Kathryn I Thalacker, 83 of Eau Claire passed away after a sudden illness at Westfield Hospital in New Richmond, WI. She was born on April 5, 1936 in Eau Claire to Albert C and Viola L Smith. Kathryn married Vernon R Thalacker in Eau Claire on September 5, 1957 and was a devoted mother to their three children; daughter, Barbara (David) Sluis Sr., Shelby Township, MI; and sons Richard, New Richmond, WI; and Steven, Sparks, NV.
Kathryn, a native of Eau Claire worked in the Smith Family Rod and Gun Store in her early years. She graduated from Eau Claire High School in 1954. She later attended the Wisconsin State College – Eau Claire where she received a Bachelor’s of Science, with a degree in Secondary Education. She taught Vocal Music and History classes for a few years in the Chippewa Valley area before leaving work to raise her family. Kathryn loved singing in the church choir and special church productions such as Amahl and the Night Visitors, Requiem, and Christmas programs. During the course of raising her three children, the Thalacker family moved numerous times, finally returning back to the Eau Claire area in 1996.
Throughout the years, Kathryn enjoyed becoming the family genealogist. She completed family studies and wrote four books on different branches of the family tree. Kathryn and Vernon enjoyed traveling while doing their genealogy research. Kathryn and Vernon also traveled to all 50 states and Mexico and three of the Canadian Provinces.
Kathryn also enjoyed spending time with both family and friends. Immeasurable hours were spent playing card games, Dominos, Scrabble or putting puzzles together into the wee hours. Kathryn will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
In additional to being survived by her three children, Kathryn is survived by her sisters, Cynthia (Leo) Schultz, Chippewa Falls, WI; and Marjorie (Art) Hendel, Coral Gables, FL; and her brother, Quentin, Eau Claire, WI, six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, as well as several nieces/nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by Vernon, her husband of 61 years, her parents, and her brothers Cedric, Waltham, MA; and Lloyd, Eau Claire.
Funeral services will be held at Hope United Methodist Church in Eau Claire on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11:00 am with Rev. Hyejung Hwang officiating. Visitation will be at Smith Funeral Chapel on Sunday, November 10, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm as well as at church one hour prior to service on Monday. Burial will follow services at Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire.


  1. Vern & Kathryn were special people to Evie and I. We will miss them both as fellow members of NARFE Chapter #371, Eau Claire. They are together in heaven. We shall miss the funeral because of previous commitments.

  2. My prayers and thoughts are with the Thalacker family. Kathryn was loved, I feel so blessed To have been part of her and Vernons life. Sending love and prayers for all of you!

    God Bless You


  3. I always admired Kathryn, a genuine, nice person.
    The Hanson family is grateful for her amazing genealogy work.
    Live on, Kathryn.
    Alice Bauer

  4. Thoughts and prayers to Kathryn’s family in the loss of this dear woman. Enjoyed the many family reunions she helped put together and her wonderful work in putting together the Thalacker geneology book.

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