Saturday, December 10, 2016


Dr. Christopher "Chris" R. Werner

age 40, passed away on Thursday, Dec 8th surrounded with Hospice Care, Jay and family friends at his home in Sheboygan. He had been fighting esophagael cancer since May 2014.

He was born January 27, 1976 to Ron (Chow) and Donna (nee Robida) Werner of Medford. Survivors include his parents and his brothers, Kurt (Tracy) and Jared (Karli) of San Antonio Texas. His nieces Chloe, Afton, Averie and nephew Kirby all of Medford. His grandmothers, Shirley (Corliss Jensen) Werner of Medford & Agnes Robida of Stetsonville. Also survived by his partner, Jay Burkard of Sheboygan.

He is preceded in death by his Grandfathers Clarence Werner and William Robida.

A 1994 graduate of Medford Senior High. He holds degrees from UW-La Crosse, Bachelors in music education with an instrumental emphasis, '99 Masters degree from UW-Milwaukee in conducting 2002 and Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005.

For the past 3 years, Dr. Werner was an Assistant Professor of Music and director of bands at Lakeland University in Sheboygan. Prior to Lakeland U, he spent eight years as instrumental music teacher and music department chair for La Crosse Central High School.

He has the distinction of being the first University of Nebraska DMA recipient of the Wind Conducting degree and also the first Huxton-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts F. Pace Woods Scholar in Music. Werner has also been past President of the National Band Association-Wisconsin Chapter and twice was awarded the "Citation of Excellence" by the National Band Association. He had just received in September 2016, the Burt and Norma Altman Teacher Education Award from UW-La Crosse alumni.

Werner was active in commissioning new works for wind band. His Central Bands participated in or organized consortiums with new music by several contemporary composers and ensembles under his direction & he appeared at numerous state conventions in Wisconsin and Nebraska.

The family wants to thank the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center of Sheboygan for their exceptional care and comfort.

A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Medford with Father Phil Juza officiating. Visitation will be held at the church from 9 AM until the time of services at 11 AM. Cremainal interment will take place at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery, Medford.

Memorials will be designated at a later date. For online condolences, please visit