Richard Van Deuren, chairman emeritus at Milwaukee law firm Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC, died Dec. 17 at age 88.
Van Deuren was the first chief executive officer of the firm, which he joined in 1956. He became a partner in 1961.
Van Deuren was born in Green Bay and earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude from Harvard University in 1951. He completed his juris doctor degree at Harvard in 1954, then spent two years in the U.S. Army.
According to an announcement from the law firm, Van Deuren and colleagues Allen Rieselbach, Jack Reinhart, Roger Boerner and Richard Norris helped Reinhart Boerner grow to become one of the largest law firms in Wisconsin.
Van Deuren practiced corporate and business law, specializing in employee benefits and mergers and acquisitions. He was a leader in the creation of Taft-Hartley plans, and was innovative in his development of employee benefits plans for leading corporations. Van Deuren formed one of the first Small Business Investment Corporations in the country.
Van Deuren was also a director at Allen Edmonds Corp., Arandell Corp., Generac Power Systems Inc. and Rexworks Inc. He was an advisory chairman at the Medical College of Wisconsin and was “instrumental” in MCW’s 1978 move to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.
“Words cannot express the enormous impact Dick Van Deuren had on our law firm,” said Jerome Janzer, CEO of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, in a statement. “Without Dick’s immeasurable contributions and visionary leadership, we would not be the firm we are today. He was a tremendous attorney, partner and friend, and we will miss him dearly.”