Shirley A (Utphall) Rehberg, 81, of Altoona, passed away on Friday, July 28th, 2023, at Oakwood Villa in Altoona with family by her side.

She was born June 7th, 1942, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Harold “Fud” and Agnes Utphall. She grew up in Altoona and graduated before getting married on September 5th, 1959, to Larry “Birdman” Rehberg at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.

Larry’s career led them to Northern Minnesota where they spent their first 9 years of marriage. It was here that they had their first dog kennel, Lakeland Kennels, where Shirley enjoyed grooming dogs and training Obedience Field Trial Champions. Her enthusiasm led her to become a trainer as well as an AKC licensed obedience judge. After returning to Altoona, Shirley changed their kennel name to LaSaR’s and continued to groom dogs and work at Silversands Kennel part-time. They became members of the Indianhead Kennel Club and She was always a member of the board and was referred to as the “head honcho” by many, making many lifelong friends along the way. She also was very active with the 4-H youth obedience training program. Shirley was employed part-time at the Co-op Bakery. She then found employment at First Wisconsin National Bank and then later, Royal Credit Union, where she retired from. Over the years, Shirley and Larry entertained many hobbies including races at Eau Claire speedway; cheering on Red Stephen, enjoying time spent with family and friends. Over time, Her and Larry then became interested in beer can collecting and trading and became BCCA members and attended trade shows including “Weekend at Wally’s” here in Eau Claire, where they met many lifelong friends. With changing times, Larry’s love for his pigeons brought them to raising American Racing Homing pigeons and they joined the Westconsin Racing Pigeon Club and took pride in their award-winning birds out of LaSaR’s Loft and enjoyed spending time, not only training the birds, but teaching their grandchildren all about the sport as well, making lifelong memories with the family and enjoying time with what became close friends over the years. She looked forward to enjoying time with her best friend, Joanne and family, from Illinois, celebrating holidays and birthdays while camping at Elk Point Resort. Shirley was a very avid Green Bay Packers fan and looked forward to watching them as well as the Wisconsin Badgers and during the off season, enjoyed NASCAR Racing. Elvis Presley was her favorite performer and enjoyed much of his music.

She is survived by three children; Paul (Joanne) Rehberg of Altoona, Michael (Shirley) Rehberg of Strum, Penelope “Penny” Larson of Knapp, three grandchildren; Nicole (Alex) Lindekugel of Greenwood, Jedidiah (Kelly) Larson of Madison, and Johanna (Taylor Rinta) Larson of Lakeland, MN, two great grandchildren; Scarlett Lindekugel and Beau Larson, brother; Harold (Sonja) Utphall of Cedar Bluff, Alabama and sister; Karla (Barry) Zurn of Chetek and sister-in-law; Loretta Rehberg of Balsam Lake, Michael and Shirley’s children; Brandy, Shaun and grandchildren; Jasmine, Olivia, Sofia, KayLee, Marileh and Alayna. Many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Shirley is preceded in death by her husband; Larry “Birdman” Rehberg, her parents; Harold “Fud” and Agnes Utphall, father-in-law and mother-in-law; Hans and Palma “Polly” (Severson) Rehberg, brother-in-law; Richard D. Rehberg and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, August 5th, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Smith Funeral Chapel in Eau Claire with funeral services to follow, Saturday, August 5th, 2023, at Smith Funeral Chapel Eau Claire. Burial to follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Condolences may be left below.

Smith Funeral Chapel is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shirley Rehberg Funeral Service

Time: Aug 5, 2023 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 825 4574 4022

Passcode: 246177



  1. So sorry for your loss we will not beable to make it saturday but will keep the family in our prayers at this hard time.

  2. So sorry to hear about Shirley. Will miss getting her Christmas cards every year from “the gray school bus gang”.

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