Grace M. Nordstrom, LaCrosse/Coon Valley

grace nordstrom

Grace M. Nordstrom, 91, of La Crosse and formerly of Coon Valley, died Monday January 12, 2015 at Bethany St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse where she has resided since September 2012.  She was born May 19, 1923 in Coon Valley to William and Lydia Struxness.  Grace married Clinton “Swede” Nordstrom on December 8, 1945 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Esofea and they made their home in Coon Valley. She attended Brown School and graduated from Westby High School in 1941. She was homecoming queen in 1940. In her early years, Grace attended La Crosse Beauty School but most of her years were spent as a homemaker.  She was a member of the Coon Valley Lutheran Church and WELCA, loved watching baseball, especially the Brewers, and made the best coconut cream pie in the world. 



Marcia E. Meshbesher, 73, of rural Chaseburg



Marcia Elaine (McHargue) Meshbesher, 73, finally met the one thing she couldn’t fix, fundraise, cook, or quilt her way through. She died peacefully after a short battle with pancreatic cancer on Sunday, January 11th, 2015.

Marcia was born in Central City, Nebraska to Don and Lucille (Martin) McHargue. Growing up, she helped raise her siblings and run the family farm. She grew up attending school in Central City, NE, and went on to get her Bachelor of Nursing Degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1963. Next was a Masters of Nursing Administration from the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1973.

She began her career by teaching at the Nebraska Methodist School of Nursing. She then attended school for her master’s degree, and continued to work for the University of Florida teaching nursing. Next she moved on to administration of two hospitals. She became Director of Nursing at Chesapeake General Hospital in Chesapeake, VA. Then moved up to Assistant Administrator of Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in LaCrosse, WI in 1976, for almost three years. She decided to go back to teaching nursing at WWTC in La Crosse, WI until 1998. Even through her retirement, she proceeded to oversee the family business, Chaseburg Manufacturing, Inc. until its sale in 2014.



Phyllis A. Tollackson, 77, of Westby

phyllis tollackson

Phyllis A. Tollackson, 77, of rural Westby, died Monday January 12, 2015 surrounded by her family. Phyllis had trusted Jesus as her personal savior and went home to be with her Lord.  She was born April 30, 1937 in La Crosse to Willie and Leona (Muscovitz) Amann. On June 23, 1957 she married Ronald Tollackson at the Bethel Lutheran Church, rural Viroqua.  They lived in Kenosha for several years where Phyllis worked at the hospital.  In 1965, the couple moved to rural Westby where they farmed.  Phyllis also worked at the Vernon Manor Nursing Home in Viroqua for many years.    She was active with the Bethesda Lutheran Church WMF and was an avid flower gardener.



Richard E. Bakken, 88, of La Crosse

richard bakken

Richard E. “Dick” Bakken, 88, of La Crosse, passed away Sunday December 28, 2014 at the Bethany St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse. He was born September 14, 1926 to Elmer and Minnie (Krause) Bakken. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chaseburg.  In 1952, he married Donna Mae Gerth at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Crosse.  The couple farmed on the family home farm near Genoa.  They were blessed with two sons, Richard, Jr. and James.  Dick served as a supervisor for over ten years on the Bergen Township Board and also one term on the Vernon County Board of Supervisors.



Shirley E. Wilson, 72, of Chaseburg

shirley wilson

Shirley E. Wilson, 72, of Chaseburg, died Saturday December 20, 2014 at her home in Chaseburg.  She was born January 21, 1942 in rural Chaseburg to Gordon and Ethelyn (Dummer) Ostreng. She married Merton “Pat” Wilson on December 28, 1957 at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chaseburg. The couple lived in Aurora, Illinois for 30 years.  After raising her children, Shirley worked at Loctite in Aurora for 12 years.  In 1994 the couple moved back to Chaseburg where Shirley worked at the Chaseburg Market and then Organic Valley.  She was member of the Chaseburg American Legion Auxiliary and the Lower Coon Valley Lutheran Church and WELCA.  Shirley loved spending time with her family.



Ervin J. Jacobson, 87, of Coon Valley

ervin jacobson

flag Ervin J. Jacobson, 87, of Coon Valley, passed away Monday December 15, 2014 at Norseland Nursing Home in Westby.  Ervin was born August 15, 1927 to John and Ella (Nelson) Jacobson in Coon Valley.  He attended grade school in Coon Valley and graduated from Westby High School in 1945.  Shortly after graduation he joined the Navy and served as a Fireman 1st Class.  After the Navy, Ervin worked at the Coon Valley Feed Mill for 4 years.  He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and he served as Army Corporal in Germany from 1950 to 1952.  For 37 years he was employed by the Trane Company in La Crosse.



Betty L. Halvorson, 87, Coon Valley/La Crosse

betty halvorson

Betty L. Halvorson, 87, of La Crosse and formerly of Coon Valley, died at Hillview Health Care Center on December 9, 2014.  She was born in Coon Valley on February 18, 1927 to Earl and Lisa (Gullord) Spellum.  Betty was baptized and confirmed in the Upper Coon Valley Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church.  She attended Central and Westby high schools.  After graduation, she was employed at Camp McCoy and at Grant’s in La Crosse before going to work for the Coon Valley Post Office.  She married Carl Halvorson on June 5, 1956 and subsequently stayed home to raise their children.  Carl and Betty were married for 54 years until his death in 2010.



Louis L. Franks, 75, of Viroqua

Louis Larry Franks, 75, of Viroqua, passed away Tuesday, December 2 at the Bland-Bekkedal Center from complications due to Parkinson's. He was born July 9, 1939, to Louis and Genevieve (Stout) Franks. He graduated from West Lima in 1957. Louis worked for the Viroqua school district for 31 years. He was an avid deer hunter, going out whenever he had the chance.



James E. Rach, 90, of Chaseburg

james rach

James Earl Rach, 90, of Chaseburg passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Saturday, November, 29, 2014 at home.  He was born April 21, 1924, to Frank and Emma (Martin) Rach in Chaseburg, WI.  He was baptized, confirmed, and a life-long member of St. Peter's Chaseburg. Jim married Illa Jean Smith on October 29, 1949.  Illa and infant son passed away January 2, 1951.  He married Margaret Peterson March 21, 1953. They were blessed with 7 children and 61 years of marriage.

Jim worked for several farmers before owning his own farm and working at Trane Co. for 38 years.   He played ball for a couple of different teams.  He loved farming, cutting wood for burning, and ice fishing.  He spent many hours playing with his children whom he loved very much.



Arnold W. Manske, 85, of rural Viroqua

arnold manske

flagArnold W. Manske, 85, passed away Monday November 24, 2014 at his rural Viroqua home in the township of Harmony.  Arnold was born July 20, 1929 in the township of Harmony to Walter and Selma (Manske) Manske.  He was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at Chaseburg where he was a long time member.  Arnold graduated from Viroqua High School in 1947.  He was a Korean War veteran where he was a Corporal and combat veteran in the 2nd Army Division.  On May 21, 1955 he was united in marriage to Clarice M. Role at Vang Lutheran Church at rural Westby.  Arnold and Clarice farmed their entire married life in the township of Harmony and raised two sons, Calvin and Charles who also helped their parents with farm work.  Arnold also worked at Trane Company in La Crosse for 39 years, retiring in 1993.   He was a member of the Trane 25 year club, Chaseburg Snowtrailers Club, Chaseburg American Legion Post #202 and the Coon Creek VFW Post #10532. For many years he owned and worked at Cal’s Place bar in downtown Chaseburg where he met many people, which he greatly enjoyed.  Arnold also enjoyed many big game hunting trips in many western states, the Arctic Circle, and on the farm with his two sons, along with fishing and hunting in Canada. He liked to go camping in Canada, Wisconsin and in the winter, Arnold and Clarice enjoyed vacation to Texas where Arnold did some deep sea fishing.  They loved snowmobile trips to northern Wisconsin with their many friends and also a trip to Yellowstone Park with the Chaseburg Snowtrailers.  There was also many boat trips down the Mississippi River with many of their friends.


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