Mark Poker passed away unexpectedly on September 5, 2019 at the age of 55.
Mark will be deeply missed by his two loving sons, Michael and Matthew; two brothers, Paul Poker and Jim (Sally) Poker; In-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Tom (Peggy) Kloempken. He eternally joins in heaven his late wife, Mary Catherine, who preceded in death in 2009 and his parents, Jerome S. and Margaret (nee Singer) Poker.
Mark Poker received B.S. and J.D. degrees from Marquette University. He started his career in Milwaukee, WI immediately after receiving his L.L.M. with honors, in taxation, from Georgetown University. He then briefly moved to Charlotte, North Carolina for his career and then back to his home State of Wisconsin two years later.
For the past 25 years, he spent his career at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP where he Chaired the Wealth Planning practice and served as a trusted advisor to individuals, family fiduciaries and businesses. Clients turned to him for his deep experience representing both businesses and individuals in tax and succession planning, along with disputes with state and federal tax authorities.
Mark served on the boards of directors of several closely held businesses and family foundations. He was also a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel as well as an adjunct professor for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lubar School of Business. In addition, he taught numerous estate and succession planning courses for the American Bar Association, Notre Dame Estate Planning Institute, Wisconsin Institute of CPAs, National Law Institute, Northwestern Mutual, the Wisconsin and North Carolina State Bars and other professional and community organizations.
Although Mark's professional accomplishments are many, they pale in comparison as a father. Mark was completely dedicated to his sons, Michael and Matthew. The three were inseparable.
Mark was extremely proud of the young men they have become: intelligent, kind, respectful and of course very good athletes.
Sports were a consistent and central theme of the Poker household being thoroughly discussed, analyzed, watched and debated. But best of all was when they were participated in by his sons. Mark enjoyed coaching and watching his sons grow and their skills blossom through a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. Mark attended and wholeheartedly enjoyed all the games, regardless of location or time of day (meaning at times taking off of work early to watch and support his sons).
Mark has been acknowledged in The Best Lawyers in America® for trusts and estates since 2002. He has been recognized every year since 2005 on the “Wisconsin Super Lawyers” list in the area of estate planning.
Mark served on the planned giving advisory councils for the American Heart Association, Children's Hospital - Milwaukee, Community Memorial Hospital - Menomonee Falls and St. John Vianney Catholic Church.
Prior to passing, he was the Chairman of Planned Giving Committee for the Children’s Hospital and was the Trustee for the Zoological Society of Milwaukee Endowment Trust.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 from 2:00 to 9:00 pm at the Becker Ritter Funeral Home, 14075 W. North Ave., Brookfield, WI 53005.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 10:00 am at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 1755 N. Calhoun Rd., Brookfield, WI 53005. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Milwaukee.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the College of Business Administration at Marquette University to create a scholarship fund in Mark’s name (1250 W. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53233).