Obituaries

John L. Sisbach, Jr., 82, of rural Westby

john sisbach

flagJohn L. Sisbach, Jr., 82, of rural Westby, died Tuesday July 19, 2016 at Benedictine Manor in La Crosse. He was born October 15, 1933 in Newton Valley, Vernon County to John and Elsie (Mason) Sisbach Sr. John was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Chaseburg.  He graduated from Viroqua High School in 1952.  He served in the U.S. Army from 1954-55.  John married Anna Marie Lee on March 9, 1957 at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church.  He worked at Adams Korn Kurls Company in Beloit for 10 years in various positions including semi-driving which he enjoyed. John then farmed in the town of Coon until retiring in 1999.

He served as Chairman on the town of Coon Board, the Coon Valley Lutheran Church Council where he served as president, a member of the Coon Valley Creamery Board and the Coon Valley American Legion.  John enjoyed going for drives and picking up fresh Amish cheese curds for friends and family, old time polka music, watching the Packers and Brewers and visiting with his neighbor Dean.

 

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Clarice M. Larson, 91, of La Crosse

clarice larson

Clarice M. Larson, beloved mother and grandmother, 91, of La Crosse and formerly of Chaseburg, passed away peacefully Saturday July 16, 2016 at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. She was born June 24, 1925 in West Union, Iowa to Harold and Agnes Hammersland. She graduated from Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa and taught 1st Grade in Claremont, Iowa. On June 16, 1946, she married Harold J. Larson and they farmed near French Creek, Middle Ridge and Chaseburg, Wisconsin where they spent the remainder of their married life. They were married 45 years until Harold’s death in 1991.  Together they raised 8 children.  Clarice was very active in her church, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir and taking part in Circle, Ladies Aid and other women’s groups. She was an avid gardener and especially loved spending time in her flower gardens.  Clarice was a test gardener for Jackson & Perkins, raising many varieties of roses, and was featured in an article in the La Crosse Tribune.  She remained active in volunteer work throughout her life, including quilting at the church for many years. After she moved to assisted living, she made hundreds of bead bracelets for children in Africa and pillow cases for girls in Haiti.

 

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Alice L. Korthals, 85, of La Crosse

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Alice L. Korthals, 85 of La Crosse, was born on March 17, 1931 to Charles and Luella Schauble. She was born to eternal life on July 16, 2016 at Hillview Health Care Center in La Crosse, where she had resided for the past two weeks. Alice grew up on a farm outside of Caledonia, MN and graduated from Caledonia High School in 1949. On August 19th of that year she married John F. Korthals, Jr. Together they farmed near Chaseburg, WI, where they were members of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Town of Hamburg. In 1990 they retired from farming and moved to La Crosse, where Alice and John were active members of Grace Lutheran Church.

Their marriage was blessed with six children: James (Jean), Mequon, WI; Linda (Doug) Burrows, Eau Claire, WI; Susan (Greg) Paul, La Crosse, WI; Gary (Carla), Sparta, WI; Gordon (Becky), Oshkosh, WI; and Eric (Caryn), Baraboo, WI. Additional blessings included 22 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren.

 

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Verna A. Brye, 70, of Coon Valley

verna brye

Verna A. Brye, 70, of Coon Valley, passed away on Friday, July 15, 2016 at Gundersen Health System, La Crosse. She had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer in April 2012.

Verna was born March 14, 1946 at St. Ann’s Hospital in La Crosse to Norman and Myra (Volden) Klomsten. She was baptized and confirmed at the Vang Lutheran Church in rural Westby and graduated from Westby High School in 1964. She married Robert E. Brye on October 16, 1965 and became a member of the Coon Valley Lutheran Church.

 She was employed at Vernon Manor Nursing Home for 29 years before retiring in March 2012.

 

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Joseph "Joe" A. Berra Sr., 94, of Chaseburg

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flagJoseph “Joe” A. Berra Sr. 94, of Chaseburg, died Tuesday June 28, 2016 at Bethany St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse. He was born October 2, 1921 in Genoa Township, Vernon County to Anthony and Margaret (Barilani) Berra.  Joe was a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Navy from 1944 -1946.  He married Alice Schlicht in 1946 and they later divorced.  Joe worked for Bakalars Sausage Co. for 33 years and also farmed in rural Chaseburg for many years.  He enjoyed pinochle and bingo, traveling to casinos and fishing.  He was a member of the Catholic Knights of Wisconsin, Friends of Chaseburg, the Chaseburg American Legion Post #202 and a charter member of the Coon Creek VFW Post #10532.

 

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Larry J. Torgerson, 73, of Westby

larry torgerson

flagLarry “Herman” “Torgy” J. Torgerson, 73, of Westby passed away suddenly June 10, 2016 at home with his beloved wife by his side. Larry was married to Marge Blegen, they had twin daughters whom died shortly after birth. He then met Judy Becker (Arnold) in the mid 80’s and they finally married in 1999. This marriage made Larry an instant family with 5 children, eventually 7 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

 Larry was a cook in the U.S. Navy from 1962­-1965, a member of the Coon Valley American Legion Post 116, the Bohemian Valley Sportsman's Club and the Coon Valley Conservation Club. He’s spent the last several years taking care of the Coon Valley American Legion grounds with pride.

 Larry loved spending time in his deer stands and hunting deer sheds, gathering thousands of sheds over the years. He liked hunting mushrooms and also dabbled in growing his own ginseng. In the winter months he and Grandma Judy spent many hours putting puzzles together, Larry always wanted to find that “one piece”, making it a competition. Herman was an avid sportsman with a few big game trips out west and making bi­annual trips to Canada fishing with his buddies. Grandpa Larry loved kids and spent countless hours doing archery, building snowmen, or playing catch with his grandkids. He spent much of his free time with his grandchildren and nephews hunting and fishing. He was a master gardener tending regularly to his garden for his family though he would only eat potatoes, corn and cabbage. He was sure to teach his grandkids how to grow things and be responsible in the woods. Grandpa Larry loved to play dirty clubs, sometimes making up his own rules as he went. He always had a smile on his face, could strike up a conversation with anyone and would give his shirt off his back. He will be severely missed by us all. “Grandpa Larry it's your turn”.

 

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Katrina M. Schlaver, 43, of Rockland

katrina schlaver

Katrina M. Schlaver, 43, of Rockland, died Wednesday May, 18, 2016 at Mayo Clinic Medical Center in La Crosse.  She was born July 8, 1972 in La Crosse, WI to Kenneth and Marilyn (Sutton) Gilkes and graduated from Westby High School in 1990. Katrina married Bruce Schlaver on August 17, 1991.  She worked in childcare for a number of years nurturing young children which she thoroughly enjoyed. With the closing of the daycare, Katrina went onto her next venture and attained her associate’s degree in accounting. Then the real fun began when she was hired as the office manager for Flock's Heating and Air Conditioning where she found her extended family and friends for the next 10 years. Katrina strongly believed in spending quality time with her family and friends.

 

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Hiram Max Locke, 78, of Coon Valley

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flagHiram Max Locke, 78, of Coon Valley, died Sunday May 1, 2016 at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. He was born August 31, 1937 in Nelsonville, Ohio to Linsley and Laura (Moore) Locke.  Max served in the U.S. Marines from 1951-54 in Korea where he was an equipment operator.  He married Debra Oliver on December 20, 1976 in Viroqua.  Max was a truck driver for over 42 years.  He went “state to state and border to border and then some”.  He drove for Stirl and Omer Sparks Trucking in Ohio for 10 years and retired from Martin Trucking in Tomah.  In his retirement years, he worked part time at Rumsey’s Salvage Yard and most recently was the Town of Coon recycling manager.  Max enjoyed hunting and fishing, working in his workshop and spending time with his family and Yorkies.

 

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Mark "Mac" L. Halvorson, 61, of rural Viroqua

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Mark “Mac” L. Halvorson, 61, of Viroqua passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

He was born January 5, 1955 in La Crosse, WI, to Lawrence and Myrtle (Holey) Halvorson.  He grew up in Chaseburg and graduated from Westby High School in 1973.  He was very proud of being part of the Westby Norsemen football team and especially proud of his accomplishments in the fine arts. He married Sheryl (Haakenson) Steele on July 1, 1978.  They had one child, Bret Layne, then later divorced. He worked as a laborer in the construction field locally, then moved to Ft. Atkinson, WI where he worked for Spacesaver Inc.  He then returned in 2007 to be closer to his family.  Most recently he worked on the family farm and the family owned Romance Valley Retreat.

Mark enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending time in the great outdoors.  He spent countless hours in the shop woodworking.  He was very generous with his crafts, often donating them to charitable causes.  He also very much enjoyed music, often singing at local karaoke nights.  More than anything though, he enjoyed spending time with his family, both young and old.  He was known as a magnet for little children, whether he was related to them or not.

 

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Pauline M. Berg, 89, Viroqua/Chaseburg

pauline berg

Pauline M. Berg, 89, of Viroqua and formerly of Chaseburg, died Saturday March 26, 2016 at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.  She was born March 12, 1927 to Edward and Emma (McManus) Voelker in Washington County, Minnesota.  On November 27, 1947 she married Rodney Berg in Hastings, Minnesota.  They were later divorced.  Pauline was employed by the Company Store in La Crosse for 21 years. She was a member of the Concordia where she spent her Sunday afternoons dancing.

 

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