William P. Skemp, 82, of La Crosse passed away Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, at Eagle Crest South in La Crosse.
He was born May 8, 1934, in La Crosse to Thomas H. and Beulah (Kelley) Skemp. He graduated from Aquinas High School in 1952, where he excelled in sports, setting several state records in basketball. He then attended Saint Mary’s College in Winona where he achieved All-American status in baseball and also excelled at basketball. After college, he spent one year in the St. Louis Cardinals organization playing professional baseball. He then attended and graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1958.
On June 23, 1956, he married Doris J. Munster in La Crosse. He began practicing law in 1958, with his father and founded the William Skemp Law Firm with his son William G. Skemp in 1992. William was a past president of the La Crosse County Bar Association and a member of the American Bar Association, Wisconsin Bar Association and Wisconsin Trial Lawyers Association.
Over the years, he contributed to the La Crosse community, providing pro bono legal services to a number of area organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Greater La Crosse, Franciscan Skemp Foundation, Viterbo University, Blessed Sacrament Parish and the Aquinas Foundation.
William was inducted into the St. Mary’s College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981 and was also inducted into the Aquinas High School Athletic Wall of Fame in 2006. William was an avid Chicago Bears fan and was a season ticket holder for decades. He loved to travel and tend to his garden, but most of all he adored his beloved wife, Doris, whom he referred to as his “dearest darling.”
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William is survived by five children, Christine Skemp of La Crosse and her daughter, Katherine; Kelly Skemp of San Diego; Karen Skemp of Onalaska and her children, Noah and Devon; William (Stephanie) Skemp of Onalaska and their children, William, Landon, Carly and Isaac; Anthony Skemp of Franklin, Wis.; two sisters, Betty Curtis of Milwaukee and Eileen “Bea” (Don) Gass of Castle Rock, Colo.; two brothers, Robert (Fran) Skemp and Joseph Skemp, both of La Crosse; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Doris, in 2010; a son, Timothy Skemp in 2002; a sister, Katherine “Kay” Lotzer; and a brother, Thomas Skemp.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Private family burial will take place in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. There will be no visitation held prior to the Mass. A reception in Blessed Sacrament Parish Hall will follow immediately after the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Timothy R. and Doris J. Skemp Memorial Scholarship, c/o Aquinas Catholic Schools, 521 13th St., La Crosse, WI 54601. Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services of La Crosse is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left at www.schumacher-kish.com.