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Obituaries for Friday, March 28, 2008

Ruth A. Bertling | Patricia M. Brown | Wyman K. Ender | Robert "Rob" Fluekiger | Ragna Mathilda Gates | Diane M. Hanson | Kent Lee Krause | Helen F. Libbey | James T. Lindsay | Robert L. "Mitch" Mitchell | Clarence "Bing" J. Nerison | David E. Pollack | Dane Riley Schnitzler | Mary Weber

Ruth A. Bertling

CASHTON, Wis. - Ruth A. Bertling, 90, of Cashton passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at Vernon Manor in Viroqua, Wis.

She was born April 2, 1917, in Wild Horse Colo., to John and Belinda (Neprud) Dahl. The family moved back to Westby, Wis., in 1923. Ruth graduated from Westby High School as salutatorian in 1935. She then attended Vernon County Normal and graduated in 1936.

Ruth was united in marriage with Orval J. Bertling on Feb. 5, 1938, in Decorah, Iowa. Together they farmed the Bertling family farm for many years. She was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, teaching Sunday school, holding many offices in the Ladies Aid and was an active member of the church council. Ruth enjoyed cooking and baking, gardening, sewing and spending time with family and friends.

Ruth is survived by one son, John (Jackie) Bertling of Cashton; two daughters, Eileen (Albert) Hagenbuch of Utica, Ill., and Jean (Paul) Hundt of Onalaska, Wis.; a special nephew, James (Terri) Dahl of Corcoran, Minn.; seven grandchildren, John (Robin) Erickson, Kim (Kevin) Stark, Laura Hagenbuch, Johnathan (Kati) Hagenbuch, Douglas (Melissa) Hagenbuch, Nicholas Hundt and Joseph Hundt; seven great-grandchildren, Zachary, Rachael, Konnor, Remmington, Ryder, Isabella and Mae; four sisters-in-law, Lillian Hilden of Westby, Clarissa Bertling of Viroqua, Judith Jothen of Cashton, and Nora Marie Jernander of Cashton; along with many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Orval; a sister, Bertha Dahl; a sister and brother-in law, Ona (Elmer) Stenerson, a brother and sister-in-law, Irvin K. (Rosella) Dahl; five brothers-in-law, Alf Bertling, Oscar Hilden, Marvin Jothen, Harvey Jernander and Norbert Bertling; one nephew, Tom Dahl; and two nieces, Maria Jothen and Mary Zimmerman.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 29, at 2 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, rural Cashton. Pastor Kay Wold will officiate. Burial will follow in Moen (Immanuel) Lutheran Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to Torkelson Funeral Home in Cashton for visitation today from 6 to 8 p.m., and from 1 p.m. until the time of services Saturday at the church. Memorials may be given in memory of Ruth to the Immanuel Lutheran Church or Moen Cemetery. Torkelson Funeral Home of Cashton is assisting the family with arrangements.

Patricia M. Brown

Patricia M. Brown, 56, of La Crosse passed away on Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at St. Catherine's Hospital in Kenosha, Wis.

She was born Oct. 11, 1951, in La Crosse to John J. "Jack" and Leona (Huegel) Knox and graduated from Aquinas High School in 1969. She then moved to California for several years, where she married and had two children, Matthew and Aimee. She and her children returned to La Crosse, where Pat worked at the Ridge View Inn and First Financial, later Associated Bank, for many years. In 1997, she moved to Rockford, Ill., where she continued to work for Associated Bank until ill health forced her to stop working.

Pat was a very humble and giving person who put others' needs ahead of her own. While living in La Crosse when her two children were active in the La Crosse Blue Stars, she spent many hours as a volunteer.

Pat is survived by her two children, Aimee Brown of San Francisco and Matthew (Stefanie) Brown of Lawton, Okla.; six grandchildren, Annette, Julie, Daniel, Jonathan, Ahnisha and Atrevelle; two great-grandchildren, Cameron and Riley; two sisters, Sharon Semke of Racine, Wis., and Sandy (Russ) Lee of La Crosse; a brother, Randy (Gina) Knox of Grapevine, Texas; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Richard and Mike Knox.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman, with the Rev. Michael Gorman officiating. Entombment will follow in Catholic Cemetery. Friends and family may call at the church today from 9 a.m. until the time of services. Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home of La Crosse is assisting the family.

Wyman K. Ender

ONALASKA, Wis. - Wyman Kenneth Ender, 85, of Onalaska died Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse.

He was born in Chicago to George and Clara (Waido) Ender on Aug. 14, 1922. He served in the 8th Army Air Force 445th Bomb Group during WWII as a B-24 bomber pilot, and was recognized with the Air Medal and two Oak Leaf Clusters. Wyman earned a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, and retired as a senior principal design engineer from The Trane Co. after more than 30 years of service.

Wyman married Elizabeth Winkelhaus in Edison Park, Ill., on Sept. 29, 1947.

He served as the Troop 48 Scoutmaster for 10 years, enjoyed travel, outdoor recreation, and was a "Morning Maniac" participant in the La Crosse Exercise Health Program for over 20 years.

Wyman is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; four sons, Keith, Ralph, Douglas and Carl; as well as eight grandchildren, Christopher, Philip, David, Sarah, Jenessa, Emily, Levi and Jacob. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Robert and George.

A memorial service is planned for July 5, 2008, at Onalaska United Methodist Church. Dickinson Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the American Stroke Association, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674.

Robert 'Rob' Fluekiger

CASHTON, Wis. - Robert "Rob" Fluekiger, 22, of Cashton passed away on Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse.

Rob was born on an Army base in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., on Oct. 11, 1985, to Mark and Lillie (Seals) Fluekiger. Rob graduated from Cashton High School and worked as a welder and setup man at Cummings Filtration in Viroqua, Wis.

Rob was a talented artist with a wonderful sense of humor. He was a Dallas Cowboys fan and enjoyed Dragon Ball Z. Rob had a great knack for bringing joy to everyone around him. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, who loved the outdoors. Rob was a treasured son, brother and friend.

Rob is survived by his father, Mark (special friend and second mom, Joan Freehoff of Kenosha, Wis.) Fluekiger of Cashton; his mother, Lillie and stepfather, Mike Swafford of Morristown, Tenn.; a sister, Amber of Morristown; grandmother, Irmgard Fluekiger of Battlefield, Mo.; grandparents, Melvin and Linda Jones of Greeneville, Tenn; girlfriend, Becky Adams; along with aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and other loved ones.

Rob was preceded in death by his grandfather, Edward Fluekiger.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, March 29, at 3 p.m. at Torkelson Funeral Home in Cashton. Family and friends are invited for visitation at the funeral home from noon until the time of service. On line condolences are available at www.torkelsonfuneralhome. com. Even in death, Rob was able to give the gift of life by being an organ donor.

Ragna Mathilda Gates

Ragna M. Gates, 96, of La Crosse passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at St. Joseph's Rehabilitation Center, La Crosse. A funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Monday in Marion Chapel at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, La Crosse. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of services Monday at the church. A complete obituary will follow. Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home of La Crosse is assisting the family.

Diane M. Hanson

Diane M. Hanson, 54, of La Crosse died at her home Thursday, March 27, 2008. Arrangements are pending with Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home of La Crosse. A complete obituary will follow.

Kent Lee Krause

LA FARGE, Wis. - Kent Lee Krause, 52, of La Farge passed away suddenly Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at Vernon Memorial Hospital, Viroqua, Wis.

He was born Oct. 17, 1955, to Ralph and Rose (Hanesworth) Krause of Genoa, Wis. He was a 1974 graduate of Westby (Wis.) High School. On May 19, 1984, he married Lori (Bergum) Krause in Viroqua. Kent and Lori met while working at Vernon Manor in Viroqua, and bought a hobby farm in rural La Farge. Kent liked people and doing good deeds. He enjoyed building, repairing, gardening and being with friends and family. He was with Riverfront Inc. in La Crosse for the past 20 years working with adults with disabilities. Kent and Lori are foster parents and operate a bed and breakfast. Kent was truly devoted to the Lord, his family and friends. He is survived by his best friend and wife, Lori (Bergum) Krause of La Farge; daughter Andrea (Nicholas) Gilberts of Prairie du Chien, Wis.; granddaughter, Mikayla of Prairie du Chien; his parents, Ralph and Rose Krause of Genoa; brother, Bruce and Faith Krause of Salem, Iowa; sister, Kim and Jeff Snider of La Crosse; mother-in-law, Leona "Jean" Bergum of Viroqua; brothers and sisters-in-law: Cyndi and Jerry Amundson and Debbie and Chopper Wurl, all of Janesville, Wis.; and several nieces and nephews, all with whom he had a special relationship. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Phillip and Irma Krause and Rolland and Sara Hanesworth; and his father-in-law, Alf "Joe" Bergum.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 29, at 1 p.m. at Faith United Methodist Church on Salem Ridge, rural La Farge. Pastor George Shick will officiate, with burial in the Salem Ridge Cemetery, rural La Farge. Friends may call today from 3 to 6 p.m. at Vosseteig Funeral Home, 708 S. Hwy. 14 in Westby. Friends may also call from noon until the time of services Saturday at the church. Online condolences may be offered at www.vosseteigfuneralhomes.com. Vosseteig Funeral Home of Westby is serving the family.

Helen F. Libbey

LANSING, Iowa - Helen F. Libbey, 74, of Lansing and formerly of Waterloo, Iowa, died Saturday, March 22, 2008, at Good Samaritan Center, Waukon, Iowa. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 5, at Martin Funeral Home, Waukon. Inurnment will be at a later date in Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services Saturday at the funeral home.

James T. Lindsay

James T. Lindsay, 86, of La Crosse died Thursday, March 27, 2008, at Onalaska (Wis.) Care Center. Services will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, La Crosse, at a time and date to be announced by Vosseteig Funeral Home, Westby, Wis.

Robert L. 'Mitch' Mitchell

BROWNSVILLE, Minn. - Robert L. "Mitch" Mitchell, 81, of Brownsville passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse.

He was born Nov. 19, 1926, in La Crosse to Herman J. and Annette L. (Lee) Mitchell. He married Doris M. Heiller on Nov. 14, 1953, in Brownsville. Together they raised three sons, Jeff (Sandy) of Iola, Wis., Vance (Julie) of Brownsville, and Bret of Brownsville.

Mitch enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944 and received training as an electrician's mate at Purdue University. He served as EM 3rd Class on the destroyer USS South Dakota (Japan, 1945) and the aircraft carrier USS Hancock (China Sea of Japan). He was also aboard the USS South Dakota when Japan surrendered on the nearby USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Mitch later served in the Korean War aboard the USS Siboney until his discharge in 1952.

Mitch worked for the Burlington Railroad for 43 years. He was an active member of VFW Post 6801 of Brownsville, Gittens-Leidel American Legion Post 595 of La Crescent, Minn., and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 1254 of La Crosse. He was a lifetime member of the NRA as well as a member of Ducks Unlimited, the Midwest Banjo Club and FIGA (Fretted Instrument Guild of America).

Mitch was a bona fide river rat, sportsman and nature lover. He and his childhood friend, Walter "Wally" Johnson, spent decades enjoying the channels and backwaters of the Mississippi River while fishing and trapping. He was also an avid conservationist and defender of the river and its habitat.

Mitch was a self-taught master of the American banjo, playing across the country at various locations. He also performed with the Oktoberfest Singers, the Jolly Swiss Boys band, the Jerry Gilbertson band and other groups, and inspired others to pursue the craft. He was a history buff, capable of retaining intricate details of the Civil War, World Wars I and II and ancient history. He was also a firearm aficionado who could identify and repair many makes and models of the guns of America and other countries. Many would consult him regarding various firearms. He was a prolific reader with excellent retention and fearlessly expressed his opinions with clarity, eloquence and color, exercising his American birthright.

Mitch was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Howard; and sisters, Kathleen Fields, Joanne Perez and Leanne Tredway. He is survived by his wife and sons; his grandchildren, Aaron (Jennifer), Racheal, Jacob and Matthew; great-granddaughter, Jada; his brother, William; and his sister, Mary Amundson; nieces and nephews; and his lifelong friend, Wally Johnson.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 30, at 1 p.m. at Brownsville Community Center with Pastor Brian Cuda officiating. Military honors will be provided by VFW Post 6801 and American Legion Post 595. Friends may call at the center from noon until the time of service. Following the service, refreshments will be served, and family and friends are invited to stay and share remembrances of Mitch.

Clarence 'Bing' J. Nerison

WESTBY, Wis. - Clarence "Bing" J. Nerison, 94, of rural Westby died Wednesday evening, March 26, 2008, surrounded by his family at Norseland Nursing Home in Westby, where he had been a resident since Sept. 30, 2007.

He was born May 10, 1913, to Oscar and Olga (Haugen) Nerison in Coon Township, Vernon County. He was confirmed by the Rev. Holum at Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church. Clarence married Alice Dahl on Dec. 14, 1946, at the Westby Coon Prairie Parsonage. The couple farmed their married life at rural Westby. Clarence was a private cattle dealer and also a tobacco buyer for various companies. He was a former chairman and supervisor for Coon Township and a longtime member of Vang Lutheran Church, where he was actively involved and held various offices. Clarence had a great love for life and had a very strong work ethic. He also enjoyed going on long rides in the country.

Survivors include his daughter, Sharon Nerison and her husband, Gene Danielson, of La Crosse; his son, Dean Nerison and wife, Dawn, of rural Westby; three grandchildren, Gabrielle (Bart) Laughlin of Appleton, Wis., Allen Nerison of Omaha, Neb., and April Nerison of rural Viroqua, Wis.; three great-grandchildren, Lauren, Chase and Olivia; his brother, John (Virginia) Nerison of Coon Valley, Wis.; and his sister, Esther Kloety of La Crosse; many nieces and nephews; and his special friend, Clinton Larson.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice, on Dec. 19, 1999; five brothers, Johannes, Otis, Alf, Lloyd and Earl; and two sisters, Dorothy Hovde and Nora Nelson.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at Vang Lutheran Church, rural Westby. The Rev. Julie Wollman will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. today at Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley and at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. until service time. Memorials may be given to Vang Lutheran Church Building Fund. A special thank you to Norseland Nursing Home and Gundersen Lutheran for their excellent care and concern.

David E. Pollack

David E. Pollack, 73, of La Crosse and formerly of Van Dyne, Wis., died peacefully after a short illness at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse with his children by his side on Tuesday evening, March 25, 2008.

Dave was born June 23, 1934, in Oshkosh, Wis., the son of Ernst and Ada (Barthels) Pollack. He grew up on the Pollack family farm in the town of Nekimi, Wis., which led him to engage in a farming operation of his own for a short time. The major portion of his career was then spent driving semi-truck for various companies. It was in this field that Dave earned his nickname "Double-Trouble" as he was one of the first drivers in the 1970s to pull two semi-trailers at one time. He also kept busy delivering auto parts in his retirement years. Traveling and seeing the country's natural beauty was one of Dave's favorite past-times, this in addition to boating, camping and having the best flower gardens in the neighborhood. After a trip, Dave loved coming home to tell stories of his journey. If Dave didn't have a story to share, he would certainly have a clever joke to tell.

In addition to his longtime companion, Carole Campbell of La Crosse, Dave is survived by his four children and eight grandchildren, Ellen (Paul) Cook and their children, Brad (fiance Reagan Ziegler) and Emily of Oshkosh, Mike (Jennifer) Pollack and their children, Lily and Wil of Oshkosh, Tom (Jill) Pollack and their children, Ryan and Megan of Oshkosh, and Sarah (Jim) Grota and their children, Matthew and Michael of Rochester, Minn. He is also survived by a sister, Miriam Lloyd of Smyrna, Ga.; and a brother, Bill Pollack of Oshkosh.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Isabelle Voelkel and Patsy Pockat; two brothers-in-law, Eldor Voelkel and Gilbert Lloyd; and a sister-in-law, Lois Pollack.

Funeral services for Dave will be held on Saturday, March 29, at 1 p.m. at Bethany United Church of Christ, 145 W. 24th Ave., Oshkosh, with the Rev. Kevin Mundell officiating. Burial will follow in Lake View Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends may call at the church, where visitation will be held on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service. There will be a celebration of Dave's life at a later date in La Crosse.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name will be used for leukemia research.

Poklasny Funeral Home in Oshkosh is assisting the family.

Dane Riley Schnitzler

WAUKON, Iowa - Dane Riley Schnitzler, newborn son of Melissa Troendle and Cliff Schnitzler of Waukon, died Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hanson Funeral Home, Waukon. Burial will be in Faigre Prairie Cemetery, rural Lansing, Iowa. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services Saturday at the funeral home.

Mary Weber

NEW ALBIN, Iowa - Mary Weber, 67, of New Albin died Thursday, March 27, 2008, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wis. Funeral Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in New Albin with burial in the church cemetery. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at New Albin Community Center, where there will be a parish Scripture service at 7 p.m. Thornburg Hanson Funeral Home, Lansing, Iowa, is assisting the family.

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