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

Rev. Gary Bratz

The Rev. Gary C. Bratz entered into the arms of his Savior on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. He was born Jan. 2, 1941, in Wausau, Wisconsin, to Clifford and Mildred (Yaeger) Bratz of Wittenberg, Wisconsin. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Wittenberg. He attended Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (high school and junior college), Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He was ordained into the ministry of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod on June 19, 1966. He married Sandra Tegge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 8, 1963.

Rev. Gary Bratz

Pastor Bratz served parishes in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Alabama – most recently at St. John Lutheran Church, Townsend, Wisconsin. He appreciated outdoor ministry and was on the camp board for Camp Omega (Minnesota South) and Camp LuWiSoMo (South Wisconsin).

He enjoyed teaching, preaching, wood working, fishing, golf – and telling his (large supply) of jokes.

He and Sandra had three children, Mark (Shawnae) Bratz, Kalispell, Montana; Mary (Jeff) Herb, Neenah, Wisconsin, and Paul (Linda) Bratz, Weston, Wisconsin. There are seven grandchildren – Christopher (Rilee) Turke, Alex (fiancee Myra Webster), Erin Bratz, Rachel (Scott) Osterday, Mitchell (fiancee Kira Engen), Andrew Bratz, and Molly Bratz. He is also survived by siblings, Susan (David) Mews, Karen (Harold) Keene, and the Rev. Dennis (Sandra) Bratz and brother-in-law Fred (Penny) Tegge. He was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter Emily Rose Bratz.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 6205 Alderson St., Weston. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Private Interment will take place at St. Paul Lutheran Parish Cemetery, Wittenberg.

Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be given at

Fred Schnell

On the bright, beautiful, early autumn morning of Oct. 13, 2018, a great heart was stilled and an ever greater spirit was released into the heavens. Our wonderful and kind father, Frederick Phillip Schnell, 93 years young, said goodbye. Those who were lucky enough to know him will never be the same. While time robs every one of the people they care about, it can never take from us the special moments we have of our father, safely locked into our souls. He truly a great man and our hero.

Fred Schnell

He was born on Jan. 1, 1925, at his home in Ford City, Pennsylvania, to the parents of Frederick and Verda Schnell. During boyhood, he had to move many times. This was because his dad served as a store manager for the five and dime store companies of H.L. Green and McCrory’s & McClellan. Each transfer was a promotion to bigger and better stores. There were times they moved to a new town one week, only to have his father transferred the following week to a different city and store. Because of these transfers, it made his family members even closer to one another and it required Dad to learn how to make friends quickly. This skill would help define his ability during adulthood to make and maintain many long and cherished friendships. Many people knew and liked Dad very much.

Our father served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II and beyond. His six years of service started in 1942. During the war he was a Twelve O’clock High Machine Gunner on a Grumman TBF Avenger, off the famous aircraft carrier, The U.S.S. Hornet. He participated fully in the aerial combat of many battles, among some of the more notable were Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and chosen to be in the leading line of planes to attack and sink the Yamato (the lead ship of the Japanese Navy), and to be in the very first wave of planes to bomb Tokyo. Because of his valor, our father was awarded many medals of bravery. Among some of these honors were The Distinguished Flying Cross, and The United States of America Air Medal (which he won on four different occasions).

He met and married June Rose Alice Fischer on Jan. 3, 1948, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Their marriage was long and very happy, 64 years in all. For a career, Dad served as a Field Engineer for Cities Service Oil Co., which became Citgo and now is Occidental Petroleum Co. Dad and Mom had a cottage on a lake near Eagle River, Wisconsin, where they spent many enjoyable days. Dad and his sons went on numerous fishing trips, sometimes these adventures included travels to Canada for fly-ins or to Devil’s Lake, in North Dakota. The most cherished place to fish was Lake Gogebic, in Michigan Upper Peninsula. Dad was a big Packers fan and had the good fortune to meet and converse with Coach Vince Lombardi on a few occasions. He also was a big fan of the Wisconsin Badgers and Milwaukee Brewers.

Our father gave generously of his time and talents to family, friends, church and local service groups. He was a parishioner of Pilgrim Lutheran Church for 47 years and a member of the Wausau Elks Club.

Fred is survived by his sons; Phillip Schnell, Bob (Diane) Schnell, and John Schnell, and grandchildren; Marissa (Gary), Abigail, Andrew, Michael, and Matthew, and one great granddaughter, Gwendolyn.

Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 19 at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 709 Weston Ave., Wausau. Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, at Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams St., Wausau, and again on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at Pilgrim Lutheran Church.

Memorials in Dad’s name can be given to The High Ground Veteran’s Memorial, P.O. Box 457, W7031 Ridge Road, Neillsville, WI 54456.

Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at

Margie Wakefield

Margie J. Wakefield, 67, of Wausau, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully at North Central Health Care – Mount View Care Center. Margie passed from complications associated with Huntington’s Disease on Oct. 10, 2018. She was born on Sept. 7, 1951, to the late LaVern and Doris (Fish) Sopher in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Margie Wakefield

Margie graduated from Brodhead High school in 1969. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Margie taught middle school reading in East Dubuque for several years, and then she completed a master’s degree in child psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Margie had incredible passion for working with and counseling children and teens. She was kind, loving, compassionate and empathetic. Margie was open-minded and loved unconditionally. Her love had no boundaries, and she was one to always celebrate diversity. Margie was very intelligent and never lost her zest for learning. Long after she was able to practice psychology, she continued to study it. Her room was filled with textbooks and she loved to discuss human behavior.

Even though the effect of Huntington’s disease slowly took pieces of Margie away, she never lost her sense of humor. She had a smile and laugh that could light up the room, especially if an ice cream treat was involved. In her younger years, Margie enjoyed canoeing, hiking, playing her guitar, and singing songs with her children and neighborhood kids. Her love of music never faded and it would often calm her movements from Huntington’s disease.

Margie is survived by her children: Shana (Ignacio) Edmundson-Borjorquez, Shane (Thomas) Wakefield, Chandra Wakefield, and Tara (Lucy) Wakefield, grandchildren: Devn (Lisa) Edmundson, Dylan (Laura) Edmundson, Siara Edmundson, Matt Verdos, Aaliyah Gaines, Aaryn Gaines, Great-granddaughter: Eliana Edmundson who she shared with former spouse Jesse (Deborah) Wakefield. She is also survived by sisters: Susan (Loren) Rosenthal, Marsha (Tom) Krause, Diane (Craig) Jorgenson, brothers: Gerald (Kathy) Sopher, Dennis (Micki) Sopher, Bryce (Hendrika) Sopher, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Dietra Sopher.

A special thank you goes out to Carrie Perry (step-sister to Margie’s children) for her love, care and compassion for Margie. Her experience as a hospice care nurse was an amazing asset to Margie’s end-of-life care.

Thank you to Lindsey King, social worker at Mount View Care Center, and Glenda and Keith, staff at Mount View Care Center for their diligence, kindness and care that they showed Margie while she was there.

Funeral services will be held at Covenant Community Presbyterian Church (1806 Weston Ave., Schofield, Wisconsin, 54476) on Saturday, Oct. 13. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. with a Celebration of Life Service at 2 p.m. A fellowship of desserts will be held in honor of Margie’s love of sweets.

Mid –Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family at this time. Online condolences can be expressed at