Obituaries are a service of Brainard Funeral Home, with locations in Wausau and Weston.
Don F. Lutz, 68, passed away peacefully on April 9, 2019, in Fort Myers, Florida, where he and his wife, Alvie, have wintered for the past several years.
Born Jan. 20, 1951, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the son of George A. and Margaret Mary “Pat” (Kelly) Lutz, on Aug. 6, 1977, Don married Alvina “Alvie” Starzinski at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Marathon, Wisconsin.
Don attended St. Joseph Catholic School, graduated from Pacelli High School in 1970; he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Stevens Point in 1975, a Master of Education degree in 1987 and Marian College Educational Leadership/Principal Licensure Program in 2000.
At UWSP, Don was a member of the UWSP Wrestling Team, International Club and the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.
After graduation in 1975, he taught science in Tomah, Wisconsin, and at UWSP Upward Bound before finding his professional home at Marathon Venture Academy in Marathon, Wisconsin, where he began a 30-year career as a middle school science teacher.
During his years teaching, Don influenced thousands of central Wisconsin students and he will leave a legacy that will never be forgotten. He loved teaching and making “his kids” excited about learning. He began each class with a “Don Lutz” joke. After retirement, Don continued to teach summer school and was a substitute teacher throughout the Wausau area.
One of his proudest achievements was the development of the Christa McAuliffe Marathon Nature Center where Don blended a love of the outdoors with teaching. He wrote a grant proposal to The McAuliffe Foundation and was awarded funds to build the nature center. He taught summer programs at the center for 29 years and was preparing to teach his 30th year there this June. With Don’s guidance and knowledge, his young students learned about plants, insects and amphibians by “mucking about the pond.” He also taught rocketry to summer school students with Alvie assisting.
Don was a past-president of the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers and active in national science meetings and conferences throughout the United States. He was given the statewide teacher of the year award for excellence in teaching science. Don was awarded the UWSP outstanding secondary practitioner of the year. Don served as a Sally Ride Academy Educator, Science World Educator, Project Wild Facilitator and UWSP Energy Education adjunct faculty member. Don was awarded the Herb Kohl Fellowship Award.
He was president of the Marathon Teacher Association and later served on the WEAC Board of Directors. Don served as a member of the state of Wisconsin new teacher licensure panel and as member of the state of Wisconsin environmental literacy board. Don attended summer institutes at Madison, Berkeley, NYU, NASA-Houston, NOAA-Florida Keys, California Redwoods, Jackson Hole/Grand Tetons/Yellowstone, WASDI-Wisconsin Academy Staff Development Lead Teacher Institute.
Don was a lifelong learner and spent time every day reading local and national newspapers, books on current events and historical novels. While in Fort Myers, his top priority each day was to complete his hour walk and then visit the library and read the New York Times. Don also enjoyed daily walks with his dogs Buddy and Charlie. Don loved to host family/friend ice skating, summer picnics and hay ride parties.
During his life, Don was an accomplished athlete. As a youth he participated in wrestling, track, swimming, and was selected to be on the Junior Olympic team for ski jumping. Don was a cross country skier, a marathon runner and participated in triathlons. He served as the wrestling coach at Marathon High School, as well as the youth coach. When not participating, he would attend sporting events to cheer on family and friends. Don traveled extensively spending many years scuba diving in Grand Cayman, as well as hiking and camping in state/national parks from Florida to Alaska and from California to Rhode Island.
Don participated in his local community as a volunteer religious education instructor at Sacred Heart Church, president of the Marathon Lions and as a former Boy Scout, he volunteered as a merit badge counselor.
Don is preceded in death by his parents, his parents-in-law Peter and Agnes Starzinski and Joseph Gavinski, his brother Peter Lutz and his brother James “Jim” Lutz, and sister-in-law Judy (Wysocki) Lutz.
He is survived by his wife, Alvina “Alvie” Lutz, his brothers: George (Mary Anne) Lutz, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, John (Luci) Lutz, and his sister, Mary (Ronald) Domka, sister-in-law, Jan Lutz all of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, sister-in-law Barb Lutz, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, brother-in -law, Gary (Teresa) Starzinski, sisters-in-law, Betty (Larry) Blume both of Marathon, Wisconsin, sister-in-law, Suzanne (Robert) Metz, of Hazelhurst, Wisconsin, Mary Jane (Robert) Sydow of Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Beverly (Glenn) Kafka of Stratford, Wisconsin. Don is further survived by many nieces and nephews and his beloved dogs, Buddy and Charlie.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday, April 29, 2019, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 222761 County Road S, Marathon, Wisconsin. Rev. Felix Tigoy will preside. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be on Sunday, April 28, 2019, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church. Visitation will continue on Monday from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the church. Following the cemetery committal service, a Celebration of Life will take place at the Cassel Town Hall, located directly north of the church. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com. In lieu of flowers; a memorial fund is being established for a Scholarship in Don’s name.
Joseph P. Hautamaki, 66, of Bruce Crossing, Michigan, passed away Sunday, April 21, 2019, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau surrounded by family. On Nov. 5, 1952, he was born in Wakefield, Michigan, to the late Walter and Florence (Merila) Hautamaki. He grew up in Agate, Michigan, with his seven brothers and three sisters.
He attended and graduated from the Ewen-Trout Creek High School. Throughout the years, Joseph P. was employed at the White Pine Mine along with being a millwright in lower Michigan and at Stone Container in Ontonagon, where he was maintenance steward in the Paper Workers Union.
He owned his own business, Hautamaki Mechanical, for many years. He was often found swimming at the Horseshoe in his younger days. While spending time at certain camps, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. He traveled to Nascar races with family and friends, along with trips to local casinos.
He also liked to play KENO. Joe was an avid Green Bay Packers fan, although some of the family members disagreed. He was always there for friends and family, along with complete strangers, which shows in the love everyone had for him.
Joseph P. is survived by brothers, Ron (Linda) Hautamaki of Goodrich, Michigan, Alton (Carol) Hautamaki of Bruce Crossing, Michigan, and Eugene (Sally) Hautamaki of Trout Creek, Michigan; sisters, Ann (Tom) Colgin of Ontonagon, Michigan, and June (Bob) Reichardt of Watersmeet, Michigan; stepson, James (Pam) Kantola and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his sons, Jeffrey and Jason, brothers, Bruce, John, Roy and Tony Hautamaki; sister, Sharon DeVowe; sister-in-law, Susan Hautamaki; and nephew Matt Hautamaki.
Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family at this time.
There will be a celebration of life for Joe planned and announced soon, along with a burial at the Evergreen Cemetery in Ewen, Michigan.
Beverly “Bevi” Ann Elsie Holtz, 83, Rib Mountain, died Sunday, April 7, 2019 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
Bev was born March 31, 1936 at Wausau Memorial Hospital to the late Lorenz and Loretta (Totsch) Otto. She grew up in Wausau and graduated from Wausau High School in 1954, later taking classes at Northcentral Tech. While in high school, she met Richard “Dick” Holtz at a Halloween party and the couple were later married on February 3, 1957 in Orleans, France while Dick was serving in the US Army. The couple was blessed with two children: Becky and Bart. Bev helped to support her family by working in the HR/payroll department with Wausau Insurance for 20 years.
Bev was a very proud and strong-willed woman who passionately loved her family. She had a very warm, caring heart acting as a caregiver to many over the years and always made sure that her home was open to all for the holidays. Bev especially enjoyed planning and hosting birthday parties for family, treating all with her wonderful cooking. The family made many wonderful memories together at the cottage on Lake Alice near Tomahawk. Some favorite times were spent with her grandchildren when they would spend their spring break together.
Early in their lives Bev and Dick were very active in the Jaycees, and she was also an Elkette and Girl Scout troop leader. In her free time, summers consisted of playing golf (even earning a hole in one at Rib Mountain) and in the winters, snowmobiling with the Women on Snow. Bev was an extremely avid fan and supporter of the Green Bay Packers beginning in the 1960’s when Vince Lombardi led the team to their first two Super Bowl wins. Her unwavering backing never wavered through the years and she often put on videos of those classic games.
Bev is survived by her beloved husband of 62 years, Dick; children, Becky (Wade) Weiland and Bart (Terri Marten) Holtz; grandchildren, Sydney Weiland, Kyle (Megan Boris) Holtz, Baylee Holtz of Georgia and Brenna Holtz; siblings, Jim (Sally) Otto of California, Karen (Cal) Seban of Wisconsin, Sandy Wimmer of Wisconsin and Tom (Virginia) Otto of Florida; her cherished Australian Terrier, Buster and many extended family and friends. She is preceded in death by her nephew, Scott Seban and niece, Jennifer Smith.
The memorial service for Bev will be at 3:00 PM on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Helke Funeral Home, Wausau. Pastor Cal Seban will officiate. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until the time of service at the funeral home on Saturday, April 27. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.
Appreciation goes to the ambulance crew from South Area Fire and Response who took her from her home to Wausau Hospital with dignity and respect; and also to the nurses and staff of Wausau Hospital Palliative Care Unit who were so very compassionate in their care for Bev and her family. A very special word of gratitude goes to Lori Schutte, APNP for her years of care of and friendship to Bev.