Mitchel Brian Halberg, 22, of Winona passed away unexpectedly Saturday, May 18, 2019, as the result of a rock-climbing accident in Colorado. Born Sept. 11, 1996, in Winona, to Jennifer and Jeffery Halberg.
He is survived by his parents; brother, Lance; fiancé, Jessica Erbe; grandparents, Judy and Dick Langenfeld, Winsted, Minn., and Delaine and Laurie Halberg, Hudson, Wis.; aunts, uncles and cousins, Scott and Jill Halberg, Hudson, Minn., Michele and Daniel Malotky and sons, Martin and Simon, Greensboro, N.C., Brian Langenfeld and Dawn Rodin and his son, Riley, Winsted, Tim and Amie Langenfeld and daughter, Alexis, Lester Prairie, Minn.
He was preceded in death by his close friends, Galen Halleck and Jessie Cisewski.
He was baptized at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Winona and confirmed at Faith Lutheran Church, Winona. He attended Redeemer Lutheran preschool, Bluffview Montessori Elementary School, Cotter Junior High and Winona Senior High, all in Winona. Mitch spent his junior year of high school attending the Conserve School in Land O’ Lakes, Wis., and taking classes at St. Mary’s University, Winona. He then ventured to Winona Senior High School for his senior year so he could spend more time with his friends.
He was a member of the Winona Youth Soccer Association and the Bluffview and Cotter School bands. While at Cotter and Winona Senior High, he was a member of the tennis and cross-country teams as well as the Nordic ski team. During his senior year he also enrolled in PSEO classes at Southeastern Technical College, Winona, where he pursued his love of Jeeps.
He graduated with honors from Winona Senior High in 2015. Following graduation, he continued to attend Southeastern Tech and pursue his passion for Jeeps. Under the guidance of his instructor, Tom Brandt, who was also his mentor and former ski coach, Mitch refurbished a previously “totaled” Jeep Wrangler Rubicon that continued to be his pride and joy into the present. He graduated with honors from Minnesota State Southeast, with an associate of arts degree in 2017. During his years at Southeast, and for a year following his graduation, he was employed by his second “father” and role model, Bob Cisewski, at ACE Auto in Winona.
After a six-month sojourn in Denver, with his fiancé, Jessica, living, working and enjoying his favorite state, Mitch returned to college, attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, with a focus on horticulture. During that time, he reacquired an interest in rock climbing and became a member of the UWRF Rock Climbing Club. He had just completed his first year at UWRF, having become president-elect of the club, and was celebrating with a trip to Colorado to do rock climbing with some friends, when the accident occurred. It is a blessing to know he was doing something he loved.
From an early age, Mitch showed a passion for learning and exploring. He was always curious about how things worked. He loved learning how to fix, grow and build things and was not afraid to work on something until he found a solution. He took this passion and spirit into all aspects of his life and was an inspiration to all who knew him. He had an amazing ability to connect with his family and friends and be a blessing in their lives. Whether it was joining in a fun filled adventure with his family, spending time with a friend in need, going Jeeping with his buddies, taking a walk with his German Shepherd, sharing his talents for construction, car repair, computer maintenance or hydroponics (just to name a few), or just sharing a hug and his loving heart, Mitch always gave the best of himself to everyone. Though he faced some struggles in his life, including the loss of dear and loved friends, or a long battle with Lyme’s Disease, he never let these things get the best of him; he was always a kind and loving soul no matter what challenge he faced. Mitch lived and shared his life and love to the fullest and he will be missed beyond measure by all who knew him and loved him.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Central Lutheran Church with the Rev. Mark Dumke officiating. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Please leave a memory of Mitch and view his video tribute when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to either the UWRF Rock Climbing Club, River Falls, WI, or the Conserve School, Land O’ Lakes, WI. Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview, is assisting the family with arrangements.