Obituaries are brought to you by Brainard Funeral Home & Cremation Center, with locations in Wausau and Weston.

Wausau area obituaries from June 12 to June 19, 2017:

Dorothy J. Szarkowitz

Dorothy J. Szarkowitz, 71, of Wausau, died on Friday, June 16, 2017 at Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice House.

Dorothy was born in Wausau on March 24, 1946 to the late Vernon and Angeline (Lenard) Meyers. She married James Szarkowitz on December 4, 1964 at St. Therese Catholic Church. He preceded her in death in August 2006. Dorothy retired from Marathon Electric where she worked for 36 and half years.

Dorothy enjoyed listening to old country music, and watching her Brewers, Packers and Badger games. She was also very fond of the bus trips to the casino with her Chatterbox crew. She met her special friend Jeff Lehmann in 2012. Together they traveled throughout the Midwest and enjoyed their many close friends at the Chatterbox Tavern.
She is survived by her children, Thomas (Karla) Lord, West Salem, WI, Lorraine Wachowiak, Weston, WI, Thomas (Beth) Szarkowitz, Mesa, AZ, Craig (Rachel) Szarkowitz, Wausau, WI, 12 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

Besides her parents and husband, Dorothy was preceded in death by her brothers: Ralph, Vernon, and Kenneth Meyers, sisters: Linda and Mary Ellen Volm.
Funeral services will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 19, 2017 at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams Street, Wausau. Rev. Jeffrey Mahnke of St. Peter Ev. Lutheran Church, Schofield will officiate. Visitation will take place from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home.

The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers from Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice services and Hospice house and Dr. Steven Nichols from Aspirus Family Physicians for their care and compassion for Dorothy while she was in their care. The family would also like to thank Dorothy’s sister Eileen, daughter-in-law Rachel, granddaughter Leslie and her special friend Jeff for the dedicated care they gave Dorothy during her final weeks.

Online condolences may be given at

Michael A. Collins

Michael A. Collins, 54, Schofield, died unexpectedly Friday June 16, 2017.

He was born April 10, 1963 in Tomahawk, son of the late Donald and Marlene Collins. On April 10, 1990, he married Regina Cortright in Merrill. She survives.

Michael served in the U.S. National Guard. For the past four years, Michael had been employed at Old Castle Glass, Schofield. He was a huge sports fan and enjoyed cheering on the Packers and Brewers. Fishing and watching NASCAR racing were favorite pastimes as well.

Survivors include his wife, Regina, two children, Brittany Collins, Wausau and Amber Collins, Roscoe, Ill., three step-children, John Shaw, Wausau, Adam Shaw, Weston and Amy (Kyle) Powers, Clintonville, grandchildren, Taea, Kyle Jr., Dhonovan, Kaleb and Jasper. Also surviving are his siblings, Marly, Jamie, Peggy, Pat, Gary, Tom, Donnie, and Dave.

Memorial services will be 11:00 a.m. Thursday June 22, 2017 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau. Rev. Richard Vanman will officiate. Visitation will be on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the Sixth Street funeral home. Online condolences may be expressed at

Patricia J. Reuter

Patricia J. Reuter, 65, Wausau, died Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital with her son by her side.

She was born June 9, 1952, in Wausau, daughter of Norman Reuter and the late Lorraine (Leffel) Reuter.

For 31 years Patricia was employed at BMO Harris Bank formerly First American and M & I. She enjoyed crocheting, playing cards and traveling, taking many bus trips. Patricia loved volunteering at Church for Fish Frys and Bingo at St. Anne’s Fest and was a member of the bell choir and prayer shall ministry. She was also a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters Court No. 498 and was current Chief Ranger.

Survivors include her son, James “Jim” Reuter; father, Norman Reuter; siblings, Kathy (Bob) Basil, Wayne (Cyndi) Reuter and Rose (Dean) Markofski; all of the Wausau Area, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Besides her mother, she was preceded in death by her grandparents, Henry and Meta Leffel and Jacob and Sarah Reuter.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at the Church of St. Anne, Wausau. Rev. Nathaniel Kuhn will preside. Visitation will be Monday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. and again on Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the Church of St. Anne, Wausau.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Gilbert John Strek

Our beautiful brother, Gilbert John Strek, 69 of Wausau, passed over peacefully Wednesday June 7, 2017 at Colonial Manor Medical and Rehabilitation Center, Wausau. Gilbert was born May 1, 1948, son of the late Ronald and Priscilla (LeMere) Strek in Wausau. We know our Mom and Dad took his hand and guided him through the gates of Heaven.

He received his education in Wausau, graduating from Wausau High School in 1967. Gilbert’s favorite interest was radios. He loved all kinds of radios, especially short-wave radios. Christmas was his most beloved time of year. Having so little, he gave so big, especially at Christmas. His heart was filled with kindness and love for the people in his life. Our lives are better because he was in it.

Survivors include his two brothers, Steven (Susan) Strek and James Strek, both of Wausau; his sister, Peggy Cabot, Centennial, Colorado; nephews, Daniel Strek, Wausau, Curt Strek, Madison, Breck Cabot, Colorado and Jesse Strek, Washington; a niece, Katie (Josh) Adams, Colorado; an aunt, Janice (John) Bailey, Rhinelander and many cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew, Scott Daniel Strek. We will miss our brother. Happy trails Gilbert, until we meet again.

A Funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m. noon, on Monday June 19, 2017 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau. Rev. William Grevatch will preside. Family and friends may call from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau.

The family would like to thank the staff at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, especially the ICU Unit, Dr. Martin at Bone & Joint Clinic and the staff at Colonial Manor Medical and Rehabilitation Center for all their care and compassion. A special thank you is extended to his favorite caregiver, Amy.

On line condolences may be expressed at

Thomas L. Slagoski

Thomas L. Slagoski, age 69, Bevent, died peacefully at his home on June 10, 2017 surrounded by his wife and daughters, after a courageous ten month battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He wrote this before his death:

If you are reading this, I am no longer here. I grew up on a small dairy farm in Shantytown, Wisconsin. As a kid, I rode my bike with a cane pole and a tomato soup can full of worms to my favorite fishing holes. When my parents couldn’t find me, they looked for my dog and if the dog was gone, they knew the dog and I were fishing.

Potato vacation was every fall. Rosholt High School would shut down for two weeks, and I would pick potatoes for a nickel a bushel. The money I got, I used for a hunting license and a box of shells. When I was 18, my dad took me with him to Wisconsin Rapids Court House to get a farm deferment. When we got there, my dad told me to stay in aisle and he would get the deferment. I walked to the other end of the court house and enlisted in the Marine Corps. I served in the U.S. Marines from April 28, 1967 to April 28, 1970. I was a helicopter mechanic.

When I returned home, I got a job working at the paper mill in Rothschild (first named American Can, then Weyerhaeuser, and now Domtar). I told myself, I would only stay for the summer and get a construction job afterwards. However, 43 ½ years later, I retired from that same paper mill, on June 8, 2013.

Two years after starting at the paper mill, I met my wife. We got married on September 3, 1973; we’ve been married for 43 years. It was exciting starting a life with another person. We did a lot of tent camping on islands. Four years later, we had our first daughter. Two years, another daughter. And two years later, our third daughter was born. We did a lot of tent camping with our family, but it seemed like we always got rained out. So in 1986, we bought an RV and every summer we took two weeks of vacation and camped out in six or seven different states each trip. Our daughters still enjoy camping and nature.

God gave me a beautiful voice and I enjoyed singing in church choirs. When I get to heaven, I hope I can be in one of God’s choirs.

My love of fishing never left me. After retiring, Mary and I enjoyed fishing at my favorite fishing hole (I fished there for over 60 years). I rowed the boat so Mary could fish. God was good to us; we always caught fish. I think my grandchildren will continue my love of fishing. When I was young, I went fishing every day, and I know my grandson, Daniel, wants to do the same.

Thomas was born May 16, 1948 in Stevens Point. Survivors include his wife, Mary (McNeely) Slagoski; 3 daughters, Amy Slagoski (Lee Tillman), St. Petersburg, FL, Kasia (Matthew) Bolinger, Bevent, Rachel (B. Matthews) Sheils, Montreal, QC, Canada; and beloved family, Dennis (Lisa) Cepress, Acworth, GA; Karen Cepress, Baltimore, MD, 10 grandchildren, Mary, Daniel and Julia Bolinger, Emma and Lucas Sheils, Brandon, Eric, Will, Zack and Kate Cepress; 2 sisters, Carol Trantow (Marty Dentinger) and Mary Jane Buchkowski.

He was preceded in death by his parents Benjamin and Mary (Schrader) Slagoski and 2 brothers: Ronald and William “Bill” Slagoski.

Visitation will be Friday June 16 from 4 – 7 p.m. at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church in Bevent (Rosary at 6:45 p.m.). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday June 17 at 11 a.m. at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church with visitation from 9 a.m. until time of services. Fr. Augustine Bentil will officiate. Full Military honors will be conducted following the funeral mass. In lieu of flowers, Thomas requested memorials to The Salvation Army, Attn: Wendy, 202 Callon St, Wausau, WI 54401 or Big Bass Lake Rehabilitation District, c/o Tony Trzebiatowski, 8933 County Rd B, Amherst, WI 54406 (funds will be used for rehabilitation and preservation of the lake).

Our family would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Fr. Gus and Sister Mary Ellen, the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff, namely Dr. Christopher Peterson, at Aspirus Cancer Center and Aspirus Wausau Hospital and to Heartland Hospice for their wonderful and compassionate care.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Michael A. Rowe

Michael A. Rowe, 57, Mosinee, died Monday, June 12, 2017 at his home.

He was born July 13, 1959 in Laurium, Mich., the son of Annette “Candy” (Sorsen) Gagnon of Fulton, Mich. and the late Donald Rowe.

Survivors include two children, Amanda (Michael) Cline, Mosinee and Christopher Rowe, Copper City, Mich.; three grandchildren, Lily, Attus and Gideon; his mother, Annette “Candy” (David “Tarzan”) Gagon; one brother, Donald Rowe, Mosinee; one sister, Candy (Edward) Roberts, Monroe, Mich.; and his ex-wife, Barbara Rowe, Copper City, Mich.

Besides his father, Donald, he was preceded in death by one granddaughter, Isis Michlig.

A Memorial Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Labor Temple, Wausau.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.

Ruth M. Olbrantz

Ruth M. Olbrantz, 91, Marathon, died Monday, June 12, 2017 at the Hospice House, Wausau, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born July 29, 1925, in Marathon, daughter of the late Charles and Meta (Lemke) Schroeder. On March 8, 1947, she married Leonard Olbrantz at St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau and they celebrated 70 years of marriage together this March. He preceded her in death on May 22, 2017.

Ruth was a homemaker who was proud to have children in three different decades. She also worked at the former Miller’s Meat Market in Marathon. Ruth was an excellent cook, baker, canner and her kitchen was always open, being lovingly referred to as “Ruthies Grill”. She was known to pack the best picnic basket and always knew what to say to reassure her children in whatever they needed. Some of her hobbies included completing crossword puzzles, playing board games and cards, watching the game show channel, Packers and Brewers, embroidering dish towels, attending her grandchildren’s events and occasional trips to the casino.

She was a lifelong member of St. Matthew Ev. Lutheran Church, Marathon and was very involved at church in the Mission Circle, Ladies Aid and Altar Guild. She was known as the “chauffer” because she would pick up the elderly and take them to and from church. In recent years Ruth enjoyed the many visits from Pastor Hadler when she couldn’t attend church services anymore. Serving as past president, Ruth was a member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary for over 60 years.

Ruth was a caregiver for her son, Leonard and also her mother, Meta.

Survivors include her children, Lia (Dave Brod) Klumpyan, Larry (Catherine) Olbrantz, Linda (Ken Cole) Olbrantz, Lois (Cliff) Laska, Luanne (Robert) Wiesman and Leon Olbrantz; one daughter-in-law, Rita Passow; grandchildren, Len (Jenny) Olbrantz, Kim (Keith) Marquardt, Kevin (Jennifer Orshak) Klumpyan, Craig (Rebecca) Klumpyan, Cara (Dan) Geyser, Jamie (Matthew) Gorajski, Natalie (Derrick) Deese, Rick (Karla) Radtke, Chris Radtke, Lisa Laska, Holly (Scott Ohmart) Laska, Andrew (Becki) Wiesman and Greta Wiesman; 17 great-grandchildren; three nephews, Bob (Diane), Jim and Dale Fitzke.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by a son, Leonard Jr., infant grandson, Scott, sons-in-law, Richard Klumpyan and Randy Lodholz, sister, Lillian (Milton) Fitzke and an infant brother and sister.

Funeral services will be at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, June 17, 2017 at St. Matthew Ev. Lutheran Church, Marathon. Rev. Jon Hadler will officiate. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Marathon. Visitation will be Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until the time of services all at St. Matthew Ev. Lutheran Church, Marathon.

The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to caregivers, Niki and Ruth, with a special thanks to Debbie Marzynski as well as the staff at Hospice House and Astia Health for the kind, compassionate care given to Ruth.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Carol Kreager

Carol Kathryn (Janz) Kreager was devoted to our heavenly Father and went to be with Him at the Hour of Divine Mercy on June 15, 2017.

Carol was the daughter of Arthur and Leona (Stark) Janz born on Christmas day, December 25, 1930.

She is survived by her loving, compassionate husband, Charles. They were married June 14, 1952 and just shared their 65th wedding anniversary. Carol and Charles were blessed with nine children, George (Bernadette) Kreager, Deborah (Grant) Daniels, Catherine (Albert) Kovatch, Mary (John) Kitzrow, Steve (Sheri) Kreager, Tom (Marge) Kreager, David (Connie) Kreager, Susan Hedrick, and Dan Kreager. Her family is further extended with 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Carol held her family very close to her heart enjoying the large, rowdy family get togethers. To her family she was a known card shark, always enjoying a good game of sheephead or a trip to the casino. Carol was an avid reader, loved the comics, watching Dancing With the Stars, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Price is Right, and singing along with Lawrence Welk. She also liked helping at the Holy Name Fun Days.

In her younger days Carol enjoyed traveling, train rides to Chicago, horse-back riding, bowling and Polka Festivals.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Dorothy Balthazor and Betty Crawford, brother, Arthur Janz, Jr., her son-in-law, Jim Hedricks and many brothers and sisters-in-law.

Carol is survived by her husband, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister Patricia (Gene) Peterson, sister-in-laws, Gretchen Nienow, Lorraine Klatt, and Jane Janz, also many nieces and nephews.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 AM on Monday, June 19, 2017 at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Wausau. Father Robert Thorn will officiate. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Sunday, June 18 at Helke Funeral Home; resuming at 10:00 AM on Monday at the church until the time of service. Carol will be entombed at Restlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our guestbook at

Thank you to Father Robert Thorn, Father Dan Thelen and the staff at Aspirus Hospital for their compassion, care, and support in Mom’s final days.