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Mayors of Green Bay
W.C.E. Thomas
Francis X. Desnoyers
H. E. Eastman
Burley Follett
E. H. Ellis
Henry S. Baird
Nathan Goodell
M. P. Lindsley
C. D. Robinson
James S. Marshall
Anton Klaus
Alonzo Kimball
Dr. C. E. Crane
F. S. Ellis
J. C. Neville
J. H. M. Wigman
W. J. Abrams
Charles Hartung
Arthur C. Neville
James H. Elmore
Frank B. Desnoyers
Simon J. Murphy, Jr.
J. H. Tayler
Dr. Robert E. Minahan
Winford Abrams
Elmer S. Hall
Wenzel Wiesner
James H. McGillan
John V. Diener
John S. Farrell
Alex Biemeret
Dominic Olejniczak
Otto Rachals
Roman Denissen
Donald Tilleman
Harris Burgoyne
Thomas Atkinson
Michael Monfils
Samuel J. Halloin
Paul F. Jadin
James J. Schmitt

 

 

 

 

Roman P. Denissen
(1918 - 2008)

Mayor Roman Denissen
Mayor Roman P. Denissen
1959 - 1965

Roman P. Denissen was born the eldest of nine children in the Town of Bellevue on July 13, 1918, to Matt and Nettie (Parins) Denissen. His parents were farmers and his father, Matt, was a Town Supervisor of Bellevue for four years.

Roman went to a two-room country school and graduated from the Bellevue School District Number 1 in 1932. He went on to 9th and 10th grade at Allouez School and graduated from East High School in 1936. From there, Roman went to Green Bay Badger Business College and graduated in 1938 with a degree in accounting.

He went to work for the Green Bay & Western Railroad and worked there four years. He then helped in his father's milk business, known as Jersery Farm Dairy, located on Shawano Avenue. In 1948, Roman went to work for Mutual Service Insurance Companies and also purchased the dairy building from his father to start a small grocery store business which Roman's wife, Ursula, ran.

On August 24, 1939, Roman married the former Ursula Carmody and they had one son, Roman "Butch."

In 1952, Roman ran and won the election for city council. In 1953, when the office of city alderman and county board supervisor were combined, Roman was elected to that position for four years. He was elected City Council President in 1955. As council president, he helped as chairman of the city aldermen to get out the vote for a new city stadium, which was approved. In 1957, he ran unsuccessfully against Otto Rachals for Mayor of Green Bay. He ran again in 1959, again against Otto Rachals, this time winning the election.

As mayor in 1959, he met Vince Lombardi after Lombardi was hired as Green Bay Packers coach. "It was a joy to work with him and the Packer Committee" Roman said.

Preble Annexation
Preble Consolidation doubled the size of the city. Click on the map for a larger, interactive view.

One of Mr. Denissen's greatest achievements was convincing the Town Board of Preble and the Green Bay City Council to vote on consolidation. Clarence Nier, the City Attorney, made this possible with the help of R.J. Parins, Town of Preble Attorney. The consolidation of 12,576 acres almost doubled the size of Green Bay and allowed for easterly expansion and development. Also during Roman's term as mayor, the city annexed part of the Town of Hobart which is now the Southwest High School area.

Roman was successful in developing with Brown County the first Green Bay-Brown County Planning Commission. From this came new highways around Green Bay and Brown County. Clarence Vandermuss, City Councilman and Brown County Supervisor, was very instrumental in getting this accomplished.

I-43 System
Part of the Green Bay beltline around the city.

In 1965, Roman ran again for office of mayor, this time losing to Don Tilleman. He then went to work for Wisconsin Physicians Service as an insurance salesman and consultant working with large groups. He worked there until he retired July 1, 1983. Roman's wife, Ursula, died on August 10, 1983, and on December 27, 1984, Roman married Agnes (Johnson) Le Clair. Agnes passed away in August of 2003. Roman made his home on the city's west side. Roman has four granddaughters and three great-grandchildren. He was very active in his retirement working in pastoral care at St. Jude Church. He was president of the local AARP and had been in that position from 1998 to 2002. He was also a life member of the 3rd and 4th degree Knights of Columbus and belonged to the Sierra Club of Green Bay. He looked back with a lot of pride in his service to the City of Green Bay.

Roman Denissen died on January 21, 2008 at a local nursing home.