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

Florence Ross

Florence E. Ross, 101, of Wausau passed away on April 22, 2019. Her long, remarkable life began in Waunakee. She was the third child of six children born to Edward G. and Ruth V. Berkholtz on Sept. 21, 1917. Her beloved parents, brothers, Paul and Robert, sisters Frances, Kathryn and Dorthy have preceded her in death.

Florence Ross

Florence graduated from Delavan High School in 1935 and then attended Whitewater and Milwaukee state teachers colleges. Prior to World War II, she taught at Wisconsin School for the Deaf in Delavan.
In 1940, Florence met Marlin Ross, a Marquette University student. A year later, they renewed their acquaintance. In June of 1941, they became engaged and were married in September of that year.

In February of 1942, Marlin enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Following World War II, Marlin and Florence started their family in Fond du Lac where, in 1947, their first child Marlene was born. In 1951, they moved to Wausau for new job opportunities. There, fours daughters followed: Elizabeth, Ruth, Jean and Julia.

A teacher all her life, she never lost interest in learning. Florence learned signed language at age 50 and remained active in adult deaf education. She assisted in starting the Deaf Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and was a religious education teacher for the Lutheran Deaf Missionary, Rev. Robert Corl.

Florence became a dedicated student of the Civil War when she learned her great-grandfather fought and died in battle. When she was born, women could not vote. Her interest in politics never failed, and she cast her last ballot in the spring election of 2019.

Following her husband’s death in 2012, Florence began a new chapter of her life with her move to Applegate Terrace. She proved her resilience as she adjusted to her new one bedroom flat. She enjoyed sharing her holiday spirit with others in her dining room, participated in church services and wouldn’t miss the monthly travelogues. Florence and her family genuinely appreciated the dedicated caregivers of Applegate. Florence was also blessed to have the loving care of daughters Jean and Julie, her closest family support.

Florence enjoyed an extended family of grandchildren. Rod Rueger (Amber), Tracey Winfree, Bill Fricke (Jen), Jeff Fricke, Katie Brooks (Andy), Katie Rich (Mike). As Grandma Great, she was delighted by her great-grandchildren, Abi, Mara, Kennedy, Nick, Jack, Aidin and Bastion.

Florence is further survived by daughters: Marlene (Roy Podolak), Elizabeth Fricke, Ruth Ross, Jean Ross,
Julia Ross (Andy Guenther), nieces and nephews in Arizona, California, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and Wisconsin.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau, WI 54401.

Visitation will be Monday, April 29, beginning at 11 a.m., followed by the service at noon at Helke Funeral Home. Florence will be laid to rest at Restlawn Memorial Gardens. Memorial donations may be made to First United Methodist Church, 903 Third St., Wausau, 54403 (Special Needs Closet, The Memory Café or Missions).

Wilson Finnery Jr.

Wilson Finnery Jr.

Father and friend to many, Wilson J. Finnery Jr., passed peacefully on April 24, 2019. Preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Jane A. Finnery (nee Miller), and his son, William Walter Finnery. He is survived by his son, Kevin (Jennifer), daughter Katie (Timothy), daughter Karla, son Kurt (Melissa), stepchildren Scott (Julie) Manning, Ted (Helena) Manning, Dawn (Regan) Myers and 25 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Funeral services will be private.

Clayton Laszewski Sr.

Clayton C. Laszewski Sr., 84, formerly of Antigo, died on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at Autumn Lane CBRF, Birnamwood, under the care of his family and LeRoyer Hospice Services, Antigo.

Clayton Laszewski Sr.

Clayton was born on March 13, 1935, in Milwaukee, the son of the late Patrick and Alice (Frank) Laszewski.

On June 2, 1956, Clayton was united in marriage to Evelyn Ripley in Milwaukee. She survives.

Clayton was employed at Briggs & Stratton, Milwaukee until the early 70s before moving ‘up north’. He was then employed at Amron of Antigo for many years until his retirement in the late 90s. He was often called upon to return to Amron to assist in the training of new employees.

Saying Clayton loved to fish is an understatement. He spent much of his free time on the water. It didn’t matter the time of year or the temperature. There were always fish to catch. In his later years, he loved to ride his moped around Antigo, often times visiting his family and friends. Clayton cherished Sunday family get-togethers where there were many card games to be had and memories to be made with his children and grandchildren. Clayton always had a bright smile and twinkle in his eye. If you were fortunate enough to spend some time with him, you were sure to hear a story or two that would have you laughing for days.

Clayton is survived by his wife of 62 years, Evelyn; five children, Clayton (Linda) Laszewski Jr. of Wausau, Cheryl (Darrell) Nueske of Eland, James (Gina) Laszewski of Weston, Merrill (Randy) Keen of Antigo and Melani (Christopher) Larsen of Merrill, 12 grandchildren, Michael (Shanna) Laszewski, Nathon Laszewski and Andrew (Samantha) Laszewski, Sabrina (Nicholas) Tews, Angela (Jeremy) Benson, Cassandra (Justin) Kressel and Derek (Ashley) Nueske, Charles Rickett, Christopher (Christie Zell) Laszewski and Benjamin Laszewski, Marlena (Ron) Schisel and Erin (Jeremiah) Nowak; 21 great grandchildren Sydnee and Meela Laszewski, Keyton and Brianna Laszewski and Alison Laszewski, Riley and Ethan Tews, Liam, Avery and Chloe Benson, Brinley and Brityn Kressel, Beau Nueske, Brandon Rickett, Peyton Laszewski, Mekenzie, Morgan, Madelyn and Mayzie Schisel and Mason and Owen Nowak. Clayton is further survived by two siblings, Melvin (Joanie) Laszewski of Tennessee and Patsy Pratt of Muskego and several other relatives and friends.

Clayton was preceded in death by his parents, a son Christopher, a great grandson Castan Schisel, a brother Thomas and a brother-in-law Norman Pratt.

A funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, 2019, at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood. Rev. Dr. Wes A. Jedras will officiate. Burial will be in St. Philomena Catholic Cemetery, Birnamwood. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Memories and condolences may be shared at

The family would like to thank the staff at Autumn Lane CBRF and LeRoyer Hospice for all of the compassion and care shown to Clayton and his family.