Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Khamby D. Phakitthong of Marathon, Wisconsin, passed away on October 13, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. Khamby was born in Louangphrabang, Laos to Ting and Sieng Phakitthong. After losing both of his parents at a young age during the Vietnam War, Khamby embarked on his first adventure. Looking for a better life, he crossed the Mekong River twice before being accepted as an unaccompanied minor into the Nong Khai Refugee Camp in Thailand. He was resettled by Lutheran Social Services and traveled to the United States in 1981 with another young Lao boy, Bouahieng Thammavongsa.
After arriving in the United States, Khamby and Bouahieng met their forever family, Calvin and Roberta Stanford. Khamby joined the Stanford family in Chippewa Falls and became a brother to Joe, Mike, Janel, and Mandi. Khamby graduated from Chippewa Falls High School and later went on to graduate from Nicolet Technical College.
After graduating, Khamby moved to Merrill, Wisconsin where he started working at Merrill Millwork. Khamby worked at Merrill Millwork for over 20 years and made many lifelong friends and memories along the way. Most recently, he worked for Menzner Hardwoods Company in Marathon where he enjoyed the challenging work and joking with his co-workers.
In 1995, Khamby met his future wife Rachelle Otto through mutual friends. Khamby and Rachelle were married on August 1, 1997. Three years later, Khamby started his ultimate adventure…being a dad. Khamby had four daughters and truly embraced the role of being a ‘girl dad.’ From trimming bangs to snapping pictures or videos of his daughters, Khamby loved being a dad. He enjoyed teaching his daughters how to hunt, going to their sporting events, and going shopping with them.
In addition to spending time with his family and friends, Khamby had a plethora of outdoor hobbies that he enjoyed pursuing including gardening, fishing, hunting, and four-wheeling. Khamby especially loved spending time at the Stanford family hunting cabin in Chetek, Wisconsin. Here, he not only enjoyed hunting but also loved spending time with family and friends around the fire, likely with a few too many Bud Lights saying, “You call that a fire?”
Khamby is survived by his wife: Rachelle; and four daughters: Ally, Chentaly, Ashley, and Chenpieng. He also leaves behind his adoptive parents: Calvin and Roberta Stanford; siblings; Joseph (Karrie) Stanford, Janel (Landon) Scott, Mandi Stanford, Mike (Heather) Stanford, Bouahieng Thammavongsa, Leck Phakitthong, Saeng Phakitthong. He also leaves behind his mother-in law, Charlotte Otto, sisters-in-law; Marsha Otto, Marla (Tom) Berg, Renee (Pat) Steffen and countless nieces and nephews. In addition to family, Khamby leaves behind numerous close family friends including the entire family of Gene and Xay Yang. In addition to his parents, Ting and Sieng, he was preceded in death by his sister, Bouasone Phromprakay, his father-in-law, Wilbur Otto, and his grandparents, John and Faith Marik and Dan and Ruth Stanford.
The family would like to give a special thank you to friends and family who have helped support Khamby along with the Marshfield Clinic Cancer Care and Research Team (Weston) and Aspirus Hospice for their excellent care and compassion.
Khamby will always be remembered as a loving and dedicated father, husband, brother, and son. He will be remembered for his jokes and light-hearted spirit and as an example of how someone can overcome extreme adversity with a smile on their face.
Visitation will be held at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave. Wausau, WI 54401 on Friday, October 20th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral Services will be on Saturday, October 21st, at Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, 150202 County Rd NN, Wausau, WI 54401. Visitation will be from 9:00-11:00 a.m. with the service following visitation. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
In lieu of flowers and plants, a memorial will be established in Khamby’s name.