The La Crosse County Historical Society recently lost two wonderful, exemplary benefactors: Sandy Schwalbe and Charles Haas. Their service and contributions to the LCHS and La Crosse area deserve mention upon their recent passing.

Among many contributions, Sandy and Tye Schwalbe donated their West Avenue home, formerly a church, to the LCHS. That donation helped assure a bright future for the LCHS. This building provides space for artifact display, administrative offices and exhibit creation.

Sandy was integral to LCHS planning. Sandy and Tye worked alongside me and the LCHS planning committee. Their insight, expertise, grace and patience was invaluable. Everyone in the La Crosse community who knew and worked with Sandy will miss her.

Charles Haas was a true educator in many ways. He was a popular, beloved professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

He enjoyed a long, illustrious career in teaching and inspired his students in many ways.

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He was invaluable to the LCHS and freely shared his extensive knowledge of local history -- especially relative to the Hixon family and house.

He was always searching out and sharing new information relative to La Crosse area history, and his willingness to serve was a treasure

All who were associated with Charles over the years at LCHS, UW-L and our community will miss him not only for his service, but also for his dry wit and gentlemanly demeanor.

Jane Smerud Beseler, Houston, Minnesota

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Jane Smerud Beseler is former executive director of the La Crosse County Historical Society.