MADISON, WI - Ernest I. "Barko" LaBella, loving husband, father and grandfather age 92, passed away on September 16, 2013.

He was born in Madison, WI., the son of Joseph and Angela (Greco) LaBella.

Barko was a WWII, veteran landing at Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was later involved in 5 major European campaigns, fighting his way from Omaha Beach to Czechoslovakia which earned him a silver star on his campaign ribbon. His army career included being promoted to corporal on 3 separate occasions. One of which was precipitated by an impromptu deer hunt on a dark night in the German woods with a 50 caliber machine gun. He later said “The boys ate well that night. It was worth becoming a private again”.

He graduated from Madison Central High School. He was co-owner of Capital Decorating Painting. He was a member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the Painters and Drywall Finishers Union Local #802.

He was an avid Badger and Packer fan who was always quick with a joke to make your day brighter, and helpful to friends and family in need.

He is survived by his loving wife and soulmate of 58 years Josephine, daughters Angela LaBella (Mike Duppler) and Antoinette Rose (Marty) of Madison, and son Dr. Joseph M. LaBella of Portage; grandchildren, Brianna and Erik Rose and Andrea LaBella. Sisters-in-law Sue LaBella of Madison, WI and Evelyn LaBella of Portland, OR. Many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Carl and Joseph LaBella, sisters, Rose Cuccia, Mary Fiore and Katherine Coronna.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 S. Owen Dr., Madison, at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2013, with Father Johnson Nellissery presiding. Visitation will be held at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass on Saturday. Burial will be at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.

The family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Orest Kostelyna, Maureen Wakeen,NP, Erin Morris, NP and Annette Hanson for their dedicated and compassionate care. Brittany, his nurse at St. Mary’s Care Center, and the staff at Agrace Hospice for their kindness and care in his final days. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com

Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road 608-274-1000