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Rachel Marie Martell

June 10, 2020 | 8 comments

Rachel Marie Martell, 73, of La Crosse, passed away on June 9, 2020 of pancreatic cancer at her home.

Rachel was born on April 25, 1947 in La Crosse, WI to Donald G. and Madalyn M. (Brunke) Kagel, and was baptized and confirmed at English Lutheran Church in La Crosse. She married Peter J. Martell on March 5, 1968 in Winona, MN. She worked as a bookkeeper at the Garment Manufacturing Company until 1971, when she became a stay-at-home mother to her two children. In 1986, she went back to work at Shopko South, for which she stayed until her retirement.

Rachel loved music, cars, NASCAR racing, and sports. She and her husband Pete loved going for rides, watching NASCAR and football together, and spending every February in Daytona Beach, Florida. Her greatest pleasures in life were all with her family: going on bus trips to Brewers games with her daughter-in-law, Patti; shopping trips with her daughter-in-law, Roxanne, and her granddaughters; spending time with her beloved grand-dogs, grand-cats, and grand-bunnies; and having family dinners at her sons’ homes.

She is survived by her husband, Pete, and their two sons, James D. (Patti) Martell and Gregory P. (Roxanne) Martell; four grandchildren, Kaitlyn (Caleb) Vanderberg of Princeton, MN; Taylor (Alyssa) Martell of La Crescent, MN; Maria and Emily Martell of La Crosse, WI; her foster sister, Tracy Kagel of La Crosse, WI; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and her grand-pets.

She is preceded in death by her brother, Quentin Kagel; her parents, Donald and Madalyn Kagel; her father and mother-in law, James P. and Margaret Martell; her nephew, Joe Martell; brothers-in-law, James, Paul, and Tom Martell; her “special” step-grandson, Christopher Clements; and her friend Geraldine (Gerri) Moore.

The family wishes to express their thanks to her caregivers at Gundersen Health System, especially Dr. Mariner and his nurse, Stacy, as well as Gundersen Hospice Care and Hillview Health Care Center. A special thanks to Linda Severson, Rita, Toni, Mona, Angie, Lisa, Lori, Steve Sitze, Mark and Denise Martell, and Kenny and Mary Martell for their endless support.

Memorials are preferred to Children’s Miracle Network. Graveside services will be held at a later date.




  1. Adam Hesselberg

    Sending our deepest sympathies to you and your family during this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in the days to come.

    -Adam Hesselberg & Family

  2. Gary and Julie Moore

    Want to send my sincere condolences to the Martell family in the loss of Rachel who was a wonderful person. I know my mother (Gerri Moore) spoke very highly of her friend Rachel and her family. Over the years I always enjoyed running into both Rachel and Pete and having a conversation and talking about our families and how they were doing. I always thought of Rachel as being a very caring and sincere person and a great friend of my mother for many years.

  3. Terri Weichel

    Pete and Family I am so sorry to hear of Rachel’s passing. She was one of the kindest, empathetic person I have ever had the privilege of knowing. My Mom (Gerri Moore) considered Rachel as her best friend and kid sister. Their friendship continued for many years beyond work. Rachel’s visits to Eau Claire would brighten us all. The love for you Pete and all of her Family was so obvious in the cherished stories she would tell. She was so proud of her boys and all of her grandchildren. Pease know you are all in our thoughts and prayers ❤️


    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family at the loss of Rachel. Rachel and I were in the Logan Class of 65. I remember seeing her once in awhile at Shopko when she worked there. It was good seeing her again. She was always so sweet and pleasant. It’s so sad to lose another classmate.

  5. Doreen Anderson-McHenry

    Sorry to hear of your loss. She was a wonderful person and friend. Loved living so close by and Jimmy and Jeff being best buddies. I bet there is a rut in the alley along the tracks with all the foot traffic back and forth. She will be missed.

  6. Hollie Wyman

    To The Family Of Peter Martell; Rachel Was Such A Bright Spot In Anyone’s Life, Who Knew Her. She Was A Kind & Loving Mother,Friend, & Great Loving Wife To Pete. We Are Very Sorry For The Loss Of Your Mother, Rachel, (Jim, & Greg), & To You Peter, For The Loss Of Your Best Friend & Wife, And Also To The Rest Of The Family. You Are In Our Thoughts & Prayers, The (Sommerfeldt/Wyman) Family

  7. Heidie Sommerfeldt

    To: Peter, James D., And Greg And Spouses, Also Relatives. I Am Very Sorry For Your Loss. Your Mom, Was A Very Nice Person. God Bless All Of You.

  8. Dixie Poorman Fladhammer

    So sorry for your loss Pete and family. Rachael was a sweet person beautiful inside and out. Hugs to you all. I am so glad you made so many wonderful memories together.


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