“His legacy will live on:” Emotional funeral service held for Milwaukee’s beloved Chris Kegel

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MILWAUKEE -- A community grieves saying its final goodbye to Milwaukee icon and cycling legend, Chris Kegel.

Chris Kegel

Chris Kegel

While singing Ave Maria, mourners sobbed over the loss of Chris Kegel. Gathered at St. Matthias Catholic Parish on Saturday, February 18th, they not only shared embraces but fond memories.

Chris Kegel funeral service

Chris Kegel funeral service

"To know him as a little kid and see how he's progressed; his love for bikes and people. It's amazing that he made such a mark," said Josephine Winter, aunt.

Chris Kegel funeral service

Chris Kegel funeral service

After nearly 40 years as a bicycle advocate and owner of Wheel and Sprocket, Kegel has impacted lives in many ways.

"Chris was such a huge presence in so many people's lives," said Robbie Webber, bicycle advocate.

Many different people carry the same sentiment.

"Just giving to everyone, his time, his energy. Just a huge loss. We are going to miss him a lot," said Webber.

Chris Kegel

Chris Kegel

Kegel passed away Tuesday, February 7th, after a battle with a rare and aggressive form of liver cancer. Saturday, the mass to pay last respects was intimate, however love and support was shown well before this day -- especially during the time of diagnosis at his "Slow Roll."kegel2

"It was amazing, especially his bike ride that he had last fall and how many people showed up, and for the party he was here, had a great time and just wanted to see his friends and family. It was really inspiring," said Winter.

The joy and positivity he brought to others remains.

"The advice that he always gave was really all stuff that lasts and his legacy will live on; like follow your moral compass and try to always be the best person you can be," said Dave Schlabowske, deputy director of Wisconsin Bike Club.

Chris Kegel funeral service

Chris Kegel funeral service

Words his wife and four children live by as well.

"I love him then, I love him still, rest in peace dad," said Noel, Kegel's son.

Chris Kegel funeral service

Chris Kegel funeral service

1 Comment

  • hopes2 (@Danenetics)

    My condolences to his family and friends.
    A few of my memories with Chris.
    My best childhood friend lived a couple of houses down from the Kegel family in West Allis.
    My friend and I spent a lot of time playing basketball in the Kegel driveway, football in the fields next to West Allis Memorial Hospital and hanging in their basement.
    Chris was older than us so we mainly hung out with his younger brothers.
    Sister Missy (RIP) would always harass the boys. She must have had it tough growing up with five brothers.
    Chris had a bedroom in the basement with a stereo that had wires running everywhere, As he would leave he always told us “Don’t mess with the stereo”/ Sorry Chris, that’s the first thing we did when you left. I remember piling into his car to go to Treasure Island to buy some Chuck Taylors. I believe it was a red car and the coolest thing was it had push button selectors on the dash to shift the transmission. I had never seen anything like that before.

    So fast forward a few years. I have been into biking forever and was doing a rebuild on an old Motobecane. I needed a ton of new parts and ended up at the old store on Forest Home Ave. I vaguely remember seeing a kayak on the wall and not much else. There was a half door that was open and up popped Chris, yes he knew and had what I needed.

    Chris, you came from very humble beginnings and created what is essentially a small empire. Along the way you really never changed and retained the good nature that the whole Kegel family exhibited.

    Thank you for that and for the great memories that I am left with.

    Tailwinds to you buddy,

    Dan

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