Joan E. Kraege, 89, Whitewater, died on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at her home

Joan E. Kraege, 89, Whitewater, died on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at her home.

Joan was the daughter of Clifton and Rose (Henderson) Henderson and was born on November 7, 1931 in Whitewater, WI. She was a great-granddaughter of the first settler in Cold Spring Township, Alexander Henderson, 3 miles east of Whitewater in 1837. On September 1, 1954 she was united in marriage to Fred Kraege and their entire life has been spent in Whitewater. Being physically handicapped since her birth, she enjoyed her life caring for her friends of the universe: parakeets, turtles, tropical fish, abandoned cats, pigeons, chickens, and her joys of the later years were the returning robins from the south. She was proud of her indoor violets and her rosebush named “Seven Sisters” for over 50 years. She enjoyed traveling and seeing much of the country in her younger years. Joan liked to have lunch with her friends in the city for over 20 years.

Joan is survived by several cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Fred; sister, Vivian, and brother Allen. Inurnment will be in the Hillside Cemetery, Whitewater. Online condolences may be made at Nitardy Funeral Home, Whitewater is assisting the family.

James “Jim” Coleman, 83, Lima Center, passed away on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Mercy Hospital Janesville

James “Jim” Coleman, 83, Lima Center, passed away on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Mercy Hospital Janesville. Jim was born on April 19,1937 in Lima Center to Ed and Diana Schneider Coleman. He graduated from Whitewater High School. Jim married Catherine Coleman on February 24,1968. Jim was a carpenter and retired after 18 years at Mercy Hospital.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years; children Joe of Lima Center; Dan (Karen) of Milwaukee and granddaughter Esterly; he is also survived by his brother Mike (Kay) Lima Center and brother-in-laws Rusty Coe, Washington State and Fred McCann, Janesville plus wonderful nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and 5 brothers and 5 sisters.

Per Jim’s wishes there won’t be any service. Monroe Funeral Home of Delavan is assisting the family.

Brent A. Kepp, of Whitewater passed away on January 13 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison due to complications to a recent diagnosis of AML

Brent A. Kepp, of Whitewater, WI passed away on January 13, 2021 at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison due to complications to a recent diagnosis of AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). Lynne was by his side. Brent was born in Edgerton, WI on September 21, 1952, the son of LeRoy and Margery (Bretzman) Kepp. Brent was a graduate of Whitewater High School and also a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Brent recently retired from Lloyd’s Plumbing & Heating, where as a Master Plumber he co-owned and operated this family business with his brother-in-law, Lloyd La Reau, also a Master Plumber. In the 40 plus years, he made close relationships with those he worked with, indeed his second family.

In the summer months, Brent enjoyed being outdoors, working the landscape around his home that he and Lynne derived much pleasure from. All who knew him would agree that he was an analytical thinker and there wasn’t any problem he couldn’t solve, whether he was at home or at work. He was also an avid reader with knowledge in many areas.  He was passionate about ancient Indian civilizations. He made many friends in the archaeological societies that he joined.

Brent is survived by his wife of 48 years, Lynne; his sisters, Sharon La Reau of Harshaw, WI, and Wendy McConnell of Whitewater, WI; his brother, Michael Kepp of Chandler, AZ; many nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers-in-law, Lloyd La Reau and David McConnell and his sister-in-law, Garnet Kepp.

A private celebration of Brent’s life will be held at a later date. Anyone who wishes may make a donation in Brent’s name to Echo Inc., a non-profit organization in Janesville, WI, dedicated to helping those in need.

Former Warhawk Coach, Administrator Willie Myers Passes Away

(UW-W press release) Dr. Willie Myers, a wrestling coach, instructor and athletics administrator at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for 36 years, passed away Tuesday, January 12 at the age of 81.

Myers served as Head Wrestling Coach from 1968-2004 and as Men’s Athletic Director from 1983-98, and was a tenured professor in UW-Whitewater’s Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Coaching (HPERC).

A visitation will be held Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 11:30 a.m. at Faith Community Church, located at W5949 Hackbarth Rd. in Fort Atkinson. A funeral service will be held at the church at 1 p.m., with a burial to follow at Cold Spring Cemetery in Fort Atkinson.

Following services, a get-together will take place at The Real MacCoys, located at N1431 County Rd. N in Whitewater.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Willie Myers, an icon in the Warhawk Family,” Interim Director of Athletics Ryan Callahan said. “Willie’s enthusiasm, commitment and leadership as both a coach and administrator were integral to the success of UW-Whitewater wrestling and the entire athletic department. He was a caring mentor to our student-athletes and his coaching peers. Our alumni always speak with deep affection for the role he played in their lives.

“Willie was a man of honesty and integrity, and was so well respected in his profession. He was a wonderful representative of the wrestling community, of intercollegiate athletics and of this university. Our thoughts are with Willie’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

As wrestling coach, Myers led the Warhawks to 12 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, including seven straight titles from 1974-80, and 17 top-20 finishes at national championship tournaments (combined NCAA and NAIA), including nine among the nation’s top 10. He coached 64 individual conference champions, and his student-athletes earned 53 All-America honors, including four national championships, and 30 Scholar All-America accolades during his tenure.

The 1969 NAIA Rookie Coach of the Year and a five-time conference Mertz Mortorelli Coach of the Year, Myers ranks as the WIAC’s all-time leader in dual wins with a 301-136-7 career record (.686 winning percentage). He was selected as the coach of the WIAC’s All-Time Wrestling Team, which was announced in conjunction with the league’s Centennial Celebration in 2011-12.

In the 1970s, Myers coached the United States freestyle team at the 1977 World University Games, and served as the wrestling team administrator for the U.S. at the 1979 World University Games. He led an NAIA exchange team on a tour of Japan and Korea.

Highly respected in the wrestling community and among his peers, Myers served as President of the NAIA Wrestling Coaches Association from 1978-80 and as President of the NCAA Division III Wrestling Coaches Association from 1985-87 and 1989-91, and held numerous other committee positions. He was part of a multi-division committee that studied weight management among college wrestlers.

Myers received the Lifetime Service Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and was granted Emeritus status for the Departments of Intercollegiate Athletics and HPERC upon his retirement in 2004. In 2005, the Williams Center’s wrestling room was dedicated in Myers’ honor, and now bears the name Willie Myers Family Wrestling Gymnasium.

As men’s athletic director, Myers oversaw the first men’s national team championship in school history (men’s basketball, 1984 and 1989) and planning for the remodeling of the Williams Center and the addition of Kachel Fieldhouse. He also helped plan and administer the men’s programs to meet gender equity mandates.

Myers was inducted into the UW-Whitewater Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005. He is a member of the George Martin (State of Wisconsin Wrestling) Hall of Fame, the NAIA Wrestling Hall of Fame, the NAIA District 14 Hall of Fame and the Eastern Illinois University Athletics Hall of Fame.

Myers also served as chair of the Department of Coaching prior to its merger with HPERC and was an assistant football coach (1974-76, 1978).

Myers earned his bachelor’s in industrial arts and master’s in guidance and counseling from Eastern Illinois in 1964 and 1966, respectively, and was a four-time NAIA national qualifier at EIU during his wrestling career. He completed his doctorate in education administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1977.

To give to Warhawk Wrestling as a memorial for Myers, click here, select Wrestling from the dropdown menu, check the box for Tribute Gift and write in Willie Myers.

Dr. Lawrence F. Nelson, longtime Whitewater physician, will be 100 years old on January 19, 2021

Lawrence F. Nelson, M.D. with Evelyn Schneider (Photo courtesy of Evelyn Schneider)

Dr. Lawrence F. Nelson will be 100 yrs. old on Jan. 19, 2021.  He served Whitewater and the surrounding area for nearly 40 years.  He came to the Whitewater area looking for a place to set up his practice as a General physician and surgeon.  He found the Dr. Meighan was about to move away and that his practice would be open.  Took over his office in the building which now houses The Brass Rail.  Dr. Mucci (a dentist) shared the area.  Dr. Mucci then also moved away and Dr. Charles Thubaville then moved his dentist office into that area.  After several years they both moved into the new “Medical building” on the corner of Main and Fremont streets. He offered Friday night hours and Saturday night hours.  He was always ready to help, ready to listen if you wanted to talk, walk in visits were accepted and you could usually get an appointment the day you called. 

Dr. Nelson retired on June 30, 1991.  I was privileged to work for and with Dr. Nelson over a period of 34 years.  It was an honor to be a part of his office. A card would be appreciated; his address is P.O. Box 118, Whitewater, 53190. Evelyn Schneider

Patricia “Pat” Ann Quass, 87, of Whitewater passed away on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at Fairhaven

Patricia “Pat” Ann Quass, 87, of Whitewater passed away on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at Fairhaven Senior Services.

Pat was born on December 13, 1933 in Cooksville, Wisconsin to Clair “Frank” Calhoun and Palma “Polly” Keyes. She was raised on a crop farm in the Brooklyn, Wisconsin area. She attended Whitewater University where she met Harold Quass. They later married and had three children together. She worked at Whitewater Electronic for many years and later was employed at General Motors until her retirement. Pat was very proud of working hard at General Motors and well-liked by her co-workers, who really became family to her.

She enjoyed studying the Bible and spending time with her grandchildren in the Dells. Pat was very giving and took care of her grandmother and mother until their passing. She always helped the less fortunate by visiting seniors in facilities, giving gifts, and whatever else they would need. Pat was an excellent cook and made many dinners for family and friends.

Pat is survived by her children, Brenda Quass, Brian Quass; step-children, Janice Beachle, Donald (Gayle) Quass; step-daughter-in-law, Mary Quass; grandchildren, Dionne (Marc Garlock) Quass, Roberto Reyes Jr., Cynthia (Jim) Kozlik, David (Tonya) Redenius, Jennifer (Rick) Mcendree, Tyler (Amanda Ciske) Barrett, Autumn Barrett; 16 great-grandchildren; sister, Sharon “Sue” Mink; many nieces, nephews, and friends.

She is preceded in death by her daughter, Dianne Redenius; step-son, David Quass; granddaughter, Shirley Pohlman; sister, Charlene Fitzgerald; and brother, Peter Calhoun.

Funeral services will take place on at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at Nitardy Funeral Home, 550 N. Newcomb St., Whitewater, WI 53190. Visitation will take place from 11 a.m. until the time of services. A burial will take place at Hillside Cemetery following services.

The family would like to give specials thanks to her caregivers at Fairhaven for their exceptional care over the 10 years she resided there. The family would also like to give special thanks to Rainbow Hospice staff that cared for their mom.

Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at

Jeffrey Charles Barnett, 74, of Whitewater, passed away on January 12, 2021, in the comfort of his home with his loving wife, Barbara, by his side

Jeffrey Charles Barnett, 74, of Whitewater, Wisconsin, passed away on January 12, 2021, in the comfort of his home with his loving wife, Barbara, by his side.

Jeff succumbed to the ravages of Lewy Body Dementia, Raynaud’s Disease, and Parkinson’s, and is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara; son David and his wife Heather; sister, Nancy; grandchildren Matthew and his wife Emilie, Manda, Michael, Mikaela, and Makenzie; and great-granddaughter Hallee. Jeff was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to everyone who knew him.

He was born on October 24, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Charles and Jean Barnett. He received his bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University, his Master’s from Bucknell University, and his PhD from Penn State University. He was an educator his entire life, teaching math and education at Northern Illinois University and Fort Hays State University, where he became Assistant Dean of Education. In 1989, he moved to Whitewater, Wisconsin, where he became the Dean of the Department of Education at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater until he retired in 2010.

He loved reading, woodworking, gardening, and camping, but his true passion was martial arts. In 1987, he earned his black belt. After moving to Whitewater, he began a TaeKwonDo program at UW-Whitewater in 1990, teaching the first Beginning TaeKwonDo class. That program still continues today. He was the faculty sponsor for the Warhawk Karate Club founded by his son, and that club also still exists on campus.

He and Barb were members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Whitewater, WI.

Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. at Nitardy Funeral Home in Whitewater on Friday, January 15, 2021. Funeral services will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Whitewater on Saturday, January 16. The viewing will be from 9-10 a.m., with the service from 10-11 a.m.. Online condolences may be made at

Samuel Joseph Deegan, of Richmond, passed on January 6, 2021 at Vintage on the Ponds in Delavan

Samuel Joseph Deegan, of Richmond, passed on January 6, 2021 at Vintage on the Ponds in Delavan.

He was born February 16, 1944 to Henry and Frances (Schmidt) Deegan in Lake Mills, WI. The family moved to Delavan in 1956 and attended St. Andrews Catholic School and Delavan/Darien High School.

Sam married Kay June Turner on September 17, 1966.

He worked for Lyle Mawhinney in Richmond, Norwood Mills in Janesville, Hendricks Rental Properties in Beloit, and F O F Products Inc. in Delavan. Sam was a handyman and made screened windows and doors under his personal business, Deegan Wood Products.

He is survived by his wife, Kay of Delavan; his sons, Patrick (Kim) of Elkhorn, Michael (Lisa) of McFarland, Timothy (Penny) of Waterford, Rick (Heather) of Trevor, and Jason of Racine; brother, Leo (Mickey) of Janesville; 13 grand-children/step-grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, William, Donald and David.

Sam was a regular attendant of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Whitewater.

As per Sam’s wishes, a private service for family will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Whitewater prior to his cremation. A Celebration of Life service will be scheduled for a later date.

Memorials can be sent to Dunlap Memorial Home in Fort Atkinson which will be forwarded to the family.

Frank Ferd Kelling, 91, of East Troy, passed away on Sunday, December 13, 2020 (REVISED with corrected birthdate)

Frank Ferd Kelling, 91, of East Troy, Wisconsin, passed away on Sunday, December 13th, 2020 at Fairhaven Senior Residence in Whitewater, WI, after contracting the coronavirus and developing other complications. Frank was born on Tuesday, July 30th, 1929 to Frank J. and Erna A. (Mundt) Kelling at Mercy Hospital in Janesville. He spent his early years in Johnson Creek, graduating from Johnson Creek High School in 1947. He then attended Wisconsin State College at Whitewater and became a member of the Delta Kappa fraternity (the house later became a student rental property where his daughter lived in while attending UW-Whitewater as well). He graduated in 1958 and earned a Bachelor of Science – Elementary Education degree. The day after his college graduation, he married his sweetheart, Ruth Sidona Klemke, on Flag Day: Saturday June 14th, 1958 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Johnson Creek, WI. He then began his career as a sixth grade teacher at East Troy Junior High. He furthered his studies by earning a Master of Science: Educational Psychology degree in 1965 from UW-Madison, and transitioned to the position of school psychologist for the East Troy Community School District. He held this position until the time of his retirement in June of 1991. He thoroughly enjoyed his tenure there and made many friends along the way. Many remember the Ticonderoga pencils that accompanied him to each evaluation.

Frank served in the United States Army on active duty during The Korean War, until his honorable release to the Enlisted Reserve Corps for a period of five years. He earned the Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, and the United Nations Service Medal with one overseas bar.

He was a member of the Wisconsin School Psychologist Association, St. James Church of East Troy, and the Experimental Aircraft Association. He was a self-taught, but very accomplished, woodworker and created many classic pieces over the years including models of airplanes, boats, board games, signs, birds, benches, birdhouses and feeders (that became squirrel houses), camping kitchens, ornaments for each grandchild, and wooden features to place on his infamous snow sculpture animals. He would carefully study images and work diligently to complete the project. Frank also enjoyed repurposing items that he would find on trips to Goodwill or St. Vinnie’s, then present them to family, friends and visitors to their house. When he was able, he enjoyed gardening, hunting Up North, airplanes, bird watching, nature, camping, hiking, watching skydivers, kites, and hot air balloons. He enjoyed the work of Leo Buscaglia and Fred Rogers, and sought to make others laugh or feel special, occasionally sending cards “signed” by a famous person he knew a person liked, making secret installations of woodcut animals along highway on-ramps or on a pole near your home, using “extra” paint to coat the street sign pole or a rock in a neighbor’s yard, complimenting people on their appearance, and other escapades.

Before his vision failed, Frank was an avid reader and life-long learner. He encouraged curiosity and a sense of wonder. “Papa Questions” were often anticipated prior to family gatherings, like “If you put all the pies eaten today end-to-end, how many times would it circle the earth?” Total strangers occasionally became friends after he “pulled a Frank” as it became known to family, often asking random individuals, “How do you like your car?” “Is that a good restaurant?” “Where did you get that shirt?” He enjoyed asking following the activities of his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and their children as they grew, often writing details or taping newspaper clippings into notebooks to spark later conversations. The circus held a special place in Frank’s heart. His sisters remember trips they took with him to the circus and many other experiences he gave them. And let’s not forget his deep, hearty laugh.

Frank is survived by his son, Christopher K. Kelling (Laurie E. Lambert) of Morrow, OH; his daughter, Renée K. Barr (Charles B. Barr) of Fort Atkinson, WI; his grandchildren Molly C. Barr of Oakdale, MN, Kate L. Barr of Madison, WI, Owen L. Kelling of Cincinnati, OH, Claire E. Kelling of State College, PA, and Hannah E. Kelling of Lakewood, OH; his sisters Joyce Konkol of West Allis, WI and Gail Frasier of Lake Mills, WI; his cousin Shirley Bendall of Watertown, WI, and many other nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Ruth S. (Klemke) Kelling (by about 48 hours), his mother Erna, his father Frank, and his uncles Owen E. and Roy F. Kelling; as well as many other uncles, aunts, and cousins.

No visitation or funeral service will be held at this time due, in part, to the current public health situation, but also his personal wishes. Frank expressed a hope that one day some of his cremains might join his beloved stocking cap (made from wool yarn that Ruth carded, spun, and knitted) that blew onto the rocks by Lake Michigan and was taken by the crashing waves into the lake. A private family memorial may be planned at that time.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your local food pantry, school (remember those Ticonderoga pencils), Goodwill or other organizations, so a child who may need the basics can enjoy life just a bit more. Be curious and adventurous (but safe). Help your friends and neighbors. When you can, visit the elderly. For now, send cards, pictures or other signs of hope to those who may find it slipping away. Other expressions of sympathy can be sent to his daughter, Renée (620 W. Cramer Street) who will share them with the rest of Frank’s family.

Thank you, friends and neighbors in East Troy, past and present, for keeping a watchful eye on Frank and Ruth, especially as the years took their toll. Your visits, cookies, cards, calls or other contacts helped shorten days when nothing seemed to be moving around out their window. They both wanted to stay in the home (that seldom changed) for as long as they could, comfortable in the routine of their lives with their little dog, Sophie, and the Westies that preceded her. Thank you also to the staff of Home Helpers of Burlington, WI; so many fellow teachers and former students, and finally, the many thoughtful, caring and dedicated employees at the Fairhaven Senior Residence who provided care, comfort and compassion during his stay and final hours. 

“The man who was the circus is weak
Close his eyes, let him sleep…
And while he sleeps he can’t help remembering…
The man who was the circus is gone
Still the show must go on.”     – SHEL

Roberto “Bob” Rodriguez, 87, of Whitewater passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at the Wm. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison

Roberto “Bob” Rodriguez Jr., 87, of Whitewater passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison.

Bob was born on October 2, 1933 in Laredo, Texas to Roberto Sr. and Sofia Rodriguez. His parents divorced when Bob was young and his mother raised him and his four siblings. At a young age, Bob would find odd jobs to help his mom in any way he could. He was an excellent student but felt that he needed to stop his education to go into the workforce. Later on, Bob enlisted in the United States Air Force at the age of 17. While stationed in Hawaii, Bob earned his GED. He served two four-year hitches and was honorably discharged twice. He also served during the Korean Conflict in Japan. He truly enjoyed his time in Hawaii.

While visiting his sister, Bob met the love of his life, Maria. They were married for 30 years. They enjoyed traveling together and took many spontaneous trips. He worked at Generac over the years, until Maria suggested he retire. Maria passed in 2015.

Bob enjoyed reading, especially mysteries, watching western movies and anything cowboy related, watching Wisconsin sports, completing crossword puzzles, watching TV game shows, buying and trading books, and enjoyed spending time with family, especially his sister-in-law in Arizona.

He was a member of the Whitewater VFW and previously served as the Commander.

Bob is survived by his children, John (Rosemary) Villarreal, Calixtro (Sherri) Villarreal, Isabelle Villarreal, Phillip Rodriguez; grandchildren, Alex, Jon, Tony, Stevie, Efram; two great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Roberto and Sofia Rodriguez Sr.; wife, Maria; and siblings.

At this time, there are no services.

Donations in Bob’s name can be made at the Whitewater VFW and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison.

The family would like to give special thanks to the staff at the Veterans Hospital in Madison and Mercy Hospital in Janesville, for their exceptional care for Bob. Another special thanks to Giselle Robbins, Bob’s friend and caregiver with Bright Star.

Online condolences can be made at