133 Mason St., Onalaska, WI • Call (608) 788-2188


Chance Alexander Schmidtknecht

April 11, 2021 | 10 comments

Chance Alexander Schmidtknecht, age 12, of Onalaska, passed away peacefully on April 7, 2021 in his mother’s loving arms surrounded by family and friends.

He was born December 27, 2008 to Laurel Schmidtknecht. Chance’s favorite place was the skate park in Onalaska because he could go there to do all his favorite activities, including skateboarding, riding his BMX bike and scooter. He didn’t like the idea of going fishing, but sure loved it when he was catching the fish. Chance absolutely loved reptiles of all kinds, especially his pet Scales. He had big plans to open his own rescue to help sick, abused, and injured reptiles; he wanted to create a sanctuary for them.

One of Chance’s favorite experiences was whitewater rafting on the Colorado River. He loved television series, especially Naruto, Scooby-Doo, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. He loved spending his time hanging out with his friends. To Chance, his mom and his friends were his life.

Chance is survived by his mother, Laurel Schmidtknecht; step-father Cazzie Marnach; siblings Alaya, Anthony, and Arson; Grandma Diana, Papa, and Grandma Joan; aunts, uncles, and cousins; the Evenson family; his dad, Tyler Yogmas and his family. He is further survived by his best friend, Braden, many other friends, and Scales.

He was preceded in death by Grandpa Lowell Schmidtknecht; Great-grandma Janice; cousin Lexy; and Grandma Nilda.

The family would like to thank the nurses in the pediatric ICU at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, as well as the Onalaska Police Department and Onalaska Fire Department.

A visitation will be held on Monday, April 19, 2021 at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason Street, Onalaska. Family is welcome at 1:15pm and friends and acquaintances of Chance and family are welcome from 2:30 to 3:30pm.

Masks are mandatory for all visitors.




  1. Deborah

    I am so sad for your loss and our family. Rest In Peace.

    • Julie and Don

      So sorry for loss of a wonderful young man.God has him in a special place.

  2. Sara Schmitt

    I am so sorry Laurel. My heart aches for you. No words will help right now, but know I’m praying for Chance, you, your family, and Chance’s friends.

  3. Ellen (Marnach) Greenlund

    My heart is broken for your loss Laurel, Cazzie, Grandma Joan and families. May you cherish the wonderful memories of your precious Chance. And may God strengthen and comfort you in the days ahead.

  4. Paul M Olson

    Laurel . So sorry and sad for the lose of chance this is OLE, michelle brought (chance my little buddy over here to our house. Many times) he loved to pet my cockatiel sweet cheeks slot and take home a few tail feathers that she had pulled out during her primming times chance would stay in the room
    withh the cockatiel s (I have 2 of them for as long as he. Was here and listen and talk to them I really like chance he was a great little boy I will pray to God to help you get through these sad times so long

  5. Penny McGinnis

    Even though we have never met, my heart breaks for the loss of this young man. My granddaughter works at Gunderson, is how I learned of this. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

    • Aunt Lindsey Yogmas

      Chance was an amazing boy. He had love for all people and animals, especially reptiles. Mason shared a bond with Chance and he looked up to him as a hero. He was his smart cool big cousin and he just said recently how he wishes he was his brother. We will all love Chance forever and he will always hold a special place in our hearts. Our hearts ache and break with you Laurel and family. I am blessed to have spent the time with Chance that I did and thankful for the memories that myself and Chance’s cousin Mason will hold with us forever. 💔

  6. Grandma Michele Dunn

    Our lives have all been touched by Chance and he will live forever in our hearts.
    I will always remember his laughter and the smiles that he shared.
    Chance has been a blessing to all of us.
    He has Eternal life with Our Father in Heaven now.

  7. Holly Yeakley

    I can only express my pure sadness for the family. I loved my lil Chancester and I looked forward to time with him when I was back in WI for a visit. I will forever remember our small escapades to the mall, Kids Coulee, and of course having him come swim at the hotel. He was always happy. I will miss him dearly and with pure love.

    Goodbye Chance, I will see you again.

    Love Great Aunt Holly

    Holly Dunn Yeakley

  8. Isabel Penny Greco

    My heart hurts for you. I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious baby. I met Chance a few times at my sister’s house & saw what an awesome young man you had. My sister Nilda spoke so many times of both your kids with so much love. I pray and hope that our dear sweet Lord gives you the strength to bear such a great loss. God Bless you & your family.
    May you rest in peace sweet Chance in God’s loving arms. ❤️


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