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Allen J. Noll

Allen J. Noll

Allen J. Noll Allen passed away on May 12, 2020 umbrellaed by the love his family. It was the end of several years battling Alzheimer’s. His death leaves a such a hole in our hearts but we are grateful knowing he is at last resting peacefully in a place where there are no more physical or mental limitations.

Al was born April 29, 1952 in Freeport, Illinois to Clifford and Ruth Noll and raised in Caledonia, Wisconsin. He married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Paula Medzis on August 11, 1973. He graduated from J.I. Case High School in Racine, WI. He attended U.W. Parkside but finished his BS, MS, and EDS at U. W. Stout. As a staff member in the Vocational Rehabilitation department at U.W. Stout, he taught, supervised students, wrote articles and participated in the writing of textbooks for Educators in the field of Special Education. For many years he was an active member on the Board of United Cerebral Palsy, helping with the Annual Telethons and Snow Biz events.

Al ended his career as the Director of the Transition Partnership between the Menomonie Public Schools and SVRI. He often said his co-workers were his “second family”.

Al loved the outdoors almost as much as his family. He loved it all! Fishing, hunting, boating, waterskiing, snow skiing, hiking and all sports activities. He was a well-accomplished fisherman, winning the Racine Coho Salmon-a-Rama with his high school buddy, Denis Weisensel. For too many years to count he traveled with Dave, Dale, Duke, Tim, and Jim to South Dakota to hunt those ever-elusive pheasants. He also looked forward to those fishing trips to Canada with his Dad and members of his family. Al had been a President of the Clear Waters Trout Unlimited Chapter and loved the idea of stream improvement to the point of even naming one of his dogs (Gilley) after the revitalized Gilbert Creek project. But his greatest accomplishment was instilling the love of the outdoors in his children and grandchildren at their family’s summer cottage at Pine Lake and in the woods. He was thrilled to watch them cast their line and hook a “blue-gal”. In 2015 Al was awarded Eau Claire’s “Big Brother of the Year”. He had been a “Big Brother” to Logan McAbee-Thomas for 13 years. Al felt being a part of this talented young man’s life was quite a privilege. He enjoyed watching Logan’s many musical, athletic and scholastic activities and was proud when Logan was accepted and graduated from Notre Dame. In 2016 Al was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and rather than give up he enrolled in the Biogen Alzheimer’s research study at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He felt he would still be teaching and people would learn from him.

He is survived by his wife, Paula, daughters Aimee (Ben), Jodi (Chris), Rachel (Ryan), his precious grandchildren, Noah, Garrett, Reese, Carter, Jack, Anna, Sam, Jada, Abigale, Ellery and one very special “little” brother Logan McAbee-Thomas. Also survived by his Mother Ruth Noll and 7 siblings - Janice, Nancy, Carol, Ken, Don, James and Joyce. He was preceded in death by his father, and Goddaughter Nicole.

Al was a loving husband, wonderful father and grandfather and a kind friend. He always saw the good in people. Throughout his recent challenges he showed strength and positivity. He will be missed more than words can say.

A sincere thank you and loving gratitude to the staff at Red Cedar Lodge at the Neighbors, and the Alzheimer’s Research Study Team at Mayo Rochester, MN

Private Family Mass and Christian burial will be held on Saturday at St. Jospeh Catholic Church in Menomonie.  A celebration of Al’s life will be held at later date.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 PM Friday at Rhiel Funeral Home in Menomonie following all social distancing guidelines.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Al’s name to Stepping Stones, or Clear Waters Trout Unlimited. 


  1. Amy Grotzke

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am the current DVR director here in La Crosse. I met Al as a counselor and then worked with him as a director. I admired his passion for Rehab and his positivity. He is missed, but know that his legacy lives on in all the positive impacts he had.

  2. Ruth Gullerud

    To Paula and all of Al's woñderful fàmily,. If we were able to count all those who are fortunate to call Àl a friend, it would be beyond imaginàtioñ! As director of UCP, I first met Àl as a volunteer and later knew him as añ extraordinary friend. He would never refuse a task he knew he could do. And always with a smile ????.

    Thanks, Paula, for shàring all those hours. he selflessly volunteered. I can tell you that it was often Al's voice that made the difference! A voice missed by màny!

    Whenever our paths cross, Paula, there's a hug waiting for you. Meanwhile, take care of yourself and your wonderful family,
    Ruth Gullerud

  3. Deb and Tom Sinz

    Paula and family:

    So sorry to hear of Al's passing. He was a great guy with a beautiful smile. Hugs and prayers coming your way as you mourn his passing.

  4. Fran Smith

    My heartfelt condolences to all of Al's family. What a wonderful human being who made such a difference in our collective fields of vocational rehabilitation and vocational evaluation. I'll forever be indebted to his expertise in bringing assistive technology into the practice. What a overall great guy who's warm smile and gentle ways will always be remembered!

  5. Ronald Fry

    Loving family man, great outdoorsman, excellent rehabilitation professional, many, many friends. Just a great guy. A life very well lived!

  6. Ralph and Maria

    We are very sorry to hear of Al's death. You both have been a delightful couple to know. Al is now at peace and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. If we can help with anything, we're just a call away. Ralph and Maria.

  7. Dave and Donna Utpadel

    We are so sorry to hear of Al's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you mourn the loss. We have fond memories of your family as our neighbors. Cherish the memories and celebrate the life.

  8. Michelle Hamilton

    I am grateful for the good fortune to know Al. He was seldom without smile, kind words and generous spirit. So many rehab students (including me) benefited from his knowledge and expertise. Visiting Al in January this year, he watched closely as I twisted a pile of PVC parts together - I said, "Al it's a work sample" to which he grinned and nodded.
    Hunt, fish and rest in peace.

    Michelle Hamilton

  9. Tony Langton

    Paula, Aimee, Jody and Rachel,
    Ron called me yesterday to let me know that Al had passed away. That immediately started bringing back so many memories from the collective years we shared living in Menomonie. I just read his obituary so more memories have surfaced along with some tears.
    I'm so glad that I was able to spend some time with Al and many of our group of friends in the fall of 2017. A highlight for me was a short fly fishing outing that Al and I did on Gilbert Creek. His fishing prowess is one of the lasting memories, however in full disclosure we only caught one tiny trout (which he caught) but the water was high so fishing conditions weren't great. The company was great though! I thoroughly enjoyed the fishing tips and time spent talking and visiting. I actually haven't fly fished since then but I will make it a point to do that again soon to honor the memory of a good friend.
    Fonzer is one of the Menomonie friends who was a part of the tapestry of our lives in the 70's and 80's as we worked at UW-Stout, raised our children and somehow made it to the grandparent stage in our lives. It was good to read about your extended family. That is a wonderful legacy and a tribute to all of you.
    Although it's sad how his last years were there's no doubt that wonderful memories will fill the void he has left. Take good care and I hope that our paths will cross again soon. I'll be a little wary if they do though as I recall my tennis shoe laces getting tied together by I think Aimee and Jody at one of our Wakanda Park outings!
    God bless you all,

  10. Fritchen’s Al & Barb & family

    Very sorry for your loss, but memories last for ever may they all bring ever lasting joy

  11. Chasen Dowling Crowson

    I was lucky enough to know Al during my time as a Stout voc rehab student and enjoyed our conversations. I always appreciated the interest he took in students and in our goals. My deepest sympathies to the Noll family, he was one of the good ones.

  12. Jerry Jorgenson

    I would like to extend my condolences to Al's family.  Al was a great husband, father, grandfather and friend to many.  I had the pleasure of working with Al for 10 years at SVRI and on numerous consulting jobs over the past 30 years related to industrial injuries. When I moved to northern Wisconsin in the late 80's he would visit with his close friend Dave Swan.  Together we fished the outer Apostle Islands, biked on Madeline Island, hiked all over the the Bayfield Peninsula, laughed often, and managed to hoist a few brewski's.  In recent years he was all smiles when sharing stories about his grandchildren whether it be about tying trout flies, kite flying or teaching them how to  fish at the summer cottage on Pine Lake. This morning when hearing about his passing I decided to take run on the Aldo Leopold trails near my home in his honor.  Al like Aldo worked on fish and game management, wild life conservation and education. Some folks might refer to that as just good ethics.  Anyhoo,   Al was truly a good human being with a kind heart.  Rest in Peace my Friend and don't forget to set the hook on the Big Ones.

  13. Lecia (Lentz) Parker

    I am so very sorry for your loss. May your memories offer some peace during this time. My thoughts and condolences are with you.

  14. Deborah Keys

    So sorry to hear about Al's passing. I have known Al since the 80's when I took a position with SVRI. Al was a very kind and positive man. I really enjoyed working with him over the years and catching up whenever I would run into him. Rest in Peace, Al.

  15. Brian Finder

    To Al's family and close friends, please accept my sincere condolences of your loss. I was privileged to have traveled to Polaris Industries up in Osceola with Al and we talked about turkey hunting nearly all the up and back. Al always had a welcoming disposition that prompted people to laugh and feel at ease. Rest assured that he will be sincerely missed.

  16. Cyndi Edwards

    Paula & family
    I was sorry to hear of Al's passing. He was a great coworker when worked with him at SVRI many years ago. He was a wealth of knowledge and willing to share what he knew. He had a great sense of humor and a kind spirit.

  17. Dave Swan

    My deepest sympathies to you, Paula and family! It was my privilege to share a wide variety of experiences with Al over the past 30+ years. Our daily chats over coffee and shared projects at work, walks across the South Dakota plains, fishing the Red Cedar, and other adventures were special times that I will always cherish. Al was a very accomplished, yet humble, man with a big heart and ready smile. Rest In Peace, dear friend!

  18. Mitzi and Rick Bolin

    Sending our condolences, Paula, to you and all your family. We were so saddenened to learn of Al's passing, even though we did not know him well. He certainly made many contributions to the community, and together with you raised some amazing daughters. Our hearts are with you. May you be at peace. Mitzi and Rick

  19. Thomas Roundtree

    Al was one of the great staff of coworkers when I was at SVRI several years ago and he became a great friend, trying to show me the ropes of fishing in WI and even cross country skiing! He was more positive about me that I was about myself! Al was a kind, generous, and a genuine soul! The world needs more Al Nolls!

  20. Diane Spinucci

    To Al's family, I am saddened to hear of Al's passing. He was such a wonderful man to know and work with over the many years we served together on the UCP Board and Telethon events. He was always willing to step up and do what he could to be a hands on board member. Something that gave me much respect for him as a human being that cared about those people that he donated so much of his life to.
    I know that everyone that crossed paths with Al over the years will agree with me when I say that Heaven's Door is wide open with Angel's wings spread to greet him. Rest well Al, it was a pleasure to know you!

  21. Paul Schwartz

    Al is proof in the world that nice guys CAN finish first. I am so grateful that Al hired me at SVRI in 1991 and that he was my supervisor for many years. He was always kind, respectful, and fair in all his work and he never lost sight of our mission of helping people with disabilities. He would light up when talking about the latest massive fish he caught, but be even more joyful when he would detail the latest accomplishments of Paula, Aimee, Jodi, Rachel, or later, his sons-in-law and grandchildren. We are sending our love and prayers.

  22. Robert and Jane Roundtree

    We met Al at SVRI and will always remember how friendly and helpful he was to all the students and visitors. A loss for family, friends, community, and the Vocational Rehabilitation profession.

  23. Jim Murray

    Sorry to hear of Al’s passing. He will be dearly missed by all that knew him! I always enjoyed the ride out and back to South Dakota to hear him talk about past hunts and work stories from working with his dear friend Dave. Also, memorable moments with his van. One trip we did not quite make it after throwing a CV joint and limping into Webster SD to get the van fixed and rent another van to make it to our destination. RIP Al and make sure you keep chasing those pheasants.

  24. Jake Nahorniak

    Sorry for you loss. I learned a lot from him when he was my teacher at UW-Stout through the TPS program. He was a great guy and he will be deeply missed. I will keep everyone in my prayers.

  25. Lavonne Solem

    Paula & family - I don't need to tell you how great a man Al was. My first encounter with him was when I was a Voc Rehab grad student in 1985-ish. He was so well respected in his field and in the community. My heart is holding space for your family. Sending love.

  26. Julie Eckert

    Prayers and sweet memories to the Noll Family. I can remember his yearly phone call asking permission to hunt our land. Always a pleasure! I'll be checking in on you Paula.????

  27. Nikki (Hodgson) Unger

    Hugs and love to you, Paula, Aimee, Jodi and Rachel, and family! Al’s kind, gentle spirit will not be forgotten!

  28. Bill and Jennie Stewart

    We’re saddened to hear of Al’s passing. Remember the good times and be grateful for his life as husband, father, grandfather and friend. May God Bless your family and bring you His Peace ☮️. You are in our prayers. ????

  29. James Schemenauer

    I am very sorry for your loss. Allen was truly something special to many people, and it sounds like he made an enormous impact on everyone around him. Even in his later stages of life. Praying for you and wishing you all the best.

  30. John and Renee Marino

    Our deepest sympathies, he will be missed by all.

  31. Dan and Pixie

    We send love and peaceful memories to you all. Take car, love Dan and Pixie Haug

  32. Kristie Olson

    Thoughts and prayers to you all! Al was such a great guy! I worked with him in SVRI. Always had a smile!

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