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


Kevin “Gus” Sipley

December 11, 2019 | 31 comments

Kevin J. Sipley (Gus) of Holmen, died peacefully and unexpectedly at his home Monday evening. Kevin was born to Harold and Charlotte Sipley of La Crosse on October 6, 1951. He graduated from Central High School in 1969. Upon graduation he joined the Army National Guard. There he earned the Gold Medallion Award for exemplary service. He graduated from UWL and worked at Gundersen as an OPA-C, he was the first physician assistant for the Orthopedic Department. He was a patient teacher and good encourager to the new nurses, techs and PA’s who came to work in the OR. His dry sense of humor often caught people off guard. Over the years in the ‘OR’ many people knew him for his “Gus-isms” as they were called. “Don’t cuss, call Gus!” was everyone’s favorite.   He served Gundersen 47 years and retired in January 2019.

Kevin was an avid outdoorsman and excellent marksman. He loved fishing and hunting moose, elk, deer and rabbits but especially pheasants. He was a lifetime member of the Holmen Rod and Gun Club and volunteered with their Youth Day events. No frills or fancy guns, but learning the fundamentals of shooting correctly and safety were high on his priority list and made for an enjoyable hunting experience. He loved to help young and old to learn to shoot trap with his own trap thrower and worked with the Chad Herbsts Memorial Youth Trap Shoots. He also helped with local Hunter Safety Courses for many years. His hobbies, beside hunting, also included reloading bullets, target practice with a pellet gun and he was an excellent self-made gun smith.

Kevin helped many people throughout his life and now in his death through organ donation. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and co-workers. Kevin was a beloved husband, devoted father and grandfather. He is preceded in death by his parents, Harold “Tony” and Charlotte “Susie”, and brother Steve. Kevin is survived by his wife Bonice, daughter Laura (Jeff) Anderson, son Kevin (Kayla) Sipley, and stepson Ian Leifer, grandchildren Joseph and Kylie Anderson and Seala Sipley. Also survived by ex-wife and friend, Edith MacDougal.

A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason St. Onalaska, with visitation beginning at 11:00 am.  A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred.



  1. Bottelberghe Agency

    Bonice and family you are in our prayers. Gus was a wonderful man and you are such a giving person Bonice.

    • Bonice Leifer Sipley

      Thank you it’s always good to talk with you. Blessing from the family

    • Andrea Bushek

      So sorry to see this, Bonice. Our deepest condolences to you and your family. Prayers for peace of the Holy Spirit, wisdom and guidance as you move through the things you must, rest and refreshment, and wonderful memories, and a covering of deep love.
      Tom and Andrea Bushek

      • Bonice Leifer Sipley

        Thanks Andrea and Tom it truly was a shock for everyone.

      • Susan and Jimmy Bamberg

        We are sorry for your loss. I know Gus will be missed.
        Prayers for you and the family. Jimmy and Susan Bamberg

    • Mike Wuensch

      My condolences to the family. I was honored to work with Gus at Gundersen OR, he was a valued mentor to many. He will be missed.

    • Donna Ruble Hintze

      Bonice: I will be praying for you. So sorry to hear of Gus death. If you would like to talk please email me and I will give it to you.

  2. Dave Senkerik

    Gus was a good friend and a unique individual. He will be missed.

  3. Dave and Geri Gajafsky

    Our prayers are with you Bonice and family. So sorry to hear of Gus’s death.

  4. Kenneth R Hanson

    Gus, I learned a lot from you at work in orthopedics. The few times I spent at the skeet range with you made me a better duck Hunter. I also have nice memories of bow hunting with you. Never have you hesitated to help anyone. There is a special place for you in heaven. You have always been a inspiration to me .

  5. Cyndi Karlovich

    So sorry to hear of your loss Bonice. So privileged to have known Gus, even for a short time. My prayers are with you.
    Cyndi Karlovich

  6. Earl & Carol Simonson

    Sending our Condolences. The family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  7. Joan and Allen Staige

    We are so sorry Bonice. The news of Gus’s passing was so shocking and so sad. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. We love you and care about you and are here to help in anyway we can.

    • Jan Cline

      Bonice, I’m so sorry to hear about Gus. I will definitely be lifting you and your family up in prayer.
      I would like to call you next week if there’s a good time for you.

    • Steve and Sherilyn Cook

      We are so sorry to hear Bonice. The news of Gus’s passing was a real shock and so sad. We will be praying for you and your family.

    • Mike & Petria Bahr

      So very sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to your family.

  8. Amy (Lundsten) Horst

    Hugs Bonnie. I’m so sorry. Much love, Amy (Lundsten) Horst

  9. Mark Steging

    Gus was an amazingly giving person of his time and help! I watched him give so much to 2 friends and their families while they battled cancer. As I was going through a divorce he gave me some heartfelt words of encouragement. The world has lost a good man……but I doubt anyone who knew him will forget him! My thoughts and prayers to family and friends!

  10. Lita Frederickson

    Bonice, my heart and prayers go out to you. I will keep you in my prayers as life moves forward for you.

    • Sue Kile

      I am saddened by the loss of your husband. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  11. Mary E

    Bonice, so sorry to hear of your losses. Praying for comfort and peace for you and your family.

  12. Connie J Benjamin

    So sorry for your loss Bonnie. Such a difficult time during this holiday season. May you be comforted by the presence of the Holy Spirit and the good wishes sent to you by many friends.

    • Linda Jones

      Bonice – just reading the paper from the 15th and saw Gus’s obituary. We are so very sorry to hear of his death. You are in our orayers and thoughts. With love, Todd and Linda

  13. Roger and Judith Erickson

    We were shocked to see your message about Gus. Our hearts ache for you. You have experienced too much loss now with the unexpected loss of Gus and the loss of Mike plus your pet. We will always remember you fondly for what you did for Lee and Bethany and then for our earlier shared life events such as taking care of our sons and Inter Varsity activities

  14. Jacqui Brokaw

    Bonice, so sorry to hear of your loss; both with your husband and your pet. I pray for Holy Spirit Comfort for you as you navigate this Christmas season and the coming year.

  15. Emma K Ledbetter, MD

    Gus was a legend at Gundersen. His devotion to the patients and their doctors was unmatched. The world lost a great man who had so much more to give.
    He taught me, and many more Residents and Staff so much.

  16. Dan Forbes

    Sorry to hear for your loss. I will be praying for your comfort and peace at this time of loss.

  17. Cari Adams

    Bonice – I’m so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for God’s peace and comfort through this difficult time.

  18. Eric Garland

    When I joined the Orthopaedic department at Gundersen in 1985, Gus had been there a decade and paved the way for many PAs and NPs to follow. As others have mentioned, he not only was willing to teach, but was INVESTED in teaching so that the new people mastered their skills. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and will be truly missed. So sorry for your loss.

  19. Sue Schieber

    Bonnie, I am so sorry to hear about Gus. Please accept our sincere sympathy.
    I plan to be there on Saturday to see and talk to you in person. Love to you!
    Sue Schieber

  20. Milner Grimsled

    My condolences to your family. Our family (Grimsled) lived 3 houses down the street from the Sipleys. Gus and Steve played ball with my brother Dave and I for countless hours in our yard.

    We lost touch when I went away to college. But he worked with my Mom, Doris Grimsled, at Lutheran Hospital. The last time I saw Kevin was at my mom’s wake. He was a good kid and, as I read, a fine man.

    Milner “Skip” Grimsled

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