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Wausau area obituaries, Nov. 9

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

LaVerne Myer

LaVerne Myer, 83, of Weston, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones Saturday, November 4, 2017 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield.

LaVerne was born in a log cabin on the family farm in Beans Eddy on September 29, 1934 to Harry and Clara (Handschke) Myer. Around 1942 the family moved to the Kronenwetter area where they mainly raised sheep and bees. Dad always talked about his pet skunk that lived with the cats and cows in the barn. He attended Paine School in his early years, then Rothschild and D.C. Everest Senior High. The family later moved to Wausau.

On July 14, 1956, LaVerne married the love of his life and soul mate, Marlene Lipke, in Baraboo, WI, and was blessed with over 61 years of marriage. Together they raised two children; a son, Harry, and a daughter, Sheryl.

LaVerne served as a medic in the National Guard from 1955-1959 and in the Army Reserves from 1959-1963.
LaVerne retired from the Rothschild Paper Mill in 2000 after 45 years of service. He also had many part-time jobs in grocery stores, building homes, and cleaning at River Valley State Bank with his wife.

Attending church and singing in the choir were very important to LaVerne. He began singing in the choir at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wausau and continued on when they joined Mount Calvary in Rothschild. He was also on the dartball team.

LaVerne had many interests and hobbies over the years. He loved to go camping with his family, spending summers Up North on Buffalo Lake with family and friends, visiting with family, telling stories and jokes, fishing (especially ice fishing), hunting, snowmobiling, feeding the birds, squirrels, and anyone else who came to visit. Since 1970, LaVerne loved to make jigs from start to finish and later, Marlene joined in.

They also traveled to many places throughout the country, noting the favorites as Hawaii, Nova Scotia, and Alaska. He enjoyed getting together with friends to play cards and dice games with weekly fish fries and Sunday brunch.

LaVerne’s family was very important to him and he always looked forward to seeing them when they came to visit and spending holidays with them.

LaVerne is survived by his loving wife, Marlene; son, Harry (Julie), Weston; daughter, Sheryl (Steven) Kuehmichel, Wausau; grandchildren, Tanya (Tim) Mitchell, Wisconsin Rapids; Adam (Angie) Pelot, Zimmerman, MN; Randy (Jasmine) Myer, Kronenwetter; Caylee (Dillon) Nichols, Wausau; Danica (Brittney) Myer, Kronenwetter; Chad (Kristin) Kuehmichel, Middleton; Ashley Kuehmichel, Wausau; 10 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandson.

LaVerne is preceded in death by his parents, five sisters, one brother, and a grand-daughter, Brooke Pelot; along with his beloved pets, Fritzie and Puffy.

We would like to thank dad’s neighbors, staff at St. Clare’s, the nurses, doctors, and chaplains in the ICU at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and especially Pastor Block and the staff of Brainard Funeral Home for helping our family with Dad’s care. We are so blessed to have you all.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 503 Schmidt Avenue, Rothschild. Rev. Rich Block will officiate. Visitation will be held from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the service at the church.


Marjorie M. Zahrt

Marjorie Mae Zahrt, 87, of Schofield, passed away on Monday, November 6, 2017, at Aspirus Hospice House surrounded by her children.

She was born on July 21, 1930, in the town of Wausau, to the late Elmer and Alice (Solum) Zemke.  Marjorie grew up on the family farm in the Town of Wausau, and lived in the Wausau area her entire life.  She was a busy homemaker and mother while raising her seven children, and also was the bookkeeper for the family business.  She was a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Town of Easton.

Marjorie especially loved animals.  She was an avid bird watcher, and enjoyed feeding the birds and other wildlife that came to her yard.  When she wanted to get away, Marjorie loved going for a car ride and taking day trips around Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan.

Survivors include her children, Marie (Lyle) Juedes of Aniwa, Keith Zahrt of Aniwa, Donna (Paul) Greenheck of Wausau, Susan (Max) Muzynoski of Ringle, Barbara (Larry) Weisenberger of Schofield, Jeffery (Lisa) Zahrt of Aniwa, and Janice (Mark) Michalski of Wausau; grandchildren, Amanda (Corey) Rose, Adam Juedes (special friend, Ali Will), Eric (Melanie) Juedes, Michael (Kasey) Greenheck, Dan (Michelle) Greenheck, Joshua Zahrt, Anna Zahrt, and Rachel Zahrt; and great-grandchild, Clayton Rose.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and Alice Zemke; brother, Elmer Zemke Jr.; great-grandson, Elmer Jon Juedes; and niece, Marlene Zemke.

A memorial service will be at 12 noon on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at St. John Lutheran Church (Town of Easton), E10723 County Road Z, with Rev. Ray Connor officiating.  Family and friends may call beginning at 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church.  Private burial will take place in Mechanics Ridge Cemetery at a later date.

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

The family requests memorial contributions be made to St. John Lutheran Church or to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

A special thank you to the staff at The Renaissance Assisted Living for providing the care Marjorie needed to live independently for so many years.  The family also extends their gratitude to the staff at the Hospice House for their compassionate and exceptional care of Marjorie the short time she was there.


James Light

James Edward Light, 93, of Schofield, WI joined the angels and the love of his life, Cyrillia, on November 5, 2017.

James was born on March 7, 1924 to Edward and Hallie Mae (Etherton) Light in Jacksonville, IL.

James joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 and attended flight school at the Antigo Air Force Station where he met his future bride, Cyrillia Lorraine Groshek. Upon completion of flight school he was promoted to Flight Officer. He flew CG-4A fighter gliders during WWII as a squadron pilot. James’ unit was located near St. Andre, France and his last combat operation was the aerial crossing of the Rhine River into Germany in the final phase of the European war. A news release at the time stated that this operation was “the greatest airborne operation in military history.” James and Cyrillia were married in Austin, TX on June 3, 1944. After his honorable discharge in 1945 James flew private charter flights. James drove semi-truck for Brandt Distributing. James and Cyrillia owned and operated Jim’s Tap in Wausau for 14 years until 1974. He went on to work for Hoffer’s Glass until his retirement. James retired as a Special Deputy with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department in 1985. He was inducted into and honored by the Man-Of-Honor Society on March 28, 2016 for his service to his country.

James was an amazing woodworker and was always making things for his children and grandchildren. Even when the grandkids weren’t old enough to have their own, he still made one for them and set it aside for when they were older and had their own homes. Many of our family homes are graced with beautiful mantel clocks, shelves, and hope chests. His favorite was making a Christmas decoration each year for his family, from snowmen to carolers to beautiful winter scenes with deer and trees. James was also an avid gardener and always took immense pride in his yard and his gardens. While his vegetable garden was always one to envy, his gorgeous flower beds were a magnificent sight to see.

James was known to his family as a strong man, someone you could always lean on when you needed it, someone who was always there, but even strong men can’t resist a child, and James was no exception. Nothing could put a sparkle in his eyes and a grin on his face faster than seeing one of his beloved grandchildren or great-grandchildren. James was a proud man and he was very proud of his family.

James is survived by his three children, MaryLou (Charles) Major of Eau Claire, James N. (Marcie) Light of Wausau, and Bobbi (David) Gau of Mosinee. He will be greatly missed by his six grandchildren, Tammy (Todd) Green, Christopher (Lydia) Major, Michael (Chloe) Major, Stacy (Robert M) Roberts, Jeffrey (Ashley) Gau and Rebecca Herrick. James leaves behind ten great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind many other family and friends who will greatly miss him.

James was welcomed to Heaven by his beautiful wife Cyrillia; his parents, Edward and Hallie Mae; his sister, Marybelle Greenwalt; and his five brothers, Oscar, Carl, Howard, Lawrence, and Leonard Light.

Committal service will be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, 2017, at Restlawn Memorial Chapel, 4710 N. Troy St., Wausau. Visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. until the time of service in the chapel. Military honors will be provided by V.F.W. Burns Post #388. Entombment will follow in Restlawn Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, town of Texas.

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


Ethel Pupp

Ethel Catherine Pupp (nee Geiger), 93, passed away peacefully on the morning of October 28, 2017. It was exactly 75 years from the day she married the love of her life, Edward A. Pupp, in 1942 in Abbotsford, WI. Ed passed away in 2004. Ethel was born on February 25, 1924, the 16th of 17 children born to Francis Geiger and Anna Geiger (nee Metz) of Dorchester, WI.

She is survived by seven children, Harold (Gail) Pupp, Winchester, WI; Dale (Lanette) Pupp, Buford, GA; Carol Landrath, Stevens Point, WI; Roger (Marilynn Tsai) Pupp, San Francisco, CA; Glen (Darlene) Pupp of Weston, WI; Debra (Steven) Teske, Minocqua, WI; and Connie (Jim) Behnke, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA; 22 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. She is further survived by a younger brother, Leo Geiger of Loyal, Wi., almost one hundred nieces and nephews and their families.

Nothing gave Ethel more pleasure than her family. We have many beautiful memories of time spent with “Grandma” and “GG” as the great-grandchildren called her. Ethel was an avid reader and gardener and excelled at sewing, crafts, and embroidery. Every grandchild and great grandchild received a beautifully embroidered quilt upon birth and those quilts are treasured by all who received them.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 17, 2017 at the Church of St. Anne, Wausau. Entombment will be in the Garden of Eternal Rest, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau. Visitation will be Thursday from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau, and again on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the Church of St. Anne, Wausau.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com


Laura T. Gau

Laura T. Gau, 89, Wausau, died Sunday, November 5, 2017 at Aspirus Hospice House, Wausau.

She was born July 26, 1928 to the late Joseph F. and Mary G. (Salzman) Heil. On September 18, 1948, she married her husband of 69 years and love of her life, Michael E. Gau, who followed her in death on November 6, 2017.

Survivors include six children, David (Bobbi) Gau, Mosinee, Susan (Rob) Gau-Krueger, Wausau, William (Sally) Gau, Wausau, Mary Kay (Rodney) Rohde, Butternut, Terrence (Mary) Gau, California and Daniel Gau, Madison; nine grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and three step great-grand children; brother, Matthew (Delores) Heil, Wausau and sister, Florence Roberts, Idaho.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, Mildred Niziolek, Irene Schuster; and two brothers, Edwin and Raymond Heil.

She was an active member of St. Catherine’s Council and served in four different board positions of the council. Served as secretary of the Wausau Deanery Council of Catholic Women, as chairman of the Parish Family Life committee, on the Pastoral Council, and as president of the Serra Club.

After retiring from her job, she began volunteering at Newman in the library and tutored students at Holy Name School and became involved in the Helpers Club at school. To diversify her volunteering, she began to help at Wausau Hospital Center with various projects. She donated blood at the Marathon County Blood Bank and accomplished a goal of ten gallons of blood donated.

She retired from the Actuarial Department of Wausau Insurance Company. She is a member of Branch #42, Catholic Family Life Insurance, St. Agnes Circle, KC Ladies, and Catholic Women’s Club.

She enjoyed traveling, polka dancing and playing cards with family and friends.

The Funeral Mass for Laura and Mike will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 13, 2017 at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Wausau. Rev. Jesse Burish and Rev. Robert Thorn will preside. Visitation will be on Monday from Noon until time of services at the church. There will be a combined, Parish, St. Catherine Council, Holy Name Society and Knights of Columbus Rosary Service Monday at 3:00 p.m. Private burial will be on Tuesday at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Hospice House, 530 N. 32nd Avenue, Wausau.

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


Michael “Mike” E. Gau

Michael “Mike” E. Gau, 91, Wausau, died Monday, November 6, 2017 at Aspirus Hospice House, Wausau.

He was born September 14, 1926 in the town of Marathon, son of the late Mike J. and Catherine (Krause) Gau. On September 18, 1948, he married his wife, of 69 years, Laura T. Gau (Heil) at St. Mary Catholic Church, Wausau. She preceded him death on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Survivors include six children, David (Bobbi) Gau, Mosinee, Susan (Rob) Gau-Krueger, Wausau, William (Sally) Gau, Wausau, Mary Kay (Rodney) Rohde, Butternut, Terrence (Mary) Gau, California and Daniel Gau, Madison; nine grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and three step great-grandchildren.

Besides his parents and wife, Laura, he was preceded in death by four brothers, Walter, Edwin, Oscar and Roman Gau; and two sisters, Marian Krautkramer and Viola Mayer.

In his earlier years, Mike was active in Wausau Little League as manager, former member of the Wausau City Council and Marathon County Board. Mike was always interested in “good clean government” and politics.

Mike was a great Fraternalist and public servant. One thing he will be remembered for was his great sense of humor. Among his favorite pastimes, he enjoyed dancing, playing cards with family and friends, and just being with people. He took pleasure being presiding minister at numerous mock wedding anniversaries. Family cook-outs and gatherings with his family were very important to him.

Mike was a past Grand Knight, past Faithful Navigator and member of Knights of Columbus Honor Guard. He was president of the Holy Name Society of Holy Name of Jesus Parish, past Parish Trustee, member of the Parish Council, parish Usher, Lector, Mass Server and Eucharistic Minister, past president of the Holy Name of Jesus Society and Home and School Association.

He was past President of the Wausau Serra Club, past Vice-President of the Wausau Sunrise Optimist Club, held three different volunteer positions for Newman High School, Holy Name Scouting Committee, Catholic Charities and past Board of Governors of the former Marywood Convalescent Center of Wausau. Mike was also active volunteer for parish festivals and other functions. In 2002, he proudly received the Bishop Martin Henni Award for 10,000 hours of volunteer time. Was a big fan of polka music and enjoyed dancing with his wife Laura.

In 1990, Mike retired from Catholic Family Life Insurance Company as an agent, where he received several achievement awards, and then worked as a funeral assistant for the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Homes.

The Funeral Mass for Mike and Laura will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 13, 2017 at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Wausau. Rev. Jesse Burish and Rev. Robert Thorn will preside. Visitation will be on Monday from Noon until time of services at the church. There will be a combined, Parish, St. Catherine Council, Holy Name Society and Knights of Columbus Rosary Service at 3:00 p.m. Private burial will be on Tuesday at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Hospice House, 530 N. 32nd Avenue, Wausau.

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


Rebecca Lynn Schonfelder

Rebecca Lynn Schonfelder, age 61, of Wittenberg passed away peacefully at Wausau Aspirus Hospital on November 5, 2017. 

She was born April 11, 1956 to Edward (Hardrock) and Doris Johnson of Tigerton.  She is survived by her son, Morgan Schonfelder, of Wittenberg, and sisters Sandy (Chris) Ramsey of Chicago, Jo Ann (Dan) Stanford of Granbury, TX, and Rachel (Ron) Steebs of Eland.  She is further survived by brothers Dan (Pauline) Johnson of Tigerton and Tom (Rita) Johnson of Stevens Point and 11 nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her father, Hardrock Johnson, on October 6, 2000. 

Rebecca lived in Chicago for 20 years before moving to Wittenberg, working the last years of her life at Graebel International, as an accountant, a job she truly loved.  She also enjoyed sewing and spending time with family, and will be deeply missed by all.

A memorial service will be held from noon to 3 pm on Sunday, November 12 at the Wittenberg Community Center.  John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family at this time.  On-line condolences can be made at www.HonorOne.com.


Robert Sherman Severson

Robert S. Severson, 93 of Bowler died on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at Pine Manor Health Care Center, Embarrass, WI.

He was born on April 5, 1924 in the town of New Hope, Portage County, the son of the late Severt and Clara (Knutson) Severson.

On November 13, 1954, Robert was united in marriage to Rosetta Berglund in Wausau. She survives.
Robert drove truck for Westgors Lumber & Trucking and was employed at FWD Clintonville from 1965 until his retirement in 1990. He was a collector and enjoyed working on motors and tinkering.

Survivors include his wife, Rosetta of Birnamwood, three children; Doris (Eugene) Allar of Wausau, Mary (Dave) Jordan of Kronenwetter and Maynard Severson of Bowler and two grandchildren; Heather and Amy Jordan.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers; Ervin, Leon and Lester and four sisters; Anna Stewart, Violet Brooks, Frieda Liesch and Flora Severson.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, NOVEMBER 18, 2017 at Schmidt Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg. Rev. Amy Perron will officiate. Inurnment will be in Evergreen Rest Cemetery, Elderon. Visitation will be on Saturday from 1:00 PM until the time of service at the funeral home.
Memories and condolences may be shared at schmidtschulta.com or at Schmidt Schulta Funeral Home on Facebook.


Bernhard Phillip Christianson

Bernhard Phillip Christianson, age 98, of Elderon passed away peacefully on Monday, November 6, 2017 under the care of his family and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Autumn Lane Retirement Home, Birnamwood.

He was the last surviving child of Chester and Inga Christianson who raised a family of 12 children in Elderon. He was preceded in death by his Wife Irene, and three sons, George, Gerald, and David and one great-granddaughter.

Bernhard was an adventurous young man. Grandma Inga and Bernhard went to the DMV and at the age of 12 got his driver’s license. Grandma INSISTED and they gave it to him, because now he was the one in charge of keeping the farm running, as his father had passed away. Grandma knew she could depend on him because he would get things done. He was no stranger to hard work and always was the first to help when anyone needed it. He was an amazing story teller and had a quick wit and loved to make everyone smile. Bernhard loved to hunt and be in the woods as much as possible. He was an excellent marksman both with a gun and bow. He loved teaching his children and grandchildren to shoot a moving target. Even practicing with a water gun with his very young grandchildren.

At the age of 15 he “jumped the rails” from Eland Train station. He traveled on top of the train as a “hobo” and even under the train when the “bulls” got mean and threw hot and cold water on them to keep them off the train. He rode to Minnesota this way and worked in barley and wheat fields threshing crops. After a few months being hungry and tired he and a buddy bought an old car and drove back to Wisconsin.

There he continued to work on the farm until he met Irene. They were married on October 25, 1941. They built the house and barn together and made a home where they raised and trained their children to be productive and hard working. He was a proud father and husband. Bernhard said more times then we can remember that “Mommy” was still the most beautiful woman he ever met, even till the day she died on April 22, 2011 where he was by her side.
When Bernhard was a young child he had pneumonia, Grandma Inga prayed that if he survived she promised that he would become a minister. He did survive and he did become a minister of Jehovah’s Witness and was a faithful and active servant of Jehovah till his death.

Bernhard and Irene loved children, having 9 of their own. Surviving sons, Bernhard Christianson (Marlene), Joseph Christianson. Surviving daughters, Jewell Hoffmann (Larry), Yvonne Koon (Bob), Naomi Cannon (Bruce), Brenda Koon (David). Daughter-in-law Sonia Fox-Christianson. They had 20 grand children, 27 Great-grand children and 1 great-great grand daughter. Also many of their children’s friends considered Bernhard and Irene their adoptive parents as the home was a beehive of activity for so many years.

The memorial service will be held at 1PM Friday, November 17, 2017 at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 626 Cty Rd N, Birnamwood. Inurnment will be held at a later date in Evergreen Rest Cemetery, Elderon. He wanted to be remembered as “A hard working farmer who never made a cent” said with a wink and a smile! He will be missed by so many. Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at schmidtschulta.com and Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home on Facebook.

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