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Karl J. Gmur
Karl J. Gmur, age 73, of New Glarus, WI, passed away Sunday, August 19, 2012, at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, WI. He was born November 16, 1938 the son of Franz and Emilie Freida (Keusch) Gmur. Karl graduated from Argyle High School in 1956. He served in the United States Navy from 1956 until 1959. Karl attended Wisconsin School of Electronics, while working at Swiss Colony. He was united in marriage to Sheila McDonald in 1966. They were blessed with three children: Monika, William, and Kristopher. Karl was united in marriage to Kaye Luchsinger in 1982. Karl worked at Miniature Instruments in New Glarus, and also at Federal Industries for 40 years officially retiring on 09/09/09. His latest career included working as a courier for the Bank of New Glarus and also assisting RPM Motors in New Glarus with vehicle pickups.

Karl is survived by his wife, Kaye; three children: Monika (Bobby) Pernot, William (Lynnette) Gmur, and Kristopher (Teresa Kazmerzak) Gmur; four grandchildren: Trisha (Steve Miller) Pernot, Trevor (Danielle Wittmann) Pernot, Jakob and Josef Gmur; his first great-granddaughter who is on the way; several exchange students he and Kaye hosted through the years, including Marion VanHappen of Utrecht, Netherlands, Simon Braun of Braunwald, Switzerland, and Adrian Hakim of Karlsruhe, Germany; his brother and sister-in-laws: Mary Jane McDonald and Russ Wilson of Darlington, WI, Lynn and Ben Schwoerer and Beth Luchsinger of New Glarus, and Lori and Byron Ward of Poynette, WI; his mother-in-law: Lennys Luchsinger of New Glarus; and many nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his father in 1986; his mother in 1999; his first wife: Sheila in 1981; and his father-in-law: Willis Luchsinger in 2009.

Karl started playing polka music with the Russ Wilson Orchestra and spent the majority of his musical career playing with the Roger Bright Band. He also spent time playing bluegrass with Down From The Hills Band. He played with many other groups through the years, filling in as needed. In these past years he was very proud to have organized "Another Memorable Occasion", playing with Grant Kozera and friends for local New Glarus festivals. Karl was thrilled to have included his longtime friend Jay Broderson "the tallest banjo player in the Midwest" in this past year's polka fest.

Karl was very proud of his Swiss Heritage and was a Swiss citizen, flashing his Swiss ID card every chance he could while also passing along this citizenship to his children. His first trip to Switzerland was while stationed in Naples, Italy with the US Navy Band. Kaye and Karl loved to travel and returned to Switzerland and Europe many times. They also enjoyed traveling in the United States and they were able to visit all 50 states.

Karl was proud to be from New Glarus and was always sure to wear a New Glarus T-shirt promoting his hometown. He was awarded the "Ambassador Award" through the Gift of Community Committee in 2008. Karl enjoyed attending "Thirsty Thursday" at Puempels Tavern. Karl was an avid Face (page) book user; often taking his computer with him where ever he was going, even Thirsty Thursday. He was involved in the AMVETS, Red Cross Blood Drives, Parkinson's "All Shook Up," Leukemia and Lymphoma Society "Light the Night", Wilhelm Tell Play and sound technician for the New Glarus Kinderchor. Karl was a founding member for the New Glarus Industrial Development Corp and also a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) as he was an avid airplane enthusiast.

Most of all Karl was a collector. He collected many, many things, such as magazines, match box cars, CDs, tapes and records, Farmer's Almanacs, "antique radios", T-shirts and most of all beer cans. He was also a plant aficionado and loved to water them regularly. Most important was his collection of family, friends and neighbors. Karl made friends everywhere he went once his sense of humor was understood. As was often said, "He thinks he's hilarious." He was an inspiration to his family with his music, the pride in his Swiss heritage and his sense of humor, and was honored and blessed his family felt the same.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 25, 2012, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 338 South Harrison Street in Belleville, WI, with Rev. Michael Moon officiating. Casual attire is requested for the visitation which will be held Friday, August 24, 2012, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Schuetzenhaus (Shooting Park Barn), N8754 County Highway O in rural New Glarus. The Erickson Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Argyle is serving the family. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

"We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing" - C. Wyatt Runyan

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Karl's name.