All posts by gmader

Florence (Schnell) Schaefer 1913 –

Florence (Schnell) Schaefer
1913 –

Florence was born December 22, 1913 to John and Julia Schnell. Florence was married on January 20, 1942 to John Schaefer and they became the parents of two children, Barbara and John Jr.

John was a salesman for Heileman’s Brewing Co.. They left La Crosse in 1946 when John transferred to Mitchell, South Dakota. In 1960 he was transferred to Mason City, Iowa where the family still resides. John passed away in January 1976 and Florence now lives alone. [update]

  1. Barbara Schaefer was born June 21, 1946 and is married to Dwight Kleven. Dwight owns a garage called Dale’s Service. They reside in Mason City and have two children: [update]
    1. Michael Kleven born in 1966.
    2. Lisa Kleven born in 1969.
  2. John Schaefer Jr. born on July 26, 1948 married Denise Hall. He works for Curries Mfg. Co. in Mason City. John and Denise have three children:
    1. Ryan Schaefer born in 1980.
    2. Adam Schaefer born in 1982.
    3. Jennifer Schaefer born in 1984.

Helen (Schnell) McHugh 1911 –

Helen (Schnell) McHugh
1911 –

Helen is the daughter of John and Julie Schnell born on May 6, 1911. She married Francis McHugh in 1935.

Helen and Francis were the parents of five sons and one daughter. Their children are Roger, Paul, Tom, Patricia, Danny, and William.

At first the McHughs lived in La Crosse, later moving to Onalaska and Holmen. Francis was a log hauler and then hauled milk. They had been married 35 years when Francis passed away in 1970.

Helen has worked at Arenz Shoes in La Crosse for 25 years and lives on Avon St.

  1. Roger McHugh was born on Oct. 27, 1937 and is married to Jean Hanson. Roger is Mayor of Holmen, WI and works in the office at Trane Co. They have three children:
    1. Kelly McHugh born in 1962.
    2. Jay McHugh born in 1964.
    3. Collen McHugh born in 1970.
  2. Paul McHugh was born in 1939. Paul was killed in an automobile accident at age of 18 in 1958.
  3. Tom McHugh was born on Oct. 19, 1940. He married Alice Ballet. Tom is self-employed selling heavy road equipment. They live in Eau Claire, WI and are the parents of four children:
    1. Paula McHugh born in 1966.
    2. Kimberly McHugh born in 1968.
    3. Tammy McHugh born in 1970.
    4. Matthew McHugh born in 1973.
  4. Patricia McHugh is the only daughter born on Nov. 25, 1942. Pat is a nun working in Campus Ministry at Stout College in Menomonie, WI She loves her work!
  5. Danny McHugh born on Jan.. 9, 1947 married Sharon Eide. Dan owns an Excavation and plumbing Company in Onalaska WI. Dan and Sharon have three children:
    1. Dean McHugh born in 1966.
    2. Vicky McHugh born in 1968.
    3. Terry McHugh born in 1970.
  6. William McHugh is the youngest child and lives in Holmen, WI. He is a sales representative for Westburn Supply. Bill married Nancy Sacia and they have three children:
    1. Nicholas McHugh born in 1979.
    2. Randon McHugh born in 1983.
    3. Adam McHugh born in 1985.

Edwin Schnell 1910 – 1963

Edwin Schnell
1910 – 1963

Edwin was the first child born in 1910 to John and Julie Schnell.

In a hunting accident at age 16 Edwin lost part of his arm. He was picking up his shot gun when it discharged up his arm.

Edwin served in World War II and was stationed in Greenland. He later was employed by the City of La Crosse.

Edwin was joined in marriage to Myrtle Biessel and they had four children: Steve, Susan and twins Scott and Sally.

At age 53, Edwin died of a brain hemorrhage on March 28, 1963. Myrtle remarried and now lives in West Salem.

  1. Steve Schnell is married to Anna who is the mother of three children by a previous marriage: Lisa, and twins Tim and Trent. Steve is a maintenance supervisor for Norplex in La Crosse and he has two children from a previous marriage.
    1. Mike Schnell born in 1966.
    2. Barbara Schnell born in 1970.
  2. Susan Schnell married Tony Krajewski and they reside in Onalaska. Susan and Tony have two girls:
    1. Michele Krajewski born in 1970.
    2. Kim Krajewski born in 1973.
  3. Scott Schnell is a twin to Sally born July 7, 1954. He is a computer engineer at Trane Co. in La Crosse. Scot married Judy Pretasky and they are the parents of three children:
    1. Matt Schnell born in 1976.
    2. Melanie Schnell born in 1980
    3. Kevin Schnell born in 1982.
  4. Sally Schnell is Scott’s twin sister born on July 7, 1954. Sally is married to Dennis Miller who is a printer. They have two sons:
    1. Josh Miller born in 1975.
    2. Justin Miller born in 1978.

Florence (Mader) Hoff 1911 –

Florence (Mader) Hoff
1911 –

Florence was the second daughter born in 1911 to Frank Jr. and Madgaline Mader.

Florence married a Norwegian, Olaf Hoff. Olaf worked in the bank and everyone in town knew him. At one time he ran for Mayor of La Crosse.

Florence and Olaf were the parents of two children, Joel and Mary:

  1. Joel Hoff married a girl named Marsha.Joel works with the I.R.S.. They live in Onalaska and have two sons:
    1. Mark Hoff born in 1976.
    2. Brian Hoff born in 1978.
  2. Mary Hoff was born in 1937. She is married to Curtis Allen.They are retired teachers and live in La Crosse.

Viola (Mader) Winkel 1909 – 1990

Viola (Mader) Winkel
1909 – 1990

Viola was the first daughter of Frank Jr. and Magdaline Mader born in 1909.

Her mother died when Viola was 20 and it was up to her to keep house for her father Frank. He did not want her to leave and get married and broke up any friendship Viola had with a boy.

Finally claiming her independence, Viola left for Milwaukee to go to beauty school where she met Ray Winkel at the Wisconsin Roof Gardens. Viola and Ray got married against her father’s wishes. “I was just lucky,” Viola said. “I was 36 years old.” In 1952 their only daughter Mary was born.

Ray’s father was a co-founder of the Milwaukee Vocational School in Milwaukee. Ray worked as a security guard for the Milwaukee Museum.

Some time later, Viola moved back to La Crosse with her family. Ray Winkel has since passed away and Viola lives alone on Jackson St. [Updated 2005 : Viola passed away on April 27, 1990]

  1. Mary Rose Winkel (named after Maria Rosa Mader) was the only child born in 1952. She is married to Michael Strasser who teaches at the University of WI in La Crosse and is also a pilot. They are residing in West Salem, WI. [Updated 2005: now living in Onalaska with my husband, Michael.]

Helen (Mader) Beeler 1920 – 1969

Helen (Mader) Beeler
1920 – 1969

Helen was the last child and the only living daughter of Joseph and Angeline Mader. The “baby sister” of five brothers, Helen was born on February 17, 1920.

When Helen was eleven, her father Joseph passed away before he and Angeline could celebrate the coming 25th wedding anniversary. They had planned to take Helen along on a trip to New York and New Jersey. Helen still wanted to go so Angeline, Helen and Ben took the train to Newark, NJ to stay with their mother’s sister, Sister Cordulana. Ben remembers they made 3-4 trips into N.Y.C. and went on a Hudson boat trip to West Point.

Like most of the Maders, Helen was quiet and easy-going. Ben found her a job at National Tea on 6th and 8th Sts. in La Crosse. Helen worked there as a check out girl for about seven years. She did spend at least a winter in Washington D.C. living in her own house until she moved back to La Crosse in the spring of 1946.

Helen at age 26 married Lester Beeler in La Crosse ca., 1947. Lester was from Tennessee and was stationed at Camp McCoy near Sparta. After the marriage, they lived for several years in Lawrensburg, Tenn. where their son William was born. The family moved back to La Crosse and lived with Helen’s mother Angeline on 13th St. to care for her in her reclining years.

They were the parents of one more child, Mary. Lester was a warehouse foreman for Peter Nelson. After Angeline’s death in 1955, Helen and Lester purchased the Mader family home from her brother John.

Helen suffered a stroke in the late 1950’s from which she never fully recovered. She passed away in October 1969 at the age of 49. Lester later remarried, when he died he left the house to his children Bill and Mary.

  1. William Beeler was born in Tennessee ca 1947. He is an electrician working for Kish and Sons Electric Co.. Bill recently became married. He and his Genny live in Onalaska.
  2. Mary Beeler married Harold Bynum. Mary sells real estate in Florida. They are the parents of one son.
    1. Bryan Bynum

Lambert Mader 1914 – 1980

Lambert Mader
1914 – 1980

The last son of Joseph and Angeline, Lambert was born on October 29, 1914. He was nicknamed “Bobie” which meant a “small boy”in German.

As a young man, Lambert went to St. Louis to study for the Brotherhood. He became a novice and taught in one of their high schools. When it came time to take his final vows, Lambert couldn’t accept the vow of poverty, so he went to college in New York City because the colleges were like public schools and anyone could go.

While out East, Lambert married Louise Harms. They had no children but Louise had a child from a previous marriage. They made their home in Washington D.C. where Lambert was employed as a bookkeeper and his wife sold real estate. Louise passed away in 1960.

One day in the fall on 1979, Lambert came back to La Crosse and checked into the Stoddard Hotel with no money and all his belongings in a suitcase. The next day, his brother John was called and he came to collect Lambert and pay his bill. Lambert wasn’t well. He spent some time in a La Crosse Hospital where he died of heart failure on February 11, 1980 at age 66. John paid the hospital bill.

Lambert was cremated and his ashes were buried on top of his father in the Catholic Cemetery. His only assets were a note for something he had sold, the income of which was a $120.00 a month.

Bernard Mader 1911 – 2005

Bernard Mader
1911 – 2005

Bernard was born on August 22, 1911 in the family home on 13th St. to Joseph and Angeline Mader.

On Saltzer’s Field when Ben was a teenager, he found an old fashioned high bike with a big wheel in front and a small wheel in back. (1) Ben rode the bike all over and was soon known by everyone in town since no one else had a bike like it. (This bike is on display at Smith’s Bike Shop on 8th St. in La Crosse.) An avid bike rider, Ben participated in many bike races from 1925-1927. He went to races in Kenosha and Madison and won a trophy. On a field day at Riverside Park, Ben won a gold watch for riding the plank.

During high school, Ben worked in the mail room of the La Crosse Tribune bundling and shipping newspapers. After graduation he got a job delivering meat for Jahlen’s Meat Market. “I got the job- then I learned to drive!” Ben said. “we didn’t need a driver’s license then. People called up and ordered meat and we delivered it to their houses.”

Whenever Ben delivered meat to the Linker Hotel, Steve Goudrich, the German cook that worked there, would always say to his wife, “Ben’s a growing boy.” and he’d cut him a slice of thick meat on a sandwich for him to eat. While working at Jahlen’s, Ben became acquainted with Jack Mc William, a salesman for Oscar Mayer Meat Co.. Ben and Jack became partners in B.J. Foods, a wholesale food route that called on grocery stores in the La Crosse area. Among other things they were early distributors for Old Home cottage cheese, Kool-Aide, Milwaukee Cheese Products and a dill pickle with a saw coating called “Peel’em and Eat’em.” They sold B.J. Foods after about five years to Milwaukee Cheese Co.. Ben worked for them for a short while then started a route for Bakalar’s Sausage where he worked on commission.

In 1955 after a few odd jobs he started working for a wholesale toy route stocking shelves in the stores. When that was sold Ben started his own wholesale souvenir and candy business ca 1960 which was very successful.

Ben met his wife Ceil through her brother Jerry Kamperschroer. “When I first met Ceil she wasn’t an individual she was Jerry’s sister”‘ Ben said. They were married on June 2, 1938. Borrowing her brother’s car, Ben and Ceil went to St. Louis for their honeymoon. Ceil was strong-willed and Ben was easy-going. They had a large family of six boys and two girls. The first three boys: Tom, Dick, Mike were four years apart. After Mike, Mary, Steve, Rose were close together in ages. Later there was Greg and Tim. Ceil was 42 years old when the youngest was born and Ben was 46.

Raising eight children in the small house on Farnam St. was hard for Ceil, though she kept the house spotless and the kids in line. During the 50’s there never seemed to be enough money to make ends meet. Later as the children grew up and Ben went into business for himself, things began to improve. Before her death in 1982 Ceil said, “The last 20 years have been very good to me.” She became ill with cancer and died two years later.

Ben sold his home on 1630 Farnam St. in La Crosse and married Marie Kamperschroer in July of 1983. Marie was the widow of Jerry Kamperschroer, Ceil’s brother. [Updated 2005: Ben passed away January 25, 2005 at Bethany St Joe Care Center. obituary]

  1. Thomas Mader was the first child born on May 5, 1939. In 1960 he married Eileen Clemment from Westby, WI. Tom is a franchisee for Country Kitchen. He also has a newspaper agency and a newspaper trucking business. Tom and Eileen live in Green Bay, WI and have five children. [update]
    1. Edward Mader was born March 25, 1961. Ed is in newspaper trucking and has his own window
      cleaning business. He is living in Green Bay, WI.
    2. Janine Mader born on March 27, 1962 is married to Jack Kaczmarek. Janine works at the Country Kitchen and is a student at U.W.G.B.. Jack works for Home Interiors as a carpet installer. They reside in Green Bay and have one son:
      • Ryan Kaczmarek born on May 20, 1984.
    3. Christine Mader was born July 17, 1963. She is married to Barry Wahlen. Barry is employed at tock Lumber and Chris is an assistant manager at Country Kitchen. They also live in Green Bay and have two boys:
      • Lucas Wahlen born on Aug. 25, 1982
      • Casey Wahlen born on March 20, 1984.
    4. Susan Mader was born August 13, 1967. She will be a Sophomore at the University of Minn..
    5. Paul Mader was born on Nov. 19, 1970. He will be a Sophomore at Southwest High School in Green Bay.
  2. Richard Mader was the second son born on March 31, 1943. He was married to Mary Gregory of Beloit, WI in 1965. Dick is a distributor for the Wall Street Journal and other papers in Los Angeles, Cal. They have two children: [update]
    1. Elaina Mader was born on May 20, 1966. She will be attending her 3rd year of college in San Diego, Cal.
    2. Evan Mader is an adopted son born March 29, 1970. Evan will be a high school Junior.
  3. Michael Mader was born on March 13, 1947. In 1969 he was married to Carol Mashak of Bangor, WI. Mike graduated from medical school at the Univ. in Madison and is a Dr. of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is practicing at the Gunderson Clinic in La Crosse. Mike and Carol had four children: [update]
    1. Georgia Mader born Jan. 3, 1970, lived only 18 hours.
    2. Matthew Mader born on Jan. 24, 1972 will be starting high school this fall.
    3. Stephanie Mader is adopted and was born May 19, 1977.
    4. Alexia Mader born Dec. 13, 1980.
  4. Mary Mader was the first daughter born on Sept. 2, 1948. Mary is a Viterbo College graduate and teaches high school. She married Ted Palzkill in 1974 who is managing the family farm near Mineral Point, WI. They are the parents of two boys and two girls: [update]
    1. Jeffrey Palzkill born on Sept. 7, 1975.
    2. Andrew Palzkill born Aug. 20, 1976
    3. Nichole Palzkill born Dec. 21,1978.
    4. Molly Palzkill born
  5. Stephen Mader born on July 2, 1950 was married to JoWayne Bjorge from Arcadia, WI in 1970. Steve is a partner is A-1 Glass Co. on Rose St. in La Crosse. Jo is a beautician. Steve and Jo live in Onalaska and have two daughters: [update]
    1. Kimberly Mader was born on Aug 9, 1972. She will be a high school freshman.
    2. Kari Mader was born April 29, 1975.
  6. Roseanne Mader was born Oct. 3, 1951. Rose attended La Crosse State Technical School and has since been employed by the Lutheran Hospital in payroll accounting. Rose recently was promoted to department manager. In 1976 she married Mike Levendoski who works at Dairyland Power Co. in Genoa. Rose and Mike own a farm near Stoddard, WI and have two children: [update]
    1. Jennifer Levendoski was born April 5, 1978.
    2. Ryan Levendoski was born on July 13, 1980.
  7. Gregory Mader born July 19, 1954 was married to Sandra Hubbard from Norwalk, WI in 1975. Greg works for Stansfield Vending and Sandy works in the office for Gateway Grocers. They have a home in West Salem and are the parents of two girls: [update]
    1. Jill Mader was born Feb 25, 1979.
    2. Kelsey Mader born on April 5, 1984.
  8. Timothy Mader was the last child born on Feb 13, 1957. Tim graduated from medical school in Madison and is currently interning in Danville, Penn. in surgery.
  9. [update]


(1) Saltzer’s Field was a field used for landing planes located in the are of Ward Ave. and Losey Blvd. The Saltzer’s were neighbors of Ben’s grandfather Frank before they moved to town.

Marcus Mader 1910 –

Marcus Mader
1910 –

Mark was Joseph and Angeline’s third son born on May 19, 1910.

Mark had lived in Washington D.C. before he joined the Army where he worked in the Army Finance Office in New Delhi, India. On his discharge from the service in October of 1945, Mark came back to La Crosse for a short time before returning to Washington D.C.

Mark received a job in Civil Services through a typing contest which he had won. A position he was to keep for 40 years.

At the age of 36, Mark married Mary Bianca on January of 1946. Mary was from New York City and was living in Washington D.C.. Soon after their marriage, Mark and Mary bought a brick row house in Georgetown, six blocks from the Capital. (1)

They had three daughters: Francis, Catherine, and Florence.

In October of 1969, Mark’s sister Helen and her husband Lester visited them. Two weeks later Helen had died and Mary became ill with Bell’s Palsy. They could not go to Helen’s funeral because Mary needed to be hospitalized. Mary never came home, she died in the hospital in 1970.

Over the years Mark had collected over 40 restored antique violins with a value of over $1,000.00 apiece. As a young man in La Crosse, Mark played the violin in an orchestra with his brother Joe. Mark started playing when he took violin lessons from the nuns at Holy Trinity Grade School. Mark also had collected a complete set of National Geographic, dating back forty years.

  1. Francis Mader was born on September 13, 1947. She married William Harris in 1974. Francis is employed by the University of Virginia working in an office and William is a Sergeant in the Sheriffs Dept. of Loudoun Co. Virginia. They reside in Centerville, VA and have one daughter:
    1. Judith Harris born on March 14, 1976.
  2. Catherine Mader was born December 21, 1948 and in 1972 married Charles Malina. Catherine is a data processing computer operator. She and her husband have divorced. They had one daughter.
    1. Vanessa Malina born on May 6, 1977.
  3. Florence Mader the last child born July 18, 1951 married Toni De Somma in 1979. Toni is a contract administrator for Syscon in San Diego, Cal.. They are the parents of two girls and are expecting a son in October:
    1. Monica De Somma was born April 18, 1980.
    2. Melissa De Somma was born on March 28, 1984.
    3. Expecting a boy in October of 1986.


(1) Mark has been living in the house up to the present time. The real estate value of Georgetown property has greatly appreciated. Homes selling for well over $200,000.00.

John Mader 1908 –

John Mader
1908 –

John was born in the Mader home on 13th St. on June 10, 1908 to Joseph and Angeline Mader, five months after his grandmother Rose died.

After high school, John joined the Air Force and was stationed in Alabama. In the service he worked with radio equipment pursuing an interest he had as a boy. His girlfriend Gretchen Schmidt, a school teacher from La Crosse, came down to Alabama in 1942 and John and Gretchen were married there.

On his return to La Crosse, John worked for John Papenfuss, an electrical contractor. Eventually John started his own company called “Mader Electric Company”, located on Avon Street. John became on of Wisconsin’s most successful electrical contractors. His biggest project was the rewiring of the State Capital during remodeling in Madison, Wisconsin, a job that took several years to complete. Among his other big accounts John did the electrical work on Viterbo College in La Crosse.

John was good to his mother Angeline and when his father died he supported her financially for many years. After Angeline had a stroke and needed to be hospitalized, John paid her hospital bill of almost a year. John and Gretchen were especially close to his sister Helen and her family.

John and Gretchen did not have children. Gretchen taught Jefferson Grade School in La Crosse until her retirement. She died of cancer in 1980. John remained in their home at 6878 Cloverdale Rd. Onalaska until he sold it this year when he became ill with Parkinson’s Disease and needed care.

A pilot, John greatest pastime was flying. Through the years he owned three airplanes which took him on trips all over the country.

Local Honors Two
Longtime Members

John Mader, too, made significant contributions to this local union. John served as a delegate to the old Central Trades and Labor Council and as a delegate to the La Crosse Building and Construction Trades Council. In 1946 John formed the Mader Electric Company and became one on Wisconsin’s most successful electrical contractors. Mader Electric Company employed many members of this organization during the 24 years John was in business and for those of us who were fortunate enough to have worked for John Mader, we all can say that we never worked for a fairer employer. Local 135 wishes Len Roellich and John Mader many more healthful years of a richly deserved retirement.