Obituaries

Bonnie E. Kielas

Bonnie E. Kielas, 50, passed away in Madison.  She was born October 5, 1966 in Minneapolis, MN to Joseph Kielas and Karon Althaus. She graduated from GET High School in 1985.  Survivors include her mother Karon (Ken McClurg) Althaus of Coon Valley; her father Joseph (Salli) Kielas of Wilcox, AZ; 3 sisters, Bernadette Valenzuela of Chocise, AZ, Bridget (Gordon) Kielas-Fecyk of Shawano and Becky (Damon) King of Blair and several nieces and nephews.

 

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Bruce A. Theige, 67, of Boyd/Westby

Bruce A. Theige, 67, of Boyd and formerly of Westby, died Monday May 8, 2017 in Boyd.  He was born March 31, 1950 to Arthur and Rena (Williams) Theige in Boscobel.  Bruce was baptized and confirmed at the Vang Lutheran Church.  He helped his dad on the farm growing up. Bruce had made his home, along with his brother Monte, at Paradise Living in Boyd the last several years.  He loved to garden.

Survivors include his mother, Rena of La Crosse; 2 sisters, Lynne (Marty) Stenslien of Westby and Nancy Forde of Augusta and 2 brothers, Barry of La Crosse and Monte of Boyd.

He was preceded in death by his father, Art in 2014 and his sister, Cathy Jo in 2015.

 

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Mathilda E. Hass, 90, of Westby

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Mathilda Evelyn Hass, 90, of Westby, passed away Saturday morning May 6, 2017 at the Bethel Home in Viroqua. She was born June 20, 1926 to Albert and Lena (Erickson) Fladhammer. She was the youngest of six children. Mathilda grew up on a farm and attended Enterprise School.  At 19 she married Edward Hass at the Zion Lutheran Church, rural Viroqua on June 8, 1945.  Mathilda and Edward were married for 60 years.  They farmed west of Viroqua for many years before moving to Stoddard. In 1970 they bought a house in Westby where Mathilda lived until she became a resident of the Bethel Home.  Mathilda loved her flower beds and garden.  She spent many hours in her yard.  Hard work was not a stranger to her.  She would also spend many hours in her kitchen canning all the vegetables and fruits for winter.  She loved to bake and was well known by friends for her rhubarb cake and banana nut bread.  She took great pride in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

 

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Rita L. (Nelson) Middleman, 44 of Coon Valley

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Rita Lorraine (Nelson) Middleman, 44 of Coon Valley, WI went home to be with the Lord on May 2, 2017. She was born on July 24, 1972 in La Crosse to Dale & Kay (Kuester) Nelson. Rita graduated from Westby High School in 1990.

She graduated from Trinity Bible College with a degree in education. Rita lived & taught in several places including Detroit, MI, Denver, CO, Oahu, HI, Nampa, ID, and Gdansk, Poland. She also worked at Chileda in La Crosse. On March 29, 2015 Rita married the love of her life Carnell Middleman Sr. Rita enjoyed reading, playing board games, trivia, watching CCV baseball, traveling, Jeopardy, and spending time with family. Survivors include her parents, her husband, children Carnell Jr., Carlos and Miya; sisters Debra (Michael) Verstegen, and their children MaKayla & Marisa; Joanne (Joshua) Mattia; a brother John (Simone) Nelson, and their children Bryce, Kyler, Barry, Tomeka, Baronica & Alexandra and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

 

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John "Jack" W. Berg, 88, of Coon Valley

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John “Jack” W. Berg, 88, of Coon Valley died Saturday April 1, 2017 at the Bethel Home in Viroqua after a short illness.  He was born February 7, 1929 to John and Agnes (Strupp) Berg on a farm on North Ridge near Coon Valley.  He was baptized and confirmed at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church where he was a lifelong member. Jack married Shirley Bakken in 1956 at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church.  He attended school on North Ridge until 8th grade and then stayed home to help farm. Jack got his driver’s license at 14 so he could help with farming. He worked at many farms on the ridge and then got a truck driving job with Gus Frederick in Coon Valley. He also worked for Louis and Sam Gilbertson Construction and at the Texaco Station for Bud Silha in Coon Valley.  Jack was the Village of Coon Valley Maintenance and Utilities Supervisor for many years, retiring in 1992.

Jack was a past president of the Coon Valley Lions Club, a 23 year board member of the Coon Valley Telephone Company, a long time Vernon County Deputy and former Coon Valley village board member.

 

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Robert C. Kapanke, 86, of Chaseburg

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Robert C. Kapanke, 86, of Chaseburg, died Monday March 20, 2017 at Bethany Riverside in La Crosse. He was born July 8, 1930 to Carl and Louise (Dagel) Kapanke.  He was a lifelong member of the Hamburg Lutheran Church, rural Chaseburg.  Robert farmed on Brinkman Ridge all of his life.  He loved farming – his Holstein cattle and planting and harvesting corn and hay. He will also be warmly remembered by the many hunters who hunted on his land and told stories in his barn.

 

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Lester E. Wrobel, 99, of Chaseburg

Lester Ervin Wrobel, 99, of Chaseburg was called home to our Father in Heaven on February 24, 2017.

He was born September 29, 1917, in the town of Harmony, Vernon County, WI to Rudolph and Louise (Schultz) Wrobel. Lester was baptized on November 11, 1917, and confirmed on May 1, 1932, by the Rev. E.H. Palechek at St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chaseburg, WI.He married Esther Beitlich on June 4, 1942, at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stoddard, WI.  They farmed their entire married life near Chaseburg for 55 years until 1997 when Esther departed this earth for her eternal home in Heaven.  He was a longtime member of St. Peter's Hamburg Evangelical Lutheran Church.Lester was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He enjoyed fishing, farming, playing any card game, and hunting.  He will be sadly missed by his family and friends.

 

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Elaine E. DeBuhr, 93, of Coon Valley

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Elaine E. DeBuhr,  93, of La Crosse and formerly of Coon Valley, passed away Wednesday, February 15, in La Crosse, WI after a brief illness.  Born to Elnor and Esther (Knutson) Anderson in Coon Valley, she lived in Coon Valley and Lake Geneva in her childhood, returning to Westby where she graduated from Westby High School.  She attended Luther College, where she met her future husband, Calvin DeBuhr.  Following her graduation in 1944 she began a teaching career in Spring Grove, MN.

Elaine and Cal were married on July 12, 1947, at Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran church. Cal’s 20-year career in the Navy took them all over the U.S.A.  After Cal’s retirement from the Navy in 1963, they settled in St. Paul, MN and eventually retired to Coon Valley in 1983. Although Elaine traveled widely, she always thought of Coon Valley and the surrounding area as the most beautiful in the world.

 

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Thomas "Tom" L. Tollackson, 51, Chaseburg

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Thomas “Tom” L. Tollackson, 51, of Chaseburg, died Friday February 10, 2017 at his home of natural causes.  He was born December 25, 1965 in Viroqua to Larry and Judy (Lenser) Tollackson.  Tom was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chaseburg.  He graduated from Westby High School in 1984.  Tom worked at La Crosse Footwear until they closed and then at Organic Valley in Chaseburg until 2015.  He was an avid golfer and in his earlier years enjoyed hunting and playing softball.  Tom had a special bond with his nieces and enjoyed special times with them including golf and other sporting events.

 

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David B. Johnson, 84, of Chaseburg

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flagDavid Bryce Johnson, 84, of Chaseburg, Wisconsin, passed away on February 3, 2017, surrounded by family and loved ones. David was born on Nov. 15, 1932, in LaCrosse WI and lived most of his life in Chaseburg.  David married Nancy Meyer on September 20, 1952 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Westby.

He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and upon discharge, returned to Chaseburg to work at the Chaseburg Creamery where he became a licensed, award-winning buttermaker.  Additionally, he farmed the dairy farm started by his grandfather (Andrew Johnson).  This was the same farm where as a young child, with his older sister, he delivered milk to village customers.

He would later become the Postmaster in Chaseburg for 36 years where many will remember him as he rode his bicycle to work every day during good weather.  He was a lifelong member of the Chaseburg Legion Post 202 and served as the Legion Commander for many years.  He was also a lifelong dairyman having lived on the village dairy farm and continued to farm until 1985.  David was always quick to smile and laugh and loved sharing a good joke. While not working his two jobs, he enjoyed ball games, his cars and pickup trucks.

 

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