Long-time Community Volunteer, Korean War Veteran Louie Ferris Passes Away at 91 | Local news

Longtime community figure and dedicated volunteer Louie Ferris has passed away at the age of 91, officials confirmed on Thursday after a battle with cancer.

Louie Ferris visits WWII veterans during the unveiling of a new memorial in September. Ferris has been a vital volunteer in the community, spearheading many different initiatives, largely in honor of his fellow veterans.

Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune

Ferris, a Korean War veteran, was a vital volunteer in the community and dedicated his life to giving back. He once said that he was still working somewhere “behind the scenes” in the community.

He ran the city’s Veterans Freedom Park, which just hosted a new WWII memorial in September. About 200 people gathered for the ceremony with Ferris leading up to the unveiling.

La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds called Ferris a “great member of our community” during the La Crosse town council meeting on Thursday night. Reynolds said Ferris died earlier in the morning.

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“I’ve known Louie for at least 20 years, and he was here last month to guide us in the Oath of Allegiance on Veterans Day,” Reynolds said. “I called him that day, that morning and asked him to be a part of that and to guide us in this commitment. And he said yes, because that’s what he’s always done. He always said yes to the organization that asked him for help, whatever the cause needed his help.

“He set an example for others to follow in terms of service to our community and frankly to our nation as a whole. There are few people I have met in my life who have made a commitment to serve. that “Reynolds said, saying he left a” tremendous legacy “in the community.

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Born on the north side of La Crosse, Ferris joined the National Guard while still in high school, then enlisted in the US Air Force where he served in the Korean War for eight years.

Stories of Honor: Louie Ferris was destined for a life of service

He told the Tribune in a story earlier this year that his dedication to service was instilled by his family and the generations that came before him, and stressed the importance of passing that dedication on to the next generation.

After his military service, Ferris was passionate about improving his home community of La Crosse. He has supported veterans’ affairs – including as a staunch advocate for Hmong Lao veterans – volunteered for women’s shelters, supported a variety of community fundraisers, mentored young adults and even more.

“Louie, not bad for a North Sider, as he would say,” Reynolds said.

“La Crosse lost a true friend. Louie Ferris was a wonderful man, a tireless advocate for his fellow veterans and loved La Crosse with all his heart,” said Sen. Brad Pfaff, D-Onalaska, in an article on social networks. Thursday.

This is a developing story and may be updated.

Louie ferris

Louie Ferris plays Taps at a Korean War Veterans Ceremony in 2012.

Erik Daily, La Crosse Tribune

Louie ferris


Louie Ferris: Thank the older generation at the unveiling of the WWII memorial

WATCH NOW: Community Gathers to Welcome Memorial to New WWII Veteran in La Crosse

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