Primary Contact: Tyler Tubbs, President, 715-205-0981
Secondary Contact: Bill Brockmiller, Treasurer, 608-386-0753
(La Crosse, Wisconsin) – Workers across various industries and occupations will be will be joined by community members on Saturday April 28, 2018 to honor workers killed and injured across Wisconsin.
A new ten-name bronze plaque will be unveiled at this year’s ceremony. An eleventh worker, train conductor Robert Hemling, died due to a work accident on March 27, 2018 at Cedar Creek Lumber (formerly Lake States Lumber) in Sparta. The tragedy involving Mr. Hemling occurred after the plaque was in production, however his name will also be read at this years’ service. Hemling, aged 39, was from Randolph, Wisconsin died due to a work accident, leaving a wife and two daughters.
City of La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat will read a formal proclamation from the City declaring April 28th as Workers Memorial Day in the City of La Crosse. Attendees will honor their own fallen by sharing their memories and reminding the rest of us that one of the best ways to memorialize these workers is by preventing other workers from being killed on the job. Guest speakers will include friends & family of the fallen as well as a representative from the La Crosse Police Department.
The additional ten tragedies being added to La Crosse’s Workers Memorial Day Honor Wall in 2018 are:
2014 – BROOKE (TINK) BAURES – Twenty-one-year-old Brooke “Tink” Baures died in a tragic accident involving a dumbwaiter while working at the Wingdam Saloon in Fountain City, Wisconsin on December 1, 2014. Due to the odd and heart-rending nature of the accident media coverage of the accident extended as far as New York City and London, England.
2013 – DAREL (BOBO) SKOLOS – Darel Alexander Skolos, known to some as “Bobo,” died on June 1, 2013, as the result of a vehicle accident he was in while driving part-time. Darel retired after a career as a semi-truck driver. He loved to drive, both for work and pleasure.
2013 – TYLER TRUSSONI – Tyler Trussoni, 22, of Genoa, Wisconsin died unexpectedly on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, in Dresbach, Minnesota. Tyler loved the Mississippi River and took many fishing trips on it with friends and family. His love for the river led him to his job with a job he loved. Tyler was working on the tugboat “Megan McB” when tragedy and a bit of irony struck. “Megan McB” was swamped by swift water killing Tyler, who was trapped inside.
2009 – HEATH VAN HANDEL – Thirty-six-year-old Heath Van Handel of Appleton died April 8, 2009 when his twin-engine Cessna 337 crashed as he provided firefighters with aerial information about a wildfire. The crash widowed his wife and left his two sons without a father. Heath’s sacrifice is listed on the “Roll of Honor” wall with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. (AFSCME LOCAL 1218)
2001 – MICHAEL REIDT – Michael Reidt, 38, of Strum died on November 13 when a portion of a brick wall collapsed on him. The contractor he was working for was fined $4,000 by OSHA. (LABORERS LOCAL 268)
1950 – JOSEPH (HONEST JOE) BURNS – Joseph (Honest Joe) Burns was crushed to death in July of 1950 when an engine bed frame he was working on fell on him. Honest Joe was a veteran of both World Wars and a boiler foreman for the railroad since 1920. Between wars Burns was active in American Legion Post 52 (La Crosse), serving as the Vingers’ Post Commander in 1929. Mr. Burns was 55 years old at the time of his death. Joseph was survived by his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.
1937 – JOSEPH DONNDELINGER – Donndelinger was on patrol on December 5, 1937 when he observed a speeding car run a stop sign at the corner of Fifth and Jackson Streets. After pulling the driver over, a vicious series of events ensued, including a hostage situation, car chase, and a robbery that ended with Donndelinger being shot three times. Joe was rushed to the hospital where he clang to life for five days before succumbing to his wounds. Officer Donndelinger’s sacrifice widowed his wife Clara and left his four children, the youngest at 11 months old, without a dad.
1916 – FRANK GROESHNER – La Crosse Police Officer Groeshner was on motorcycle patrol on November 18, 1916 died when he was struck by a Gund Brewery Truck at the intersection of 3rd and State Streets. The driver of the truck was not charged and the incident was regarded as a tragic traffic accident.
1900 – GEORGE WILLIAMS – George W Williams, age 55, died in the engine room at Heileman Brewery because of 3rd degree steam burns suffered while working. Mr. Williams worked on the third shift.
1900 T PERRY GATES – At the age of 37 La Crosse Police Officer Perry Gates was gunned down by three robbery suspects, orphaning his three children.
WHAT: Workers Memorial Day
WHEN: Saturday April 28, 2018 – 1:30 pm
WHERE: Green Island Park, 2312 7th St S, La Crosse