Visitation, funeral details for Indiana plane crash victims John Pagel, Steve Witcpalek
Indiana State Police say a small plane crashed northwest of Indianapolis on Thursday night, killing everyone on board. At least three people were on the Cessna 441 Conquest Turboprop. It was flying from Indianapolis to Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Feb. 23) AP
KEWAUNEE - The public is invited to attend visitation for John T. Pagel and Steve Witcpalek beginning Friday afternoon at Kewaunee High School.
Pagel, 58, and Witcpalek, 39, both of Kewaunee, died when a Cessna 441 Conquest II owned by Ponderosa Aviation crashed about 7:40 p.m. Feb. 22 in a farm field near Rossville, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Pilot Nathan Saari, a native of Marquette, Mich. who had been living in Bellevue, also died in the crash.
Visitation for both men will be held from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Friday at Kewaunee High School, 911 3rd St., and will resume at noon Saturday.
Deacon Chuck Agnew of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Kewaunee will lead a prayer service at 8 p.m. Friday night at the high school.
Monsignor Jim Dillenburg, the Rev. Milton Suess and Agnew will preside over a funeral mass at 1 p.m. Saturday at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Kewaunee.
Pagel was considered a pioneer in the dairy industry and was a leader in the state and throughout the Midwest.
The family operates Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy, a dairy farm with more than 5,300 cows, 100 employees and 8,500 acres, as well as the Cannery Public Market in downtown Green Bay and Ron's Cheese in Luxemburg. Pagel also represented the town of Casco on the Kewaunee County Board.
The Pagel and Witcpalek families have asked people to donate to funds established at Nicolet National Bank's Kewaunee branch in lieu of flowers.
Witcpalek's fund will help his three children, Brooke, Braelyn and Brex, attend college. Pagel's fund will support his 12 grandchildren.
The Cannery will be closed all day Saturday to allow employees to attend services, General Manager Adrienne Winter said. The staff at the farm-to-table restaurant in the Broadway District released a statement inviting longtime friends and customers to visit and share their memories of Pagel and Witcpalek.
"As with every business he ran, and every project he undertook, his commitment to his core beliefs and values can be seen throughout. His impact will extend well beyond what he accomplished in life, as his legacy is carried forward by the people whose lives he touched and the communities he fought for and supported," part of the statement read. "We will continue to love and miss our leader, and we realize the community is grieving with us. We invite you to come in and remember him with us, and perhaps gain some solace in seeing that our part of his legacy — The Cannery Public Market — is in good hands, and we shall strive even more tirelessly to make him proud."