Wausau area obituaries, Sept. 11, 2019

in News

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

Glen Moberg

Wisconsin Public Radio broadcast journalist, central Wisconsin businessman and singer-songwriter Glen Moberg passed away at the age of 67 on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, because of cancer. Glen died surrounded by family at his wooded home on the Wisconsin River in the village of Maine.

Glen Moberg

In June, Glen was honored as a Local Broadcast Legend by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. His 48-year career in radio and television culminated with his role as an award-winning reporter and talk show host at Wisconsin Public Radio, coordinating news coverage for the network’s bureau at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau. Prior to that, he served as assignment manager at WAOW-TV ABC Wausau, news director and anchor at WSAW-TV CBS Wausau, general assignment reporter and network correspondent at WFLD-TV Fox News Chicago, news manager for a proposed 24-hour cable network based at the Fox News Chicago studios, traffic reporter for WBBM 780-AM Chicago, news director, anchor and executive producer for Centel cable television in Chicago’s western suburbs, and morning host and disc jockey at WJKL-FM Elgin, a legendary progressive Chicago-area radio station in the 1970s. Glen also did scripting, production and voice-over work for corporate and public service clients in Chicago and north central Wisconsin. He worked briefly for the central Wisconsin village of Weston as community affairs director.

He joined Rotary International in 1982, served on the Rotary Club of Wausau board of directors, the board of directors of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, the First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, the Center for the Visual Arts, the Marathon County Literacy Council, the Marathon County Library Foundation, and the Elgin Community College Foundation.

Glen achieved the rarely awarded title of Distinguished Broadcast Specialist with WPR, where he served as a reporter, story teller, talk show host, debate moderator and producer for 15 years. During that time, Glen’s work was recognized with more than 40 broadcast journalism awards, including seven regional Edward. R. Murrow awards, and first place awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press, three of them for Best Broadcast Writing in a large radio market. The weekly radio show “Route 51,” which Glen hosted and helped create, was also recognized with first place awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and the Midwest Broadcast Journalism Association. Glen was a frequent guest host for Wisconsin Public Radio’s statewide network in Madison.

“Route 51” listeners were drawn to their radios each Thursday by Glen’s clarion call, “Fasten your seat belt and turn up the radio, we’re going on a road trip!” The program featured a unique format with an eclectic mix of political debates, discussion of regional issues, science, philosophy and the arts, and live music shows in which Glen accompanied the guests on guitar. Glen was proud of the fact that the show generated more light than heat, with guests from opposing viewpoints seeking common ground despite today’s polarized political climate.

Glen moderated and produced a number of high-profile debates and forums, including two U.S. Senate debates for Wisconsin Public Radio that were covered by national news organizations. He was cohost of a Wisconsin Public Television candidate forum for the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s race.

At WAOW-TV, Glen directed the news assignments during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and moderated and produced debates and special events. He coordinated the successful “Jam for Johnny” fundraiser in memory of John Ullrich Jr., who was killed preventing an armed robbery at a Chicago cab stand.

As news director and anchor at WSAW-TV, Glen’s team of broadcast journalists won numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. Many of the people he hired and mentored continue to thrive as anchors, reporters and meteorologists at television stations across the country, including several who are still serving the public in Wausau.

At WFLD-TV Fox News Chicago, Glen covered crime and politics, including the deliberations at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield over funding for the Chicago school system, and the riots following the Chicago Bulls championship victory in 1992. In 1993, he covered the Lucasville, Ohio, prison riot for the national Fox news network, and was first on the air with the breaking news of the settlement that ended the violence.

Glen’s tenure at WFLD-TV started in 1990 when John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel, hired him as news manager for a proposed 24-hour Chicago area cable news channel based at the Fox studios on Michigan Avenue.

In the 1980s, Glen served as the news director, anchor and executive producer of a regional news network he created for Centel Cable Television, later Jones Intercable in Chicago’s western suburbs. His team of journalists produced the nightly Fox Valley Report with all original news content for Elgin, Aurora, Wheaton, Naperville, West Chicago, Geneva, St. Charles, and adjoining communities. He moderated and produced debates and hosted the weekly call-in show Accent on Issues. The program made news when leaders of the Kerr McGee company in Oklahoma reached an agreement with West Chicago political leaders and citizen activists live on the air to remove a radioactive waste dump in the community. In 1987, Glen was named Centel Cable Television’s Employee of the Year.

In the 1970s, Glen was the morning show host for WJKL-FM, “The Fox” in Elgin, a progressive Chicago-area radio station that mixed jazz, blues, reggae, country and bluegrass into its rock music format. The station was instrumental in jump starting the careers of musicians who would otherwise not have a venue for their music. It was there that Glen developed his affinity for roots music and live, unscripted radio.

Glen was an accomplished guitarist, singer and a songwriter who was influenced by blues, jazz, country and American pop standards. He performed as a solo artist and was a regular with the Sid Kyler Dixieland Band in Wausau. His songs reflected his love for the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Glen worked alongside his wife, Mary Beth, as business manager for The Northwoods Goldsmith, the jewelry store she owns and operates in Wausau. He created marketing campaigns for her original jewelry designs, including Cool Beans, a nationally advertised and federally trademarked line of silver coffee bean jewelry.

Glen grew up in the Chicago area, and spent his childhood in Palatine with his parents, Alfred Roland Moberg Junior and June Moberg, and his brothers Dean and Mark. The family would often vacation in northern Wisconsin, fishing and bird watching. Glen graduated from William Fremd High School, where he was the editor of the school newspaper. He spent two years at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1974 with a degree in political science and philosophy. He spent a great deal of time at the school’s radio station, WPGU-FM. His first paying job in radio was at WGIL-AM, Galesburg, in 1970.

Glen once said, “I’m old fashioned. I believe in objective truth.” He believed empirical evidence and science were the best tools available to journalists, which led him to focus as a reporter on the scientific consensus of the dangers of man-made climate change.

Through his work, Glen tried to give a voice to the voiceless, to stand up for those without wealth or power, to fight racism and to call attention to the destruction of the environment and earth’s fragile ecosystems. He tried to leave a better world for his wife of 42 years, Mary Beth Moberg, and his children 31-year-old Melody Moberg and 23-year-old Thomas Moberg.

Glen Moberg’s celebration of life will be at First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, Wisconsin, on Saturday, Sept. 21. The service will be held at 11 a.m., with a visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and a reception following the service. Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau or Raptor Education Group, Inc.


Patricia Dorshak-McGuire

Patricia M. Dorshak-McGuire, 78, died Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at Aspirus Hospice House, Wausau.

Patricia Dorshak-McGuire

She was born Nov. 3, 1940, in Wausau, daughter of the late John R. and Mary (Szarkowitz) Dorshak.

Patricia graduated in 1959 from Newman Catholic High School. In 1962 she started a glamorous career as a stewardess for American Airlines. In the early years she flew all over the United States and in later years, now known as a flight attendant, she flew international flights. One of her favorite flights was going to Japan. Her career allowed her to meet all kinds of people, including Elvis and Tom Jones. She retired after 40 years in 2002.

Survivors include her siblings, Marcie (Jim) Light, Pam (Lee) Bretl and Jerry (Alice) Dorshak; four nieces and three nephews, two great nieces, one great nephew.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Chester Dorshak.

Memorial Mass will be celebrated 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild.  Rev. Allan L. Slowiak will preside. Visitation will be Friday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services, all at St. Mark Catholic Church.

The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the staff at Hospice House for their kind, compassionate care given to Patricia.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.


Dorothy Hackbarth

Dorothy M. Hackbarth, passed away on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, at Mountain Terrace with her loving family by her side.

She was born on Jan. 27, 1921, to the late Newton and Stella (Kemps) Ainsworth. She married Alfred Hackbarth, and together they raised five children: Virginia, William, Jeanette, Sue and Nancy.

Working on crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles and reading were some of the things that Dorothy enjoyed doing in her free time. She looked forward to the holidays when she could decorate her home and look at the Christmas lights and decorations in the neighborhood. She liked getting her hair done, going shopping, her collection of tea pots, playing cards and playing Bingo. At times, she enjoyed sitting in the window at the cottage and “watching the water go by.” But most important to Dorothy was her family. She was so proud of her children and grandchildren, and she loved to talk about them and all of their accomplishments. She will truly be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Dorothy is survived by her children, Virginia (John) Runkel of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, William (Cheryl) Hackbarth of Wausau, Jeanette (Jeff) Beck of Wausau, Sue (Dave) Green of Wausau, and Nancy (Dennis) Mumper of Green Bay; five grandchildren, Ken, Tracy, Becky, Jennifer, and Allen; eight great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred, sister Alice, and brothers, Walter and Roy.

A  service will take place at  2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, at Restlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel, 235962 N. Troy St., Wausau, WI 54403. Rev. Jayneann McIntosh will officiate. Visitation will take place from 1:30 p.m. until the time of services at the chapel. Family and friends may go to helke.com to sign the family guestbook.


Virginia “Ginie” Niemeyer

Ginie Niemeyer, 78, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, at The Benedictine Living Community in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Virginia “Ginie” Niemeyer

She was born on Oct. 6, 1940, in The Netherlands to her parents, the late Albert and Elsiena de Jonge Niemeyer who immigrated with their five children to Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1957.

Ginie was raised in The Village of Emmer-erfscheidenveen, Drenthe, The Netherlands. She attended a private school in Ridderkerk, The Netherlands, where she studied housekeeping, sewing, drama and received an associate diploma. After immigration and learning English, she received her high school diploma from Wausau High School in 1959. Upon completion of high school, she attended an LPN program in Stevens Point. After several part-time jobs she started as a junior nurse’s aide in pediatrics at Wausau Memorial Hospital South on Grand Avenue. She was promoted to senior nurse’s aide in 1969 and worked as an SNA unit clerk at the now Aspirus Wausau Hospital until she retired in 2002.

Ginie was well known for her powerful and thoughtful confirmation of her faith in her Savior The Lord Jesus Christ and her wonderful sense of humor. She spent the last five years at The Benedictine Living Community Center in Wausau sharing her faith with friends, nurses and staff. She loved playing games and winning at Bingo.

Survivors include her Niemeyer brothers and their wives, John (Jan) and Marilyn, Fred (Freerk) and Shirley, Harvey (Haiko) and Charlene, and Neil (Nantko) and Sharon, all of Wausau, Wisconsin; as well as cousins, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at Bible Truth Chapel, 1600 N. First Ave., Wausau, WI 54401. Visitation will take place from 10 a.m. until the time of services at 11 a.m. at the church. Burial of remains will be in Maple Grove Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Samaritan’s Purse or WRVM Christian Radio.


Steven Sabatke

Steven Mark Sabatke, 60, Rothschild, died Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at his home surrounded by his loving family under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Steven Sabatke

Steve was born March 10, 1959, in Merrill to the late James and Elaine (Baguhn) Sabatke. Following graduation in 1977 from Merrill High School, he attended Concordia College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, earning his BA in English. Steve married Mary Hausladen on Aug. 28, 1993, in Wausau. For the past 17 years, Steve worked for Per Mar Security.

Steve loved nothing more than spending time with family, chatting and telling stories. He was a very proud grandfather to his five grandchildren, loving every moment spent with them. Steve was also an avid baseball fan. He liked going to Milwaukee with Mary and the family to cheer on the Brewers every chance he got. In his free time, he enjoyed spending time gardening and landscaping and reading books on all subjects.

Steve is survived by his beloved wife of 26 years, Mary; children, Ryan (Valerie) Sabatke, Nichole (Leroy) Miller and Emma (Corey) Thompson; grandchildren, Addelyn and Hannah Sabatke, Olivia and Avery Miller and Cayden Thompson; brother, Robert Sabatke and extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his beloved sister Susie.

The funeral service for Steve will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at Christ Lutheran Church, 1300 Townline Road, Wausau, WI 54403. Rev. David Wetmore will officiate. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service on Friday at the church. Interment will be at Snowhill Cemetery, town of Scott. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Steve’s memory may be directed the American Cancer Society at https://www.cancer.org/involved/donate.html.


Karen Stankowski

Karen Mary Stankowski was set free on Sept. 7, 2019. She was born on June 10, 1955, to Arnold and Stella Swatloski. Karen believed in family, faith, and finding joy in every day. She spent a large portion of her childhood and adult life around animals — milking cows, riding horses and raising fair steers, hogs, goats, chickens and turkeys.

Karen Stankowski

Karen was lucky to meet her husband, Tom, at a dance and spend her adult life with him. They were blessed with three children, Gary (Holly), Teresa (Quinn Sanford), Dan (Brooke) and even further blessed with grandchildren Gracie, Jack, Ella, Alden, August, Helen, and Cora. She spent her young adult years at home with her children creating fond memories with the occasional popcorn and chocolate shakes in the evenings when Tommy was at work.

When her daughter, Teresa, left for nursing school, Karen went too. Karen was so proud to be a registered nurse. She was a caregiver both at work and at home.

Leisure time was spent driving a tractor, milking cows (always wearing a bandana), growing a gigantic vegetable garden (and then canning/processing food for winter), and helping to raise and be present in all her grandchildren (who called her Mana) and children’s lives. She also enjoyed traveling and trying new things whether it be whale-watching, farm tours or trying exotic foods.

Karen soaked up every moment she could enjoying the waves of the ocean. A special gift she has left behind are many crocheted hats made with love and hours of time.

Karen is preceded in death by her brother Gregory and father Arnold. She is survived by her mother Stella, her husband Tom, and siblings Roger (Pam), Joan (Jeff Cherek), Alan (Amy), and Lori (Jerry Ciula).

She has also left behind her adoring children and their spouses, grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, extended family and wonderful friends.

An important message from Karen is to “Live life with courage and purpose.”

A private celebration of Karen’s life will be at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Halder, Wisconsin. In lieu of plants, flowers and gifts, she wishes all memorials be given to a children’s cancer research institution.