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Harvey E. Fossen

April 1, 2019 | 15 comments

Harvey Fossen was born in 1940, the adored youngest of six children, to Hans and Marie Fossen in Stoughton, WI.  He died, surrounded by his wife and daughters, on 3/30/19 at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. He was raised on a farm, working alongside his family. He graduated in 1958 from Stoughton High School, where he met his future bride, Marjorie Thompson. They were married on 10/8/1960. He enrolled in computer technology courses in Milwaukee which led him to his 32 year career at University of WI-La Crosse, eventually rising to the position of Director of Administrative Computing.

Together, Harv and Marj raised their three daughters in Onalaska. He was a huge support to his girls, teaching them the meaning of unconditional love. He sat through many concerts, uncomplaining, from 5th grade band concerts to the Osmond Brothers. He taught them how to drive, be a good friend, and never take things too seriously.

He had friends wherever he went. He was a proud member of the “Thursday Traveling Road Show”, golfing and drinking beer with his buddies. He loved fishing, block parties and playing cards. He and Marj travelled extensively, with Texas, Maine and Norway being some favorite destinations. He found joy in endless road trips and Sunday drives, even if his girls cried thinking that they were lost. He was a familiar sight at Friday night fish at The Ridge.

Great joys of his life were his grandchildren and great grandson. Their first tastes of ice cream were always with grandpa. They will forever remember his kind heart, hugs and kisses, and great sense of humor.

Harv could often be found listening to old time country music while grilling brats and burgers. He made the best buttered popcorn and on hot summer nights would declare “banana split sundaes for supper”. He was a great entertainer of the neighborhood – adults and children alike. He was adored by his extended family, loving to spend time with his nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by their first born, Curtis Eugene, his parents, siblings; Eleanor, Helen, Lois, Avis (Dick) and Kermit (Ruth). He was also predeceased by Marjorie’s parents, Lumen and Hazel Thompson, and brother, Lowell.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marjorie, daughters Karyn (Phil) Jones, Susan Fossen, and Diane (Barry) Zamer; and grandchildren Jordan, Carter and Jacob Vosseteig, Lily and Anna Zamer; great-grandson CJ Crandall and another great grandchild expected this fall. His brother-in-law C. James Weis and nieces and nephews also survive him.

The family would like acknowledge the respect, care, and support of the 6th floor and Palliative and Hospice Care staff at Gundersen Medical System in La Crosse.

In his final days he said that he did not regret anything and, if he could, he would live it all over again, just the same way. Harvey was big in every way, including his heart. We will forever strive to live life like he did.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 18th 2019 at the Student Union at UW-La Crosse from 1-4pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to Gundersen Health System Hospice La Crosse, American Heart  Association or The American Diabetes Association.



  1. Lynn Mantoani

    Diane/Barry & extended family, I am so sorry for your loss of such a great man – his obituary says it all.
    I never had the pleasure to meet Mr. Fossen, but know what kind of man he was based upon his incredible smile and the gift he gave this world in his daughter Diane. (I’m sure his other offspring are exactly the same way.)
    Thinking of you all and sharing the heartbreak of losing a treasured soul. xoxo

  2. Janelle Bamlett

    My deepest sympathies to Aunt Marj, the girls and their families. I loved Uncle Harv and will miss him and his beautiful smile and laugh, and those amazing hugs! Love you all. ❤️Nellie

  3. Barbara Breedlove

    This is for Marj and family…I was one of Harvey’s beloved friends of him and his family. Our friendship spanned over 1/2 century. He was a big, kind, wonderful man and he will never be forgotten by me or by my family.
    Rest in peace, dear friend…say “hi” to Rod, in heaven.

  4. Teri Johnson

    So very sorry to hear this news….Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers….and in my heart forever!! Sending much love ….Teri


    Dear Beloved Fossens – my deepest sympathy. I will always remember the many kindnesses of Harvey as a wonderful neighbor. Love to Marj, Susan and the family.

    • Heidi Fitzsimmons

      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I am a friend of Dianes and met Mr. Fossen in San Diego. He was such a wonderful man and Diane always talked so lovingly about what a great dad he was. What beautiful words, a beautiful send off for an amazing man. Thinking about you all. Oxoxox
      -Heidi and Scott

  6. Faye Goldsmith & Don Dionne

    We’re so sorry for your loss. Harvey was a fun, loving man and it was always so much fun spending time with you both. When Don lived by you he has many great memories with you, Harvey and the girls. Sending our thoughts, prayers and love to you and your family.

  7. Patti and Ron Parker

    This has to be the most beautiful obituary I have ever read. Heartfelt condolences to you Marg, Karyn, Susan, Diane and your families from both Ron and myself. Harvey was always bigger than life. He interviewed and hired me for a job in Administrative Computing back in 1977. It was my 21st birthday and I was scared stiff…Harvey made the interview not so scary. Not only was he my boss for so many years, but a friend as well. He made sure that the AC staff socialized as a group outside of work and that is where we got to meet Marg who became a good friend as well. Harvey’s brats were always the best!
    Harvey will forever be remembered with love…you can’t say that about too many bosses in your life. Rest now “big guy”…you will be missed.

  8. Dianne and Wes Panzer

    We are sorry to learn of Harvey’s passing. So many memories of neighborhood visits, school events, and church events at OUMC. And most recently of winters in New Braunfels. You are all in our thoughts and prayers as you go through this time of grief and sorrow.

  9. Eileen Severson

    Diane–so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  10. Alice Malin

    Dear Marj and family. Our deepest sympathy in the loss of Harvey. Peace to you and your family. Jerry and Alice Malin

  11. Ron & Donna Mae Phillips

    Marj, I was so surprised to read about Harvey’s passing. It was great to see you both up at the Ridge a few weeks ago. Although so little can be said at a time like this, we hope you know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Ron & Donna Mae Phillips

  12. Dave Faulkner

    My deepest sympathy to Marj and the Fosssen family. Harvey was such a caring person with a “one-of-a-kind” personality. Rest in peace friend.

  13. Joe Chilsen

    Marj, Karyn, Susan, and Diane:

    Harvey was such a great friend to my entire family and the memories of things done together will live forever. I remember volleyball in the rain, surprise weekends, and the parties, ooh the parties. Harvey was a GREAT friend and will be greeted in Valhalla by my parents. I also remember Harvey standing on the back deck drinking a beer while cooking on the grill. He will always live in memories.

  14. Chuck Brigson and Linda Brigson

    They broke the mold when Harvey was born. Great friend and neighbor.
    We will never forget all the neighbor hood volley (mud) ball games. After a big storm our front yard Ash tree was leaning to the east…Harvey by himself pushed it back straight! One arm! Great smile and laugh all will really miss him. His memory will never be forgotten nor his warmth diminish.


  1. Obituary: UWL Emeritus Harvey Fossen – The Racquet - […] Coulee Region Cremation Group posted Fossen’s obituary online, which said the following:  […]

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