With deep sorrow and much love, we mourn the passing of Paul D. Kuglitsch of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 23, 2021, at the age of 50 years. He is lovingly remembered and honored by his wife of 21 years, Kelly (née Slinkman) Kuglitsch, daughters Emma and Sarah, brother Mark (Fran) Kuglitsch, and Mother Maureen (née Hall) Kuglitsch. Dearly missed by nieces, nephews, other relatives, coworkers, and many friends. Paul was recently preceded in death by his father, John F. Kuglitsch, M.D.
Paul graduated from St. Mary’s Springs High School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, in 1988, before earning his 1993 bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota. In graduate school at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., he met his future wife, Kelly, before completing a curatorial internship at the National Gallery of Art and then obtaining a master’s degree in art history in 1998. The next year, Paul earned certification as a Graduate Gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America, got married, and began a jewelry career that included work for a Chicago-based diamond wholesaler and, later, ownership of his own jewelry business. At age 38, newly graduated from Marquette Law School, Paul began working for the Milwaukee County Parks Department. After nearly four years at Parks, he transferred in 2012 to the County’s internal legal department. There he served, first, as Assistant Corporation Counsel, and then, from 2016 to 2021, as Deputy Corporation Counsel.
Both direct and kind, he had an uplifting laugh, a heartwarming smile, a mischievous sense of humor, a storyteller’s gift for making nearly any explanation entertaining, and a seemingly endless reserve of funny anecdotes to relate. He regularly lit up the room with positive energy, while also making each person feel welcome and accepted. Paired with this was an unexpected analytical rigor, a strong sense of fairness, and an unmatched work ethic. To his work, he brought a deft understanding of the interests of multiple stakeholders within Milwaukee County government as well as a masterful command of County ordinance and State statute rules and citations. His effectiveness in his position was recognized, in November 2020, by a Sheriff’s Leadership Award from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office. More recently, he was nominated by his colleagues for the State Bar of Wisconsin Government Lawyers Division 2021 Grant F. Langley Service Award.
Paul’s greatest joy was being a devoted father to Emma and Sarah. He enjoyed, among other things, taking them to innumerable swimming, gymnastics, diving, piano, and snowboarding lessons.
A private visitation has been held, but a larger memorial service and celebration of Paul’s well-lived life will take place in June, with additional details to be determined.
A special thank you to his caregivers throughout the Advocate Aurora system, including at the Zilber Family Hospice. Those wishing to make a charitable donation in memory of Paul are invited to do so to the Milwaukee Parks Foundation.