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


Karl Robert Parkes

July 14, 2020 | 19 comments

Karl Robert Parkes, 59, of La Crosse, WI passed away peacefully with his wife at his side, on Saturday, July 11th, 2020 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

He was born on January 29th, 1961, to Robert and Corinne Parkes. He married his lifelong friend Wanda Kay Kessel on August 21st, 1982 at Bethany Evangelical Free Church.

Karl was a graduate of Central High School and for the last 15 years worked for Frito-Lay. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed trapping, hunting and fishing and he passed his love of the outdoors to his children and grandchildren. Karl enjoyed gardening, raising vegetables, and canning the fruits of his labor. Karl’s most treasured times were being surrounded by family and friends; whether it be camping, hunting, fishing or just visiting. He was well known for his 4th of July celebrations and fireworks.

He is survived by his “beautiful bride” Wanda Kay (Kessel), daughter Bethany (Ray) Johnson, sons Lucus (Heather) Parkes and Clinton (Linda) Parkes. Grandchildren; Nevaeh, Chase, William, Maya, Addie and Connor. His brother Gregory (Diana) Parkes and sisters Barbara Parkes and Greta (David) Dahl, his Father and Mother-in-Law, Harry and Eileen Kessel, Brother-in-Law Greg (Erica) Kessel, Sister-in-Laws Tracy (Jon) Riek, and Callie (Dan) Stanhope, and many loved nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Corinne Parkes, brothers Michael and Rodney Parkes, his brother in law, Randy Kessel, his beloved maternal and paternal grandparents, and his faithful furry friends, Beamer and Odie.

A special thank you to the Medical Staff at Mayo Health Systems and Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN.

An open house visitation will be held on Friday, July 17th, 2020 from Noon to 2pm at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason St., Onalaska.  Capacity will be limited.  Social distancing and face masks are encouraged.  A full obituary is available at couleecremation.com.

To view Karl’s memorial video, please copy and paste the link below into your browser/




  1. Bill Solomon

    Wanda & Family,

    My thoughts and wishes are with you in the loss of Karl.

    May you all move forward in life, be happy and healthy, and keep his memory close.

    • Dennis Ziemann

      Sorry for your loss.I was friends with karl back in highschool.We had some great times together and was always fun to be around.

  2. Dale Swenson

    Sorry for your loss. Prayers are with you.

    • Judy Johnson

      So sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you and your family

    • Patti Muenzenberger (Bendel)

      So sorry for your loss. My prayers go out for your family.l

  3. Rhonda Bingham

    Wanda. I was so sorry to hear about your loss. My heart hurts for you and your family. I’m praying that you will continue to be surrounded and supported by those who love you and care for you and that you will find a peace in your heart always.

  4. Mary Frisch

    My condolences to you and your family.

    • Chuck Bouzek

      Went to school with Karl from Kindergarten through High School. We were in Cub Scouts together. His mom was our Den Mother. My Dad was the Cub master. Brings back great memories from Hamilton Elementary. My thoughts and prayers are with you. RIP.

      • Greta Dahl

        I remember you. Hope you are doing well

  5. Kathy Hardy

    Wanda, I am so sorry to hear about Karl. My prayers are with you and your family. <3

  6. Richard Weeth

    Met Karl in 3rd grade. Was friends with everybody his whole life. RIP

  7. Susan

    Sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family at this sorrowful time.

  8. Connie wooden

    I was a 1979 classmate of Karl’s. I dated his friend Dan Hundt in 80 81. John Kidd hung around us also. Went fishing,played pool and cards together. Now, they are all together in heaven taken too young.Karl came over to my house after I was married and got some wood from us. That was in like 1992. I enjoyed reading the nice tribute. Karl always smiled. My deepest sympathies to you all. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Rod

    With all my love. I will miss you Karl

  10. Linda Day

    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you always.

  11. Don Kube

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family! God Bless you all!

  12. Teresa (Forer) Troyanek

    I am so sorry for your loss. Have so memories of us as kids hanging out just having fun. All of you are in my prayers

  13. Vicky & Bob Wienke

    Bob and I are so very sorry for your loss. Karl was a wonderful person and will not be forgotten. You are all in our prayers.

  14. Sue Lacoste

    So sorry for your loss Wanda and family. My thoughts are with you 💜


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