, are lawyers.
In 1992 Gartzke earned a master's degree from the University of Virginia Law School. In 1981 he joined the board of curators of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and served for many years in that capacity. Following his retirement, Gartzke served as a reserve judge. He passed away on Sept. 25, 2009.