Obituaries for Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Compiled by Tribune staff

Robert E. Steele

Robert E. Steele, 79, of La Crosse, died on Monday, Aug. 13, 2001, in his home. He was born on Jan. 6, 1922, in Little Rock, Ark., to Everett and Vonnie (Meachem) Steele. Bob served in the United Stated Army during World War II.

On Jan. 21, 1942, he married Elaine Knothe in La Crosse. Bob had worked as a machine operator for the Paper Calmenson Co. for over 20 years. He was a lifetime member of Thomas L. Rooney VFW Post 1530 in La Crosse. He enjoyed camping, gardening and especially fishing.

In addition to his wife, Elaine, Bob is survived by three daughters: Sharon Van Riper of Holmen, Wis., and Sandra Veglahn and Susan (Tom) Hill, both of La Crosse; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Robert Jr.; a daughter, Sheila Dawn Steele; and two grandchildren, Scott Hill and Ronald Van Riper Jr.; along with three brothers and five sisters.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. at the Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home, La Crosse, with Rev. Robert Wassermann officiating. Burial with military honors provided by Thomas L. Rooney VFW Post 1530 will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. and again on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services.

Mick James Skadson

LA CRESCENT, Minn. - Mick James Skadson, infant son of Mark and Stacy (Fisher) Skadson, La Crescent, died on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2001, in Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse.

Never to have known you, but to have loved you,

Never to have held you, the way moms and dads do.

With you we bury our hopes and dreams

For an unknown child never seen.

But also we bury the love in our hearts

And the sadness of knowing that we must part.

And we pray to God to do for you

All the things that we would like to do.

And to keep our baby safe from harm

To laugh and frolic in springtime's arms.


Mom, Dad and Mariah

Walter W. 'Buck' Ness

Walter W. "Buck" Ness, 72, of La Crosse, died on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001, at the Hillview Health Care Center. He was born on March 13, 1929, in La Crosse, to Walter and Frances (Herlitzka) Ness. He married Lucille G. Gibson on April 15, 1950, in La Crosse. She died on June 10, 1972. Buck was a self-employed tool and die maker and worked for several La Crosse area companies as well. He was an avid walleye fisherman and enjoyed life.

Buck will be missed by his family and his many friends at Kramer's Bar and Grill and Betty's Sports Inn.

Three sons survive him, Daniel (Sheri) Ness of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Thomas and James (Mary) Ness, both of La Crosse; his former daughter-in-law, Marilyn "Molly" Ness of Holmen, Wis.; seven grandchildren, Gretchen, Elliot, Heather, Jamie, Kadie, Steven and Jonathan Ness; four great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Dorothy (Stephen) Gofus of Onalaska, Wis., and Charlotte Dayton of La Crosse.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Nancy in 1997; and a sister, Delores Halas in February of 2001.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, 2001, at the Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home, La Crosse. The Rev. William J. Matzek will officiate. Following services, Buck's body will be cremated and his cremated remains will be buried at the Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery at a later date. Friends may call at the funeral home on Thursday from 12:30 p.m. until the time of service.

Gladys B. Kuecker

CALEDONIA, Minn. - Gladys B. Kuecker, 90, of Caledonia, died Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001, at the Caledonia Lutheran Home.

She was born Dec. 11, 1910, in Mabel, Minn., to Carl and Anna (Haagenson) Rask. On Oct. 30, 1930, Gladys married Theodore Kuecker and they celebrated 70 years of marriage this last year. Together they farmed in Mayville township and then Union Ridge, Union township, before moving to Caledonia in 1979. Ted preceded Gladys in death on June 26 of this year. Gladys enjoyed spending her time with family and friends. She was active with Senior Citizens, Homemakers and card clubs. Gladys loved to take pictures and share them with others. She also enjoyed cooking, sewing, and crocheting, and had made several items for her family.

Survivors include one sister, Alvina Rask of Caledonia; three brothers, Orville (Elna) Rask of Caledonia, Raymond (Liela) Rask of La Crescent, Minn., Donald (Jacqueline) Rask of Caledonia; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, Gladys was preceded in death by her parents; and three sisters, Berdella Lien, Clarise Lien and Dolores Rask.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2001, at 11 a.m. from St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, 650 N. Kingston St., Caledonia. Rev. Thomas Schultz will officiate. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Caledonia. Friends may call at the church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of service. The Haugen-Roble-Jandt Funeral Home, Caledonia, is in charge of arrangements.

Frieda Ida Solie

SPRING GROVE, Minn. - Frieda Ida Solie, 92, of Spring Grove, died Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001, at Tweeten Health Services in Spring Grove. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Spring Grove. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Roble Funeral Home in Spring Grove, and at the church on Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m.

Ruth Sanford

VIOLA, Wis. - Ruth Sanford, 95, formerly of Viola, died Thursday, Aug. 9, 2001, in Sun City Center, Fla. She was born on Aug. 10, 1905, in Fountain City, Wis., to Paul and Pauline Ruediger. Her father had immigrated to Wisconsin from Germany in 1892. As a youth, she was an avid swimmer and once did a six-mile swim across the Mississippi from her native Fountain City.

She graduated from State Normal School in La Crosse in June of 1925, and joined the faculty of Viola High School to teach history in the fall of 1925. In subsequent years, she taught in Palmyra, Wis., and was employed by the Milwaukee Recreation Department.

Ruth returned to Viola in 1930, and on July 17, 1932, was married to Otto Sanford who was employed at the Farmers State Bank in Viola. She taught English and was school librarian at Viola High School for many years. She also taught English at La Farge High School for a few years and served on the Viola school board.

After Otto retired as president of the Farmers State Bank, they moved to Sunrise, Fla., in 1969, to be near their son and his family. Otto preceded Ruth in death in 1975. Ruth enjoyed her retirement years with many activities, including playing bridge, reading and traveling with her son and family.

She is survived by her son, Don and wife Nancy of Sun City Center; and two granddaughters, Janis (Charles) Liotta of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Nicole (Danny) Brooks of Novi, Mich. Inaddition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her brother, Judge George P. Ruediger of La Crosse; an older sister, Florence of Milwaukee; and her twin sister, Rachel of Green Bay, Wis.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m .on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2001, in the Viola United Methodist Church. The Rev. Doris Richardson Clark will officiate, with burial in the Viola Cemetery. Friends may call at the Henthorn Memorial Center in Viola on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and at the church on Saturday after 10 a.m. The Larson Funeral Home, Viroqua, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Lottie Sime

READSTOWN, Wis. - Lottie Sime, 79, of Readstown, passed away on Monday, Aug. 13, 2001, at the Sannes Skogdalen Nursing Home in Soldiers Grove.

She was born on Sept. 13, 1921, at Comfort, in Jones County, N.C., to Charles and Mattie (Houston) Quinn.

She attended local schools in Jones County, and later attended Gainger High School in Kinston, N.C., after the family moved to that city.

She worked at the Kinston Cotton Mill and later the Humphries Drug Store in Kinston, prior to her marriage to Henry Sime of Readstown on Sept. 22, 1944, in Bennettsville, S.C. She moved to Readstown after their marriage and lived with Henry's parents, John and Helen Sime, until Henry returned from his Naval service in the Pacific Theatre. For the rest of their married lives, Lottie and Henry worked together in the funeral business in Readstown. Henry passed away on June 23, 1996.

Among her hobbies were reading, photography, gardening and doll collecting. She was a charter member of Peace Lutheran Church and was the first treasurer of that congregation. For a number of years, she wrote for the Readstown Special community paper.

She is survived by her son, John (Jan) Sime of Readstown; one grandson, Garrett (Mary) Perkins of Readstown; four great-grandchildren, Andrew, Alexandra, Katrina and Tristan, all of Readstown; one sister, Gladys Frazier of Kinston; two brothers, Waitsell (Mattie) Quinn of Kinston and Warren Quinn of Kinston; one brother-in-law, Leonard Eaton of Kinston; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

She was preceded in death by her parents; six brothers, Carl, Edward, Theodore, Joseph, Clayton and infant Matthew; and three sisters, Minnie Bostic, Lavaner Swindell and Bela Eaton.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, Aug. 17, 2001, at 11 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Readstown. Pastor Peter Beckstrand will officiate and burial will be in the Readstown Cemetery. Friends may call at the Sime Funeral Home in Readstown from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, and at the church on Friday from 10:30 a.m. until time of services.

Norman A. Biebel

Norman A. Biebel, 86, of La Crosse, died Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001, in his home. He was born in Oshkosh, Wis., on March 3, 1915, to Adam and Martha (Goetz) Biebel. He married Ethel Niemuth on June 7, 1937, in Oshkosh. He retired as manager and member of the board of directors from the T.C. Esser Co. after 44 years, starting as a glazier.

He was a past member of the Elks; Bishop Schwebach 4th degree Knights of Columbus; the Southside Business Mens Club, the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce; past president of the La Crosse Jaycees; president and chairman of the board of La Crosse Builders Exchange; and a board member of the La Crosse Country Club. He was an avid golfer, traveler, fisherman and hunter.

Norman is survived by his wife Ethel; two daughters, Joan (Guyal) Buckley of La Crosse and Jean (Charles) Primm of Schaumburg, Ill.; ten grandchildren, Debi Primm, Daniel (Sandy) Primm, Cheryl (Bradley) Willis of Hoffman Estates, Ill., Brian (Sherrie) Alberts, Susan (Michael) Konop of La Crosse, Molly (Thomas) Stenger of Onalaska, Wis., Michael (Dawn) Alberts of Eagon, Minn., Guyal (Tammy) Buckley of Rosemount, Minn., David (Jennifer) Buckley of Lakeville, Minn., and Linda (Gavin) Waldeck of Boerne, Texas; 18 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Roy, Clarence and Floyd; and one great-grandson, Connor.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2001, at 11 a.m. at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish in St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 2006 Weston St. Rev. Joseph Rafacz will officiate, with entombment to be in the St. Francis of Assisi Mausoleum in the Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse. Friends and family may call at the church on Thursday from 10 a.m. until the time of services. Memorials are preferred.

The Blaschke Funeral Homes of La Crosse are assisting the family.

Robert E. Brye

COON VALLEY, Wis. - Robert E. Brye, 60, of Coon Valley, died Sunday Aug. 12, 2001, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse. He was born July 22, 1941, in La Crosse, to Emil and Alice (Stromstad) Brye. Robert was baptized, confirmed and a lifelong member of the Coon Valley Lutheran Church. On Oct. 16, 1965, he married Verna Klomsten in Coon Valley.

Robert farmed for several years, then worked at several places including Westby Cenex, Gritz Harvestore, as manager of the Cashton Co-op Elevator, the Coulee Golf Bowl and was currently groundskeeper at Snowflake Golf and Ski, rural Westby. He was a member of the Coon Valley Conservation Club. Robert was an avid outdoorsman, deer hunter, gardener and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Verna; a son, Daryl (Rhonda) of Coon Valley; a daughter, Kimberly (Patrick) Cade of Westby; five grandchildren, Casey and Brandon Brye and Brett, Brynn and Riley Cade; two sisters Sue (Ralph) Frydenlund and Elizabeth (Gordon) Hellwig both of Coon Valley; four brothers, Donald of Coon Valley, David of Puebla, Mexico, Melvin (Vicki) of Coon Valley and Joseph (Sonia) of La Crosse; special family member Rolly Gaskell; and aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Emil on July 23, 1979; mother, Alice on May 18, 1996; father- and mother-in-law, Norman and Myra Klomsten; a sister-in-law Margaret Peterson; and a brother-in-law Harlan O. Peterson.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Aug. 16, 2001, at 11 a.m. at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church. Rev. Jack Mithelman will officiate, with burial in the church cemetery. Friends may call on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley and at the church on Thursday from 10 a.m. until time of services.

Merle John Gengler

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. - Merle John Gengler, 55, of Kirksville, died Saturday, Aug. 11, 2001, in the University of Missouri Hospital & Clinics, Columbia, Mo. He was born Aug. 3, 1946, in Caledonia, Minn. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. today and funeral services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, both in the Travis-Noe Funeral Home, Kirksville. Additional visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Friday in the McCormick Funeral Home, and will be followed by graveside services at 4 p.m. Friday in Calvary Cemetery, both in Caledonia. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

Irene Rave

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. - Irene Rave, 77, of Black River Falls, died Saturday, Aug. 11, 2001, in Rolling Hills Nursing Home, Sparta. Native American Church services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Irene Rave residence, 619 Greengrass Circle, Sand Pillow Village, and burial will be in Decorah Cemetery, both rural Black River Falls. Continuous visitation and Native American Church prayer services will be from 3 p.m. today until 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Rave residence. The Buswell Funeral Home, Black River Falls, is serving the family.

Lawrence W. 'Larry' Dolbee

ONALASKA, Wis. - Larry Dolbee, 73, of Onalaska, passed away Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001, at Winona Community Memorial Hospital.

Larry was born June 24, 1928, in East Lansing, Mich., to Blanche and Walter Dolbee. He graduated from Michigan State University in East Lansing, wearing the colors of "Green and White" in his hears everyday of his life and he proudly served his country in the Army Airborne.

He worked in the heavy-duty truck business for many years, including 22 years at Diamond Reo in Lansing, Mich., and 20 plus years at Mack Trucks of La Crosse and River States Truck. After retirement, Larry enjoyed working with his loving wife on the Julia Belle Swain, as well as driving for enterprise.

He is survived by his bride of 51 years, Marylu; his three devoted children, Kathy (Mike) Weeks of La Crosse, Karen Dolbee of Onalaska, Gary (Gail) Dolbee of Big Rapids, Mich.; his four grandchildren, whom he adored, Troy (Peggy) Weeks of Trempealeau, Wis., Todd (Gretchen) Weeks of Orlando, Flax, Wesley Dolbee of Grand Rapids, Mich., Megan Dolbee of Big Rapids, Mich.; and last but not least his three great-grandchildren, Alicia, Alex and Beth of Trempealeau. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings.

A celebration of Larry's life will be held on the Julia Belle Swain at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, 2001, at Riverside Park in La Crosse, for his family and friends in accordance with his wishes.

The family wishes to send a special thanks to the supportive staff at Winona Community Memorial Hospital and to the people of Winona.

Memorials preferred to Winona Community Memorial Hospital and a single red rose brought to the celebration would be a wonderful symbol of love.

Carole (Metcalfe) Tronick

CLIVE, Iowa - Carole (Metcalfe) Tronick, 46, died of ovarian cancer on Aug. 6, 2001, at her home in Clive. Mrs. Tronick was born on Aug. 18, 1954, in Dixon, Ill. She moved to the Des Moines, Iowa area 25 years ago. She married Thomas Tronick in Des Moines in June, 1979. She was associated with the Des Moines Public Schools since 1978. She was assistant principal at Mann-Watrous School. Carole enjoyed writing, gardening and reading.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas; a son, Andrew of Clive; her parents, Estella and Richard Metcalfe of Sterling, Ill.; two brothers, Jeffrey Metcalfe of Mesa, Ariz., and David Metcalfe of Decatur, Ill.; her sister-in-law, Mary Tronick of Arlington, Va.; and her father-in-law, Willard Tronick of La Crosse.

Memorial services were held on Aug. 9, 2001, in Clive, Iowa.

Lyndon H. Oldenburg

HOLMEN, Wis. - Lyndon H. Oldenburg, 65, passed away Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001, at his home. He was born in La Crosse, Sept. 6, 1935, to Harold and Jess (Nagel) Oldenburg. Lyn was an army veteran of the Korean Conflict. On April 26, 1958, he married Elizabeth Luedke. He owned and operated La Crosse Home Improvement and in 1972, he started Ray's Seamless Gutters. He later passed the gutter business on to his son, Harold, who still operates it today.

Lyn is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Elizabeth; two daughters, Elizabeth Henthorn and Heather (Jeff) Hutschenreuter, both of Centerville, Wis.; one son, Harold, and his fiancée, Karmen Torgerson, of Holmen, Wis.; seven grandchildren, Courtney and Jessica Henthorn, Anna, Rebecca and Joseph Ziegler, Lauren Torgerson, and Jake Hutschenreuter; two great-grandchildren, Tina and Sampson; one sister, Abigail (Russ) Hoffman of La Crosse; several nieces and nephews; and a very special friend, Bob Slimmen.

Lyn is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Merrill.

God saw that you were weary and then he took you home,

Where you will feel peace and love in heaven you shall roam.

We will miss you always in our hearts you will remain,

But thoughts of you in the arms of God will help to ease our pain.

We all knew someday we'd lose you, we just hoped not quite so soon,

But we'll be together again someday, just beyond the moon.


There will be a memorial service on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Oak Grove Crematorium Chapel, 1407 La Crosse St., La Crosse. Relatives and friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Memorials preferred.

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