The Honorable David L. Dancey
July 2, 1917 - March 8, 2008
The Honorable David Lloyd Dancey died peacefully Saturday, March 8, 2008, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. He was 90 years old. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 60 years, Dorothy D. Dancey.
David was a remarkably accomplished man with a diversity of interests. His career in the legal profession spanned 56 years. He was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church of Waukesha, where he sang in the choir, was noted for his dulcet tenor solos in worship and at special occasions, and served as soloist on weekly "Faith For Living" radio broadcasts. At the church, he participated in leadership and outreach activities for many years. In the community, David was involved in the Waukesha Kiwanis Club, Potawatomi Area Council of Boy Scouts, Waukesha County Council on Alcoholism, Waukesha County Bar Association, Junior Chamber of Commerce and Masonic Lodge. In addition, he was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He loved music, nature and American history, and was a voracious reader and terrific conversationalist. He was proud of the agrarian roots established by his paternal grandfather in the 1850s at the Dancey farm in Fairbury, Ill., which is still operating today. David especially followed the progress of Wisconsin Badgers basketball team and the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. Additionally, he enjoyed Badgers and Packers football, and the Chicago White Sox. Above all, David lived as a servant to God. He treated all with kindness and respect, and many can bear witness to his incredible love, graciousness and generosity.
David was born in Waukesha in 1917 to Elizabeth Johnston Dancey and Lloyd Slote Dancey. He graduated from Waukesha High School in 1934, and then from Carroll College with a bachelorís degree in 1938. In 1941, he received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin and was admitted to the bar. Soon after, he married his college sweetheart, Dorothy D. Dorrington, of Walworth. Davidís general law practice was put on hold during World War II as he served in the U.S. Navy, Pacific theatre. He was a radio repairman aboard a destroyer tender, the USS Whitney. He resumed his law practice upon returning to Waukesha in 1945. In 1946, he was elected to the state Assembly as a Republican, and served as Waukesha County district attorney from 1948 to 1952. In 1958, he was appointed judge by Gov. Vernon Thomson to fill a vacancy in the Waukesha County Court. Thereafter, he was elected to successive terms and served 22 years as a judge in Waukesha County, retiring as a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge in 1980. He continued to serve in several counties as a reserve circuit court judge until stepping down in 1997 at age 80. Additional responsibilities he held were Chief Judge of the Fifth Administrative District, Chairman of the Waukesha County Board of Judges, and he held seats on the State Judicial Commission and the State Administrative Committee of Courts. The Waukesha County Bar Association honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
David was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert; sister, Janet Berger; and granddaughter, Alison Kay Ridgely.
He is survived by his children, Barbara (David) Ridgely of Grafton, Richard (R. Afton) Dancey of Elgin, Ill., and Carol Luebbe of Waukesha; grandchildren, Deborah (Tony) Paegelow, Nathan (Heather) Ridgely, Lisa, Jocelyn and Megan Ridgely, Afton Michele (Steve) Dancey Surwillo, Scott (Lori) Morman, Andy (Kris) and Matt Abplanalp, and Stephen, Justin and Kirk Luebbe; and great-grandchildren, Miranda, Caleb and Sarah Paegelow, Luc Surwillo, Kyle and Jack Morman, Sarah and Alex Abplanalp, and Derrick Jeka. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
The family would like to thank the staff of Waukesha Memorial Hospitalís Intensive Care Unit for their exquisite care of David in his final days.
The family requests memorial gifts be made to a scholarship fund to be established in Davidís name at Carroll College or to a charity of the donorís choice.
Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. today, March 14, at Randle-Dable Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. A second visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service Saturday, March 15, at First United Methodist Church, 121 Wisconsin Ave., Waukesha. The Rev. Dan Schwerin will officiate. Private interment will be held in the spring.
For further information, please call Randle-Dable Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035, or go to www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave an online tribute.