William Jennaro, former choose, helped discovered the Italian group heart


William A. Jennaro was a lawyer, choose, and storyteller, a Milwaukee unique who grew up close to the south facet of city, stayed near his roots, and devoted years to serving to domesticate the Italian group heart.

Past his love of household and respect for the regulation, he additionally had a ardour for enjoying gin rummy with associates.

For over 40 years, Jennaro has participated in a severe however full of life weekly card recreation.

“Billy would begin the story and half an hour later he can be on the identical story. It was limitless. We’d all simply sit again and hear,” mentioned his longtime buddy Frank Calarco.

Jennaro died in Milwaukee from problems from COVID-19 on Sunday, her son Mario mentioned. He was 81 years outdated.

“I suppose a very powerful factor to know about my dad is that he cherished being Italian,” mentioned Mario. “It was who he was, and it meant a lot to him.”

Jennaro was happy with her heritage and opposed stereotypes.

“It is good to be Italian,” he instructed the Milwaukee Journal in 1985. “It is like having a bit of magic stone in your pocket that you simply take with you. And on the stone it says: ‘you have been fortunate to be born Italian’. “

Rising up, Jennaro labored in her household’s fruit and vegetable enterprise. He later made his strategy to the College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette College Legislation Faculty, the place he graduated in 1968.

He and his spouse, Rita, have been childhood sweethearts they usually raised two kids, Mario and Lisa.

“My dad wasn’t supposed or anticipated to go to varsity, regulation college, or be elected a choose. However he form of broke by means of and did all of it,” Mario mentioned. . “So he at all times anticipated to attain what he was attempting and that was actually the story of his life. He would get there when others thought he could not.”

He was a part of the group that helped discovered the Italian Group Middle and was the group’s eighth president. He additionally performed an necessary position at Festa Italiana, the place he was a well-liked emcee and in addition oversaw the gondolas.

“He has accomplished so many issues,” mentioned Joseph Emanuele, the middle’s present president. “He took half in all of the occasions and sat on committees and helped with the constructing, the upkeep of the constructing, overseeing the affairs. He was only a fantastic, fantastic man.”

Jimmy Spataro, a former president of the middle, mentioned: “Invoice was a really good man and at all times smiling. He shook arms rather a lot. He was very shrewd and favored by everybody.”

Jennaro was extraordinarily severe in regards to the regulation. He served as an assistant district lawyer in Milwaukee County and served for 2 years as a public defender within the juvenile courtroom.

He was a choose in Milwaukee County from 1973 to 1984, starting in juvenile courtroom. He additionally flirted with a run for mayor of Milwaukee within the early Eighties.

Later he labored as a lawyer and mediator. He additionally served a time period as president of the Milwaukee Bar Affiliation.

“He was a really fascinating man,” mentioned lawyer Franklyn Gimbel, who labored with Jennaro. “Anybody who practices regulation in Milwaukee, who has been a lawyer for over 10 years, is aware of him, loves him. He was a colourful character who got here from humble origins and was very profitable.

Different survivors embody two grandchildren, his brother Myron, nieces and nephews.

The tour will happen from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, 8 March, at Northshore Funeral Service Chapel, 3601 N. Oakland Ave, Shorewood. Funeral companies and burial might be personal.

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