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

Wilmer O. Lewitzke

Wilmer O. Lewitzke, 89, passed away at home on Sunday, May 26, 2019, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, with his family by his side.

He was born in the Town of Wausau on July 14, 1929 on the family farm. He was the son of William and Hilda (Kienbaum) Lewitzke. He married Joan (Gaulke) in March 1955.

Wilmer farmed the family property until 1980. When his son Dean and his wife took it over. He then worked at Marathon County Health Care Center for 16 years.

Wilmer is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joan; his son, Neal (Paula) Lewitzke; daughter-in-law, Sue Lewitzke; grandchildren, Mike (Ashley) Lewitzke, Tammy (Gerry) Krueger, Kristina Lewitzke, Stacy (Paul) Seefeldt, and Allen (Kendra) Lewitzke; great-grandchildren, Tyler and Bradly Seefeldt, and Ethan, Evan, and Lucas Lewitzke; sister, Iris Loeffel; and brother Gary (Carole) Lewitzke.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Hilda; father and mother-in-law Louis and Edna Gaulke; son, Dean; sister, Harriet Meyerrose; brothers Milton and David; brothers and sisters-in-law, Hank Meyerrose, Robert Loeffel, Dolores Lewitzke, and Elaine Lewitzke.

Private funeral services are being held. Entombment will be held at the Garden of Eternal Rest Mausoleum at Restlawn Memorial Park. Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.

The family would like to thank Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for their excellent care of Wilmer.

Ardene J. Ament

Ardene J. Ament, age 81, of Rothschild, died Friday, May 24, 2019 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Ardene was born on January 9, 1938 to the late Kenneth and Esther (Kurth) Bloom. She graduated from Wausau High School and went on to own her own cleaning business. She married LeRoy Ament on June 2, 1962. He preceded her in death on March 4, 2014. Ardene’s passion in life was fishing and camping. She also loved her Peonies that she meticulously cared for year after year.

Ardene is survived by her children Perry (Rose) Ament of Merrill and Denise (Paul) Markowski of Green Bay; one grandchild and four great grandchildren.

Besides her parents and husband, Ardene is preceded in death by her grandson, Adam.

Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 31, 2019 at Shepherd’s House Seventh Day Adventist Church, 6300 Bittersweet Rd., Wausau. The Rev. Justin Spady will officiate. Visitation will take place from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Friday. Entombment will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum.

Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Donald Will

Donald (Don) Will, passed away Friday, May 24, 2019 at the age of 95. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend.

Don married Kate Will on September 14, 1946. They enjoyed many years of retirement, spending summers back here in Wausau with family, and more than 30 winters in Sun City, AZ. Don loved he warm weather and enjoyed golfing almost daily. Don worked for the Postal Service for many years and served in the Navy. They moved back to Wausau about three years ago.

Together, Don and Kate had two children; Kay (Dennis) Brandenburg and Mike (Elsa) Will. They had three grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Don will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

There will be private services at a later date.

Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Donald M. Drews

Donald Martin Drews, 78, of the town of Berlin, passed away on Friday, May 24, 2019 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He was born on October 13, 1940 in the town of Kronenwetter, to the late Oscar and Margaret (nee Schultz) Drews.

Don was a talented welder by trade. Don loved fishing, talking, repairing, and inventing whatever he or his neighbors needed or could dream up. He was a kind, gentle, and honest man that will be missed by family and friends. Don served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in France during the reconstruction.

Survivors include his sister, Nathalie Reinke of Wisconsin Rapids; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his brother, David Drews; and his parents.

A memorial service will be at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce Street, Wausau. Family and friends may call beginning at 4:00 p.m. until the time of service in the funeral home.

You may sign the family guestbook at

The family would like to thank Aspirus Hospital, the Gary Voigt family, and his friend, Dean, for their care and concern the past years.

George Tobalski

George Tobalski, 93, Wausau, died Monday, May 27, 2019 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

George was born March 4, 1926 in the Town of Rib Falls to the late Frank and Dora (Brodjeski) Tobalski. He faithfully served his country during WWII and the Korean War earning several decorations before being discharged as a Master Sargent. While serving in Germany after WWII, George married Gritt Pfeifer on December 8, 1948 in Frankfurt, Germany. The couple was blessed with four children: Anna, Jim, Holly and Katherine. After returning home from the Army, George continued to serve his country as a postal carrier for the next 35 years until his retirement. George and Gritt celebrated nearly 63 loving years together prior to her death on December 2, 2011.

George was a very humble man with a great appreciation of humor and wit who sought to serve his country and community throughout his life. In addition to his professional service, he was an active volunteer and supporter of Wausau Hospice programs and the Tree of Love. George also was a Boy Scout leader and a dedicated school bus driver for many years. He was proud to be a lifetime member of the VFW and Military Order of the Purple Heart. His free time often found him enjoying nature and sharing his love for national parks with family.

George is survived by his loving children, Anna (Don) Honrath of Keller, TX, Jim (Jenifer) Tobalski of Charlotte, NC and Holly (James) Peterson of Lansing, MI; grandchildren, Jerod (Analisa) Honrath of Austin, TX, Christopher (Melissa) Honrath of Hurst, TX, Katelyn (Clay) Henderson of Charlotte, NC and Lilly (Jamey) Peterson-Mulligan of Portland, OR; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Katrina Tobalski; and his brothers and sisters Lawrence, Stanley, Clarence, Leonard, Chester, Lucille and Mary Ann.

Per George’s wishes, a private family service was held.

Memorials may be directed to Aspirus Health Foundation – Hospice Care (425 Pine Ridge Blvd., Wausau, WI 54401) or the Never Forgotten Honor Flight (4404 Rib Mountain Drive #234, Wausau, WI 54403).

Special appreciation goes to the staff of Primrose Retirement Community and to the doctors, nurses and staff of the Aspirus Wausau Hospital Palliative Care Unit for their compassionate care for George and his family.

Barbara Mary (King) Knudson

Barbara Mary Knudson (née King) died peacefully at Hospice House on May 25, 2019 in Wausau, WI at the age of 78.

Barbara is survived by children, Laura Davis (husband, Eric Roberts) and Jason Davis (partner, Lisa Szews); grandchildren Grayson Roberts and Zoë Roberts; siblings, Lee Ann King (Steven Nyberg) and Debbe Ostrowski (Jef); Goddaughter Molly Schultz, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by spouse Keith Knudson and parents, Ambrose and Cornelia (Nowinsky) King.

Barbara was born on May 13, 1941 in Wausau, WI. She graduated from DC Everest. She married Ken Davis in 1964. She founded and owned LaBar Uniform Shoppe for more than 25 years, where she became active in Wausau’s retail community. She was married to Keith Knudson in 1989. After leaving retail, she mastered her baking skills at the Wausau Bread Market where she perfected her famous Oregon Herb bread. In 2003, she retired to Las Vegas, NV where she lived until her return to Wausau in 2011, where she lived happily, back among family as well as old and new friends at Island Place and Birchwood Senior Living.

Barbara was an enthusiastic bingo player and master of the royal flush at her favorite Lucky 7 machines in Wisconsin and Nevada. She hid lottery scratch tickets under plates at family dinners for lucky guests to find. She made amazing, award winning cheese curds and fried a mean potato into a fry like no others. Deeply spiritual, she encouraged and fulfilled novena requests with enthusiasm. As a proud grandmother, she adored her grandchildren and no greater cheerleader of their passions could be found.

A funeral is scheduled for Wednesday June 5 at St. Agnes, Callon, WI. Visitation 9:30 am. Mass at 11 am, with a luncheon to follow at the church. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Barbara’s life. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Hospice House at 530 N 32nd Ave, Wausau, WI 54401. The family would like to thank Kristy Davis and each hospice caregiver and volunteer for their dedicated work.

Shirley Sophia (Weiler) Zenner

Shirley S. Zenner, 81, Athens, passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning, May 28, 2019 at Rib Lake Health Services.

She was born April 15, 1938 in Athens, daughter of the late Sebastian and Anna (Post) Weiler.  On June 21, 1958, she married Ronald Zenner at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Athens.  He preceded her in death on July 7, 2014.

Shirley enjoyed her role as a homemaker and spent many years providing day care in her home.  Among her favorite pastimes, she enjoyed puzzles, crafting, fishing, and traveling, all with family and friends.  For many years, Shirley joined Ronnie over the road and she was known as both his traveling companion and his “GPS”.

Survivors include, five children, Debbie (Jerry) Block, Medford, Sandy (Larry) Stafford, Medford, Mike (Karen) Zenner, Athens, Jerry (Tamey) Zenner, Athens and Jeff (Krista) Zenner, Athens; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one great-grandchild on the way; one brother, Virgil (Judy) Weiler, Athens; five sisters, Delores Westfall, Athens, Anita Becker, Athens, Patsy Piwoni, Athens, Brenda (Dale) Dassow, Westminster, CO and Diane Grosskruetz, Greeley, CO; two sisters-in-law, Mary Weiler, Abbotsford and Alice Weiler, Athens; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents and husband, Ronnie, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Elroy and Donald Weiler.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at Noon on Friday, May 31, 2019 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Athens.  Rev. George Graham will preside.  Visitation will be on Thursday from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens and again on Friday from 11:00 a.m. until time of services at the church.  There will be a rosary service at 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home.  Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, 2019 at Calvary Cemetery, Athens.

Online condolences may be expressed at

James F. Edens

James F. Edens, 68, Basil Drive, Madison, peacefully passed from this life Tuesday May 21, 2019 at his home.

He was born September 6, 1950, in Wausau, son of the late Levi W. Edens and Elaine (Hedtke) Edens Hettinga.

James was baptized in the family home in Hatley, WI and was confirmed in his faith at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ringle, WI in 1963.

Jim attended Hatley Elementary School, which had grades 1-8 all in one room. While attending D.C. Everest High School, Jim earned letters in football and wrestling. He especially excelled in wrestling winning the Sectional Tournament and the chance to go to State competition. Jim graduated in the class of 1968 from D.C. Everest High School.

As a teen Jim worked in the family grocery business, Hedtke’s I.G.A store in Hatley, WI. He helped rub hams and prepare bacon for the smoke house. He also learned the art of skinning deer for processing at the store. This skill came in handy while deer hunting locally and out West with his good friend Don Wick and his Uncle Frederick Hedtke and Fred’s Hatley hunting crew. One trip was to Canada with Scott Marcott coming home with Caribou.

Jim loved to impart his fishing and camping skills to young people. He was an active leader on over 40 trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, earning his Lutheran Pioneer Master Voyageur plaque in 1988. Over the years he shared his love of the outdoors and wildlife with many young men through the LP Voyageur Program.

After graduation Jim attended UW- Eau Claire. In the fall of 1969 he enlisted in the Army. After basic training, he was sent to Holloman Air Force Base in White Sands, New Mexico as a meteorologist. Jim was a member of the American Legion Post 501 in Madison.

After serving in the Army Jim went back to UW Eau Claire and earned his Bachelor Degree in Math & Economics. He earned his MBA at UW Madison. For 25 years, he was employed by the State of Wisconsin as a Credit Union examiner. Jim traveled all over the state helping the Credit Unions with their safety and soundness.

James was the recipient of a kidney transplant, which extended his life by 14 years. Our family and Jim were very grateful for the gift of life given by the donor. He took special care of his health in honor of this blessing.

Survivors include his siblings, Jean Carol Edens, Stevens Point, David Lee (Cathy) Edens, Weston and Mary Sue Edens (Wayne) Kuss, Wausau; nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and Goddaughter Heather Yanta and Godson Andrew Bartelt.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his former wife Sandra L (Kichefski) Edens Steiner.

Private Family Memorial Services will be held at Restlawn Memorial Park Chapel. Burial will follow in Restlawn Memorial Park with full Military Honors conducted by members of the American Legion, Montgomery-Plant-Dudley Post No.10.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Kenneth “Pete” Hoffman

Kenneth “Pete” H. Hoffman, 83, Wausau, died Saturday, May 25, 2019 at his home.

He was born July 3, 1935 in Wausau, son of the late Elmer and Margaret (Sigmund) Hoffman. On August 3, 1968 he married Kathleen Derfus in Stratford. She survives.

Pete started his working career as a cheese maker and later went to work for Drott Manufacturing which became J. I. Case. He enjoyed hunting, playing cards, bird watching and was an avid Packer fan.

Survivors include his wife, Kathleen; children, Kim (Kim) Frahm and Keith (Jane) Hoffman; grandchildren, Jody (Janeth) Ross, Samantha (Worth) Ballou, Chase, Vincent and William Hoffman; great-grandchild, Aylah Ballou; brother, Gerald (Marcella) Hoffman; sister, Patricia (Allen) Voigt.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

The memorial Mass will be celebrated 12:00 Noon Thursday, May 30, 2019 at St. Matthew Catholic Church, Wausau. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Joan Erdman

Joan E. Erdman, 91, Wausau, died Friday, May 24, 2019 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

She was born January 11, 1928 in Oconomowoc, daughter of the late Martin and Enid (Melang) Erdman.

Before retirement Joan worked in the statistical department at Wausau Insurance. She volunteered for many years at Mount View Care Center. She was a member of the Women’s Missionary Society and taught Sunday School for three year olds for around 50 years at Immanuel Baptist Church.

Survivors include her sister, Mary Beth Tilloson and a sister-in-law, Janet Erdman.

Besides her parents she was preceded in death by a brother, Jay Erdman and a brother-in-law, Henry Tilloson.

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Immanuel Baptist Church, Rib Mountain. Pastor Rob Love will officiate. Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Hazel Ewert

Hazel J. Ewert, 83, of Wisconsin Rapids, passed away at home, with her family present, after a long battle with cancer on Friday, May 24, 2019.

She was born on Aug. 24, 1935, in Chicago, where she met her husband, Richard, and they were happily married for 62 years until his death on Jan. 6, 2016.

Hazel was a very active member of the local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and was well-loved by everyone there.

She and Richard served as full-time pioneers for a couple of years because of their great love for Jehovah God and the work in helping others learn about the hope of God’s Kingdom.

Hazel is survived by her children, Richard (Diana) of Wisconsin Rapids, Roger (Lana) of Nekoosa, Robin (Linda) of Wisconsin Rapids, and Rhonda (Kent) Bowman of Arizona; grandchildren, Adrianne, Breanna, Matthew, Travis, Deedra, Joe, Emily, Amber; and great-grandchildren. She is further survived by her brothers, Emil (Dolly) Buffo of Florida, Don (Lorraine) Buffo of Necedah; and her sister, Betty Lesniak of Michigan.

Her smile and joy will be missed.

Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Wisconsin Rapids, with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m. David Lay will officiate.

The John J. Buettgen Funeral Home/Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society of Wisconsin Rapids are assisting with arrangements. For online condolences, please visit

Francis Passineau

Francis Joseph Passineau, 80, of Weston, passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at Mount View Care Center, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

He was born in Wisconsin Rapids on December 25, 1938, to the late Joseph and Imelda (Draxler) Passineau. He graduated from Assumption High School in 1957 and attended UW-Stevens Point before transferring to Northwestern College of Chiropractic, Minneapolis, from which he received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree. On November 28, 1964, he married Elmae Omernik at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Augusta, Georgia. He served two years in the U.S. Army, including a brief tour in Vietnam. He did postgraduate studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa, after which he established his practice in the Wausau area and continued in his profession for 40 years.

Fran loved music, especially classical and opera. He played clarinet in high school, college, and dance bands, as well as in the Wausau city band summer concerts. At various times, he sang with the St. Mary’s Catholic, First English Lutheran, and First Universalist Unitarian choirs, and he directed choirs at St. Mary’s and Pilgrim Lutheran churches. He also sang in several Wausau Community Theater musicals. He was at times a member of the Wausau Noon Optimist Club, the WisconsinValley Art Association, and the American Legion. Fran enjoyed spending time at the Clearing in Door County, where he took stained glass and watercolor classes, and he loved cooking, gardening, golfing, playing the piano, and, most especially, spending time with his beloved grandchildren, Lily and Thomas.

Fran is survived by his wife, Elmae; son, Christopher (Kate) Passineau, Weston; grandchildren, Lily and Thomas; brothers, Don (Donna) Passineau, Colgate; Robert (Char) Passineau, Madison; Edward Passineau, Wisconsin Rapids; Joseph (Lynn) Passineau, Amherst Junction; sisters, Marilyn (Robert) Freese, Florence, AZ; Lucille (Leo) Shirek, Black Earth; Millie (Al) Voeltzke, Rothschild; Rosie (Marcial) Marquez, Pardeeville; Mary LaBarge, Wisconsin Rapids; sisters and brothers-in-law, Marlene Omernik, Elijay, GA; Marie and Thomas App, Ogdensberg; Joseph and Cyndy Omernik, Stevens Point; Stanley and Jacki Omernik, Stevens Point; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Marlene Passineau; and brother-in-law, Leo Omernik.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at 12 noon at First Universalist Unitarian Church, 504 Grant Street, Wausau, with Rev. Brian Mason officiating. Burial services will be held later at the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery at King.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to First Universalist Unitarian Church, 504 Grant St., Wausau, WI 54403 or to The Clearing, P.O. Box 65, Ellison Bay, WI 54210.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home/Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family with arrangements. For online condolences, please visit

The family sends a special thank you to the beautiful caring staffs of Mount View Care Center, Aspirus Hospice Care, and Aspirus Palliative Care.

Randall A. Burke

Randall A. Burke, 65 of Wittenberg, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital, Weston.

Randy was born on February 16, 1954, the son of the late Charles and Barbara (Alfheim) Burke.

He graduated from Wittenberg – Birnamwood High School in 1972.

Randy was employed for many years at the Shawano County Highway Department until his recent retirement.

He loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter, fisherman, trapper and Harley rider.

A Graveside service will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Forest Home Cemetery, Wittenberg. Rev. Clifford Kessen will officiate.

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

William “Bill” Kenneth Marble

William “Bill” Marble, 69 of Eland, passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at his home under the care of Hartland Hospice of Stevens Point.

He was born on October 4, 1949 in Milwaukee, son of the late Bruce and Alona (Swope) Marble.  On October 7, 1978 he married Roberta Schellin in Birnamwood.  She survives.

In 1969 Bill was drafted into the US Army, but instead he enlisted with the US Marine Corp.  He proudly served his country, working as a military policeman during that time.

Bill worked at Murray’s Foundry in Wausau, and SNE in Mosinee for several years before driving truck for local garbage removal companies.  He worked in maintenance for the village of Eland for the past 25 years, where he took great pride in caring for the village of Eland’s public spaces.  He loved making his town look beautiful.  Bill and his wife Roberta also started the Eland Fishery, which so many children have enjoyed.

Bill, also known as “Captain” to many, was an avid bowler and softball player.  He enjoyed fishing and hunting as well as gardening. He was able to see this year’s tulips in full bloom which brought him joy.  He enjoyed his retirement for the past seven years, visiting the casino, fishing with his family, and travelling to Las Vegas to visit his daughter and grandson.

Survivors include his wife Roberta “Bert” Marble of Eland; three children, Bill “Bucko” Marble of Wausau, Beth Grant of Las Vegas, and Bryon (Sarah) Marble of Milwaukee; one grandson, Nate Grant of Las Vegas; two brothers; four sisters; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, and one brother.

Funeral service will be held at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at Zion Lutheran Church in Eland.  Rev. Michael Schram will officiate.  Burial will be in Eland Cemetery where military honors will be conducted.  Visitation will be from 3:30 PM until the time of service at the church.  Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg is assisting the family with arrangements.

Memoires and condolences may be given at or on Facebook at Schmidt & Schulta.

The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers at the VA Hospital in Milwaukee, as well as the Heartland Hospice staff who provided excellent care during this difficult time.  They would also like to thank Bill’s many friends for giving him the privacy that he wanted during his brief illness.