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Vernon A. “Skip” Klingbeil

April 2, 2024 | 10 comments

Surrounded by sounds of the woodlands, the aroma of coffee and love from his family, Vernon “Skip” A. Klingbeil of Trempealeau, WI passed peacefully on March 29th, 2024. Skip was born in Aurora, IL to Vernon W. and Avis C. Klingbeil (Bolte). Skip served his country in the Army during the Vietnam War from 1969-1972. After leaving the Armed Forces, Skip married Karen Cole in St. Louis, MO. From there, Skip and Karen relocated to Trempealeau to raise their family.

Skip was an enthusiastic scoutmaster, a volunteer firefighter, a talented welder, a skilled lumber buyer and an avid hunter. He loved spending time in the woods and shooting in archery tournaments with family and friends. Skip spent his life devoted to his family and was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. Skip’s beaming smile, contagious laughter and “questionable” artistic skills entertained his loved ones throughout the years. His caricatures, nicknames, and personalized poetry will continue to bring joy to his family for generations.

Skip is survived by his wife of 50 years Karen (Cole); his children: Eric, Vernon “Casey” (Caitlyn), Rebecca (David) Fonstad and Kelly (Tim) Lisick; his grandchildren Abigail (David), Liaka, Torben, James, Maddie, Kit (Paul), George, River, Rain, Cassidy, John, Ben, Grace, Abby, Allie and Jaxon. Brothers Chet Klingbeil and Harold Ratliff; sisters Tammy (Ron) Arvidson, Terri (Kevin) Ferguson, Karen (Rich) Ficar, MaryAnn (Ahmad) Raghebi, Nancy Rice, Dottie (George) Hardin, Sandy (Kevin) Cole, Sharon Browning and Renda Klingbeil; and many loved nieces and nephews as well as their children.

Skip was proceeded in death by his parents; brothers Robert (Shirley) Klingbeil, Paul Klingbeil, Jim Rice and Dave Browning; sisters Susan Ratliff and Sherri Fannan.

Skip will be dearly missed by so many. He wished to thank all who he had the pleasure to meet for enriching his life.


A celebration of Skip’s life will be held Friday, April 12, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. with memories being shared at 11:30 a.m. at The Gathering Place 133 Mason Street Onalaska, WI 54650. Military honors will take place at 12:30 p.m.



  1. Sharon Browning

    Godspeed Skip. You were a wonderful brother and friend and we will miss you so much.Our memories of your love, devotion to family and crazy sense of humor lives on in our hearts and we will treasure them always. Your beautiful soul is free now. Go rest high on that mountain. Until we meet again, Sharon, Jill and Sydney

    • Lori Klingbeil

      I’m at a loss. The world lost a kind and beautiful soul. Heaven gained another angel. You are truly one of a kind. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Keeping you all close to my heart.
      Love Lori

  2. Nancy Wohldmann

    My dear cousin Karen, I am so very sorry for the loss of Skip. I know he was your best friend, so my heart is so sad for you. I send prayers and lots of hugs. God bless you! ????❤

  3. Tracy(Kosulandich)Klingbeil

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Aunt Karen and family. I remember meeting uncle skip when John and I first started dating in 92. It was at a family reunion. He was welcoming along with the whole family. I can say from the few times I saw and encountered his presence he was always so nice and friendly. I loved hearing stories from John about his Uncle Skip (#12) and how much he taught him and how John loved him.

  4. Marsha Turner

    Karen, we have never met Skip but I know being married 50 years, he was your life. I’m so very sorry for your loss!! It sounds like you have a lot of memories and so many grandchildren to share your stories. Love is sent to you and yours at this most difficult time.

  5. Richard Pacheco (Optum Co-worker)

    Rebecca and family, my heart felt condolences on the passing of this great man. I did not know Skip, but reading his life story was truly an inspiration and I can say that Skip made me reflect on the important things in our lives. What a blessing and his memory will live on forever. God Bless!

  6. patti mallette

    My cousin, my friend. I will think of you always, and may we meet again to big smiles and hearts that jump for joy.

  7. Tom and Judy Wood

    Karen and family, It seemed in the summertime whenever I was outside in the front yard Skip would be in the garden or working in the yard. He always had such a beautiful garden and I doubt there was a weed in it.
    I was always going to come over and talk to him about the garden but it
    seemed things always got in the way and I never made it. This I am truly sorry for. Our prayers are with you and your family Karen and if we can ever repay all the help you and Casey have given us don’t hesitate to ask.We are here for you if you need us. Your neighbors Judy and Tom

  8. Nashelly Rosales

    I am deeply saddened to hear about your loss. Please accept my heartfelt condolences during this difficult time. Losing someone close to you is never easy, and I want you to know that my thoughts are with you and your family. If there’s anything I can do to support you during this period of mourning, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Take all the time you need to grieve, and remember that you’re surrounded by people who care about you.
    With sincere sympathy,


  9. Your GNAL Family


    We wanted to let you know hat you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. we can’t imagine what you are going through. Please know that we are here for you and anything you need. We are so sorry for your loss and wishing you peace during this difficult time.

    – Your GNAL Family ( Jen C, Keith, Mitch, Kyle, Nichole, John, Kristina, Cody, Nashelly, Scott and Teresa)


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