William K. Halser

Nov. 14, 1956 - May 17, 2011

William (Will) K. Halser died Tuesday, May 17, 2011, after a heroic battle with cancer.

Will was born to Dr. Joseph G. Halser and Dorothea (Winkie) Halser on Nov. 14, 1956, in Milwaukee. He grew up in the Bay View neighborhood in Milwaukee and graduated from Bay View High School in 1974.

Although he grew up in the city, he was always a farmer at heart. Will graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor's degree in dairy science in 1978. In Madison, Will met the love of his life, Sue Stengl. After their college graduation, Will and Sue married and moved to Palmyra, where they lived, farmed and raised a family together for 33 years.

From 1978 until 2004, Will raised and milked Holstein dairy cows on the farm in Palmyra. In 2004, Will and Sue converted the farm to a sustainable farm focusing on Murray Gray beef and free-range chickens. Will's two primary goals in farming were to provide high-quality food for the community and to be a good steward of the land.

Will was both a mentor and a student throughout his life. He was a lifelong student of agriculture, constantly learning about new techniques and farming methods. Over the years, his other interests included radio control airplanes, beer and winemaking, photography, gardening, soap making, tea and cycling. Once he became interested in a subject, he learned everything about it and took great joy in sharing his knowledge with others. His enthusiasm was contagious. Will enjoyed spending time teaching and learning from fellow farmers, hobbyists, customers and friends. He converted many friends and neighbors into farmers, brewers, cyclists and photographers.

Will's most important role was as a loving husband to Sue and father to Jennifer, Katie, and David. As a family, they enjoyed many adventures on and off the farm. Will was active in all of his children's activities, spending countless hours helping with science projects, volunteering as a 4-H leader, as well as cross-country skiing and cycling with them, including a brief tour as a BMX bike racer with David. Even as his children pursued careers off the farm, he was always supportive of all of their endeavors.

Will's favorite place to spend time was on the farm, either milking cows or grazing beef, flying model airplanes at the 'flying field' or sitting on the deck with homebrews. He also enjoyed quiet weekends biking or fishing with family and friends at his cottage on White Bass Lake in Clam Lake.

He is survived by his wife, Sue; his children, Jennifer (Michael) Gregor, Katherine (Jacob) Allen, David (Kendra) Halser; and one grandchild, Amelia Gregor. He is further survived by his mother, Dorothea Halser; his brothers, Robert Halser and Joseph Halser III; and numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and many close friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Joseph G. Halser; his mother-in-law, Marilyn Stengl; and two brothers-in-law, Dennis Loper and James Skarlupka.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, May 23, at Mealy's Funeral Home, 320 Main St., Palmyra. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, 313 W. Main St., Palmyra.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Will's name may be made to the National Marrow Donor Program ( or the International Myeloma Foundation (

Mealy's Funeral Home, 495-2127, is serving the family. For the online obituary and guest registry, please see