2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
January 29, 2019 - Introduced by Senators Petrowski, Tiffany, Bernier, Cowles,
Jacque, Marklein, Miller, Nass, Olsen, Ringhand, Risser and Smith,
cosponsored by Representatives Snyder, Felzkowski, Allen, Edming, Krug,
Kulp, Murphy, Ramthun, Shankland, Sinicki, Sortwell, Spiros, Steffen,
Tauchen, Vruwink, Zimmerman and Tusler. Referred to Committee on Senate
SJR4,1,1 1Relating to: honoring the life and public service of Senator Walter John Chilsen.
SJR4,1,32 Whereas, on December 25, 2018, Walter John Chilsen passed away at the age
3of 95; and
SJR4,1,54 Whereas, Chilsen served in the Wisconsin State Senate from 1967 to 1991,
5representing the people of the 29th Senate District; and
SJR4,1,76 Whereas, Chilsen was born in Merrill, Wisconsin, in 1923 to Margaret and
7Walter Burt Chilsen; and
SJR4,1,98 Whereas, during World War II, Chilsen enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving
9as a bombardier on a B-24 bomber and climbing the ranks to lieutenant; and
SJR4,1,1110 Whereas, Chilsen was injured when his plane crashed into the ocean near
11Saipan during the Battle of Iwo Jima; and
SJR4,1,1312 Whereas, Chilsen helped other crew members reach safety following the crash
13and was later awarded the Purple Heart; and
SJR4,2,214 Whereas, after the war, Chilsen attended Northwestern University and then
15graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He then went on to

1pursue a career in acting as well as in radio broadcasting at WLIN radio in Merrill;
SJR4,2,53 Whereas, in 1954, Chilsen became the news director and anchor for WSAU-TV
4— now known as WSAW-TV — when the station signed on the air as Wausau's first
5television station; and
SJR4,2,86 Whereas, over his 17-year career in radio and television broadcasting, Chilsen
7became Central Wisconsin's most trusted and authoritative news voice and, in 2005,
8he was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasting Museum's Hall of Fame; and
SJR4,2,119 Whereas, during his 24 years in the Senate, Chilsen served on a variety of
10committees and was recognized for his accomplishments on behalf of senior citizens,
11agriculture and rural development, and environmental issues; and
SJR4,2,1312 Whereas, Chilsen was known in the legislature as a kind and thoughtful leader,
13a skilled orator, and a consensus builder, and
SJR4,2,1614 Whereas, after retiring from the State Senate, Chilsen served on the board of
15the town of Weston for 17 years before stepping down at the age of 94 in December
162017; and
SJR4,2,2017 Whereas, Chilsen and his wife of 65 years, Rose, were involved in many
18volunteer activities and were instrumental in the founding of The Neighbors' Place,
19a Wausau community center that provides food and other basic necessities for those
20in need; and
SJR4,2,2321 Whereas, Chilsen's beloved wife Rose, who passed away on April 4, 2019,
22exactly 100 days after her husband, saw to it that Chilsen was elected to the State
23Senate for five terms; and
SJR4,2,2524 Whereas, Chilsen is survived by his eight children and several grandchildren
25and great-grandchildren; now, therefore, be it
1Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the members of the
2Wisconsin Legislature salute the life and public service of Walter John Chilsen and
3mourn his passing; and, be it further
SJR4,3,5 4Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint
5resolution to his family.
SJR4,3,66 (End)