Obituaries

Doug J. Sebranek, 52, of Coon Valley

doug sebranek

Doug J Sebranek, 52, of Coon Valley, died suddenly Thursday evening December 31, 2015.  He was born July 10, 1963 in La Crosse to Virgil and Joyce (Dorschied) Sebranek.  He graduated from Onalaska High School in 1981.  Doug was passionate about music and he was instrumental in bringing exceptional musicians to the Driftless region.  He was a creator and promoter of Larryfest Music Festival in La Farge and Leo and Leona’s Tavern in Newburg Corners.  He was also an avid Green Bay Packer fan.

Survivors include his siblings, Arnie (Shirley) Sebranek of Onalaska, Larry (Mary) Sebranek of La Crosse, Donna (Ron) Johnson of La Farge, Jim Sebranek (special friend Pat Nestor) of West Salem and Dan (Mary) Sebranek of Coon Valley; aunts Becky Winters of La Farge, Evelyn Erlandson of Hillsboro and Esther Sebranek of La Crosse; an uncle John Pesik of Viroqua; and lifetime friend Mark Grade.  He will also be missed by his cousins, nieces, nephews, great niece and nephews and a host of friends. He was proceeded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Pam Sebranek and great nephew Henry Thomas.

 

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Ruth H. Schroeder, 92, of Chaseburg

ruth schroeder

Ruth H. Schroeder, 92, of Chaseburg, died Sunday December 27, 2015 at the Bethel Home in Viroqua where she had been a resident the past 2 years. She was born August 28, 1923 at rural Westby to Herman and Olga (Skaug) Bergum.  Ruth was baptized and confirmed in Bethel Lutheran Church in Esofea.  She graduated from Westby High School and attended Vernon County Normal School.  On June 20, 1946 she married Paul Schroeder at Vang Lutheran Church. The couple farmed at rural Chaseburg for many years.  Paul died in 1985. Ruth moved to the village of Chaseburg in 1994.  She was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Chaseburg where she was active in Ladies Aid and served on various committees.  Ruth enjoyed dancing and listening to music.

 

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Lester V. Gilbertson, 92, of Coon Valley

lester gilbertson

flagLester V. Gilbertson, 92, of Coon Valley died Sunday December 13, 2015 at Norseland Nursing Home in Westby. He was born December 23, 1922 to Gustave and Inga (Everson) Gilbertson.  He graduated from Westby High School in 1941.  Lester then worked for his father in the furniture and funeral business in Coon Valley before and after serving in World War II. He served his country in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for 33 months from April 1943 to January 1946 in North Africa, India, Burma and China.  He was with Dr. Gordon Seagrave’s unit, a portable medical/surgical unit, which was mostly in Burma during which he received the Bronze Star.  He served as Postmaster in Coon Valley from July 1953 to January 1984.

On April 27, 1946 he married Betty Bruring, the love of his life, in La Crosse.  They spent their entire married life in Coon Valley until he became a resident of Norseland Nursing Home in Westby in February 2014.  He was honored to have belonged to the Coon Valley American Legion Post 116 for over 70 years.  He was a faithful member of the Coon Valley Lutheran Church and served on its Council.  He also served on the church cemetery board for over 30 years.  Lester was privileged to and very proud to have taken the Freedom Honor Flight to Washington D.C. on September 22, 2012.

 

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Allen R. Garvens, 63, Blair/Genoa

Allen R. Garvens, 63, of Blair and formerly of Genoa, died Friday November 27, 2015 at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.  In accordance with his wishes, there will be no services.

 

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Eugene "Gene" G. Groth, 70, of Coon Valley

eugene groth

flagEugene “Gene” G. Groth, 70 of Coon Valley, died Saturday October 31, 2015 at his home.  He was born June 17, 1945 in La Crosse to George and Arlene (Beier) Groth. Gene served in the U.S. Navy from 1964-67 aboard the destroyer USS Hazelwood and subtender USS Canopus. He then served in the Wisconsin National Guard from 1968 – 72. Gene married Marsha Oliver on April 27, 2002 and had 13 wonderful years together.  He was a retired carpenter and construction worker and enjoyed fishing, NASCAR and woodworking in his spare time.

 

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Gregory G. Ghelfi, 85, of Genoa

Gregory G. Ghelfi, 85, of Genoa, died Saturday October 24, 2015 at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. 

 

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Marjorie L. Ophus, 89, of Coon Valley

marjorie ophus

Marjorie L. Ophus, 89, of Coon Valley died Thursday October 1, 2015 at Hillview Health Care Center in LaCrosse where she had been a resident the past 3 months.  She was born February 16, 1926 in Victory, Wisconsin to Freeman and Alvina (Catanau) Sidie.  She married Henry Ophus on June 14, 1945 in Coon Valley.  The couple lived on North Ridge, rural Coon Valley until retiring to the village of Coon Valley in 1977.  Henry died February 6, 1978.  Marjorie was a member of the Coon Valley Lutheran Church and WELCA where she was active with quilting. She also enjoyed her morning walks with Elaine DeBuhr for many years and was an avid reader.

 

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Harland G. Semke, 93, LaCrosse/Coon Valley

harland semke

Harland G. Semke, 93, of La Crosse and formerly of rural Coon Valley, received the crown of life that God had promised through faith in Jesus Christ Thursday September 24, 2015. He had been a resident of Hillview Health Care Center the last 3 years.  Harland was born May 30, 1922 the son of George and Ida (Kotzke) Semke in rural Coon Valley.   He was baptized at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chaseburg and confirmed at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church.  He attended Victory School on North Ridge.  Harland was united in marriage to Helen Gronvold on June 30, 1949 at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The Lord blessed them with three children, Kevin, Jerene and Karl.  The couple farmed the century Semke home farm on North Ridge, rural Coon Valley for many years.  Harland enjoyed farming and doing custom work for area farmers. He was a faithful, lifelong member of St. Peter’s Ev. Lutheran Church where he served as council president and treasurer, the cemetery board, and Luther High delegate. He was a member of the Coon Valley Lions Club, the Vernon County Farm Bureau, Washington Town Board and the La Crosse County Holstein Breeders.  In retirement he was employed at Jerry’s Place and Baus Catering.

 

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Jerome O. Rudie, 56, of rural Westby

Jerome “Rude Dog” O. Rudie, 56, of rural Westby, died Friday September 18, 2015 at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.  He was born November 20, 1958 to Edwin and Hazel (Ihle) Rudie in La Crosse. Jerome was baptized and confirmed at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church. He graduated from Westby High School in 1977 followed by a year at WWTC in La Crosse.  Jerome worked for a sign company in La Crosse for 13 years and then for the State of Wisconsin as a prison guard for 13 years until 2008 when a disability led to his retirement. He married the love of his life, Betty (Niemeyer) Avila on December 8, 1991 at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church.  Betty died January 23, 2008.  Jerome loved spending time with family and friends and his work as a prison guard. He enjoyed watching the Chaseburg-Coon Valley Blues baseball at the Coon Valley Park and was a great fan of the Badgers, Brewers and Packers.

 

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Thomas "Tom" C. Floyd, 68, of Chaseburg

tom floyd

flagThomas “Tom” C. Floyd, 68, of Chaseburg passed into eternal life on Monday August 24, 2015 surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer.  He was born August 5, 1947 to Charles and Lydia (Bolman) Floyd in Racine.  Tom married Linda Sepenski on January 4, 1966 and they divorced in 2000.  He married Sharon Loefflad on October 23, 2002.  Tom served in the U.S. Army and was a member of the Chaseburg American Legion Post #202 and the Chaseburg Rod and Gun Club. He enjoyed hunting, watching sports and westerns, playing golf and spending time with family.  Tom was an avid Packer, Badger and Brewer fan and deeply loved his dogs. His favorite song was “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart.

 

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