Mario passed away on March 24, 2023, at his home in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin surrounded by loved ones. Mario was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on November 2, 1941, to Mario Sr. and Martha (Ricci) Ventura. Following his graduation from Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin in 1959, he attended Notre Dame and Marquette Universities and graduated from the latter in 1965. Mario enlisted in the U.S. Army and completed two tours of duty in Saigon, Vietnam where he served in the Combined Intelligence Center. Mario returned to the US where he continued his military service in the US Army Reserves until honorably discharged at the rank of Captain.
Following his military service, Mario entered Marquette University Law School and graduated in 1971. Also, in May of 1971, Mario married his wife of 51 years, Susan Fortelka, at St.Louise De Marillac Catholic Church in LaGrange Park, IL.
Mario began his 25 year legal career in the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office and later established a private law practice with The Honorable Bruce Schroeder.
Throughout his life from the time he was eight years old, he worked in various capacities at his parent’s business, Mars Cheese Castle, proudly telling people that he was the Cheese Castle’s first maintenance man. After retiring from his law practice, he returned to the family business full-time until 2017 when physical challenges prevented him from more active daily involvement in the business. Mario especially enjoyed meeting and talking with customers and Cheese Castle employees, many of whom became cherished friends.
Mario was preceded in death by his parents, Mario Sr. and Martha Ventura, and his in-laws, Robert and Anne Fortelka.
In addition to his wife, Mario is survived by his two sons, Christopher (Jill) Ventura, and Michael Ventura, and one grandson, August (Gus)Ventura, a sister, Angela (Phil) Wehrmeister, and brother-in-law, Bob Fortelka, nieces and nephews, dear friends Vic and Pat Gotelaere, Dennis and Pat Kaldor; his four-legged companions Gabby, Monty, and Lucky, the other ‘love of his life’, Cynthia II, his prized ‘63 Corvette, and his many friends.
Mario was a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a past member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Association and the State Bar Association of Wisconsin, and the Marquette University Alumni Association.
Mario’s family is most grateful to Dr. George Poulette and his staff, Dr.Shepler, the many physicians and staff who cared for Mario throughout the many years of his declining health, and the Kenosha Hospice Alliance who cared for him in recent months. Most of all, Mario’s family is grateful for the care provided by Antonina Butkevic, and especially grateful for the faithful, devoted, and compassionate care provided by Julius Uza for the past five years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 9091 Prairie Ridge Blvd. Pleasant Prairie, WI on Friday, March 31, 2023 at 10:30 a.m., with entombment to follow at All Saints Cemetery. A celebration of Mario’s life will take place at the Cheese Castle at a later date. Please refer to the Mars Cheese Castle Facebook page for service updates. In lieu of flowers, Mario’s family suggests that you please consider memorials to Hospice Alliance or the charity of your choice.