John H. “Jack” Lussier, The Capital Times founder William T. Evjue’s nephew, who went on to become one of Madison’s most prolific philanthropists, died Friday, July 27, at the age of 90.
During the past several decades, he personally funded numerous local projects. Many of his contributions were of a million dollars each.
Lussier was the only child of Evjue’s sister, Emma. The newspaper founder had no children of his own and another sister, Nellie, never married. When Evjue died in 1970, Lussier was named one of his principal heirs.
After serving in the Navy for two years following high school, Lussier attended UW-Madison, where he majored in political science and minored in journalism and English. He graduated in 1951 and went on to work for the Capital Times-owned radio station, WIBA, where he prepared and broadcast news and sports, and also worked for a brief time as a reporter for the newspaper itself. In 1953, he took a sales position with Proctor and Gamble and later worked as an account executive at a national marketing firm in St Louis.
He returned to Madison in 1963 and was named business manager of Madison Newspapers Inc. When Evjue died in 1970, Lussier was elected to take his uncle’s place on the board of The Capital Times Co. Although he retired as business manager in 1982, Lussier remained active on The Capital Times’ board and in recent years became its chairman.