Wausau area obituaries, Dec. 17

in News/obituaries

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

Jenny A. Tonelli

Jenny A. Tonelli, 99, Wausau, died December 15, 2018 at Mountain Terrace Court. She was born March 4, 1919, in Cicero, Illinois, the daughter of the late Virgilio and Maria (Bulieri) Carmignani. She married Edward Tonelli July 1, 1939. He preceded her in death October 26, 1982.

Jenny attended Roosevelt Grade School in Cicero and graduated from J. Sterling Morton High School in 1936 where she was proud to have earned a sports letter in baseball. She and a dozen of her friends formed a club,“The Girls of ’36.” The “Girls” met once a month and held family picnics each summer to include their husbands, children and grandchildren until they all had moved away from Cicero. Many of them attended their 50th class reunion at Morton High in 1986.

Jenny and Ed raised their two sons in Cicero and helped their parents throughout their lives, caring for them in their final illnesses. Jenny, ever kind, provided a brave, strong and steady hand to family, friends and neighbors whenever they needed care.

Following her mother’s death, in 1981 Jenny and Ed moved to Wausau. Still interested and active in athletics, Jenny became a member of the YMCA where she was a water exercise instructor till 2009. She joined the Silver Liners line dancing group and took part in performances for nursing homes and other facilities around the community through her 80’s. She also volunteered her services at her church, the Woodson Art Museum and anywhere she could be helpful.

Always friendly and cheerful, Jenny will be missed by many friends and family. Survivors include her sons Alan (Beth) Tonelli of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Russ (Jane) Tonelli of Wausau. Her grandchildren are Andy Tonelli of Salt Lake City, Utah; Christopher (Allison) Tonelli and Heather (Mike) Baker of Raleigh, North Carolina; Chris (Tony) Checkalski of Appleton and Vic (Lori) Tonelli and Carlo (Christine)Tonelli all of Wausau. Jenny has eleven great-grandchildren, Nicole, Miles and Vera Tonelli; Ava and Vivienne Baker; Olivia, Anya, and Elise Checkalski and Norman, Malena and Lucca Tonelli. Many nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to her husband and parents, Jenny was preceded in death by her brother Jim Carmignani and his wife Florence.

Visitation will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. with a memorial prayer service at 4:00 on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at Restlawn Memorial Park Chapel, Wausau. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com


Randy Wiertella

Randy Joe (Diesel) Wiertella of Wausau, Wisconsin, passed away Dec. 10, 2018, at the age of 44. He was born Aug. 30, 1974, in Maniseique, Michigan, to Dennis and Lynn (Matchinski) Wiertella. He was the ultimate protector, serving our country for over 18 years in the Army National Guard with several deployments overseas. He had a passion for motorcycles and was well known for it.

Randy Wiertella

Randy is survived by his mother, Lynn, and father, Dennis, in addition to his three children, Danielle, Dillion, Dallas (their mother Brooke) and brother Andrew (Jennifer) Wiertella. In addition to his aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, he is also survived by Jessie Wiertella and numerous friends who were just as close as family. He was preceded in death by his brother, Daniel Wiertella.

Visitation will be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018, at Brainard Funeral Home, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston, Wisconsin.

Memorials and donations in Randy’s name are accepted and will be given to his children.


Kenneth Prieve

Kenneth W. Prieve, 69, of Wausau joined hands with his son Andy and daughter Melissa in heaven on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, with his loving wife, granddaughters and sister by his side.

Kenneth Prieve

Ken was born in Wausau on Jan. 14, 1949, to the late Harold and Loretta (Eckes) Prieve. He met, fell in love and married the love of his life, Sharon Bedish, on Sept. 23, 1972. After graduating from D.C. Everest, Ken went onto Northcentral Technical College to get his degree as an electrician. He worked at K&M Electric and then at Van Ert Electric, where he worked until his retirement at the age of 62.

Fishing, hunting and making maple syrup were some of the things that Ken loved to do. He enjoyed traveling from hunting shack to hunting shack, playing cards, sharing stories and having a couple of cold ones with the guys. He loved to take his four-wheeler out with his granddaughters, driving through the woods around their beloved cabin in the town of Hewitt. He was a great bowler, although, he was one of the few bowlers who could bowl a 300 game without getting in the 600 series. Ken loved the sport of soft ball, in fact it was a family-loved sport. He, Melissa and Sharon were all on a different softball team at one time. Ken, however, played from youth softball all the way until the “Old Timers” group; playing for many sponsors along the way. Ken kept life interesting for Sharon, and there was seldom a dull moment in their lives, especially when he was out in the woods on his trusty Kubota tractor. And even though Ken could be stubborn and sassy, there was never a question on how much he truly loved his family. They all find peace in knowing that Ken is now in the hands of his Lord and Savior with his son Andy and daughter Melissa at his side.

Ken is survived by his wife, Sharon; granddaughters, Emma and Lindsay Fleming; son-in-law, Terry Fleming; sisters, Shirley (Merritt) Gleason and Mary (Butch Bliese); brother, Terry (Mary) Prieve; his father and mother-in-law, Maynard and Lucille Bedish; sister-in-law, Carol Prieve; brother-in-law, Dennis (Sue) Bedish; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son Andy; his daughter Melissa; brother, Patrick Prieve and his step-dad, Orville Lodholz.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, at St. Stephens Lutheran Church, 512 McClellan St, Wausau. Pastor Jen Dahle will officiate. Visitation will take place from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau, and again from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church. Burial will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park. Please sign the family guestbook at helke.com.

The family wishes to thank Amy Chybowski of the UW Madison Pulmonary Clinic for all her care and dedication throughout Ken’s illness.

Sharon would especially like to thank her family and friends for always being there and helping her through these very difficult days. Your being here to help her through both the recent loss of her daughter and now her husband mean more that you could ever know. You are all a blessing.


Robert Nowak

Robert L. “Bob” Nowak, 89, of Wausau passed away on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, at Azura Memory Care, Rib Mountain.

Robert Nowak

He was born Nov. 22, 1929, in Wausau to the late Frank and Agnes (Kowalewski) Nowak. Bob fought in the Korean War serving in the U.S. Army, 6th Armored Division, 15th Medium Tank Battalion, Company C, 1st Platoon. On May 1, 1954, he married Eveline Glatczak at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Wausau. While raising their six children, Evie worked at Marathon Electric and Bob at Marmet Corp. He retired in 1991 after 40 years of service. Having an eye for detail, Bob was gifted at woodworking and loved spending countless hours in his workshop. In his earlier years, Bob enjoyed fishing, especially for muskies. He was always up for playing cribbage, a game of Schmeer or beating you in checkers. He was an avid fan of the Brewers and Packers. Bob was devout in his faith and a life-long member of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church.

Survivors include his children, Barbara Tesch, Mark Nowak, Dorene “Dee” (John) DeLaporte, Patrick (Linda) Nowak all of Wausau, Bobbi Rose Foster and Kim McTavish both of Wisconsin Rapids, 22 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren, one great great grandson, one brother, Jerome “Corky” (Shirley) Nowak of Wausau and sister-in-law, Carol Nowak of Weston.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Evie, brother, Richard “Dick” Nowak, infant sister, Carol and sons-in-law, Lance Tesch and David V. Foster.

The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec, 18, 2018, at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 1104 S. Ninth Ave., Wausau. Father Robert Thorn will officiate. Entombment will be in Memorial Chapel Mausoleum at Restlawn Memorial Park with full military rites. Visitation will be from 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Monday at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau, and at the church on Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of services. You may sign our family guest book at helke.com.

We would like to thank the staff at Azura Memory Care for their special care, patience and love they gave Bob over these last six years and for the help and guidance they gave our family. Thank you for “Bob’s Corner.”


Clara Hettinga

Clara Dorothy Hettinga, 91, Wausau, died Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, at her home surrounded by her loving family under the care of Ascension Home Care Hospice Services.

Clara Hettinga

Clara was born Jan. 28, 1927, at the family home in the town of Easton to the late Henry and Clara (Hollander) Fraaza.  She married Riemer Hettinga on Sept. 17, 1947, at the Forestville Reformed Church. While Riemer worked for Marathon Electric, Clara cared for their seven children and worked on the family dairy farm.

She was a loving mother who enjoyed spending time growing flowers all around their home and tending to her garden and its many vegetables. Clara was an excellent cook and baker using many of the vegetables that she had canned year-round. Her crafty side came out when she sewed clothing and quilts, worked on her needlepoint and other projects. In retirement, Clara and Riemer enjoyed traveling the United States by bus visiting nearly every state and flying to Alaska, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Clara is survived by her loving children, Beverly Hettinga of Wisconsin Rapids, Lois Hettinga of Wausau, Leslie (Toni) Hettinga of Caldwell, Idaho, Jerry (Peggy) Hettinga of Weston and Gary (Lisa) Hettinga of Weston; grandchildren, Jeremy (Meaghan), Johanna (Jared), Chad (Jessica), Robin (Ryan), Drew (Hannah), Cory (Odessa), Renee (Wayne), Ashley and Nicholas; 18 great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law, Dixie Hettinga; son-in-law, Robert (Debbie) Thomas; extended family and friends. She is preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Riemer; children, Clifford Hettinga and Bonnie Thomas and her five brothers and sisters.

The funeral service for Clara will be at 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at Helke Funeral Home, Wausau. Pr. Joy Nelson-Jeffers will officiate. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. until the time of service on Monday at the funeral home.  A private committal will take place at Forestville Cemetery at a later date.

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

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to The Salvation Army, 202 Callon St., Wausau, WI 54401) in Clara’s memory.

Sincere appreciation goes to nurses and staff of Ascension Home Care Hospice Services and TLC Home Care for their tender care for Clara and her family.


Richard Thomas

Richard Martin Thomas, 81, of Weston, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, at Aspirus Hospice House with his loving family at his side.

Richard Thomas

Richard was born in South Haven, Michigan, on June 15, 1937, to the late Wayne and Jesse (Martin) Thomas. Richard received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He worked as an electrical engineer in the computer software industry in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

On Aug. 17, 1957, Richard married Mari Lee Sylskar in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They celebrated their 61st anniversary this past August.

Following a successful career in the computer industry, Richard served for 10 years as a missionary with GMU in Ecuador, South America. Richard treasured his wife and family. His faith in the Lord Jesus Christ defined his life. Richard’s love and compassion will truly be missed by all those whose lives he has touched.

Richard is survived by his loving wife, Mari Lee of Weston; his son Andrew Thomas of Vista, California; daughter, Susan (Keshav) Pillai of Merrill; his grandchildren, Savannah (Sean) Baily of Carlsbad, California, Haliegh (Blake) Chandler, Hannah Thomas, both of Ocean Side, California, Paige Thomas of Byron Center, Michigan, Phoebe Osterhus, Aliyah, Tanaya, Jaiden and Orion Pillai, all of Merrill. He is further survived by his sister Maxine Carley of Summerville, New Jersey, and great granddaughter Alaina Cooke, of Byron Center, Michigan.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son Timothy; and great grandson, Ezra Baily.

Funeral services will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St. Pastor Dave Hart of Bible Truth Chapel will officiate. Visitation will take place from noon until the time of the service at the funeral home. Please sign the family guestbook at Helke.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Richard’s memory to a mission group of their choice.


Joan Harter

Joan F. Harter entered into the Lord’s arms surrounded by family Dec. 12, 2018, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Wausau Manor.

Joan Harter

Joan was born Nov. 12, 1930, in Wausau to the late Elmer and Emma (Fischer) Rainville. She met her husband John Joseph Harter Jr., through her brothers, and the couple married Nov. 26, 1949, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She went on to have eight children.

Joan was very well known for the many dedicated years she spent running Harter’s Bar with her father-in-law, John Harter Sr. Many friends were made throughout the years. There is always a story of the fun that was had by all!

From all her past times she loved to shop, have play girls dates with her sister, Lizzy, and to simply just have people to have a good time with. She will be missed by anyone who knew her from mom, grandma, neighbor or friend.

Her faith is a testament to who she was. Church was a very important part of her life. The EWTN channel was always on and she spent many late nights with Mother Angelica on the television.

Joan is survived by her children, Jackie (Wayne) Ziebell, Debbie (Jerry) Klug, John (Louise) Harter, Jimmy Harter, Mary (Darrell) Goetsch, Jeff (Shaune) Harter, all of Wausau, and Joe (Lisa) Harter of Tennessee. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, her sister-in-law, Joyce Holzman-Rainville; and all her extended family and friends. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, John Harter Jr.; daughter, Joni Lehman; grandson, Jameson Jerome Klug; siblings, Marion Newell, Margaret Wolfe, Elizabeth Rohmeyer, Anthony, Elmer, Jerome, Jerry, Charles and Lloyd Rainville.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Joan will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at St. Anne Parish, Wausau. Fr. Tom Linder will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17 at St. Anne Parish, with the Rosary being prayed at 7 p.m.; visitation resumes at 9 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday at the church. Entombment will be at Restlawn Mausoleum. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.

A heartfelt word of appreciation goes to the doctors, nurses and staff of Marshfield Clinics, Aspirus Wausau Hospital-Palliative Care and Wausau Manor for their kind and compassionate care for Joan and her family.


Donald Ziebell

Donald Patrick Ziebell, 61, of Wausau passed away on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, at his home.

Donald Ziebell

He was born on June 23, 1957, to the late Wallace and Geraldine (Ziebell) Drake in Chicago, Illinois. Don spent his life living in California and the Wausau area. He attended Wausau West High School. He worked as a crane operator for Staub Metals Corp. in California and retired when he turned 55.

Don loved to fish and be outside. In his younger years, he enjoyed riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He was also an accomplished artist who completed many drawings and paintings.

Survivors include his sister, Angela Zwifelhofer of Wausau; brother, Jerome Ziebell of Crestline, California; nieces, Christine (Darrin) Smazal, Samantha (Jordan) Andraska, Emma Drake, Isabel Drake, Ava Drake-Zwifelhofer, and Lillian Drake-Zwifelhofer; nephew, Dylan Drake-Batenelder; and uncle, Dale Ziebell.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Jessica Ziebell; parents, Geraldine and Wallace Drake; grandparents, Doretta and Walter Ziebell; and nephew, Joseph Neu.

Private family services will be held.

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