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

Mary (Fink) Stone

Mary Fink Stone, 83, of Metamora, IL celebrated her first “Heavenly Birthday” on May 1st , 2018. Mary’s husband, George Leach Stone, preceded her in death just one month shy of their 50th wedding anniversary in 2010. Mary’s parents (A.O. Fink and Violet Fink) are also deceased.

Mary is survived by her daughters Jennifer (Jim) Tallman of Washington, IL and Lizbeth “Liz” (M. E. Delano) Stone of Louisville, KY. Mary loved her brother, John (Lynn) Fink, of Prescott, AZ and considered her cousin, Suzie Bush (Racine, WI), as a sister. Mary will also be missed dearly by many family members and friends.

Mary was born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh where she obtained a degree in primary education and met her “one and only” George. Mary loved teaching kindergarten in Neenah WI, where she was known as “Miss Pink”. Mary and George and their family lived in many different locations, including Monrovia CA, Wausau WI, Wayne PA, and Washington IL. No matter where they put down roots, Mary devoted her mind and heart to volunteer work and faithful dedication to helping others in need.

Mary once wrote that her two proudest accomplishments were her two “precious daughters”, Liz and Jen. While living at Snyder Village, Mary and her daughter Jennifer helped establish a monthly gathering for fellow residents called “Snackin’ with Mary”. She often wore her unique sweaters to these gatherings and loved to bring happiness to others. In addition, she loved to visit Liz in Louisville, KY.

Mary spent a great deal of time ensuring that young people have opportunities to develop their talents in music. She loved to attend the local high school band concerts with her family and was a Board member of the Wausau Conservatory of Music. One of Mary’s proudest moments came when the Wausau Conservatory’s Volunteer of the Year Award was established in her name.

Mary loved to travel, entertain, and support groups that helped others. She supported The Women’s Community in Wausau and was a member of Job’s Daughters, White Shrine of Jerusalem, the Junior League and Alpha Kappa Sorority. She was also active in the Presbyterian Church and made favors for the Friends Thanksgiving Dinner for 30 years in Wausau!

Guests may go to to share condolences. A memorial service will take place on June 27th, 2018 at 9:30 AM at First Presbyterian Church in Wausau WI, followed by a reception at the Church. A private burial will take place the next day at Pine Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be given to support the Wausau Conservatory of Music as well as The Women’s Community in Wausau.

Happy “Heavenly Birthday” to you… Mary… Mom… Faithful Servant! The Earthly world is a better place because of you!

Donations may be made to:

Wausau Conservatory of Music
404 Seymour Street, Wausau WI 54403
Tel: 1-715-845-6279

The Women’s Community, Inc.
3200 Hilltop Ave, Wausau WI 54401
Tel: 1-715-842-5663

William “Bill” Woodrow Kasten

William “Bill” “Ace” Kasten, 80, passed away on June 9, 2018 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Bill was born on August 16, 1937 in Wausau to the late Edward and Eva (Gerrow) Kasten. On November 28, 1959, he married Alice (Hebert) Kasten at St. Anne Catholic Church in Wausau.

Bill had an undying love for motorcycles that he shared with his family, friends, and community. Bill and Alice owned Northrider, Inc. until 1984 and had since been helping his son, Steve, at his motorcycle repair shop, S-K Service in Hatley. He thoroughly enjoyed racing motorcycles and being a race promoter. Bill was proud to be a lifetime member of the American Motorcycling Association. In addition to motorcycles, Bill enjoyed experimental aircrafts and loved to spend time fishing with his family.

Bill is survived by his wife, Alice; son, Steve (Deb) Kasten; daughter, Donna (Jon) Visbal; brother, Richard (Juliana) Kasten; three grandchildren, Tim (Jessie) Wirt, Elizabeth (Trey) Robinson, and Melissa Visbal; and two great-grandchildren, Starla and Steven Wirt. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral service will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston, WI. The Rev. Greg Bohren will officiate. Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. until the time of service at the Funeral Home. Online condolences may be given at

Cheryl Mae (Lotharius) Strehlow

The Weaver by B.M. Franklin (1882 – 1965)
“My life is just a weaving
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaves so skillfully.
Sometimes He weaveth sorrow
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why-
The dark threads are as needful,
In The Weaver’s skillful hands
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.”

With gold threads at her fingers and hues of silver in her hair, Cheryl wove a beautiful tapestry in her faith and love of family. Born on May 28, 1954 to the late Bernard and Evelyn Lotharius in Wausau, WI, Cheryl Mae was one of 9 children. As a child, Cheryl wove many colorful threads among the friends and faces she encountered working at her mothers restaurant Ev’s Cozy Lunch. Those stitches in time would vary, but her hard work, gentle hand and love for others never wavered.

That love would lead her to one of unity on June 24, 1972 when she married Randall Strehlow at Holy Name Church in Wausau, WI. While they would grow and enjoy many moments and travels together, the greatest of all joy was found in their children Chad (Susan) Strehlow and Timothy (Vicki) Strehlow.

Laughter will always echo in ripples across the lake where summers of memories were made and stories grow with each telling. They would later settle their sanctuary of beautiful gardens and God’s little creatures at their home on the Wisconsin River greeted by seasons of change and added blessings.

In colors rich and vibrant, Cheryl’s pride of her grandchildren, Emily, Elizabeth, Ty & Coy, was woven in kisses and kindness as a fan favorite cheering on any number of athletic events, activities, awards and recognitions along with lazy poolside days, snuggles and the most famous sugar cookies. Where time seemed none, grandma always found more no matter what or when the need arose.

Cheryl will join her tiny granddaughter Savannah Rose at the gates of Heaven where they will dance with angels. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

A Memorial Service will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court Weston, WI. Friends are asked to join Cheryl’s family in celebrating her life from 4:00 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. A reception will follow the service.

The family wishes to extend many thanks to all of the friends, family and neighbors who shared in their kindness, thoughts, prayers and support throughout this difficult time. We are further blessed and humbled by the extended care and selfless commitment of her sister and guardian angel Cindy Krueger along this journey.

Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Share online condolences with the family at

Dorothy Taylor

Dorothy Taylor, 94, of Wausau passed away peacefully on Monday, April 2, 2018 at Mount View Care Center.

She was born on April 20, 1923 in Sydney, Australia to the late Frank and Vera (Whyburne) Ward. Dorothy came to the United States to marry Clifton Taylor on August 31, 1944 in Sycamore, ILL. Dorothy was proud to become an American citizen in 2000. She was a homemaker and managed The Catholic Thrift Center for 25 years. Dorothy was a member of Holy Name of Jesus Parish and a very active volunteer in the Circle of Joy food pantry and as a communion distributor. She was a member of the Altar Guild and St. Catherine’s Council.

Dorothy enjoyed being a mother to her four children, Clifton (Linda) Taylor of Neenah, Robin (Arlene) Taylor of Mt. Prospect, ILL, Betty (Mike) Bresnahan of Rib Mountain and Patricia Taylor of Wausau, seven grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifton in 1972 and her brother and his wife, James and Alma Ward.

A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 1104 S. 9th Ave., Wausau. Father Robert Thorn will officiate. Entombment will be in Restlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of services. You may sign our family guest book at

The family would like to thank the staff at Northern Reflections and especially Michelle, CNA. They made Mom’s days very comfortable. They are an excellent caring staff.

Eugene Eckes

Eugene Robert Eckes, 92, of Wausau passed away June 9, 2018 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital surrounded by his family.

He was born March 26, 1926 in Wausau, the son of the late Nicholas and Margaret (Boening) Eckes. Eugene graduated from Wausau High School and went on to serve his country in the U.S. Navy from 1944 – 1946. On August 20, 1949, he married Bernice Plautz at Salem Lutheran Church in Wausau. Over the years, Eugene sold auto parts around Wausau to the local service stations. He also enjoyed spending time at the family cottage, where many special memories where made.

Survivors include his daughters, Karen Maier, Wausau; Jamie (Mark) Lemke, Tomahawk; granddaughters, Tricia Maier, Weston; Torrie Maier, Wausau; grandson, Christopher (Laurie) Lemke, Savage, MN; great granddaughter, Malory Smith, Weston; sister, Doris Bornowski, Stratford; sister-in-law Virginia Wendell, Albertville, MN.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Bernice; sisters, Loretta Ludholz, Arlene and Mildred Eckes; brother, Leroy “Sonny” Eckes; brother-in-law, Arnold Bornowski; and sister-in-law Joan (Bud) Isaacson.

The funeral service will be at 12:00 p.m. on Friday June 15, 2018 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 930 Edgewood Road, Wausau. Visitation will be at the church on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial with military honors will be at Restlawn Memorial Park, Town of Texas, following funeral service. In lieu of flowers the family request memorials may be made to Never Forgotten Honor Flight. You may sign the family guest book at

Rowena (Bunzheimer) Buettner

Rowena Bertha Buettner, age 90, went to be with her Lord on Thursday, June 7, at Applegate Reflections in Wausau.  She was born March 27, 1928, in Wausau, WI, to William and Evelina (Radant) Runzheimer.   She was baptized on April 27, 1928 and confirmed on April 6, 1941 at Trinity Lutheran Church on Stewart Avenue and attended school there through 8th grade. In 1945, Rowena graduated from Wausau Senior High School. 

Rowena met her husband, Robert Buettner, on a train trip to a Lutheran Walther League convention in Portland, Oregon. They were married on July 22, 1950, at Trinity Lutheran in Wausau by Rev. LeRoy Koepke.

Bob & Rowena built their house on the corner of 28th & W. Wausau Avenues, and lived there for their entire married life until 2010 when they moved in to Applegate Terrace one mile away.  Robert preceded her in death in 2017 after 67 years of marriage.

She is survived by 3 children:  Sharon (Roger) Hanke in Wausau,WI, Richard Buettner in Yorba Linda, CA, and Susan (Mark Zager) near Belguim, WI .  She was blessed with 6 grandchildren & 6 great grandchildren: Kristina (Andrew) Vogt & children Elizabeth & Caleb; Jeremy (Sarah) Hanke with children James, Amelia, and Charlotte; Bradley (Jamie) Buettner with daughter, Gabrielle; Kyle (Lauren) Buettner , Michael Zager, and Jonathan Zager.

Before marriage, Rowena worked at the Telephone Company in Wausau and paid for the first telephone line to her family’s farm in the Town of Maine.   After her children grew up, Rowena worked at Drott Manufacturing in purchasing, and the Girl Scout Service Center as store manager. After retirement, Rowena volunteered as a Day Manager at Bethesda in Wausau.

Church activities were important too.  She & Robert belonged to the Lutheran Layman’s League and took the family on trips to many LLL conventions across the U.S.  She served on the Altar Guilds at both St. Mark and Trinity Lutheran churches.  As part of Trinity’s 55 Plus group, she made maple syrup and did roadside cleanups, attended Thursday Morning Bible Class.   Her participation in Lutheran Women’s Missionary League spanned 4 generations from her grandmother, Bertha Radant,  her mother, Evelina Runzheimer, to her daughter, Sharon Hanke.She also served as a Maine 4-H Club assistant leader and helped with her granddaughter’s Brownie Troop.

Rowena and Robert enjoyed traveling to all 50 states, Germany, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and spent several years wintering in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Florida.

A service of Christian burial will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Stewart in Wausau, WI, on Friday, June 15, at 11:00 am.  The Rev. Zachary Holdorf will officiate.  Visitation will take place at the church from 9:30 am until the time of the service.  Helke Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

The family wishes to thank the 7 years of caregivers at Applegate Reflections, Ray Slatton from Greater Wausau Christian Services for years of weekly devotional visits, and Aspirus Comfort Care & Hospice Services.

Please direct memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church or School.

Ronald A. Drews

Ronald A. Drews 81, Wausau died Saturday June 9, 2018 peacefully at his home under the care of his family and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Ron was born July 20, 1936 in Wausau to the late Alfred and Margaret (Karcher) Drews. At age 17, Ron joined the United States Air Force where he proudly served for four years plus an additional 6 months in the National Guard. He was stationed at a radar station in Canada protecting the Northern United States in an Aircraft Control and Warning squadron.
On July 10, 1971 he married Jessie Woodward at Trinity Lutheran Church on Stewart Avenue in Wausau. She survives.

Ronald was a skilled draftsman by trade and over the years was employed at several companies in the Wausau area including Schuette Lumber, Hoffers, Fullerton Lumber, Major Industries and the Iron Shop. He also owned and operated his own business, “Weston Glass Company”.

Among his favorite pastimes, Ron enjoyed playing a round of golf or a game of Sheepshead with friends and family. He was a member of the D.C. Everest Seedlings Wrestling Club and he loved going to horse shows and watching Westerns… “Gun Smoke” reruns or the movie “Lonesome Dove” were some of his favorites. Ron was a loving and devoted family man and was fondly described as a “helluva babysitter”. He never missed the opportunity to watch his kids participate in extracurricular activities and could be found cheering them on at their football, wrestling and baseball games or other activities. His love and support will be missed by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Jessie, Wausau, his children Sandra (James) Drumm, Schofield, Anthony Drews, Belleville, IL, Randy Drews (Sue Blom), Kronenwetter, Lisa (Tim) Shebelski, Davenport, FL and Brad Drews, Wausau, 7 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren and his sister Glorian Drews, TX.

Besides his parents, Ronald was preceded in death by an infant son, Scott.

A memorial service with full military honors will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Friday June 15, 2018 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau. Chaplain Karen Tews will officiate. Friends may call from 3:00 p.m. until the time of services at the funeral home. A private burial at Restlawn Memorial Park will take place at a later date.

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

Ronald’s family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for the compassionate care provided to Ron.

Gail Lynn Wendtland

Gail Lynn (Bonin) Wendtland, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, lost her 32 year battle with cancer on Friday, June 8, 2018. Through this whole journey, she always had a positive outlook on life and always looked forward to what the next day was going to bring.

Born on August 11, 1959 to Joseph and Irene (Kropidlowski) Bonin in Schnappsville. She attended the Catholic School in Poniatowski until it’s closing. She then attended the Athens Public Schools and graduated in 1977. During her high school years, she helped her parents at their business, the Bonin Locker Plant and Store. It was during this time she met her husband, Gary, who would stop in the store to buy macaroon cookies and Sun Drop. Their relationship bloomed in 1975, and on September 1, 1979 they were married.

They were blessed with two wonderful sons, Derek (Crystal) and Bradley (Sandra), both of Edgar, who blessed them with five wonderful grandchildren, Damion, Dakota, Madilyn, Spencer and Elliana.

She wore several different hats in her years. After graduating, she started working at Wausau Insurance Company. After Bradley was born, she took a little time off and then started working at Terry Ness Chevrolet in Edgar. Then it was on to Wilson Hurd and finally Forward Enterprises. All of the opportunities involved some sort of office or accounting work, so it wasn’t surprising that when Gary started his own trucking company she did the paperwork, and did so right up until her final days.

In 2004, she went to Sun Prairie Truck Driving School and got her CDL so she could go trucking with Gary, which they did happily for five years, with 100,000 miles in the driver’s seat and 44 states under her belt. She then started driving the Pilot Car and escorting oversize loads for Gary and other companies. They were able to spend time together on and off the road.

Doing things for others, including making hats and scarves for the Cancer Center and family and crocheting many afghans for her grandchildren were her favorite, along with anything she could do for her grandchildren and with them. The best time she had was letting them color on her bald head after losing her hair for the third time.

Gary and Gail would look forward to everyday they had, but never forgot to look back on all the time they had together and fun they had with family and friends along the way.

Besides her husband, children and grandchildren, Gail is survived by one brother, Joseph Bonin, Athens; one sister, Patti (David) Berndt, Merrill and their children, Meranda and Devan. She is also survived by many other friends and family. Gail also leaves behind her precious pets, Harlee, Snoball and Milo.
Waiting with open arms on the other side for her are her parents, Joseph and Irene Bonin; her in-laws, Clarence “Yogi” and Darlene Wendtland; nephews, Mike and Rich Wendtland; and many aunts, uncles and friends.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at St. John Lutheran Church-High Steeple, town of Wien (Edgar). Rev. Jeffrey A. Lambrecht will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Edgar and again on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until time of services at the church. There will be a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening at the funeral home.

The family would like to thank the staff at Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for the wonderful care given to Gail and the staff and friends at Aspirus Cancer Center for the many years of support through all of this. From day one, if it wasn’t for you she wouldn’t have been given this many years with us.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.
Online condolences may be expressed at

John P. Hilber
John Patrick Hilber, age 58, from Evansdale, Iowa, died June 8, 2018, following a courageous battle with cancer. Now that his earthly purpose is fulfilled, he will be rejoining those who anxiously await him in the eternal home Jesus promised to all who loved and served him faithfully.

He was born April 6, 1960, in Marathon, Wisconsin, the youngest child of Arthur and Evelyn (Hall) Hilber. Together since 1999, John married Larry Pontius on July 18, 2015.

John attended Marathon High School and graduated from Viterbo University with a Major in Theatre. From, “Oliver” in high school to “The Little Shop of Horrors”, the production he was involved with when he was diagnosed with cancer, John loved being a part of musicals and theatre.

At the time of his death, John had been employed as a store manager at Arby’s. Previous employments were with the Chileda School in LaCrosse and with APAC. John loved his family, friends, music, theatre, cooking and life. He was loved by many and will be deeply missed.

He is survived by his husband, Larry, his sisters, Lois, (Jerry) Koppa, Beth (Tom) Sommer and Mary (Ron) Wilichowski, his sister-in-law, Chris (Tony) Shebenik, his brother, Carl (Jill) Hilber, his father-in-law, James Pontius, brothers-in-law, Gary (Denise) Pontius and Michael Pontius, 17 nieces and nephews and his former wife, Sue Steiner-Hilber.

Preceding John in death, were, his parents, a brother, David Hilber, a niece, Julie Allmann and his mother-in-law, Cheryl Pontius.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday June 13, 2018 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Marathon. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Diermeier will preside. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be on Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 700 Market Street, Marathon. Visitation will continue Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church.

A Memorial Service in celebration of his life will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday July 21, 2018 at the Waterloo Community Playhouse, Waterloo, Iowa. Friends may call on July 21 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the Memorial Service.

John’s family would like to thank all the wonderful caregivers at Covenant Cancer Treatment Center and the Cedar Valley Hospice for their compassion and excellent care given to him.

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