By | January 15, 2024

Tragic Christmas Day Drowning Claims Life of Shawano Outdoorsman

SHAWANO, WI – The tight-knit community of Shawano is mourning the loss of a beloved outdoorsman, Karl E. “Butch” Barkow Sr., who tragically lost his life in a Christmas Day drowning accident at Lulu Lake. The 78-year-old fishing enthusiast was discovered deceased, according to Coroner Brian Westfahl, who confirmed that the cause of death was drowning.

A Sudden Disappearance

On December 24, alarming concerns arose when Barkow’s family reported him missing at around 4:30 p.m. It was revealed that he had embarked on a fishing trip at Lulu Lake earlier that day but had failed to return home. His vehicle was discovered near a boat landing, accompanied by his ice fishing gear.

A Harrowing Discovery

Upon further investigation, authorities made a chilling discovery – an open hole in the ice near Barkow’s fishing equipment. Fearing the worst, rescue and recovery efforts commenced immediately but were halted temporarily due to darkness. The search resumed early on Christmas morning, ultimately leading to the heartbreaking confirmation of Barkow’s fate.

A Life of Passion and Dedication

Karl E. “Butch” Barkow Sr. was not only an avid angler but also a dedicated member of Walleyes for Tomorrow. He was known for his passion in mentoring children and fostering a love for outdoor activities, particularly fishing. Barkow was actively involved in numerous organizations, including the Shawano Masonic Lodge 170, Shawano Fish and Game Club, Shawano Gun Club, N.E.W. Beagle Club, Braw Bluebird Restoration of Wisconsin, and White Clay Lake Sportsman Club.

The Shawano community is left devastated by the loss of this remarkable individual, whose impact extended far beyond his love for the great outdoors. Barkow’s dedication to mentoring and his involvement in various organizations made him a cherished figure among residents.

As the community mourns this tragic loss, it serves as a reminder of the inherent risks associated with winter activities on frozen lakes. Authorities are urging outdoor enthusiasts to exercise caution and remain vigilant when venturing onto frozen bodies of water, especially during the unpredictable winter months.

Shawano will forever remember Karl E. “Butch” Barkow Sr. for his unwavering passion, his commitment to the community, and the lasting impact he had on the lives of those he touched.


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