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Obituary for Karl Paul Kelley


Karl Paul Kelley, 67, of La Crosse, WI, passed away on August 29, 2020 from pancreatic cancer. He was born in La Crosse on November 28, 1952 to Patrick & Mildred (Adams) Kelley. Karl married Dawn Krismer on June 20, 1972 & together they had one son, Karl Patrick Kelley. Dawn preceded Karl in death in the summer of 1976. Karl graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1970 along with many of his life-long friends. He also met many friends when he marched in the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps in the ‘60s. In 1971, Karl enlisted in the Air Force. He trained & worked as a dental laboratory technician at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, from 1971 to 1975. Upon discharge, Karl worked as a dental laboratory technician in La Crosse from 1976 to 1978. He then started his own dental laboratory business in Decorah, Iowa. After a few years, he enrolled at WWTC in the drafting technician program & worked at Trane Co. in La Crosse. Later he went back to school at WWTC to become a Computer Science Technician & upon graduation was employed at various businesses in La Crosse. After becoming certified in Computer System Engineering, he worked in several states. He was very proficient in carpentry, remodeling several houses and eventually building his own home in Chilton, WI. He enjoyed many outdoor sports, including canoeing and scuba diving, travel, living in Florida and North Carolina, and especially woodworking. He is survived by his son, Karl of Loveland, CO, mother, M. Mildred Kelley, Onalaska, sister Karen (Steven) Munns, Onalaska, ex-wives Pamela (Hutchens) McDougal, Onalaska, & Julie Schmitz, Chilton, WI, nephews Bill (Nicole) Munns & Joe Munns, niece Katie (Joe) Welin, great-nieces Elsa & Hadley Munns, Clara & Elayna Welin & great-nephews Grayson & Dexter Munns. Karl was preceded in death by his first wife, Dawn, his father, Patrick, and brother, Kim. No services are planned per Karl’s wishes. The family would like to thank Gundersen hospice, especially nurses Amanda & Jenna, Freddy of Midwest Respiratory & Rehab, and River Valley VA clinic in La Crosse. When we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind. (Anonymous) To all of my family and friends: “I have lived life to the fullest, had lots of great experiences, and met many life-long friends from all over. Love ya all!”