Chris Kegel: Celebration of Life and Funeral Mass

Last week, Chris Kegel, a man of legendary love and kindness, passed away at his home surrounded by his family. His family now invites you to share their joy and sadness as they lift him to the next place.

Celebration of Chris’ Life

  • Reception from 3 – 6:45 p.m.  Presentation at 7 p.m.
  • When: Friday, February 17th, 2017
  • Where: Saint Matthias Catholic Parish, 9306 W Beloit Rd | Milwaukee, WI 53227

Funeral Mass

  • When: 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 18th, 2017
  • Where: Saint Matthias Catholic Parish, 9306 W Beloit Rd | Milwaukee, WI 53227

In lieu of flowers, a tax-deductible donation can be made to The Chris Kegel Foundation. The foundation has been established by the family to continue Chris’ commitment to improving lives by providing greater access to bicycling.

About Chris Kegel

Chris has personally helped thousands of people enjoy their ride.

Chris Kegel was born and raised in West Allis, Wisconsin.In 1973, Chris began working as a bicycle mechanic at Wheel & Sprocket, just a few weeks after the new bike shop in Hales Corners opened. Through the years, Chris worked in every aspect of the business eventually becoming the partner of the original owner. In 1989, he became the sole owner of Wheel & Sprocket.

Through the years, Wheel & Sprocket has grown from its original Hales Corners, Wisconsin location to include 6 other locations in the Milwaukee area, Wisconsin’s Fox Valley and Evanston, Illinois.

Under Chris’ leadership, Wheel & Sprocket has grown to become one of Wisconsin’s largest bicycle retailers. Wheel & Sprocket has consistently ranked in the Nation’s Top 100 Bicycle Retailers for over twenty years, and has been recognized as the #1 Bicycle Retailer of the Year by the National Bicycle Dealer Association (NBDA).

Chris flanked by his son Noel and daughter Amelia, after winning another Best Bike Shops in America award.

Chris was a tireless bicycle advocate working with advocacy groups at the local, state and federal level, including Oval Office meetings with two US Presidents. Chris has been on the board of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Bikes Belong, the League of American Bicyclists, the National Bicycle Dealers Association, Recreation for Individuals Dedicated to the Environment, the Wisconsin Bike Fed, the Wisconsin Off Road Bicycling Association, the Wisconsin State Trails Council, the Mequon Trails committee and Ozaukee Interurban Trail Advisory Council.

Chris on one of the many JDRF rides he helped out at.

Chris and the Wheel & Sprocket team donated hundreds of hours each year to support dozens of community events and charity rides including the Ride of Silence, the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) Ride for the Arts, the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC Fund) Trek 100, the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scenic Shore 150, and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin Ride Across Wisconsin. Since 1998, Chris has provided significant event support to many Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) events including the ride in Death Valley, California.

Chris has been recognized with numerous awards and recognitions including the UPAF Community Service Award, the Trek Bicycle Corporation Legends Awards, and the JDRF Black Tie Honoree Award. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and West Allis Mayor Dan Devine each declared September 25th, 2016 “Chris Kegel Day.” The Ozaukee County Board has declared October 3rd each year as “Chris Kegel Day” on the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. On November 3rd, 2016, the Milwaukee County Board renamed the country’s first mountain biking trails as the “Chris Kegel Alpha Trail.”

In recognition of Chris’ lifelong-commitment to education and learning, Chris was bestowed an honorary doctorate by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on December 15th, 2016.

Chris is survived by his wife Mary; four adult children Noel (Katie), Julian (Stephanie), Amelia and Tessa, their mother Jane; and four siblings Jerry (Jane), Bill (Carol), Ed (Karen), and Dave.

Chris was a man who embraced life with a smile. We will miss you.


About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

One thought on “Chris Kegel: Celebration of Life and Funeral Mass

  1. Chris will be missed greatly. He put the “cool” in bicycling in metro-Milwaukee. Love W&S.
    This cycling season will take on a special meaning knowing that Chris was such a huge part of cycling in Wisconsin.

    Peace Chris.

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