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Honorable Judge Duane M. Jorgenson
Honorable Judge Duane M. Jorgenson

It is with a profound sense of loss and enduring love that we announce the passing of the Honorable Judge Duane M. Jorgenson. Duane, a beacon of justice and a pillar of the community, departed this world on April 21, 2024, after a valiant battle with prostate cancer.

Born on July 5, 1952, in Monroe, Wisconsin, Duane's journey was one of service, wisdom, and unwavering commitment to his family and the law.  His parents nurturing and guidance at home along with his education were the foundations of his remarkable character. Duane's early school years were spent at the Van Matre School House in rural Wiota followed by his education at Darlington High School, where he graduated with honors. His thirst for knowledge and dedication to public service led him to Valparaiso University in Indiana, where he earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in Political Science and the other in Education. Duane's pursuit of justice culminated in a law degree from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois, setting the stage for a distinguished legal career.

Before donning the robes of a judge, Duane's entrepreneurial spirit, versatility and work ethic shone brightly. He owned and operated Jorgenson Supper Club from 1977-1978, he served as the Circulation Manager at the Monroe Times from 1978-1980 and then managed the demands of being a dairy farmer until 1993.  In 1991, he founded the Jorgenson Law Office, where he provided counsel and comfort to those in need. He served Lafayette County as Corporation Council for Human Services for 21 years with his legal acumen and commitment to fairness leading to his election as Lafayette County Circuit Judge in 2015, a role he filled with dignity and honor until his passing.

Duane's life was marked by a profound faith and service to his church and community. As a faithful member and past council member and president of the Apple Grove Lutheran Church, an officer of the Lutheran Brotherhood, a member and past president of the Darlington School Board, and through his involvement with the Lafayette County Bar Association, Duane's leadership and compassion touched many lives. His contributions to the Master Gardeners Association and his guidance as a 4-H Leader are also examples of his dedication to public service.

Beyond his personal and professional accomplishments, Duane was a man of varied interests and deep passions. His voice enriched the church choir and many weddings and funerals. Singing is where he felt closest to God.  His love for gardening brought beauty to the world around him. A voracious reader and researcher, Duane delighted in local, state, and national history and the escapism offered by western films and historical documentaries. His fervor for the Green Bay Packers was matched only by his joy in playing baseball with his children and cherishing every moment spent with his beloved grandchildren.

Duane is survived by his devoted wife, Elizabeth Jorgenson; his sons, Duane (Tina) Jorgenson, Jr.  and Matthew (Becca) Jorgenson; his daughters, Becky (Kyle) Friedrich and Amy (Brady) McDaniel; his cherished grandchildren, Angelina, Jake, Bo, Bradley, Paige, Ethan, Addison, Edward, Kennedy and Teagan; and his siblings: Arleigh (Joni Leonard) Jorgenson and Sharon (LeRoy) Petersen. His legacy of love, selflessness, and intelligence will continue to live on through them.

He is preceded in death by his parents Merlin and Marian Jorgenson.

Duane's life was a testament to the power of love and the strength of community. He was a man who gave selflessly, loved deeply, and thought profoundly. His absence will be felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him, but his spirit will continue to inspire those he leaves behind. The void left by Duane's departure can never be filled, but the memories of his kindness, his laughter, and his unwavering integrity will forever be etched in the hearts of his family, friends, and the many lives he touched.

As we bid farewell to the Honorable Judge Duane M. Jorgenson, we take solace in knowing that his was a life well-lived, a path well-trodden, and a legacy that will endure for generations to come.

 A funeral service will be held at Wiota Lutheran Church (6682 State Road 78, South Wayne, WI 53587) on Friday, April 26, 2024 at 11:00 A.M. with a visitation the hour preceding with Rev. Daniel Bohlman officiating. The burial will be held at Apple Grove Lutheran Church Cemetery.  A visitation will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2024, from 4:00- 8:00 P.M. at Wiota Lutheran Church (6682 State Road 78, South Wayne, WI 53587) The Erickson Funeral Home in Darlington is serving the family. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at