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Wausau area obituaries, June 4

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Obituaries are a service of Brainard Funeral Home & Cremation Center, with locations in Wausau and Weston.

Dennis Maxson

Dennis Floyd Maxson, 83, died peacefully on June 4, 2018, at Tender Reflections, Weston, Wisconsin.

Dennis Maxson

Dennis was born on Oct. 31, 1934, in Rugby, North Dakota, to Audrey and Floyd Maxson. He attended school in Fargo, North Dakota, where he played basketball and baseball with his childhood friend, Roger Maris. Dennis moved to Willmar, Minnesota, in high school with his mother and stepfather, Harvey Aistrup. He met his wife-to-be, Sallie Irene Rose, at Willmar High School.

Dennis enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, before being deployed as Specialist Third Class, 32nd Infantry, 7th Infantry Division Korea during the Korean Conflict. He and Sallie married at Fort Riley, Kansas, on Nov. 25, 1953. After active duty, he attended North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota, where he graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in economics. He started his career as a salesman for Hallmark Cards and moved to Wausau, Wisconsin.

In the mid-1960s, Dennis began working for Wisconsin Box Company where he worked as sales manager until his retirement in 1999. Dennis was very active in the Wausau community. He was one of the founding members of the Wausau Breakfast Optimist Club, served on the City Council as an alderman from 1970-1972, and was a member of First Presbyterian Church for over 50 years where he served in a number of capacities, including elder, deacon and usher. He also volunteered for many other Wausau groups and activities throughout his life. After his retirement from Wisconsin Box Company, Dennis worked part-time at Trig’s grocery store until 2013 where he was known by Trig’s customers for his friendliness and hugs.

Dennis and Sallie had four children, seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and many dear friends whom they considered family. Throughout his life and even throughout his illness, he always had a smile and a hug to greet others, a whistle or a song in his step, a bad pun or joke to make others laugh, a generous spirit, and an adoration for children.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Sallie (2007). Dennis is survived by his sister Patricia Gilbertson, Wayzata, Minnesota, and children Stephanie (Mike) Secrest, Burnsville, Minnesota, Scott (Toni) Maxson, Las Vegas, Nevada, Sherri (Jeff) Goodlove, Elgin, Illinois, and Jeff (Jeanene) Maxson, Rochester, Minnesota, and grandchildren Marissa Secrest, Jarod Maxson, Samantha Smoll, Tammy Maxson Davis, Jessie Maxson Gums, Emily McClennahan and Zachary McClennahan.

Memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, June 30, at the First Presbyterian Church, 406 E. Grant St., Wausau. The Rev. Joy Nelson-Jeffers will officiate. Visitation will be held at the church from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service. Committal will be at Restlawn Memorial Park with military rites to be rendered by representatives of the U.S. Army and VFW Burns Post #388. Brainard Funeral Home will be assisting with the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to First Presbyterian Church or the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Wisconsin Chapter. The family wishes to thank the doctors, especially Dr. Mark Richetto and his staff, the staff at Tender Reflections and Ministry Health Care Hospice for the loving care and support throughout their father’s illness and final days.


Tucker Westfall

Tucker William Westfall, 15, was born on May 16, 2003, and died on June 2, 2018, after a UTV accident.

Tucker Westfall

Tucker was born in Marshfield, Wisconsin. He resided in Stevens Point. In 2007, the Westfall family moved to Athens so the children could grow up near family and his dad could coach and teach for the Athens School District.

Tucker loved hunting and fishing and was always trying to up Dad and his brother on bagging the biggest buck or catching the largest fish. Tucker had a passion for sports, playing high school football, wrestling and baseball. At his eighth-grade graduation, he said his goals in life were to get married and play for the NFL. He loved watching movies over and over again and would recite the script before the actor would say them. Tucker was a very kind, gentle young man that loved spending time with his friends attending fire pit parties, prom parties or just hanging out. He always looked forward to the kayak fishing trips with his Uncle Tom. He will be remembered by many as a very caring person. Tucker loved life and will be so missed by his family and friends.

Tucker is survived by his parents, Dale and Tracy Westfall, his 16-year-old brother, Tanner, his grandparents, Donald and Marlene Westfall and Dennis and Zenia Bohl, his great grandmother, Helen Zumann, his aunts and uncles (David and Donna Houlihan, Jim and Wanda Norge, Thomas and Lorene Mueller, Steve and Jessica Bohl and Gary and Georgine Albrecht), his godfather, Corey Westfall, great aunts and uncles and cousins.

Visitation and church services will be held at the Athens High School gymnasium on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. The church service be held the last hour of this time period. No other funeral arrangements will be made. In lieu of flowers, food or gifts, please give a monetary donation. The Westfall family will be placing the funds toward the future sports programs that Tucker so loved.

The outpouring of love and support this community has provided us is beyond compare. We thank you all so much!

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


Anna Ellenbecker

Anna M. Ellenbecker, 96 years young, was welcomed into the waiting arms of her Lord in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 2, 2018, surrounded by her family as she journeyed peacefully to her heavily welcome home party.

Anna Ellenbecker

Anna was born on July 24, 1921, in Germany to the late Michael and Elizabeth Hartl. They came to the United States in 1923 and settled on a farm in Strafford, Wisconsin, where Anna attended eight years of country school and worked with her family on the family farm. She married the late Francis M. Ellenbecker in August 1943; their only son Frank was born in June 1944. She entered the workforce the year that her son started school. In 1959, the Ellenbecker family moved to Wausau. Anna loved people and waitressed and cooked for many years. When the opportunity came, she took over the hot lunch program at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Wausau, Wisconsin, where she managed a hot lunch program for 12 years. She then became the assistant manager at her son’s grocery store in Stratford, Wisconsin.

A new career was presented to her by her son. After the store was sold, they both worked for Nabisco. She was her son’s best merchandiser and continued doing that particular job until she was 86 years old. She was known as the Nabisco Energizer Bunny and she has a shirt to prove it.

Anna loves cars; she owned 20 different cars over the years. Her favorite car was a Cadillac, and she had several of them. Cars were always her hobby and she loved the game of baseball. She enjoyed going to see the Brewers, which she did annually on her birthday. Her hobbies were canning, cooking, traveling, bowling, baseball, sewing and most of all enjoying her grandchildren and our dog Jett. She loved sharing a morning banana with him. Never one to miss an important date or event in the lives of her family, she religiously mailed out cards for every occasion and remembered everyone’s special date.

Survivors include her son Frank and wife Donna, grandsons Robert and wife Diana, Troy Ellenbecker, great-grandchildren Jeff, his wife Reanna, Rebecca, Madeleine, Charlie, Zachary and Haley, great-great-grandchildren Cayden and Sidney. Her sisters Dolores husband Jack Fors, Betty husband Leon Grendzinski and sister-in-law Dolores Hartl.

Visitation will be on Wednesday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau, Wisconsin. There will be a rosary service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will also be on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. at The Church of St. Anne, 700 W. Bridge St., Wausau, Wisconsin, with the celebration of Mass at 11 a.m. Entombment will be in the Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, 4710 N. Troy St., Wausau, Wisconsin.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.


Roman Baumann

Roman A. Baumann, 81, Marathon, died Saturday, June 2, 2018, at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital, Weston, after a long illness.

Roman Baumann

He was born Nov. 28, 1936, in Marathon, son of the late Leo and Erna (Hornung) Baumann. On Nov. 16, 2002, he married Catherine (nee Mullen) Baumann at St. Mary Catholic Church, Marathon. She survives.

Roman was a U.S. Army veteran, having served in Germany from 1956 to 1957. For over 20 years, he worked at Pauly Cheese Company, then raised ginseng until his retirement. Roman also sold Christmas trees in Wausau for 33 years. He enjoyed the Green Bay Packers, some traveling, fishing up north, deer hunting and the beauty of nature wherever he went. Roman was a loving and supportive husband, brother, step-father and step-grandfather.

Survivors besides his wife, Catherine, include two stepsons, David of Mequon and Michael of Wausau; one stepdaughter, Carolyn (Rod) Haehlke of Marathon; step grandchildren, Matthew, McKenna and Mylee Haehlke and Erin Baumann; two sisters, Lorraine (Stan) Olejniczak, Schofield and Delores (Kenneth) Nest, Mosinee, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Marvin and Jerome.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 7, 2018, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Marathon. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Diermeier will preside. Burial will be in the parish cemetery where full Military Honors will be conducted by members of the Marathon American Legion. Friends may call on Thursday from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the church.

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


Gary Habeck

Gary L. Habeck, 54, of Wausau passed away on May 29, 2018, at his home.

He was born on Aug. 11, 1963, in Wausau, the son of the late Vilas and Bertha (Pleier) Habeck. On July 23, 1988, he married Theresa Sekorski at Marathon County Historical Museum.

Gary worked for the parks department and enjoyed working outside.

Survivors include his wife, Theresa; sister, Diane (Norm) Wolfe; brother, Jeff Habeck; brothers- in-law, Charles (Denise) Sekorski and Richard (Kathy) Sekorski.

He was further preceded in death by sisters, Gail and Marilyn.

Prayers of remembrance for Gary will be held on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at the 10 a.m. Matins service at Zion Lutheran Church, 709 Sixth St., Wausau.

You may sign our family guest book at helke.com.


Edward Bahr

Edward J. Bahr, 79, of Wausau, passed away on Monday, May 28, 2018, at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital, Weston, Wisconsin.

He was born on Nov. 18, 1938, in Marathon County to the late Edward and Catherine (Wibben) Bahr.

Ed was previously employed with the State of Wisconsin Civil Service, Lutheran Social Services and Eastbay. He was a past president of Local AFSME #584.

From 1962-1964, he proudly served his country in the U.S. Army being stationed at the White Sands Missile Range and in the Artic. Ed attained the rank of SP5.

He is survived by his daughter, Sarah Bahr of Methuen, Massachusetts; and many friends.

Ed is preceded in death by his life partner, David Jacobson.

A memorial service for Ed will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at Helke Funeral Home, Wausau.  Visitation will be form 9:30 a.m. until the time of service on Wednesday at the funeral home. The committal will be at Town of Berlin Cemetery following the service.

Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.


Arden Wilke

Arden C. Wilke, 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on June 1, 2018, at Mount View Nursing Home in Wausau. He was born to the late Herman and Emma (Krueger) on Jan. 26, 1932.

Arden Wilke

He carries a special place in all of our hearts and will be missed by many family and friends. Arden was an incredible man, always helping others with a smile and his heart of gold. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved hunting, fishing, camping, gardening, shoveling and canning. He also enjoyed watching and spending time with his grandkids at all of their events.

A special thank you to the staff at Mount View Nursing Home and Aspirus Hospice Care. The love, care and support you gave to Arden and his family was greatly appreciated.

He is survived by his children; Dawn (Michael) Seehafer, Kronenwetter, Jeff (Karen) Wilke, Weston, sister Geraldine Bickford, Wausau, five grandchildren, Adam (Emily) Seehafer, Weston, Matthew (Emily) Seehafer, Oshkosh, Jessica Seehafer (fiancé Evan Call), Elderon, Mark Wilke, Owatonna, Minnesota, and David Wilke, Hatley.

He is preceded in death by his wife Mary, parents, daughter Tammy, and brother-in-law Roger Bickford.

Evening visitation will be on Wednesday June 6, 2018, at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home from 4-7 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be the next day, Thursday, June 7, 2018, at St. Therese Catholic Church, 113 W. Kort St., Rothschild. One hour visitation will be from 10 a.m. until time of Mass at 11 a.m., with Fr. Louis Britto officiating.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family at this time. Online condolences can be made at www.HonorOne.com.


Frank Waksmonski Sr.

There’s a polka party in Heaven that gained another angel. Frank Waksmonski Sr., 90, of Rothschild, loving husband, dad, papa, great-grandpa was reunited with beloved family members on Sunday, June 3, 2018, while under the care of Interim Hospice and Palliative Care, at Rennes Health and Rehab Center.

Frank Waksmonski Sr.

Frank was born on Sept. 5, 1927, in Mosinee (Moon), the son of the late Joseph and Sophie (Chrobek) Waksmonski.
On June 26, 1954, Frank was united in marriage to Arlette Ostrowski at St. Florian Catholic Church in Hatley. She survives.

Frank had a full life filled with work, which included dairy farming in Moon, “Frank and Arlette’s” Bar in Hatley, they also owned the Hatley Hotel, which became famous for its Sunday afternoon polka dances, fish fries and many other events.

He retired from Drott in 1987 after working in the welding department for 21 years. In 1989, the couple moved to Lakeland, Florida, where they managed a retirement park for several years.

Frank’s life was also filled with fun. In Florida he became a 3rd and 4th degree member of St. Joseph’s K.C. He was a scout master of Troop 497 in Hatley. Frank and his family visited the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, in Cimarron, New Mexico. He was named scouter of the year and was also a member of the Order of the Arrow. Frank loved camping. He and Arlette took family trips to various western states and spent many years at Mayflower Lake and Lake DuBay campgrounds.

Next to his family, Frank loved concertina music. When he was 6 years old, his mom bought him his first one. As a teen, he joined the Freddie Gaulkie Melady Kings band. Later Frank and his sons proudly provided music for many different occasions. He was inducted into the Concertina Hall of Fame in 2004, quite an accomplishment for the farm boy from Moon.

Family was the most important thing in Frank’s life.

Frank is survived by his wife of almost 64 years, Arlette. Their marriage was blessed with six children, Berni (Dale) Ninnemann of Polk City, Florida, Joni (Chris) Anderson of Ringle, Frank Jr. (Doreen) Waksmonski of Weston, Mike (Jayne) Waksmonski and Greg Waksmonski all of Wausau; nine grandchildren, Tyler (Anna) Wolfe, Melissa (Tim) Michaelson, Jennifer (Todd) Check, Logan (Rebecca) Wolfe, Joe (Kyla) Waksmonski, Amy Waksmonski, Jim (Bryn) Waksmonski, Katie (Chevy) Schultz and Kim (Rodney) Swanson, and 17 great-grandchildren complete the family who Frank loved unconditionally.

Frank is in Heaven with his parents; one son, Tom; two brothers, John and Eddie and four sister, Mary Wygonski, Josephine Kestian, Ann Cihlar and Frances Waksmonski.

A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at St. Florian Catholic Church, Hatley. Fr. Jerzy Rebacz will officiate. Inurnment will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

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

The family would like to thank Dr. Steven Nichols and the staff at Rennes Health and Rehab Center; Tim, Monica and Terry, from Interim Health Care, and a special thanks to Fr. Greg Bohren for all his support and prayers at this difficult time.


Rolf Hembach

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, then he is a new creation; the old has passed, behold, something new has become.” 2 Cor. 5:17

Pastor Rolf Hembach of Germany, passed away on March 8, 2018.

Rolf Hembach

Rolf was born on Nov. 25, 1927, to Paul and Paula (Wolsky) Hembach in Wuppertal, Germany, the middle of three sons.

He was preceded in death by his wife Octavia (“Tave”), by his parents, and by his brothers Helmut and Hans Dieter.

He is survived by his sisters-in-law Elizabeth and Hannelore, and nieces and nephews, Renate, Reinhard, Thomas, Christine, Ruth, Eva, Martin and Simone.

He is survived by several grandnieces and grandnephews, including Carolin, Sebastian, Sarah and Lea.

He is also survived by 30 “American” nieces and nephews: Keith, Lois, Charlotte, Sharon, Barby, Betty, Wally, Don, Al, Paul, Phil, Tom, Trina, Torrey, Ellen, Mary, Naomi, Suzanne, Bonnie, Nancy, Myron, Esther, Joe, Mary, Becky, Tim, Dave, Carolyn, Marie and Kathy. He was preceded in death by four “American” nieces and nephews: John, Art, Peggy and Mark.

At age 15, Rolf was drafted into the anti-aircraft division of the German military, and was a POW in France for several months during World War II. When the war ended, he was still only 17 years old. After the war, Rolf completed his schooling in Wuppertal. He later studied theology at the Ecclesiastical College in Wuppertal, finishing at the University of Heidelberg. He served as a chaplain for the British army in Libya, where he met Tave in 1954. On August 17, 1957, Tave and Rolf were married in Germany and lived in Bonn for a short time while he finished additional studies and met testing requirements for his pastoral ministry. From 1957 to 1965, they lived in Essen, where Rolf served as a pastor. In 1965, they moved to India, where they ministered to Germans in Rourkela, Calcutta and New Delhi. In 1971, they returned to Germany, serving parishes in the Zell area until 1977. They continued to live in the Mosel River Valley, making Bullay their home for the next 25 years. Rolf retired from his pastoral ministry in 1987. In 2002, they moved to Kalkar, where Tave died in 2007. In 2011, Rolf moved to St. Helena Home for Seniors, where he died on March 8, 2018.

A graveside service was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 4, 2018, at Forest Home Cemetery, Wittenberg, Wisconsin. Pastor John Stennes-Spidahl officiated.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg, assisted the family with funeral arrangements.

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