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Obituary

Timothy James Vondrasek “Snork/Vondo”

January 3, 2024 | 32 comments

Tim Vondrasek, 54, of Trempealeau, WI passed away on January 1, 2024, after a short, difficult battle with cancer.

Tim was born on September 12, 1969, to Richard and Janet (Ebersold) Vondrasek in La Crosse, WI. Tim graduated from G-E-T High School in 1987 and years later went on to study at Western Wisconsin Technical College.

In 1991, Tim met the love of his life; his “She”, Shelley Gabrych in Dodge, WI during the annual Dodge Sportsmen Ice Fishing Contest. They married in 1994 and welcomed the joy of their life, Trenton James in 1995. Together, the three of them built a beautiful life and home in Trempealeau, WI.

Tim was a long-time manager at Winona Lighting and then left to help others find a career at Express Personnel. Through that role, he was introduced to Norwinn Company, and it was there he would find his true calling. Eventually, Tim became an owner of the company with his business partner, Jason Mlsna. Together they have grown Norwinn into an even greater organization, focused on doing great business and creating career opportunities for so many. Tim was a natural leader, who quickly earned respect and admiration from his colleagues for his dedication and commitment.

Tim was also generous with his time, volunteering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse. He looked forward to mentoring youth groups, teaching them essential etiquette and life skills. His involvement with the Village of Trempealeau annual town lights on first peak was also well known, a tradition he was honored to take on after his Uncle John passed away.

“Live Fast” was a motto Tim lived by “It’s not about speed, It’s not about being in a hurry”. Many would agree that is exactly how he lived his very full life. He embraced life with open arms and approached everything with courage and adventure. He was an avid outdoorsman and cowboy at heart, passionate about hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking and taking in everything the outdoors had to offer. His adventurous spirit was evident in his love for such activities, which he often shared with his family and friends. His stories of these outdoor adventures were a testament to his bravery and passion for life. He also enjoyed playing baseball through the majority of his life, a passion originally instilled in him by his mom. His baseball skills continued to advance throughout his adulthood, so much so, other teams attempted to recruit him for his impressive pitching skills.

Tim was a connector of people and made everyone feel like they were family through his warm, inviting demeanor. He lit up every space he entered and had a unique ability to make you feel like the most important person in the room. Tim was a mentor and a leader to so many, positively impacting everyone who gravitated to him. His smile and laugh were often described as contagious, and he could quickly get the attention of everyone around him with the stories he shared.

Tim was preceded in death by his Mom Janet, Uncle John & Aunt Carol (all of whom were very special to him), grandparents and several aunts and uncles.

He is survived by his loving wife, Shelley; son, Trent; Furbaby Boone; father, Richard; sister, Brenda (Jim) Canar; brother, Kevin/Butch (Marie) Vondrasek, nephews, nieces; many uncles, aunts and cousins.

A “Celebration of Life” gathering will be held at the Dave and Barb Skogen Boys & Girls Club in Holmen, WI on Friday, January 5, 2024, at 5pm until 8pm, with a program at 6:30pm. Please dress in honor of Tim by wearing casual, outdoorsy, or cowboy attire. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, an organization Tim felt strongly about. A special thank you goes out to the medical staff at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, especially the nurses and palliative staff, as well as Jake Erickson, with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse.

As Tim might say, it’s time to take a breath and quote Frank Costanza, “Serenity Now”.

 

Condolences

32 Comments

  1. Diana Thorson

    May precious memories bring your family peace and comfort…Deepest sympathy!

    Reply
    • Herman Rivera

      We are so sorry for the loss of Tim. Our hearts go out in deep condolences to all the family. God bless and keep you.
      Much Love,
      Herman & Kathleen

      Reply
    • Steven J McCombs

      I am shocked and saddened by the news of Tim’s passing. I did not hear of it until January 19. I worked with him and Jason and all the crew at Norwinn through Western Technical College. Tim was always the picture of health and full of life and love. In his presence, I felt like I was the most important person in the room with him. He had such a gift for human connection and love. Even at my advanced age, Tim taught me a lot about people, passion, and love of life. He touched so many in such positive ways, he will not soon be forgotten. Even though it hurts to lose him we must carry on his positivity and passion, so that his legacy endures.

      Reply
  2. Deb Hiatt

    Shelley and Trent we are so very sorry for your loss. Sending you prayers and hugs to you both.
    Love
    Deb and Steve Hiatt

    Reply
  3. RITA REPS

    so many wonderful memories of him-met him when he was so little-loved him right away-such humor. will cherish his friendship forever!!! RIP SNORK!!

    Reply
    • Lisa Wasson

      Jack and I enjoyed Tim’s visits on our boat in Newburyport MA. Never a dull moment with Tim on board! He was a joy to be around and will be missed terribly.
      Love and hugs to you all.
      ???
      Lisa and Jack Wasson

      Reply
  4. Kassandra, Rachel, Susan

    “THE COUNT” as we fondly referred to Tim with a last name of Vondrasek how could it not be Count Vondrasek…

    The Inn will not be the same without your many yearly visits, I hope you know we appreciated you, your sense of humor and such a generous soul, the stories of the mishaps encountered while out fishing (eye rolls and belly laughs), your inability to get your dates in order at times leaving you without accommodations and me offering to fill the back of my truck with hay and a blankie for you until we had something else available lol…. Only you Count Vondrasek, only you…..
    All of it and you will be fondly remembered…. I hope the crew continues your love of the trips, fishing and hanging out. We can all learn something from how you lived, and we did not need to be lifelong friends to know you are a special human being and paying it forward however you could. Thank you for choosing us as your go to place always and allowing us to be a part of your world, after your first stay you pretty much grew on us so we couldn’t ever say no hehehe… Thank you Tim for brightening our world…..

    Reply
  5. Stacy Mrozek and Craig Swenson

    What a guy! He will be missed by our community. He set a great example for kids, friends and everyone he met. That smile-one of a kind. Prayers and hugs to the whole family.

    Reply
  6. Barry & Shirlee Nelson

    As we were newcomers to Trempealeau in ’04, you made us feel so welcomed when we moved in across the street. For the next eleven years we shared many special occasions. Even the impromptu get-togethers provided everlasting memories. We feel privileged to have been a part of your life, dear friend Tim! ?

    Reply
    • Margaret

      I am so sorry for your families loss. I looked forward to seeing Tim on his fishing trips in Massachusetts. I absolutely agree that his smile and laugh were contagious. He will be missed.

      Reply
  7. Steve Kiedrowski

    My prayers & thoughts are with the whole family. Snork was such a talented person. RIP

    Reply
  8. Dawn & Danny Frahm

    Brenda Canar and family:

    My heart goes out to you at the loss of your brother. He sounds like he was a wonderful, loving person who cared about many. He will be sorely missed but will always live in your hearts. God bless him…..Sending lots of hugs and prayers!!!

    Reply
  9. Cindy Bork

    Brenda,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    Reply
  10. Steve Baule

    So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with your family in this time of grief.

    Reply
  11. Steve Hovell, Sr.

    He was one of a kind! He wasn’t the only good guy in the world…..but he was and always will be way ahead of whoever came in 2nd!

    Reply
  12. Taylor Vondrasek

    Uncle Tim,

    The man, the myth, the legend. Your impact on my life was indelible. You were more than just my uncle; you were one of my heroes, a mentor, and one of my biggest supporters. You made me feel like I could take over the world after speaking with you. You set the standard on how people should treat each other. You believed in all of us, saw the best in us, and inspired us to reach for the stars. Your unwavering belief in our potential lifted us up and made us strive to be our best selves.

    Tim was the shining example of kindness, integrity, and compassion. You will forever remain on my Mt Rushmore of heroes (arguably holding all 4 spots), a towering figure of love and inspiration. Your legacy lives on in the countless lives you touched, and your spirit will continue to guide and inspire us. “Live fast” was the motto, but the outcome of your nature made people “Love fast” because there’s not a single person who’s met you that didn’t think you were family.

    There’s not a day where I won’t think about you. I know the crowd went nuts when the pearly gates opened and saw you standing there. Rest easy cowboy, keep the beer cold and we’ll tip one back again.

    Love you brother!

    Reply
  13. Lance Sobotta

    Sorry to the family. I met Tim playing baseball for the Whitehall Wolves. We enjoyed having him in the dugout as a teammate. His energy was second to none. I had a lot of fun with him during those days. He was one of those people you never forget.

    Reply
  14. Mark Beise

    I had the pleasure of playing baseball with Tim on a 35 and over team for a couple years. What a great guy! I enjoyed our conversations about hunting, trapping and of course baseball.
    My condolences.

    Reply
    • Steve Brown

      Rip vondo, another great person taken away from that horrible disease,go rest high on that mountain

      Reply
  15. Caty Day

    First met him about 5 years ago. He was so full of life and engaging to talk to and so very funny and relatable. Met his wife for the first time a few years ago, equally as wonderful. My deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and Shelley. So sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  16. bruce little

    A fine young man RIP

    Reply
    • Kathy Simerson

      Deepest consdolences to the family . May the Lord guide you through this difficult journey.
      Kathy and Vivian Simerson

      Reply
  17. Peggy Davis

    I worked with Tim for many years. He was a very kind person, always with a smile on his face. He was one of a kind.
    My condolences to the family.

    Reply
    • Diane Speltz

      Rich and family,
      I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You are in my thoughts & prayers. May your memories, get you through this difficult time.
      Take care,
      Diane

      Reply
  18. Dean Morgan

    Shelley and Trent my heart goes out to you! Tim has meant so much to so many. Our hearts are broken with yours. I’m so blessed to have had him in my life. As much as I enjoyed competing with him all those years, I especially enjoyed our talks. During those talks he would express how proud is was of you Trent and Shelley for you he was so grateful. Rest in Peace my good buddy!

    Reply
  19. Mike Desmond: Formner Executive Director Boys and Girls Clubs of Greate La Crosse

    Tim was such an incredible person. His dedication to youth at the Boys & Girls Club was spectacular. He created a program at the Club teaching kids life skills, everything from introducing themselves to interviewing for a job. His personality was magnetic. The kids loved him. What a treasure!!!

    Reply
  20. Justin Spitzer

    I worked closely with Tim for years at Winona Lighting. He was a blast to be around & drew the best out of everyone. What a unique man, full of life & passion for people. He loved asking me if I got my Vikings gear free with a gas fill-up. If a man can be measured by the number of lives positively impacted, Tim is on the leaderboard. My heart goes out to his family.

    Reply
  21. Dan Gnadt

    I met Tim when he was working for Express. I was very saddened when I learned that he passed away. My condolences to his family and friends. Tim’s obituary captured him very well. Tim had a big personality, he was a high energy guy. Tim also cared about people, that is my biggest takeaway from knowing Tim. His big heart matched his smile, his laugh, his energy for life was contagious. A great guy, gone too soon. RIP Tim.

    Reply
  22. Dawn Schroeder Scallon

    Brenda Canar
    I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother Tim.
    It sounds like Tim impacted the lives of so many and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Again, I am so sorry for your incredible loss and you and your family with be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
    • Al Begin

      So very Sorry for your Loss Shelly and Trent, I played Baseball w Tim in the Rochester Senior Baseball League for awhile as I was President of the League for 6 years! Tim was an Incredible Guy and an Incredible Pitcher who we loved Battling against!!! RIP Tim

      Reply
  23. Jeanine Stiles

    Shelley,
    So very sorry for your loss.
    God Bless your family at this
    most difficult time.
    Fondly,
    Jeanine

    Reply
  24. Virginia Fernette Lochner

    I just heard of “Snork”s death last night at the Angus talking with his cousin, Bill Bulawa, it isn’t possible. I can see him running around his mother and I having coffee in Trempealeau. What a kid he was.

    Reply

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