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Alan D. Topel

May 6, 2024 | 11 comments

Alan D. Topel, 78, of West Salem/La Crosse, WI, was reunited with his parents and all 9 of his siblings on April 27, 2024, surrounded by all four of his children. One can only imagine the joyous reunion that it was.

He was the youngest of ten children born to Lawrence and Verna (Brown-Spears) Topel on April 7, 1946. He was a graduate of Onalaska High School. He began his working career at Trane company after high school but joined the U.S. Air Force in 1965. He served in the Philippines and Vietnam earning the rank of Sergeant before being Honorably discharged in 1969.

After leaving the service he married Penny (Clark) Gorman with whom he had four children, David, Darin, Heidi, and Heather. They were divorced in 1978. On November 7, 1980, he married Dawn (Mauss) Topel, where he was gifted with 5 stepdaughters, Joanne, Jackie, Chris, Cari, and Shelly.

 He began working again at Trane Company after returning home from the service where he worked for a total of 43 years before retiring. During those years he was an avid softball player. He played in many fast pitch National Tournaments. Playing with The Bank of Melrose they won the 1989 Mens Masters 40-Over National Championship where he was also awarded 1st Team All-American in 1989 and 1990. He played for many years with the Trane Rockets winning many championships with his brother, Harold, and brother-in-law, John Rediske. Go Rockets, Boo Squirrels. He also played many years in the Trane basketball league. He continued playing softball after retirement in Mesa, AZ with the El Mirage Road Runners until the young age of 67.

Throughout his life he officiated high school baseball, basketball, and football and could name just about any coach or athletic director from any school. Al was also a long-time member of the Onalaska American Legion Post 336 where he served as Post Commander (2002-2003) and was named Legionnaire of the Year in 1997. He was also proud to have served on the Military Honor Squad. Most of all, his faith and family were the most important things in his life.

Alan is survived by his children, David (Jackie) Topel of Stoddard, WI, Darin Topel of La Crosse, WI, Heidi (Jim) Fasnacht of Cedar Hill, Mo, Heather (Kris) Lowry of Belleville, IL, Joanne Piddington of Madison, WI, Jackie (Kraig) Koelbl of Onalaska, WI, Chris (Dean) Lounsbrough of Onalaska,WI, Cari (John) Blumenthal of Lindstrom, MN, and Shelly (Paul) Janikowski of Onalaska, WI; along with 21 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews; and 3 sisters-in-law, Mary Topel of Veazie, ME, Pat Topel of Mendota, IL and Lynn Topel of Clermont, Fl; his special friend, Eunice Clements; and his two furry babies, Moe and Dane.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dawn, his parents, 5 brothers, Harold, Kenneth, Philip, Frederic, and Robert Topel; 4 sisters, Marilyn Hollis, Barbara West, Violet Rediske, and Rita Kaiser, and one daughter-in-law, Amy (Emerick) Topel.

The family would like to thank Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Hospice Team for their support, time, and care through the difficult days.

A celebration of life will be held Friday, May 17,  at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason St, Onalaska, WI. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with a service from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. followed by Military Honors. Burial will be at The Onalaska Cemetery at 12:45 p.m.  with a luncheon to follow at 2:00 p.m.  at the Onalaska Legion Post 336, 731 Sand Lake Rd, Onalaska, WI.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Coulee Region Humane Society.



  1. Barb & Gary Bronson

    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Alan was a classmate of mine and we also attended First Lutheran and were confirmed together. I have many wonderful memories from our younger years and the many class reunions sharing those memories. We had looked forward to seeing him at our 60th this year, but know he is no longer in any pain. God just needed a new angel to watch over us. He was a special friend and we will miss him very much. God Bless you all during this difficult time and in the days ahead. Hugs and Love, Barb (Mickelson) and Gary Bronson

  2. Judy Hurd Blessing

    Prayers for comfort and strength throughout this very difficult time. David, Darin, Heidi, Heather, you were his first love with his second love being “life”! He lived for every day and made the most of each one. He touched many hearts and lives and will be missed. We never know God’s plan so love deeply, laugh loudly and live each day just like your dad. Until we meet again my dear friend, show those angels how to polka!!!
    Love you my friend!!! Judy

  3. Iris Dus

    My thoughts and prayers go out to your family. I knew Al from the Legion and from being a member of my church family. I enjoyed visiting with Al at church, his sense of humor was delightful and will missed. Another angel in heaven.

  4. Vickie Michalko

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Al and his family. It is with a sad heart to see that Al has left us. I knew Al from Church and our connection with South Lanes Pizza. On the other hand he is now with our Lord and has no more suffering. Al had a great sense of humor and he’s sure going to be missed. He’s now with Jesus and his family. God Bless Each of You.

  5. Judy Baumgart

    Good bye AL. Heaven will be great with your whole family and God. I’m sure he has saved a seat for you. I will always remember what a good person you were.

  6. Beth Peterson

    To all the children/grandchildren: My thoughts are with you.

    Beth Peterson (Eggen)

  7. Willis Hauser

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Al’s family. I graduated with Al and have great memories of the time we spent in high school. It is always sad with the loss of another classmate and I know we all considered Al to be one of the best! Rest in peace Al!

  8. Cy & Mary Post

    My heartfelt condolences to Al’s family. I was a teammate of Al in the Trane Basketball league (Moonshots) & LaCrosse City League as well as weekend pickup/tournament games for many years. He was a great teammate & friend!
    RIP Al!

  9. Michael Loomis

    RIP my friend, we had many great times together and you will be missed

  10. Charlene (Shaw) Schmidt

    Feel sure Al left a hole in many hearts, yet am also sure he is at peace in the hereafter. While we were classmates, my primary memory as an adult is his smiling face when we would visit “home” and see him at the American Legion in Onalaska. He was a truly kind man.
    My heart goes out to the many that are grieving his passing.

  11. Katie Jenks

    Sending our thoughts and condolences to you all. I have so many fond memories of Al from his time playing fastpitch with my dad- Dan Adams. I always loved when we would see him officiating a game to be able to catch up. He will be missed!


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