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.