We mourn the loss of our beloved friend, father, law partner, and colleague, Elton Kuderer.
Mr. Kuderer’s esteemed active legal career spanned more than 40 years, all at Erickson, Zierke, Kuderer & Madsen. His core practice was civil litigation in Minnesota State and Federal Courts, but was also admitted to practice, pro hac vice, in federal court in several other jurisdictions.
Elton received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in 1953. He earned his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1960, and joined Chris Erickson and Charles Zierke’s law practice in Fairmont on September 2, 1960, where he developed a reputation as gifted and hard-charging trial attorney. In addition to a continuous and demanding private practice, Elton served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Fairmont from 1965-71, and as Martin County Attorney from 1971-79.
His long career was filled with triumphs and highlights, but one representative matter was as attorney for landowners in the condemnation proceedings on the I-90 corridor in Southern Minnesota in the 1970s. A trial judge who was with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office at the time of the project recently recalled Elton as “the Robin Hood of Southern Minnesota” for his tireless work and excellent client results.
After two years of enlisted service and honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1948, Elton received a Reserve Commission in the Artillery Corps of the U.S. Army in 1950. He was called to active duty during the Korean conflict in 1951, and served in the United States and Japan. He ranked first in his class at Officers Specialist School, Camp Moore, Japan, in 1952.
He was honored to serve as a Member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in 1987, and as Chair from 1991-93.
Elton held leadership positions in Bar Associations and Legal Societies, the Fairmont Chamber of Commerce, St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Fairmont Knights of Columbus, and many other professional, civic, veterans, and charitable organizations.
Elton earned countless accolades over the years for his work, including being named among The Best Lawyers in America. He also gave of his time as a lecturer for Continuing Legal Education, and as an instructor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
Left to cherish Elton’s memory are his beloved wife, Ellen, nine children, two of whom are members of this firm, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
It was an honor and a privilege to know and work with such a great man.
Funeral arrangements are pending with the Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont, Minnesota.