Sime Funeral Home Obituaries

05/21/2015 01:52 PM

Randy Byl


Randy Byl, 57, of Soldiers Grove, passed away on Thursday, May 21, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center with his wife and family by his side.

He was born in Freeport, Illinois on April 24, 1958 to Mervin and Esther (Pyle) Byl.  He graduated from North Crawford High School in 1976.  On September 18, 1976 he married Arlene Clason at North Clayton United Methodist Church.

He worked at Advance Transformer for 13 years.  Later he worked at Scot Industries in Muscoda and Holy Cow Cattle Company in Blue River.  For the past 18 years he worked for Sunrise Orchards in Gays Mills.  All of his life he had a love of farming.  In his early years he loved to go hunting, fishing, and ride horses.  He had a special love for the holidays and making children happy by being “Santa’s Helper”.  He was a member of the Soldiers Grove Fire Department for 35 years.  He was also a member of the Soldiers Grove Lions Club and a member of the Sons of the American Legion in Soldiers Grove.

He is survived by his wife Arlene of Soldiers Grove; 2 sons:  Dustin (Jennifer) and Joshua (Amy) all of Soldiers Grove; 4 grandchildren:  Thomas, Miranda, Bentley, and Alexis; 1 brother:  Paul (Rose) Byl of Pecatonica, Illinois, and 1 sister:  Pamela Smith of Loves Park, Illinois; and also many nieces, nephews, and other friends and relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a nephew:  Logan Clason; and the family dog PJ.

Funeral services will be held on 11 A.M. on Monday, May 25, 2015 at North Clayton United Methodist Church.  Pastor Lorie Betz and Wayne Goplin will officiate. Burial will be in the North Clayton Cemetery.  Friends may call at the church on Sunday May 24, from 4 until 7 PM and on Monday from 10 A.M. until time of services.  The family is being served by the Sime Funeral Home of Readstown

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05/11/2015 11:59 AM

Shirley Knutson

Shirley Mae Knutson, 81, of Janesville died shortly after arrival at Mercy Hospital & Trauma Center Friday, May 8, 2015. She was born in Readstown, WI in Vernon County on June 3, 1933, the daughter of Douglas and Mary (Stone) Chroninger. She graduated from Readstown High School in 1951 and married Arlen Knutson on July 25, 1953. He died on November 28, 2002. Shirley was employed over the years at the tobacco warehouse in Readstown, Freeman Shoe Company, Admiral Corporation, Parker Pen Company and retired from Moore Seafood. She was a member of First Lutheran Church. She was an avid doll collector, enjoyed making porcelain dolls, crocheting, sewing, cooking, doing Norwegian baking, reading, watching hummingbirds and traveling but above all she enjoyed being with her family, especially her grandchildren.
Survivors are five daughters, Ramona L. (John) Maske of Milton, twins, Denise M. (Tom) Barlass and Diane M. (Greg) Harrier both of Janesville, Julie A. (Nolan) Turnmire of Readstown, Michelle K. Danks of Janesville, 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren two brothers, Donald and Duane Chroninger, three sisters, Louise Whittingham, Lynn Morrow and Sheila Stone, numerous nieces , nephews and cousins. In addition to her husband and parents, Shirley was preceded in death by six brothers and sisters.
Visitation will be Monday, May 11, 2015 from 4 to 6 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 612 N. Randall Avenue, Janesville followed by funeral services at the church at 6 p.m. Monday. Rev. James Melvin will officiate. Graveside services and burial will be at noon Tuesday, May 12th in the Readstown, WI Cemetery. The Knutson family is being assisted by Henke-Clarson Funeral Home, Janesville and Sime Funeral Home in Readstown.

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05/09/2015 06:42 AM

Patricia Schoville


Patricia Schoville, 81, of Soldiers Grove, passed away on Friday, May 8, 2015 at the Sannes Skogdalen Nursing Home in Soldiers Grove.

             She was born on May 23, 1933 in Soldiers Grove to Tillman and Rebecca (Hooverson) Swiggum.  She married Richard Schoville on Nov. 21, 1951 at her family farm.  After marriage, they lived in Baraboo and later Beloit for a time.  They returned to the Soldiers Grove area where they have lived and farmed most of their married lives. She worked for many years at the Soldiers Grove Post Office,  retiring in 1996 as Post Master.  About the time of her retirement they became “snowbirds” in Florence, Arizona for over twenty years.

             She was a sixty year member of the Wm. A. Schoville Post #220 American Legion Post Auxiliary. She enjoyed playing cards, doing cross stitch, and watching birds. For a while she sold lefsa in stores as “Patty’s Lefsa Kitchen”.

             She is survived by her husband:  Richard of Soldiers Grove; 1 son:  Teddy (Jennifer) Schoville of Soldiers Grove; 2 daughters:  Jennifer Schoville of Fayetteville, N.C., and Julie Schoville of Beloit; 3 grandchildren:  Jacob Schoville of Madison, Michelle (Chad) Meeker of Avoca, and Mitchell McClintic of Beloit; 2 great grandchildren:  Kolton McCorkle, and Kasey Layton; Marla Walsh was a great friend and helper to her; she is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

             She was preceded in death by her parents, 2 sisters:  Marion Shaw and Betty Jo Showen, and 1 brother:  Rheo Swiggum.

             A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, May 23, 2015 beginning at 1 PM at the Old Oak Inn in Soldiers Grove. Pastor Keith Schoville will officiate.  Memorials may be given to the North Crawford Rescue Squad or to the charity of their choice.

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05/04/2015 06:42 AM

Karl Wangen


Karl Wangen, 48, of Soldiers Grove, Wis. passed away on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at Gundersen Lutheran in LaCrosse.

He was born in Viroqua, Wis. on March 21, 1967 to Orvis and Linda (Swiggum) Wangen.  He married Jennifer Baker on January 23, 1999.  He graduated from North Crawford High School and attended college in Waseca, Minnesota.

He and Jennifer have farmed together for about twenty years. He loved his family.  Karl has been a farmer since the day he was born. John Deere was his favorite brand of tractor. He enjoyed fishing and hunting. Karl would help anyone who needed it. He also enjoyed listening to sporting events while he was in his tractor and working in the shop.  He was very proud of his kids and how they were growing up the way he did working on the family farm. Karl will be missed by many.

 He is survived by his wife Jennifer, his  children:  Kevin, and Julia, all of Soldiers Grove; his mother:  Linda (Ben Ward) of Soldiers Grove; and 1 brother:  Eric of Viroqua.

             He was preceded in death by his son: Gregory; his father: Orvis; and his father and mother-in-law Harry and Simone Baker.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 7, at 1 PM at Kickapoo United Lutheran church at Folsom. Pastor Steve Fossum will  officiate and burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call from 10:30 AM until time of services at the church.  Online condolences may be left at

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04/20/2015 07:55 AM

John W. Marshall

marshall-john-w-photo-1-for-website.jpgJohn W. Marshall, 87, of Viola passed away on Monday, April 20, at his home.

He was born on June 14, 1927 in the Town of Sylvan, Richland County to Arthur and Goldie (Mosher) Marshall. He was united in marriage to Gloria J. Bennett on Sept. 28, 1949.

John was a lifelong member of Sylvan United Methodist Church and later Viola United Methodist.  John took great pride in his Grade A Dairy Farm at Sylvan where Gloria and he raised their family, and hosted many family dinners and activities .

He is survived by his wife Gloria, to this union 9 children were born:  Annette (Joseph) Sebranek of Ames, IA, John (Joan) Marshall of Lodi, WI, Maureen (Lanny) Swingle of Ballwin, Missouri, Georgia (Bob) Bursack, of Cary, Illinois, Gloria (Dean) Dregne, of Viroqua, WI, Barbara Marshall of Viola, WI, Rosemary (David) Dregne, of Readstown, WI, Patrick (Jeanne) Marshall of Viola, WI, and Paul (Gail) Marshall of Viola, WI.  He is also survived by 23 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren; he is also survived by his sisters:  Lorraine (Verlin Glick) and Charlotte, his sisters-in-law:  Beverly (Don Wheeler), Phyllis Bennett, Patricia Bennett, JoAnn Wagner, Judy White, and Panzi Marshall, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers:  Willard, Myron (Marveline), brothers-in-law Gene, Bill,  Bruce, and Vincent.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 11 AM at Viola United Methodist Church. Greg Marshall and Ben Bursack will officiate. Friends may call at the church from 10 AM until time of service. Online condolences may be sent to

John is remembered for putting family and farm first.

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04/07/2015 10:09 AM

Merrill Pugh

Merrill V. Pugh, 80, of Soldiers Grove, passed on to his heavenly home on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at Bland Bekkadal Hospice in Viroqua.

             He was born in Hammond, Indiana on July 3, 1934 to Hollie and Alice (Fehlman) Pugh. He married Sally Heal on June 2, 1957 at the home of her grandparents, Ernest and Ethel Heal, in Readstown. 

             Merrill graduated from Gays Mills High School and attended the U.W. Madison Agricultural Short Course.  He farmed for many years on Halverson Ridge south of Soldiers Grove at Far Hills Farm.  He also worked for several years at Lands End.    He was a longtime member and Elder of the Soldiers Grove Church of Christ.  Merrill was a creative inventor and there was nothing he couldn’t build or fix.  He loved spending time with his family. He was a devoted Christian husband and father.

             He is survived by 2 sons:  Randy (Sharon) of Viola and David (Karla) of Soldiers Grove; 2 daughters:  Joan (Steve) Mott of Jackson, Wis., and Beverly (Ron) Schmidt of Boscobel; 15 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren; and a dear friend Susan Akers.

             He was preceded in death by his wife Sally (2011),his sister Charlene, and 1 grandson–Josh Krambeer.

             Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 11, at 11:00 A.M. at Soldiers Grove Church of Christ. Pastor Lance Lorenz will officiate and burial will be in the Sugar Grove Cemetery.  Friends may call at the Sime Funeral Home in Readstown on Friday from 5 to 7 PM and on Saturday at the church from 10 AM until time of services.


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04/07/2015 10:05 AM

Ricky Bolstad

Ricky Bolstad, 59, of Soldiers Grove, passed away on Monday, April 6, 2015 at the Madison Veterans Hospital.

             He was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 30, 1955 to Arthur and Shirley (Wilson) Bolstad.  He attended Viroqua Schools.  He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1974 to 1977.  He married Diane Kabat in 1976, they later divorced.

             He worked in carpentry and a variety of many other jobs, always willing to lend a hand when anyone called on him.  Before becoming disabled he enjoyed hunting, fishing, mushroom hunting, and other outdoor activities.  He also loved playing cards and enjoyed laughs with the family.

             Ricky is survived by his son Jeremy Bolstad (with his daughter Arianna) of Florida, his daughters:  Chevy (Micheal Peterson) Bolstad of LaCrosse, and Murilla (Jacob Menne) Bolstad of Ferryville (with their daughter Hayli); the mother of his daughters:  Dyan Hansen of LaCrosse;  his mother:  Shirley Bolstad of Viroqua, 2 brothers:  Brian of Soldiers Grove, and Michael (Lisa) of Genoa; 1 sister:  Kim (Gary) Dull of Viroqua, a special friend, Patricia of Viroqua; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

             He was preceded in death by his father, Arthur, maternal and paternal grandparents, and a great nephew, Tristan, and other relatives.

             Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 10 at 1 PM at Franklin Lutheran Church. Pastor James Folz will officiate and burial will be in the church cemetery.  Friends may call at the Sime Funeral Home in Readstown on Thursday, from 5 to 7 PM, and at the church on Friday from noon until time of services. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred.  Online condolences may be sent to 


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03/31/2015 06:26 AM

Rosemary Groves

groves-rosemary-photo-1.jpgRosemary (Fetty) Groves was born on Friday, October 23, 1925 to George Oliver and Ruth Esther (Keys) Fetty on a farm in Vernon county near Sugar Grove, Wisconsin.

When she was three years old her parents and sister, Lola Fern, moved to Richland Center where her father was employed at Carter’s Ice Cream factory. Rosemary was enrolled in kindergarten at age four. After a year there, the family moved to Soldiers Grove where her father took over the Standard Oil bulk station in 1930. She grew up in Soldiers Grove, attended grades 1 through high school and graduated in 1943, right in the midst of World War II.

She wanted to work for the defense of her country, so she left for Chicago where she worked at the Dodge Chicago plant on Cicero Ave. making parts for B-29 bombers.

While she was there, Rosemary came to faith in Christ at a revival service in Harvey, Illinois when she was 18. One of the scripture verses that the Lord gave her when she first came to faith in Christ was John 5:24. “In an instant,” she said, “I knew I had passed from death to life, though at the time I did not know just where the scripture was found.”

When the war was over in 1945, Rosemary worked a short while at Setwell Hanger Factory and J.C. Penney’s in Harvey, Illinois. During this time she took voice and piano lessons. She had the opportunity to audition for a scholarship at the American Conservatory of Music, but was outperformed by others who had far more training.

She returned to Soldiers Grove in 1946 and resumed fellowship in a Christian Saturday night group. It was there that she renewed a friendship with Hubert Groves and on Friday, September 12, 1947 she married him at the Soldiers Grove Methodist Church.

Hubert and Rosemary started out in evangelistic work, but in 1948 they were appointed to serve the Soldiers Grove, North Clayton and Readstown Methodist churches. Their first son, George, was born that summer on Father’s Day, June 20. Their second son Torry was born three years later, on Sunday July 8, 1951. Their ministry in Soldiers Grove lasted until 1956.

Meanwhile, Rosemary worked side by side in the ministry with her husband. She took care of the youth programs of the churches at each place they served (New Lisbon, Necedah and Dellwood; Osceola and Dresser; Livingston, Arthur, and Stitzer; and Westby, Sugar Grove and Salem Ridge), was vice-president and president of the United Methodist Women, taught Sunday school classes, Vacation Bible School, was pianist and organist for 25 years, sang duets with her husband, taught her children to sing, was known as a good organizer, cook, and managed her household well. She loved the Lord, her family, and was a generous giver.

She was not ashamed of the Good News about Christ. She knew it is God’s powerful method of bringing all who believe it to heaven. (Romans 1:16,17). God makes us ready for heaven – makes us right in His sight – when we put our faith and trust in Christ to save us.

A favorite Bible verse was Psalm 17:15: But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face. Rosemary was called home to be with her Lord, and those who have gone on before her who have loved the Lord, on March 31, 2015 at the age of 89.

For the time being she leaves behind her son George and his wife Charlotte of Berlin, her son Torry and his wife Kathryn of Livingston; seven grandchildren: Christy Slaughter and her husband Jason, Kari Kolling and her husband Matthew, Joy Hebard and her husband Christopher, Lisa, Kirk, Lindsey and Ashley; one step-grandson, Troy Hagen; six great grandchildren: Joshua and Emma Kolling, Jeremiah, Serena, and Anna Slaughter, and Lucy Hebard; a sister, Lola Fern Etheridge, a brother W. Donald (Fetty) Keys and his wife Valerie; a brother George and his wife Lynn; a sister-in-law, Mildred Burchfield and several nieces and nephews. Rosemary was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and an infant daughter, Lorna Carole.

Visitation and funeral will be this Saturday, April 4, at the Soldiers Grove United Methodist Church. Visitation from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Funeral at 11:00 a.m. Memorials can be made to the church or to the Blane Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care.

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03/29/2015 07:47 AM

Helena Petrovits


Helena Christie Campbell Petrovits, 95, of rural Viroqua, WI, formerly of Marstons Mills, MA, and born in Hackensack, NJ, passed away peacefully in the company of family on March 27, 2015. She loved her family, her dogs, her books, lively conversation, crossword puzzles, and her well-traveled Steinway piano, a gift from her father when she was a girl.

           Helen was a registered nurse for five decades, first donning her starched white cap during World War II and tending patients well into her 70s. Her gusto for life, sharp wit, and irreverent sense of humor enchanted friends and loved ones of every generation she encountered. Here’s hoping they have PBS in heaven so she can critique the final season of Downton Abbey.

           She was preceded in death by the love of her life, Eugene John Petrovits, with whom she raised six children on their beloved Cape Cod, and by her parents, Frank and Edith (Banta) Campbell; her brothers, Dolph, Frank and James Campbell; and her sister Maude Abbott.


Helen moved to Wisconsin’s Driftless region in 2000 to a ridgetop farm where she loved to sit on her front porch and watch her latest crop of grandchildren and the evening barn swallows.

           “Monnie” is survived by five daughters: Christina Petrovits of La Crosse, WI; Eliza Petrovits of Warren, ME; Illona Campbell of Thomaston, ME; Alexandra Petrovits of Viroqua, WI; and Eugenia (Michael) Nordskog of La Farge, WI; and one son: Mark (Valerie) Petrovits of Marstons Mills, MA; as well as ten grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and beloved nieces and nephews.

           Helen’s family thanks Dr. Elizabeth Roberts and the staff at Viroqua’s Bland Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care for their diligent and compassionate care of our mother during her last days.

           The family will celebrate Helen’s life at a gathering next summer on Cape Cod. Memorials encouraged to the Bland Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care.


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03/27/2015 07:04 AM

Simone Baker

img608.jpgSimone Romaine (Buchholtz) Baker, 77, of rural Viroqua, passed away suddenly on Thursday, March 26, 2015, at her home.

She was born on Feb. 24, 1938, to Azra and Genevieve (Sime) Buchholtz, in La Crosse, Wi. She married Harry Baker on June 22, 1957, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in West Salem. They first lived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, while Harry was in the Navy. They then lived in Menomonee Falls, Westby, and finally settled in rural Viroqua to farm in 1977. Later, Simone worked at Bethel and VARC group homes.

Simone attended Luther College, majoring in music. She played clarinet in several community bands. Her talent, love and passion for music has been passed on to her children and grandchildren. Simone’s heart was full of love for God, her family, and all children. She served as Den Mother, taught Sunday School, and invited any in need into their home. Simone loved animals; some of her favorite memories were riding her horse and feeding the calves. She also loved to read, especially her Bibles. She enjoyed telling and writing stories. Simone was a very special grandma, spending many hours taking care of her grandchildren.

Simone is survived by two daughters: Heidi Baker of Viroqua, and Jennifer (Karl) Wangen of Soldiers Grove; four sons: Brian of La Crosse, Timothy of Minneapolis, Eric (Renee) of Viroqua, and Patrick of Viroqua; her eight beloved grandchildren: Ethan, Serena and Kaylee Baker, Genevieve, Jacob, and Erin Baker, and Kevin and Julia Wangen; she is further survived by her mother, Genevieve Terhune of Readstown; one brother, Steve (Kathy) Rapraeger of Holmen; one sister, Debbie (Steve) Jensen of West Salem; and sisters- and brothers-in-law: Bonnie, Dee and Don, and Jeanine; and many cherished relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Azra; her husband, Harry, in 2004; her sons: Harry Brent, Steven Matthew, and Joshua Daniel; her grandsons: Gregory and Daniel; her sister, Becky; and the little ones.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at 1:00 pm., at Peace Lutheran Church in Readstown. Kathryn Ingbritsen will officiate. A visitation will be held at the church from 11:00 am until time of services. Burial will be at the Bethel Cemetery of Viroqua.

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