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Wausau area obituaries, Oct. 26

in Milestones/News/obituaries

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

Kathleen Huelster

Kathleen Powers Huelster, 82, Wausau, passed away at home on Oct. 13, 2017.

Kathy was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to John and Martha Powers. She grew up in a home on White Bear Lake, Minn., and attended the University of Minnesota. In 1956, she married Wally Huelster and soon moved to Wausau where they raised four daughters.

Kathy was a homemaker while her children were young, volunteering at school and as a Girl Scout leader. She enjoyed hosting her bridge club and bringing people together with her Sunday dinners. Later, she worked in retail fashion, in various locations, including the Yacht Club Resort in Walt Disney World. She also fulfilled her dream of owning her own store.

Kathy was especially proud of her Irish heritage, which she also instilled in her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed watching football, converting from a Viking to a Packer fan after moving to Wausau. Kathy was an accomplished seamstress, sewing many of her own clothes, costumes and elaborate doll dresses.

Kathy is survived by her four daughters: Kendy Selby (Mike), Gretchen Nuckles (Tim), Stephanie Aleman and Shielah Andersen. Grandchildren: Meghan Belden (Elliott), Mark and Ryan Selby, Henry and Jack Nuckles, Carmelo and Xavier Aleman, Jessycah and Jayred Anderson. Her sister, Geraldine Becker, also survives, as well a niece and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Martha Powers, her brother, John Powers and her former husband, Wallace Huelster.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be made at www.brainardfuneral.com. The family wishes to thank long time caretakers, Cindy, Chris and Robin, as well as Mobile Meal volunteers.


Joan Schmitz

Joan Schmitz (born Joan Marie Scheffler), wife, mother, activist, friend to many, singer, gardener, care-giver and life-long student died on October 9, 2017 after a brief illness at Aspiris Hospice House in Wausau with family at her bedside.

Joan was born in Chicago, October 17, 1927 to Julius and Marie Scheffler. Joan attended North Park Junior College, Elmhurst College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison graduating with a degree in Pharmacy. Joan met her future husband Bill Schmitz during a Zoology lecture at Madison. Joan moved to Wausau in 1959 where Bill had been hired as UWMC Zoology Department faculty. Joan and Bill bought an old house on Wausau’s east side which they spent many years remodeling. Joan, a passionate gardener created plant and rock gardens for their new house celebrating Wisconsin’s wild native plant species as well as commercial varieties – many still thrive there.

Joan, an accomplished soprano, sang in the First Presbyterian Church choir for decades. Joan also sang amongst the talented voices in the Wausau Pro Musica.

Joan devoted her life to the service of others. She welcomed strangers as family. Joan cared for the elderly and others while serving as a Presbyterian Deacon and Elder, helping many people in Wausau and the surrounding community. Joan was a local community activist and an outspoken international political activist. Joan worked with her neighbors to keep the Wausau Railroad Depot at its original location and on two occasions to avert destruction of her east side neighborhood from a proposed “Grand Avenue Alternate.” She worked with other Presbyterians to renovate the church sanctuary and too install a new pipe organ. Joan labored tirelessly to educate for the respect, humane treatment and the rights, under international law, of the Palestinian people.

Joan was seriously injured in an October 1995 automobile accident which nearly ended her life. Joan and Bill’s love prevailed. Joan lived at home with Bill, who took care of his wife until October 2014 when he passed away.

Joan is survived by her two sons Greg (Emily) and Geof.

A celebration of both Joan’s and Bill’s well lived lives is being planned for a future date. Memorial donations in Joan’s name can be made to The First Presbyterian Church of Wausau, 406 Grant Street, Wausau, WI 54403.


Thomas Allen Gritzmacher

Thomas Allen Gritzmacher, 68, Weston, died October 25, 2017 at Cedar Ridge Elder Services under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Thomas was born April 22, 1949 to Rose (Rauschl) and the late Eugene Gritzmacher. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and graduated from Wausau High School. For many years, Thomas was the owner/operator of the Pine Bar in Wausau.

Thomas was a very independent man with a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed cooking and cars, especially corvettes. Throughout his life, Thomas was a dedicated Green Bay Packers fan.

Thomas is survived by his mother, Rose of Wausau; sons, Brian (Ann) of Reno, NV, Mike of Waterloo, IA and Tom of Waterloo, IA; 4 grandchildren; siblings, Christopher (Mary Jo) of Wausau, Mary Kay (Jeff) Schlatterer of Wausau, Elizabeth (Steve) Wadzinski of Wausau, Ann (Dale) Mroczenski of Merrill, Carrie (Troy) Maly of Meadowlands, MN, Susan (John) Gutsch of Wausau, Linda (Bill) Buss of Eland; sister-in-law, Shirley Gritzmacher; brother-in-law, Jeff Reeder; and extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his father, Eugene; brother, John; and sister, Lucy Reeder.

The memorial service for Thomas will be at 1:00 PM on Monday, October 30, 2017 at Helke Funeral Home, Wausau. Fr. Greg Bohren will officiate. Visitation will be from 12:00 PM until the time of service at the funeral home. Inurnment will be at Restlawn Memorial Park following the memorial service. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guest book at helke.com.

A very sincere word of thanks goes to the caregivers of Cedar Ridge Elder Services who have compassionately cared for Thomas for the past 10 years.


Eileen Smart

Eileen Smart passed away on Saturday, October 21, 2017 after a courageous fight with cancer.  She did achieve her goal of attending her daughter, Melanie’s, wedding and her 60th wedding anniversary celebration in Disney on October 5, 2017.  She enjoyed the special touches her daughter, Dawn, did for the 60th celebration.  She also was able to see her son, Ken, happy and with a wonderful caring woman, Judy Parker, who help care for Eileen in her final days.

Cancer had robbed her of so much she had planned to do this summer that it was a blessing she was able to make the trip to Disney.  She was an amazing woman with a grace and strength not seen in many people.  She loved her family and always put them first, and even kept fighting the cancer long after many would have quit, because she was worried about her children, husband, and her siblings.  All she wanted for her children were to be happy, loved and appreciated for who they are.

Eileen was born and raised in Colby, Wisconsin.  She had two brothers, James Nipko and Richard Nipko and a sister, Marilee Dekarske.  Marilee was a big help to her sister and Eileen’s family, helping to care for her in her final months.

On October 5, 1957 she married Grant Smart and they moved to Wausau, Wisconsin.  They had three children, Kenneth Smart, Dawn Larsen, and Melanie (Smart) Poetker.  She was an amazing wife and mother, and she made every holiday and birthday special.  Even when she was in the hospital recovering from sepsis she made sure to send her grandchildren and great-grandchildren birthday cards.

Eileen enjoyed traveling to Disney at least once a year, but did not like to fly so she and her husband drove.  Grant did not like driving but he loved his wife so they drove.  Even this last time they drove down, with some help from their son, Ken.

When not traveling to Disney, Eileen and Grant would enjoy taking weekend trips, trips up north to their condo, and other long driving trips.

Eileen did enter the work force when her youngest was 16.  She started at J.C. Penny’s and was quickly promoted to manager.  She retired from Penny’s opening her own women’s clothing store, which she eventually retired from, as she wanted to once again have time to enjoy Christmas, and her family missed her Christmas baking.  After a few months of retirement she went back to work part time as an administrative assistant in real estate.

She left a positive footprint on those who lives she touched and she is greatly missed by her family and friends.

She is survived by her husband, brothers and sister, children, sons-in-law Mike Larsen and Chris Poetker, sisters-in-law, Patty Nipko and Kay Nipko, grandchildren, Karen and Alex Collins, Kevin and Ashley Smart, Krystal and Brian Hildebrant, Karsarah Smart, Kory Smart, Katilyn Smart, Scott Larsen, Jessie and Lindsay Larsen, Kyle Larsen, and Thomas Poetker, and by seven great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Friday October 27, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Highland Community Church, Wausau, WI, with the funeral to follow at 11:00 a.m. and a luncheon at 12:00 p.m.

You may sign the family guestbook at www.helke.com.

If you would like to make a donation in Eileen’s name please make them to New Life Pet Adoption Center, Marathon, WI.

Charitable donations may be made to:

New Life Pet Adoption Center
125 Cattail Ave., Marathon WI 54448
Tel: 1-715-443-6699
Web: http://www.nlpac.com


Lois Bagby

Lois Charlene Bagby, 87, Wausau, died Friday, October 20, 2017 at Gardenside Crossing at North Central Health Care, Wausau, surrounded by her loving family.

Lois was born June 8, 1930 in Wausau to the late Charles and Minnie (Donner) Frank.  She was baptized on July 1, 1930 and confirmed on April 18, 1943 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Stewart Ave.  Lois was a 1947 graduate of Wausau High School.  She married the love of her life, Barney “Wink” Bagby on December 28, 1955 at Trinity Lutheran Church.  The couple was blessed with four children: Cynthia, John, Thomas and Sherri, and two grandsons, Matthew & David. Lois and Wink were retired when their grandsons were born, and were blessed to spend many of their days helping care for “the boysies.”   Most of Lois’s working life was spent at John Muir Middle School, where she was invaluable as the secretary in the counseling department.  Many who passed through JMMS have a lasting memory of Mrs. Bagby’s love and kindness. Lois bid farewell to her beloved husband of 57 years on December 13, 2013 when Wink went on ahead to Heaven.

Faith and family were of paramount importance throughout Lois’s life.  Lois always made sure that the family went to church together every Sunday, and marched the children to the front pew when they were young. She instilled in her children and grandsons the same love and devotion to God that she had.  She was very active at First English Lutheran Church, teaching Sunday School, serving as Vacation Bible School Superintendent, singing in the choir and actively helping with the ladies’ Circles.  Her love and support for her children and grandsons was unwavering; she would go to every sporting event, concert, conference and activity that they had.  Lois was a Den Mother, Room Mother and active member of the PTA at Grant Elementary School.  Lois & Wink enjoyed travelling.  They took the children to Tennessee every year to visit Wink’s family.  They visited many other states including Hawaii. Many later trips were with Lois’s sisters and brothers-in-law, usually by bus and train.  A very special trip was to Mexico with the family to celebrate their 50 wedding anniversary.  Lois was a huge Badgers & Packers fan, and loved going to games.  Many fun days were spent at Camp Randall watching the game, and the band.  Lois and Wink enjoyed going to the Jan 1, 1999 Rose Bowl game with daughter Sherri.

Lois is survived by her loving children, Cynthia (Mike) Rauen, John Bagby, Thomas (Toni) Bagby and Sherri Bagby, all of Wausau; grandsons, Matthew Bagby (UW Madison) and David Bagby of Wausau; sisters, Arlet Johnson, Carol Leubner, Nancy Hoeppner, Joyce Louthan and Sandra (Jerry) Ermeling; sisters-in-law, Ruth Bagby and Nancy Bagby Cornell; and many nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her husband; parents; sister, Wilma (James) Cherek; sisters-in-law, Mattie (William) White and Mary Lou (Arthur) Davis; brothers-in-law, Robert Johnson, Lowell Leubner, Roy Hoeppner, Wilbur Louthan, William Bagby, Alfred (Sara) Bagby and Jesse Bagby.

The funeral service for Lois will be at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at First English Lutheran Church, Wausau.  Pastor Erik Olson will officiate.  Visitation will be from 9:00 AM until the time of service on Saturday at the church.  Committal will be at Pine Grove Cemetery.  Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.

Memorials may be directed to First English Lutheran Church. (402 N. 3rd Ave, Wausau, WI  54401)

The family wishes to thank the staff at MVCC-Gardenside Crossing for their loving care of our Mom.  God blessed you with kind and compassionate hearts, and you have been a blessing to us.

“Our parents did not have abundant earthly treasures.  They had something far more precious – a home filled with love, many happy times with family and friends, and a strong faith.  They passed that faith on to us, their children and grandsons, and it is that which sustains us during this difficult time.  We miss our Mom and Grammy, but have the blessed assurance that we will see her again in Heaven (H E A V E N – Mom loved to spell!!).  We’re sure she’s gabbing up a storm with those already there.  Say “hi” to Dad for us.  Love, Mike & Cindy, John, Tom & Toni, Sherri, Matt & David.”


Annette S. Krahn

Annette Krahn, 101, Wausau was called to eternal life at Benedictine Living Center on October 20, 2017.

Anastasia Annette Stephanie Kroll was born July 29, 1916 in Cicero, IL to the late John and Frances Kroll. Annette attended elementary school in Cicero. As a child, she helped her parents in their grocery store. Annette graduated from Kenosha High School and Milwaukee School of Cosmetology. Annette played softball for the Kenosha professional softball team called “The Kenosha Bluebells”. She also worked as a beautician in Shorewood.

On January 27, 1940 she married Eldrid Krahn Sr. at St. Hedwig in Milwaukee. After a few years of living in Milwaukee, they moved to Edgar to take over the family farm in the Town of Cassel. Annette drove tractor, milked cows and helped her mate any way she could on the farm. Annette and Eldrid farmed from 1942 to 1970 when they retired and moved to a home in Rib Mountain.

Annette and Eldrid enjoyed dancing, bowling, traveling to different places in the United States, and fishing at their summer trailer near Lake Nokomis. She was an excellent seamstress, gardener, cook and enjoyed baking and sending angel food cakes and sugar cookies home to her family. Annette was involved in Women’s Group, Bible Study, choir and helped with many church dinners. Annette was the oldest member of 75 years at St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Edgar.

At the age of 96 ½ years Annette moved to assisted living and later to Benedictine Living Center. She enjoyed visits from her grandchildren, great grandchildren and many friends.

Annette is survived by her children, daughter, Audrey (Duane) Kamenick, Edgar, her sons, Eldred (Linda) Krahn, Gleason, Martin (Colette) Krahn, Wausau, six grandchildren, Todd (LeiAn) Kamenick, Lance (Theresa) Kamenick, Amy Kamenick, Christopher and Ben Krahn, Jennifer (Nick) Nelson, seven great grandsons, Jacob, Bryce, Noah, Seth and Aiden Kamenick, Eli and Gavin Nelson and two great granddaughters, Isabelle and Ella Krahn, two step grandsons, three step great grandchildren, one great great grandchild and twelve nieces and nephews.

Annette was preceded in death by her husband Eldrid of 62 years, triplet daughters, Frances, Carol and Dianne, parents John and Frances Kroll, brothers Edward, Mitchell and John Kroll, sisters-in-law, Jean, Mary and Phyllis Kroll, in-laws, Ernst and Ida Krahn, granddaughter Mary Kamenick and daughter-in-law, Carol Krahn.

The honor of pallbearers will be her six grandchildren, Todd, Lance and Amy Kamenick, Jennifer Nelson, Christopher and Ben Krahn.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 28, 2017 at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Edgar. The Rev. Gail Sowell will officiate. Burial will be in the Edgar Cemetery. Friends may call on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the church. In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established in Annette’s name. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com


Sharon Zeichert

Sharon “Shari” (Schmidt) Zeichert, age 70, of Rib Mountain, WI, passed away peacefully on October 22, 2017, at the Hospice House in Wausau, WI, after a courageous battle with cancer. Shari was born May 3, 1947, in Green Bay, WI, to the late John and Veronica (Nowicki) Olszewski. Shari grew up in Pulaski, WI, and graduated from Pulaski High School in 1965, before attending and graduating from Northeast Technical College.

As a longtime resident of the Wausau area, Shari’s professional career included stops at Zimpro, Inc. as an office services manager, the Wausau Medical Center as a reception supervisor, and twenty-one years for Marathon County in the Sheriff’s Department Jail Division and the Veterans Department as an administrative specialist.

Shari married Duane Zeichert on May 17, 1986. They enjoyed each other’s company while taking trips together, visiting places such as Alaska, Hawaii, Jamaica, and cruising to Caribbean islands. Besides flying and cruising to their vacation destinations, they also experienced many road trips throughout the United States. She and Duane were avid Packers and Brewers fans always making time to watch the games.

Family and friends were Shari’s passion and greatest enjoyment. She was very proud of her children and grandchildren. She loved to host and entertain, cooking meals for family holiday celebrations and spoiling her grandchildren with endless gifts and treats. Shari enjoyed spending time with her girlfriends on get-a-ways and shopping trips, including “PTA” (Party Time Again) outings.

Shari is survived by her husband, Duane, Rib Mountain, WI; three children, Brian (Ami) Schmidt, Sun Prairie, WI, Jeanne Peplinski, Stevens Point, WI, and Mark (Stephanie) Schmidt, Rochester, MN; two step-son’s, Brian Zeichert, Madison, WI, and Eric Zeichert, Rothschild, WI; seven grandchildren, Allison, Griffin, Anthony, Alex, Austin, Taylor, and Brody; two brothers, John (Jerri) Olszewski, Barrington, IL, Thomas (Wendy) Olszewski, Salem, WI; several very special nieces and nephews; and other relatives and close friends.

Memorial services will be at Noon on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau. Rev. Joy Nelson-Jeffers will officiate. Visitation will be on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until time of services at the funeral home. Private burial services will be on Monday at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

The family wishes to thank all of those who recently cared for Shari, including all of the doctors and nurses at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, especially the cancer center, MSICU, the palliative care unit, Rennes Health & Rehab Center, and the Hospice House.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Shari’s name.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com


Dale Myszka

Dale I. Myszka, 66, Athens, died Monday, October 23, 2017 at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center, Appleton.

He was born September 23, 1951 in the town of Rietbrock, son of the late Joseph and Erma (Soucek) Myszka. On October 17, 2003 he married Melinda “Lindy” Powell in Wausau.
Dale enjoyed farming, logging, hunting and playing cards. He also liked watching old Western movies and Lawrence Welk.

Survivors include his wife, Melinda “Lindy” Powell; daughter, Melissa (Russ) Rienwald; sons, Todd (fiancé Gretchen) Myszka and Toby Myszka; grandchildren, Dylan and Taylor Myszka, Amethyst Smith, Finley Myszka, Daniel, Natalie and Kassidy Myszka; siblings, Priscilla Stenzel, Norbert (Jane) Myszka, Benny (Carmen) Myszka, Donald (Bonnie) Myszka, Janice Barrr, Joleen (Marvin) Dassow, Sharon (Ronald) Dassow, Debby (Kirk) Cwikla and Monelle (Larry) Johnson.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, DuWayne Myszka, a sister, Patricia Mroczenski, infant sister, Luann and infant brother, Jerome.

A celebration of Dale’s life will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 27, 2017 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens. Burial will be in Holy Family cemetery, Poniatowski. Visitation will be Thursday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens and again on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the Athens funeral home.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com


Barbara Kloostra

Barbara J Kloostra, 80 of Wausau passed away on October 25, 2017.

Services will be held at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home Saturday, October 28, 2017. Visitation will be held at 11:00 until the time of services at 1:00. John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting family at this time.


Patricia Ann Miller

Patricia Ann Miller, 78, of Arkdale, passed away at the House of Dove in Marshfield on October 20, 2017. She was born to Myron and Jean (Carls) Miller on April 25, 1939. She married Allen W. Miller on April 23, 1958. She is survived by her three sons; Scott Alan (Barb) Miller, Randy Lee (Donna Bueno) Miller, Dean Alan (Jennifer) Miller, Grandchildren; John, Jenny, Austin, Travis, Erin, Cole, six Great-Grandchildren, one Great-Great Grandchild,  siblings; Betty Smith, Tina Glinski, John Carls and Casey Carls, many nieces and nephews and her beloved cat Gray.
She was preceded in death by her parents, loving husband Allen W. Miller, sister Kelly Carls and her in-laws.

Patricia loved gardening, reading books, shopping, bingo, working puzzles and tending to her house plants.

Services will be held at Living Faith Lutheran Church, 2915 Wright Avenue, Racine, WI on Saturday, November 4, 2017. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at 11:30 a.m. John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family at this time.


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