Obituaries are a service of Brainard Funeral Home, with locations in Wausau and Weston.
We are now celebrating God calling home his son Daniel Edwin Rucinski on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, at the age of 88. His family shared his final struggles with Alzheimer’s-dementia and a series of strokes and their effects on his body. He was born Oct. 26, 1930, to the late Joseph and Lucille (Abitz) Rucinski.
Dan served as a sergeant in the Korean Conflict and was company clerk. Although he did not pick up a rifle to fire at another human being, he was not spared the pain of reports that contained casualties of other service men, including one third of the men he trained with. Though this was tragic, he later found out some companies were wiped out completely.
Among dad’s favorite times were a reunion with his Army contemporaries, the Never Forgotten Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22, 2012, and his prized pilgrimage to Israel in 2008.
When he returned home from Korea, he met and married Patricia Elaine Nemke on Sept. 27, 1952, at St. Therese Catholic Church, Rothschild. She battled breast cancer the last 11 years of their 45 ½-year marriage and is waiting with open arms for him with our Savior at the Gates of Heaven. Dan held Patsy as she breathed her last breath, smiled and was released from her earthly pain.
The Lord saw fit to bless Dad with his large, supportive and loving family. Dad had the rough hands of a carpenter like our Savior and his own dad, making his living to provide for his family. Dad’s testimony is his life in our Lord Jesus Christ. One of the greatest gifts his family gave him was the time they spent with him keeping him up on family events, reading scriptures to him, saying prayers and singing and reciting the Our Father. Just before Dan passed through the pearly gates of heaven, he left a sign of peace for us. He exhaled his last breath here and his next sight was the angels in heaven greeting him as a son of God. When mom died it was a smile. When dad left on his journey, it was a tear in his eye of happiness seeing Mom beyond the gates. At the same time the longing to let us know Jesus chose this time even if Dan felt the need to stay with his family to guide us. His biggest regret was spanking; however, his words of discipline remain with us even until today. His guidance was appropriate to our needs. He will be missed.
He was preceded in death by his four brothers, Gerry, Joe, Bob and Jim, two sons-in-law, Jerry Nechuta and Richard Ryskiewicz, a granddaughter, Kimberly Kuklinski and two great grandchildren, Lila Beth Nevienski and Jaxon Pempek. The legacy of his life is carried on through his sharing of his testimony of our Savior and through his three sons, Richard Alan (Susan), David John (Roberta) and William Walter (Christine); and his seven daughters, Mary Jane (Armand) Carver, Diane Lee (Gerald) Ryskiewicz-Kuhr, Joyce Ann Nechuta, Tammy Ann (Mark) Bennett, Lori Sue (Eddie) Kuklinski, Susan St. Germaine and Jean Marie (Duzer) Pochinski; 26 grandchildren, Joshua, Sarah, Neil, Joseph, Katie, Jessica, Adam, Wesley, Jacinta, Rebecca, John, Michael, Jennifer, Sheila, Christopher, Thomas, Andrew, Mark II, Bethany, Tiffany, Benjamin, Jacob, Bradley, Nicole, Alexandria, Adrian, and over 50 great grandchildren, and a handful of great great ones. He is further survived by his five sisters, Lucy Delinsky, Darlene Konkol, Marian Matsche of Wisconsin, Cecilia Phillips of Colorado and Therese Jones of Washington state, numerous extended family members, friends and church family.
First, we want to thank St. Rita’s Home and the hospice nurses for their most excellent care of our father and all the support and love they showed not only to him, but us too. God bless you all. Second, a special thank you goes out to all the many employers for excusing us during one of our most difficult times and yet for a total celebration of Dad’s life. Third, we want to thank all of Dad’s family and good friends over the years. He has often talked of many of you and your deeds toward him. God bless you all and thank you for your prayers. Please come and share your stories of our dad with us. We would love to hear them all.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau. Rev. Robin Wilde will officiate. Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, where full Military Honors will be conducted by the American Legion, Montgomery-Plant-Dudley Post No. 10. Visitation will be on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and again on Thursday from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the Sixth Street funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
Christie F. Bloom, 86, of Marathon passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, surrounded by his loved ones under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.
He was born Sept. 14, 1932, in Wausau, son of the late Harvey Bloom and Henrietta (Voelkman) Volm. On May 16, 1956, he married Geraldine Lemanski at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, town of Cassel.
He worked at White House Milk Co. in Marathon until it closed. Christie then worked at Foremost Foods in Rothschild until he retired in 1996. He was well known in the ginseng community as the “barrel man” selling barrels to ginseng growers. He also grew ginseng.
He was an avid fisherman and hunter, passing all his skills onto his grandkids and great grandchildren. He always enjoyed looking out his backyard watching all the deer, turkeys and birds, which he kept well fed with all his feeders. A special hobby of making maple syrup was shared with his family and friends throughout his life.
Christie proudly served his country in the United States Army and was a continuous member of the American Legion Post 469 for over 55 years.
Survivors include his wife, Geraldine Bloom, Marathon, his children, Kathleen (Wayne) Busse, Marathon, Steven (Robin) Bloom, Marathon, Camille (Dean) Schafer, St. Paul, Minnesota, his grandchildren, Aaron (Dana) Busse, Marathon, Andy (Kelly) Bloom, Glendale, Wisconsin, Amy (Julio) Cruz, Marathon, Benjamin and Violet Schafer, both of St. Paul, Minnesota, and five great grandchildren, Marcos Cruz, Ava Busse, Owen Busse, Andres Cruz and Avery Bloom, his brothers Tom (Marilyn) Volm, Charlie (Sharon) Volm, his sister Tillie Hugley, sister-in-law Ursula (Bill) Volm and many extended family and friends.
Christie was preceded in death by his father, Harvey, his mother, Henrietta, his stepfather, Nicholas Volm, his brother, Nicholas Volm, brother Bill Volm, sister, Nancy Lang, mother and father in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
The family would like to thank all the caregivers at Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for the wonderful and compassionate care given to Christie. A special thank you to Mary M.
Christie’s family would also like to express a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Stoffel, Dr. Bocoun, and Barb at Aspirus Pulmonary for all the support and care given over the years.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Marathon. The Rev. Msgr. Joseph Diermeier will preside. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon, and again on Thursday from 10 a.m. until the time of services at the church. There will be a parish rosary service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Marathon funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to St. Mary’s School, St Mary’s Church or St. Anthony Spirituality Center.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
Leon T. Grendzinski, 91, of Wausau was called to heavenly rest on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at his home, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services and surrounded by his loving family.
He was born Nov. 9, 1927, in Thorp, son of the late Alex and Jennie (Losiewicz) Grendzinski. On Nov. 4, 1953, he married Elizabeth “Betty” Hartl at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Stratford. She survives, and is grateful for the 65 years of marriage they shared together – from their first double date at the movies to their last quiet winter morning.
After graduating from Thorp High School in 1946, a young Leon moved to Wausau where he enjoyed setting pins at a local bowling alley and was a bus boy at Hotel Wausau. From there he went on to work at Steuber Dairy as an office manager and accountant; his children fondly remember the fresh treats he would bring home. He later went to work for the county clerk’s office and the Marshfield Clinic.
Leon was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus, 3rd Degree, George Schreier Council, #1069 and the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, Pere Rene Menard General Assembly, both of Wausau.
Some of his favorite pastimes included traveling, stamp collecting, bowling, tending to his flower and vegetable gardens, coin collecting, exploring his family genealogy and cheering on the Green Bay Packers. He had a passion for documenting and photographing every family event and milestone, building a collection of scrapbooks that now serve as a physical link to treasured memories.
Leon is survived by his wife, Betty Grendzinski, Wausau; his children, Deborah Jones, Kronenwetter, Diane (Wilt) Faber, Ringle, David (Connie) Grendzinski, Weston and Dennis Grendzinski, Wisconsin Rapids; his daughter-in-law, Shelley Grendzinski, Aurora, Colorado; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandsons; three brothers, Casey Grendzinski, Chicago, Alex (Hilda) Grendzinski, Thorp and Tom (Kathy) Grendzinski, Burnsville, Minnesota, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Besides his parents, Leon was preceded in death by one son, Daniel; one brother, Bernard Grendzinski; and one sister, Josephine Bauer.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, at the Church of St. Anne, Wausau. Father Thomas Linder will preside. Entombment will be in Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau. Friends may call on Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St. and again on Thursday from 10 a.m. until the time of services at the church. There will be a parish rosary service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Sixth Street funeral home. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
Neal L. Werner, 77, Edgar, died Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at Marshfield Medical Center.
He was born March 24, 1941, in the town of Wien, son of the late Louis and Nora (Fredricks) Werner. On June 30, 1962, he married Donna Ott at St. John Lutheran Church, town of Wien. She survives.
He worked as a farmer and drove school bus in Edgar for 40 years. He also owned a small engine repair shop and drove a gravel and cement truck. Neal enjoyed polka music, fishing, watching the birds and was an avid reader. He also enjoyed gardening and loved his dogs. In his younger years, he enjoyed bowling and playing dart ball.
Survivors include his wife, Donna; children, Kathy (Larry Reddy) Werner, Mike Werner, Ken Werner, Kris (Darrell) Belanger, James Werner and Amy (Rob) Anderson; seven grandchildren, one great-grandson; nephews, Rodney and Jeff Pevytoe.
Besides his parents he was preceded in death by two brothers, William Pevytoe and LaVerne Werner.
Services will be held at a later date.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
Richard “Dick” Nieuwenhuis
Richard “Dick” Nieuwenhuis, 75, passed away on Feb. 9, 2019, at his home in Wausau.
He was born on June 6, 1943, in Wausau to Ben and Theresa (Stadler) Nieuwenhuis; Dick was one of 11 children. Dick is survived by his sister, Elaine (Doc) Knapp, brother, Tom (Betty) Nieuwenhuis, son, David (Julie) Junge, grandson, Chase (Jane) Junge and many nieces and nephews.
Dick was the owner of Dick’s Auto Body for 36 years. Not only was he an excellent mechanic, he was also a competitive motorcycle and snowmobile racer. Dick had so many wonderful friends. He will be especially missed by the breakfast gang at the Red Apple. Family was everything to Dick. He took such good care of all of us. We will miss him every day.
A private memorial celebration will be held at a later date.
Leslie H. Froehlich, 94, Wausau, died Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at Tender Reflections Assisted Living, Weston, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.
Les was born Oct. 3, 1924, in Wausau to the late Hugo and Bertha (Radtke) Froehlich. He honorably served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War, earning the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor and attaining the rank of corporal. Les met Helen Kruit at Immanuel Baptist Church and they went on their first date to a Youth for Christ meeting. While in the service, he married Helen on Feb. 9, 1952, at IBC. The couple was blessed with five children: Kaye, Kurt, Kim, Karla and Kenny. For over 30 years, he worked with family dairy farming in Ringle prior to retirement.
Les was a good husband and father; a man of integrity who was always faithful to the Lord. He was very active at IBC for many years; serving as a deacon, usher, Sunday school teacher and superintendent. Les was a self-taught student of the Bible and farming. He thoroughly enjoyed digging into the earth, planting and cultivating flowers and vegetables in his gardens up until the last summer of his life. Les was also a skilled carpenter, building many small and larger projects around his home and farm. In his free time, Les enjoyed bowling into his 90s, playing dartball with his sons and playing the harmonica.
Les is survived by his beloved wife, Helen; children, Kaye Froehlich, Karla (Charles) Simmons and Kenneth (Sheila) Froehlich; daughter-in-law, Deanna Froehlich; grandchildren, Daniel and Timothy Bessel, Matthew Allen, Jonny Froehlich, Emily (Michael) Murillo, Hannah (Shawn) Burton, Elisabeth Simmons and Charlotte Simmons; four great-grandchildren; siblings, Clifford (Pauline) Froehlich, Henry (Joan) Froehlich, Lucille Froehlich, Steven (Shirley) Froehlich; and extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his son, Kurt Froehlich; daughter, Kim Bessel; grandson, Ethan Simmons; and seven siblings, Ada, Betty, Erna, Clarence, Frieda, Ruth and Walter.
The funeral service for Les will be held at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, at Immanuel Baptist Church, Rib Mountain. Rev. Rob Love will officiate. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Tuesday. Interment will take place in 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 Missions of Immanuel Baptist Church.
A heartfelt word of appreciation goes to the doctors, nurses and staff of Aspirus Wausau Hospital; especially Dr. Rezazadeh and Dr. Kaupie for their excellent care. Also, sincere thanks goes to the nurses and staff of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for their compassionate care during Les’s last days.
Ten hours shy of their 67th wedding anniversary, Les went home to be with his Savior where he awaits Helen and his family.
Carol M. Wilke, 70, of Wausau passed away on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at her home.
Carol was born on Sept. 6, 1948, to the late Henry and Elsie (Erdman) Wilke in the town of Hewitt. Being a social butterfly, Carol enjoyed activities that included spending time with others. She loved to play Bingo, attending different social gatherings, going to church, spending time at the clubhouse and taking and collecting photos of her family, friends and all of the things in life that made her happy. Carol was a like a ray of sunshine with a smile that could light up any room.
She is survived by her sisters, Joan Pray and Jean (Ralph) Pagryzinski; four nephews; her cousins, Larry Coerper and his son Brett and Ellen Fitzke; and her special friend Rose Schreiber.
In addition to her parents, Carol was preceded in death by her niece Maryann and her brother-in-law Gary Pray.
Funeral services are pending.
Ronald J. Barwick, 74, of Wausau passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2019, at Colonial Manor. He was born on Oct. 21, 1944, in Wausau to the late Raymond and Theresa (Kielpinski) Barwick. On Sept. 19, 1970, he married Ruth P. Johnson at St. Therese Parish, Rothschild.
Ron served in the U.S. Navy as a SeaBee during the Vietnam War and took part in the Honor Flight Program. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing and hunting. His true passion was woodworking and spending time working on his wood lathe.
Survivors include his wife Ruth, Wausau; sister Beverly Hawro, Schofield; nieces Christine (Andre) Warner, Mosinee; Julie (Jeff) Herron, Mosinee; nephew David (Carrie Perry) Hawro, Mosinee; four great niece’s Haylie, Dana, Jessie, Megan; and his precious fur babies.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. There will be a Catholic Prayer Service at 7 p.m. Burial will be at Restlawn Memorial Park.
Charles Schulz, 88, of Athens passed away unexpectedly on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He was born on May 14, 1930, in the town of Rib Falls to the late Franklin and Irene (Ziebell) Schulz and was one of three children. On Nov. 30, 1969, Chuck married his beloved Virginia Cichon.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Virginia, of 49 years. Children Cheryl (Roger) Hubing of Hastings, Minnesota, Lon (Suzanne) Schulz of Wausau, grandchildren Jason Hubing, Sara Hubing, Lynn Biskup and great grandchildren Dylan Hull and Olivia Biskup.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Elroy Schulz and Ervin Schulz.
Chuck graduated from Marathon High School. After high school he spent time in Chicago, Illinois, where his aunt had a glass factory. He traveled the country and worked with his buddies and especially loved the West as a young adult. He settled in Rib Falls and started working at Marathon Electric in 1953 and retired in 1992 at the age of 62.
Chuck had a gentle spirit and a friendly smile. He enjoyed traveling, and loved the outdoors where he grew vegetables in his garden or fished in nearby lakes. He liked watching birds at his feeders and looked forward to the first robin in spring. Photography and taking pictures was a large part of who he was. He loved technology and working on his computer and also showing friends and family his pictures. He loved his cat and companion Chuck Norris.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 948 Grand Ave., Schofield. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with service to follow, with Pastor Phil Larson officiating. Burial will take place later in spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church on Stewart Avenue.
Wayne Kenneth Baldwin, 87, passed away on Feb 3, 2019, at King Veterans Home, after a long battle with Lewy body dementia and prostrate cancer. Wayne was born on Dec. 18, 1931, to Kenneth and Alice (Odell) Baldwin in Madison, Wisconsin. He married in 1951 to Donna (Anderson). After many years of marriage, they divorced, but remained friends.
He is survived by Kathy Wahl (Rick Brewer), Sue Faga (Curt), Gene Baldwin (Susy) and Julie (Mike) Bowers; 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; Donna Baldwin, sister Joan and sister-in-law Suk Ye; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Kenneth, Alice, Bruce Jon, Joyce and her husband Richard.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to King VA Ainsworth Hall Activities, (Wayne Baldwin), Heartland Hospice or Spiritual Care VA, King, Wisconsin.
As a young child Wayne had several brushes with death. H was kicked in the head by a horse and almost drowned twice. Wayne, even as an adult, never learned how to swim. As a young man he delivered newspapers and entered in a soap box derby winning first place. At the age of 14 he got his first job as a mechanic. He could take an engine apart and put it back together. He could build a car from the ground up. He impressed his boss so much that when other shops would try to steal him away, he wouldn’t even let them talk to him. Wayne’s dad was a truck driver, he would ride along with him – one day his dad said, “Wayne it’s time you learn to drive a semi.” His dad pulled over, put Wayne in the driver seat and that’s how he learned how to drive a semi. He was 14 years old.
Wayne served in the Koran War. He had fixed a tire on a General’s vehicle. The next thing you know his whole platoon went off to Korea. H was sent off to Austria. His sergeant asked, “Who do you know” Wayne said, “I don’t know?”
Wayne could drive any vehicle needed and could also repair them. He used to talk about all the beautiful architecture in Europe and how devastating it was to see it get destroyed. After he returned from the overseas, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be married, so he took off for California (today they call this post-traumatic stress disorder). When he returned to Wisconsin, he and Donna picked up where they left off and started their family.
The family went on many trips fishing and camping all over Wisconsin, always roughing it – no bathrooms, no running water. In 1967 and 1968, we went to Canada for three months during the summer. These trips where really roughing it; 40 miles to the nearest town. Wayne had taken an old school bus and remolded it into a camper. In the summer of 1969 we took a trip out West and visited many states and we would stop at every historical marker. He would have us read them, then 5 miles down the road he would have us tell him what it said. If you didn’t read it, he would turn around and have you read it again. So, you made sure you would read it the first time.
His favorite time of the year was Christmas. We never received much. One year, it was a roll of pennies, another year it was a brick with $10 taped to the bottom. We wouldn’t get our Christmas tree until Christmas Eve. He would always decorate a table with garland, a huge bowl of fruit, nuts and his famous peanut brittle.
His family had always called him a gypsy. I guess that is why, in his 50s, a house was built in St. Germain to retire in, but he sold that and moved to Ohio, came back to Wisconsin and lived with his daughter Kathy for a while. Then he moved to Wausau, where he did what he loved most: fish. He was fishing with a friend and the boat capsized, he lost everything – tackle box, poles and his wallet almost drowned. Did I mention he didn’t know how to swim?
Wayne was a jack-of-all-trades, from building a computer to building a house to fixing anything on wheels. He spent most of his life as a mechanic. His last job before retiring didn’t want him to leave because he could read and understand contracts, so they would have him assist in all the bids and contracts. Wayne did have one issue, that was spelling and phonics. He also had dyslexia. Back in his day, they just would say they were dumb, but he was far from that. He could read or look at something and fix it or tell you how to fix it.
In 2003, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had a will to live. Then in 2016, he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. This was very hard on him because he understood that he would lose all his knowledge. He used to say that his brain is a fart. We would have to keep saying this is part of your illness. Even to the end, people around him could laugh. Even in the end, his favorite things were his fishing poles and equipment.