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

Jeffrey Krause

In the early hours of Jan. 4, 2019, as the clear night stars transitioned into a glorious sunny morn, Jeffrey Robert Krause, 67, passed. He was a bright light!

Born on July 4, 1951, he was raised in Oconomowoc with his two brothers. Jeff went on to graduate from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in music education. In 1976, Jeff moved to Wausau taking a job at Wausau East High School. For the next 36 years Jeff was the music department chairman and vocal music director. He also led The Camerata Singers, an East legacy of pride. He was passionate about, “making music,” and often wrote, arranged and transposed the selections his choirs sang. His impact on literally thousands was profound and lasting! Jeffrey was a gifted musician playing the organ and piano at numerous churches and for community musical events over the years. Jeff was more than a teacher to his students; many of his students became dear and life-long friends. Jeff’s passion, talent and the integrity with which he taught inspired many.

Jeffrey Krause

The circle of friends Jeff leaves behind is broad and far reaching. Jeff’s name could be in Webster’s dictionary defining the word friendship. His humbleness, sincerity, generosity and care for others never faltered. His soul and spirit faced challenges with quiet strength, resilience and hope. Jeffrey savored quality time whether it be a dinner, a musical performance, listening to, writing or playing music, spending time with Fred in their beautiful yard and home, breakfast at The Mint, or at the homes of friends. Jeffrey always made the time to talk to people, inquiring about family, situations or whatever happened to be going on in that person’s life. Jeff had a wonderfully dry sense of humor and laughed easily. He embraced joy, which always shone in his beautiful green eyes. He had warmth and pureness of heart, which he willingly shared with all he knew.

Many will mourn Jeff, but none as much as his life partner, Fred Patten. Fred was Jeff’s great joy in life. When Fred moved to Wisconsin 12 years ago, Jeff’s house became a true home. Together they created family and loved nothing more than doing house projects, going on day or weekend adventures, sharing time with friends and family, and living each day fully.

Jeff is also survived by his mother, Shirley Krause, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his brothers Richard Krause, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Daniel (Karen) Krause, Arizona, along with his  nieces and nephew, Dan Krause, Stacy Boyce, and Cassidy Rickles. He was preceded in death by his father, Norman Krause.

A service to honor a life well-lived will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at 11 a.m. The service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Wausau. There will be no formal visitation prior to the service. There will be a gathering in the Great Hall at The Grand Theater, 401 N. Fourth St., Wausau, following the service allowing friends and family to celebrate a dear treasured man.

Memorials may be directed to the family.  A memorial will be established at a later date.

“In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure a year in a life?

Measure in love. Measure in love.

Seasons of love.”

~ Broadway Musical, Rent/Jonathon Larson

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

Gary Fischer

Gary A. Fischer, 76, Wausau, died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, unexpectedly at his home.

Gary Fischer

He was born July 11, 1942, in Wausau, son of the late William and Grace (Chizek) Fischer. On April 28, 1973, he married Sandra Miller at St. Mary Catholic Church, Marathon. She survives.

Gary graduated from Marathon High School in 1960. After graduation, he signed a baseball scholarship with Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Following his junior year, he was drafted by the Dodgers. He was later traded to the Angels, where he finished his professional career. Gary later returned to Bradley University where he graduated in 1967, and was elected into the Bradley University Hall Of Fame. Gary was also a member of the Army Reserves. He retired from Kolbe and Kolbe in 2002.

Gary played many seasons of softball for Stanley’s Bar. He was an avid sports fan. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with family and friends. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Survivors include his loving wife of 45 years, Sandra Fischer, Wausau; his daughter, Sara (Ryan) Wietor, West Bend; two grandchildren, Carson and Hudson Wietor; his daughter-in-law, Anna Fischer, Wausau; three step-grandchildren, Max, Ellie and Jakob; one brother, Thomas (Jerilyn) Fischer, West Bend; one sister, Rosemary Small, Largo, Florida; two sisters-in-law, Mary (Lyle) Bohn, Lynchburg, Virginia and Val Fischer, Council Bluffs, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Ryan; and two brothers, Donald and Bill.

Visitation for Gary and his son, Ryan, who died on Dec. 23, 2018, will be held simultaneously from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, with a prayer service to follow at 4 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave., Wausau. Gary will be buried at 1 p.m. on Sunday at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Marathon.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Ronald Schram

Ronald Willard Schram, 62, of Wausau joined his wife, Sue, in heaven on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. He passed away unexpectedly in his home, due to natural causes.

Ronald Schram

Ronnie was born in Plymouth, Wisconsin to Willard and Jackie Schram on July 4, 1956. He attended St. John Lutheran Grade School and graduated from Plymouth Comprehensive High in 1974. He worked at Meyer Motors during high school, as he had a passion for cars.

Upon graduation, Ronnie worked as a machinist at Hayssen Manufacturing. After Hayssen closed in 1978, he went to work at Cleveland Container in Plymouth. Ronnie was transferred to Wausau, to help start the company Sonoco; where he worked until 2011. Ronnie went on to work for St. Mark Lutheran Church as the custodian for the church and school. He enjoyed sharing lunch and snack time with the kids at school. Ronnie was also a driving instructor for Decker’s Driving Academy, where he helped hundreds of adolescents gain the skills and knowledge needed for getting their driver’s license. He spent some time driving a bus and was a “Big Brother” for most of his adult life. Ronnie was generous with his time and loved to help others whenever he could. He was an avid hunter, a great parent, an awesome uncle, and a good bowler and dart shooter. He was involved in many leagues. Ronnie’s favorite thing to do was being in the water. He taught hundreds of people how to water ski and was a member of the Crivitz Ski Cats. He won several awards for his barefoot skiing. He also enjoyed scuba diving in the quarries, kayaking and taking his boat on any lake or the Wolf River.

Ronnie was married to the love of his life, Sue Schuett, on August 22, 1997. She preceded him in death on May 26, 2011. Together, they raised their sons, Tyler Schuett and Ryan Schram. Nothing was more important to Ronnie than his sons and he loved them with his whole heart. Ronnie is survived by his sons; his father, Willard Schram; his siblings, Debi (Gerry) Krebsbach, Terry (Val) Schram, Dennis (Kathy) Schram, and Cindy (KenJay) Fiedler; brother-in-law, Scott Schuett; his aunt and uncle and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife, Ronnie was preceded in death by his mother Jackie; and his mother and father-in-law, Roger and Ellen Schuett.

A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 600 Stevens Drive, Wausau. Visitation will take place from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the church. Burial will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park. A viewing will take place from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau. There will also be a celebration of life on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m. at the Plymouth Eagles Club.

Please go to to sign the family guestbook.

Marion Steffen

Marion Janet Steffen, 90, Wausau, died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Marion was born July 15, 1928, in Wausau to the late Gustave and Adel (Tesch) Markowski. She graduated from Wausau High School and married Gilbert Steffen on Aug. 27, 1955, at St. Paul’s UCC in Wausau. The couple was blessed with four children: Gary, Gene, Lori and Cheryl. Marion and Gilbert celebrated 35 years together before his death in 1991.

Marion was a very down to earth, good-natured woman who dearly loved her family. She was a very good mother, looking after her children as they grew up and enjoying becoming a grandmother. Marion was a very friendly and social person, quickly “adopting” her children’s friends when they visited. She was a devoted Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Badgers football fan. Marion also enjoyed spending time up north at the family cottage on Lac du Flambeau, reading and working on crossword puzzles.

Marion is survived by her loving children, Gary Steffen, Gene Steffen, Lori (Jody) Dombrowsky and Cheryl Steffen; grandchildren, Josh (Brittney), Marshall, Lindsey, Jeffrey and Jennifer; great-grandson, Renton; brothers, Gustave Markowski Jr. and LeRoy (Cindy) Markowski; and extended family and friends.  She is preceded in death by her sister, Carol Mertes.

The funeral service for Marion will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, at Helke Funeral Home, Wausau.  Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home on Tuesday. Burial will be the following day at Restlawn Memorial Park, town of Texas. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements. You may sign our family guestbook at

Heartfelt appreciation goes to the doctors, nurses and staff of the ICU department of Aspirus Wausau Hospital and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for their compassionate care for Marion.

Barbara Zielewski

Barbara Jean (Schmidt) Zielewski of Shawano, Wisconsin passed away peacefully surrounded by her family Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Barbara Zielewski

She was born on Feb. 26, 1954, to the late Arthur and Lois (Springborn) Schmidt. She is survived by husband Casimir, Zielewski (Texas); children – Justin Buck, Jason (Sara) Buck, Jeremy (Divine) Buck; grandchildren – Adam, Autumn, Brandon, Caitlyn, Emily, Hunter, Kyleigh and Alexis Buck; brother – Robert Schmidt; sister – Debbie (Schmidt) Alt; and her beloved dog, Bubba.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Friends and family will be notified when arrangements have been made. Our family would like to thank Aspirus Medical ICU and the Palliative Care Unit for their care and support during this time.

Donna Hansen

Donna Mae Hansen, 81, of Wisconsin Rapids passed away on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, at Aspirus Riverview Hospital.

Donna Hansen

She was born on Oct. 4, 1937, in Wisconsin Rapids to the late Robert and Rosella (Whitrock) Knuth. On, Oct. 1, 1960, she was married to Glenn Arden Hansen in Arkdale.

She had worked at Johnson Hills Department Store and she enjoyed bowling, watching the Packers and Badgers, polka music, playing cards; and especially enjoyed her church and spending time with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband, Glenn of Wisconsin Rapids; daughters, Christine (Donnie) Wilde of Omaha, Nebraska, and Nancy Hephner of Wisconsin Rapids; grandchildren, Nicole (Matt) Sloane of Appleton, Tanya (Derek) Merchant of Little Chute, Chad Yusten of Wisconsin Rapids; Holly of Marinette, and Dillon (Bailey) Kitzerow of Menasha; 13 great-grandchildren; and her mother-in-law, Marie Hansen of Wisconsin Rapids.

In addition to her parents, Donna was preceded in death by her sons, Glenn “Buck” Jr. and Dennis; brother, Robert Jr.; sisters, Esther, Carol and Shirley; and father-in-law, Arden Hansen.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. The Rev. Timothy Wenger will officiate. Burial will be in Mount Repose Cemetery, Friendship. Visitation will be held at the church on Monday from 9 a.m. until the time of service.

The John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family. For online condolences, please visit

Ruth Heldt

Ruth Ella Heldt Warren, 96, (town of Rietbrock) Athens, Wisconsin peacefully went to meet her Savior on Jan. 1, 2019, with family by her side. Ruth was born in the town of Rietbrock, Athens, Wisconsin to Albert and Bertha (Riemer) Heidmann on May 2, 1922. Ruth married Arthur R. Heldt.

Ruth Heldt

Ruth and Arthur farmed in the town of Rietbrock. She also worked as a highly talented interior decorator for over 55 years, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Together they had six children. Ruth and Arthur celebrated 50+ years of marriage before he was called to heaven in 1992. In 1996, Ruth married John P. Warren. John was called to heaven in 2003.

Ruth (Arthur) instilled a strong Christian faith and work ethic in their children. Her interests included gospel music, birdwatching, sewing, traveling and, above all, spending time with family. Ruth was a wonderful, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother.She was cared for in the homes of her two daughters for the last few years of her life, where she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her children; Carolyn Mantik, Athens, Roger (Chris) Heldt, Racine, Dale Heldt (Elaine Butt), Athens, Donna (Bruce) Lotzer, Athens, and daughter-in-law Evelyn Heldt, Green Lake. Stepchildren; John (Grace) Warren, Rice Lake, David (Joan) Warren, Tacoma, Washington, Ronald (Sue) Warren, Wausau, Mary (Don) Ogden, Eau Claire; foster son Arnold Patton, Mosinee. Ruth is also survived by her 19 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren and 24 great-great-grandchildren.

Besides her parents and husbands, she was proceeded in death by two sons Arthur “Dick” Heldt Jr. and Daniel Heldt; one son-in-law Jerald Mantik; a granddaughter JanaDe Lotzer; a great-grandson Kyle Felton; granddaughter-in-law Kim Heldt; and her siblings Floyd, Allan, Margaret, Fredrick, Rudolph, Florence, Earl, Edna, Irene and Joyce.

A celebration of faith service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. until the time of service at Christ United Church, 712 Pine St. S., Athens, Wisconsin. Interment will be in the Athens Cemetery.

Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family at this time. Online condolences maybe expressed at

Jeffrey Groshek

Jeffrey Gerard Groshek, 58, of Royalton, Wisconsin passed away unexpectedly at home on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019.

Jeffrey Groshek

Jeff was born in Milwaukee on Jan. 25, 1960, the son of Ray Groshek and Patricia (nee Pehowski) Wolfe.

On Oct. 10, 2014, Jeff was united in marriage to Sandi Slay in Waupaca. She survives.

Jeff graduated from Marquette University in 1982 with a degree in medical technology. In his professional career he worked at the Veterans Administration in King, Wisconsin and later traveled the United States working as a medical technologist.

He loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his cousins at his grandparents farm in central Wisconsin. Jeff loved spending time and fishing with his step grandsons, Hendrix and Lukas Owens and his step son, Kyle Owens.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Sandi Poyner-Groshek; his parents, Ray (Carol) Groshek and Patricia (John) Wolfe; three sisters, Ramona (Jack) Wenger of Alpharetta, Georgia, June (Pete) Czarnezki of South Milwaukee and Faye (Joe) Nievinski of Elderon and one brother, Chris (Michelle) Groshek of Milwaukee. He is further survived by his nephews, Mark Czarnezki, Spencer Czarnezki and Jarrett Nievinski; his nieces, Amanda (Kersey) Resch and Emmi Nievinski and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins along with his cat, Trumpster.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Ray and Regina (nee Stroik) Groshek and maternal grandparents, Ted and Loretta (nee Czerwinski) Pehowski.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Galloway. Deacon Dave Ashenbrenner will officiate. Visitation will be held at the church on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and condolences may be left at or at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home on Facebook.