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

James P. Richey

James P. Richey, 72 of Marathon, passed away at home with family by his side on December 15, 2017.

He was born to the late Paul and Irene Richey on September 26, 1945. He worked as a conductor for the railroads for over 20 years. He married Charlene Goulet on May 16, 1970. James loved his Harley and enjoyed long rides in the summer months.

James is survived by his wife Char, two sons, Charles and Daniel Richey; grandsons, Codey and Jessey Richey; and great-granddaughter Maybelle Richey. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings.

According to James’ wishes, no services will held at this time.

The family would like to thank Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice for their care and compassion.

Dawn Hovden

Dawn Mae Huehnerfuss-Hovden, ascended with the angels on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, and the wonderful staff at Applegate Reflections.

Mom was born into this world on May 5, 1929 to Clarence and Dorothy Huehnerfuss in Wausau, Wisconsin. Mom and her sister Bonnie lived with Grandma and Grandpa above their grocery store on the corner of 3rd Ave and Elm St on the west side.

Mom told us about the candy jars Grandpa had with the stainless steel scoops. She recalled that it was a treat for her friends but she got sick of it. But it was ironic that Mom always had candy when we would go to her house.

As a girl, Mom took dancing lessons and became an accomplished tap dancer. In fact, years later, she reflected how she had a dear friend, a male, who was older than her as a dance partner.

We really didn’t know how good Mom was until she performed as a “one man band” at Stunt Night and won the contest. She was really that good.

Mom graduated from Wausau High School in 1947. Soon after high school she met a young sailor, Ronald Dean Hovden, and on November 28, 1948 they were married in Pine City, Minnesota by a justice of the peace.

Mom was the quintessential World War II bride. Dad worked, and was gone on the road while Mom stayed home and brought up four children. She was so typical of the era, that one child described her “like Donna Reid, she stays home and bakes cookies.” That was Mom, always there, always could be depended on.

The later years were not so kind to Mom. Her health started to waver with her arthritis. She also endured the loss of her son, Brett at 32, and the untimely death of Dad at age 69.

Still, Mom remained steadfast and strong. She could always be depended upon, and was always generous and caring. Her last years of her life were spent at Applegate to her eventual death.

We always felt that Mom deserved better, but she seldom complained when we would go visit her. She would say “I love you” and when we said we would return, she explained “I’ll be here.”

It’s ironic that Mom died close to the Christmas holiday, because of how she loved Christmas. She loved baking cookies, decorating the house, and making every holiday a memorable one.

Mom, we’re sorry you had to suffer. You did deserve better, but we also pray that Dad greeted you along with Brett, grandpas and grandmas, aunts and uncles, and a chorus of angels. And oh yes, your kitties. Oh how you loved them as well. We will miss you, and always know, we love you.

Mom is survived by three children, Scott (special friend Irene) of Mosinee, Cheryl (Tom) Lepien of Spring Green, and Kari (Steve) Norris of Wausau; five grandchildren, Christopher (Amy) of Suamico, Brittany (David) Miller of Appleton, Gregory (Tammeka) Norris of Weston, and Danny Lepien of Oconomowoc, Laura Ann (Craig) Miller of Milwaukee; and nine great-grandchildren.

The celebration of Mom’s life will be held on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams Street, Wausau. Visitation will be held at 10:00 am, and services at 11:00 am. Burial will follow at Restlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s and Arthritis Foundations.

Mary Stankowski

Mary Stankowski, 88, of Marathon, passed away peacefully on December 16th at Rennes Health and Rehab – Weston under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services. Mary was born September 10th, 1929 in Wausau to the late George and Helen (McEwen) Osterbrink. Raised on a dairy farm in Rib Mountain, she attended local schools and graduated from Wausau High School. On June 30th, 1951, she married Ernest Stankowski and celebrated the union at a dinner on the Osterbrink family farm.

Mary and Ernie raised twelve children on a dairy farm in Marathon. In later years, they operated ginseng gardens in the surrounding community. When not working in her own gardens, Mary worked on neighboring ginseng farms. As the children left home, she found work in Wausau and Marshfield as a bank teller, a bookkeeper, a payroll specialist, and a cashier. Mary was one of the original cashiers at the Walmart in Rib Mountain where she worked until she retired at the age of 70.

Mary enjoyed being active; she spent many years bowling on local teams, playing blackjack in area casinos, and supporting the local high school sports teams. As an avid sports fan, Mary watched the Green Bay Packers, the Wisconsin Badgers and area teams as they competed in football and basketball. The Milwaukee Brewers were a particular favorite, and she traveled to Milwaukee to support her team.

Over the years the family continued to grow; Mary welcomed each new addition and especially enjoyed the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Visits from her grandchildren and great grandchildren always made her smile. She is survived by her husband, Ernest, eleven children: Diane Jensen, Golden, CO; Frank (Tina), Weston; Raymond (Sharon), Wausau; Joe (Karen), Amherst; Gene (Cindy), Schofield; Linda Lepak, Weston; Ernest (Donna), Wausau; Roger (Mary), Marathon; Randy (Melody), Wausau; Christine “Tina” (Rick) Lang, Wausau; Jeff (Jeanette), Marathon; and daughter-in-law, Wanda Stankowski, Wausau; 28 grandchildren: Brian Jensen, Kristin Jensen, Jackie (Dan) Kluever, Justin Stankowski, Jennifer (Nick) Rabchenia, Matthew (Jillian) Stankowski, Tamera (Eric) Chernohorsky, Tanya (Mark) Wilde, Adam Stankowski, Alexi (Megan) Stankowski, Tim Trantow, Dominic Stankowski, Amber (Eric) Lokemoen, Nicole and Miranda Price, Zachary Stankowski, Brianna (Chad) Boreman, Mitchell Stankowski, Sean Stankowski, Jacob (Mandi) Stankowski, Christopher and Steven Stankowski, Krystal (Matthew) Prinsen, Kaitlyn and Kyle Lang, Jeff Railsback, Cody and Dylan Stankowski; 20 great grandchildren and her siblings: Joe Osterbrink, Augusta, GA; Ruth DeLonay, Milwaukee; Jim Osterbrink, Milwaukee; and Agnes Jelic, Theresa.

She is proceeded in death by her parents; brother, George Osterbrink, Jr.; son, Ronald Stankowski; Son-in-law, Roger Jensen; and grandsons, Jeremy and James Stankowski.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 23rd, 2017 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Halder. Reverend Felix Tigoy and Reverend Robert Streveler will officiate, and interment will follow at the St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the Petersen/Kraemer Funeral Home in Marathon from 4:00 PM to 8:00PM on Friday evening with a rosary at 7:30 PM. Visitation on Saturday will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church from 9:00 AM until the time of services.

The family wishes to thank the staff of both Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, especially Carrie, and Rennes Health and Rehab for the caring and compassionate support given to our family.

James Gorecki

James Francis Gorecki, 45, of Ringle, passed away Saturday, December 16, 2017, at his home in Ringle after an epic battle with cancer which he fought valiantly.

Jim was born on October 26, 1972, in Wausau, the son of Gerald and Helen (Sommers) Gorecki of Ringle. He attended the DC Everest area schools, and graduated from DC Everest High School in 1990. He worked at Taffy’s Hallmark, helped open the Holiday Inns in Cedar Creek, Rothschild, WI and Winona, MN, (Rivers Hotel Group)and finished his working career at Kohl’s in Rib Mountain in various departments, choosing to retire in 2016.

Jim met his wife, Angela Bartnik at Taffy’s Hallmark. They married on April 1, 2000. Jim is survived by his wife, Angela, his sons, Anthony and Nicholas, Ringle; his parents, Gerald and Helen Gorecki, Ringle; siblings, Sharon (Michael) Marx, Ringle; Tim (Carla) Gorecki, Hatley; Jane (Brian) Vorass, Antigo; and Kay Gorecki (Steve Huber), Marshfield; mother and father-in-law, Art and Judy Bartnik, Wausau; and brothers-in-law, Chris (Anne) Bartnik, Rothschild; and Jeff (Samantha) Bartnik, Schofield. Nieces and nephews, Jamie Marx, Jonathon Marx, Andrew Marx, Alex Marx, Tyler Gorecki, Robert Burns III, Dakota Vorass, Stephanie (Chris) King, Lindsey Bartnik, Jared Bartnik, Justin Bartnik, Jesse Bartnik, MacKenzie Lashua and Riley Bartnik. Three uncles, Fred (Usa) Sommers, John (Gale) Baum, Pittsville and Dan (Kathy) Gorecki.

He was preceded in death by, paternal grandparents, Frank and Jeanette Gorecki, maternal grandmother, Ellen Sommers-Baum, uncle, Ken Gorecki, aunts, Mary Ellen Martin and Sandra Lee.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM Thursday, December 21, 2017 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 6101 Zinser St., Weston. Rev. Greg Bohren will preside. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, from 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church and again on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service.

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

Bessie L. Jones

Bessie L. Jones, 74, Wausau, died Thursday, December 14, 2017 at Aspirus Hospice House, Wausau.

She was born September 11, 1943, in Portland, Arkansas, daughter of the late West and Lula Glover. She married Willie Jones in Chicago and he preceded her in death.

Bessie worked as a nurse’s aide and a factory worker at Welches Baby Carriage in Metro St. Louis. She was a member of Memorial Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri for many years and was very active singing in the choir and helping with anything that was needed.

Survivors include her children, Eugenia Literski, Willie Jones Jr., Pamplin Jones and Gene Calvin; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother, West Glover Jr.

Besides her parents and husband, Willie, she was preceded in death by two brothers, John Glover and William Glover.

Funeral services will be 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau. Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau. Visitation will be Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the Sixth Street funeral home.
Online condolences may be expressed at

Richard W Thode

Richard W. Thode, 87, of Wisconsin Rapids passed away peacefully at Aspirus Riverside Hospital on Saturday, December 16, 2017. He was born to Herbert & Myrtle (Stewart) Thode in Muskego, WI on September 19, 1930. He is survived by his loving wife Darlene (Clark) Thode of 66 years, 3 daughters; Cindy Hayden, with children and grandchildren, Matt (Jennifer), Molly, Gretchen and Colton, Laurie (Scott) Sachtjen, Lilly, William and Emma, Renee (Matthew) Kowalik with children and grandchildren, Jamie (Rick) Daniel, Adam and Ronni, Kelly (Tony) Zelechowski, Johnny, Charli and McKenzie, Lynn Vera, with children and grandchildren, Hannah Vera (Matt), Carmen, Luke, Rebekah and Samuel.

Richard married Darlene Clark on October 6, 1951 in Rochester, WI. He served his country in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany where he went to Radio School. He later in life worked for the City of Muskego, WI for 34 years before retiring. He loved the outdoors and hunting but he especially loved spending time with his family and all his beloved dogs.

Services will be held at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home on Saturday, December 23, 2017. Visitation starting at 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m. Pastor David Mickelson will be officiating. John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting family at this time. On line condolences can be made at

Michael F. Modjewski

Michael F. Modjewski, 84 of Hatley, passed away on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at Aspirus Hospital, Wausau.

He was born on May 30, 1933 in Bessmer, MI, son of the late Stanley and Mary (Beissel) Modjewski.  On May 25, 1953 he married Maxine Drewa at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church in Bevent.  She preceded him in death in 2004.

Michael served his country in the US Army.  He worked at Marathon Electric for 42 years.  He loved watching boxing matches on television, always with his cat Kitty at his side.  In younger years he enjoyed fishing and taking camping trips with his grandkids.

Survivors include his 5 children, Michelle Pagryzinski, Hatley, Michael (Karen) Modjewski, Hatley, Donna (Gary) Walkowski, Mosinee, Diane (Denver) Scheil, Eagle, WI, and Marilyn (Mark) Cherek, Hatley; 14 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; 5 siblings, Tom Modjewski, Cedar Grove, Edward (Faye) Glatczak, Hatley, Patricia (Harland) Krueger, Hatley, Rosie Groshek, Rib Mountain, and Francis Lang, Weston; brother-in-law, Robert Drewa of Woodruff.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was further preceded in death by two sisters, Stella and Theresa.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church in Bevent.  Fr. Ted Lewandowski will officiate.  Burial will follow in the parish cemetery where military rites will be conducted by the Elderon Memorial Post #8068 Veterans of Foreign Wars.  The family will receive friends from 12 noon until the time of service on Wednesday at the church.  Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg is assisting the family with arrangements.

Memories and condolences may be shared at or on Facebook at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home.


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