Joseph W. Skupniewitz

Joseph W. Skupniewitz

Madison – Joseph William Skupniewitz passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 while tending the same forest that had been a source of relaxation for over forty years.

He was born in 1941 to Joseph L and Helen M (Maurer) Skupniewitz in Beaver Dam, WI. He attended Wayland Academy, Harvard University, and University of Wisconsin/UW Law School (’66). He served as a Captain in the Air Force from 1967-71. His service to the nation continued after his military career when he answered his country’s call to service and accepted a position in the Federal Courts as Clerk of the WI Western District (Seventh Circuit) courts in 1971 and part-time Magistrate in 1972. After over thirty years of acclaimed service to the Court, he retired in 2003 and was awarded the Western District Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award; its highest honor.

He married Mary K Kumba of Beaver Dam in 1966. After his military tenure they settled in Madison and raised their family in the Catholic faith. He was generous, thoughtful, accepting of others, courteous, kind, and humble. He had a quick wit and loved solving puzzles (especially Sudoku). He relaxed by listening to classical music, reading (Wodehouse was a favorite), and snacking on chocolate (dark). He enjoyed working outdoors, whether cutting grass, clearing brush, or forest stewardship.

During retirement he split time between Bradenton, FL and with family in Wisconsin and Michigan.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Joseph L Skupniewitz and his son, Joseph P Skupniewitz.

He is loved by his wife Mary, daughter Rita, son Joseph E, and daughter Beth (Stephen) Pape – and grandson, Monty. He is survived by his sister, Eileen Hansen of Juneau, WI.

Private services will be held on Thursday, 5/21 at St Thomas Aquinas with internment following at Resurrection Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry & Center, Second Harvest Food-bank – or a charity of your choice.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
5701 Odana Road

The Mass will stream live beginning at 11:00 a.m. CDT on Thursday 5/21/20.

Below is a link to view the St. Thomas Aquinas YouTube Channel. Streaming will begin about 10 minutes before Mass for everyone to get settled to join in prayer. St. Thomas Aquinas encourages viewers to create a prayerful setting in their home – like a home altar space with flowers, a picture of your loved one, perhaps a special remembrance, and a video screen! Include a candle in your space that Father Bart will invite all to light at the same time when we begin our prayer together.

Click on this link to be redirected to the livestream: