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

Betty Wanta

Betty J. Wanta, 91, of Weston passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Nov. 3, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital after a brief illness.

Betty Wanta

Betty was born Dec. 3, 1927, in Oconomowoc to the late Arnold and Adela Burchardt. She was the second oldest of eight children. She graduated in 1946 from Tomahawk High School. Her first job was working at a glove factory in Merrill, followed by JC Penney and  Employers Insurance in Wausau. She later became a bookkeeper for over 40 years at the family business. Betty met Franklin Wanta on a double blind date in 1948, marrying Sept. 30, 1950, at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Wausau, where he was a member. This year they celebrated 69 years together. Frank and Betty have two children, Jeff Wanta and Linda Wanta, both of Weston. Betty was an avid bowler, competing in several state and national tournaments. She and her daughter Linda visited Florida, Alaska and Hawaii together. Flower gardening was another passion of hers. She was a Brewers and Packers fan, attending several games between the two teams. Betty was a member of the Saint Stephen Lutheran Church Women Naomi Circle, and was treasurer of the church women’s group for many years. She also belonged to the VFW and American Legion Auxiliary.

Betty is survived by her husband, Frank; son, Jeff Wanta; daughter, Linda Wanta; brother, Rich (Jeannette) Burchardt of Wildwood, Florida; sister, Barb Mueller of Brookfield, Wisconsin; grand-cat Bella; and several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; three brothers and two sisters.

A funeral service for Betty will be held Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at 1 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home- Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until the time of service.

Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Leo Ottman

Leo Bernard Ottman was placed in the arms of his Savior on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, surrounded by his loving family.

Leo Ottman

He was born to the late Bernard and Hazel (Gunvalson) Ottman on Jan. 26, 1933, in Elmwood, Wisconsin. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. He married the love of his life, Karen Clemons, on Feb. 27, 1960, at Zion Lutheran Church, Chippewa Falls. He retired from a 30-year career with Uniroyal Tire Company in 1995.

Leo belonged to American Model Airplane Associations, Toastmasters, the American Association of Lutheran Churches, and the St. Peter Lutheran Church Men’s Club.

Affectionately known as “DoDad,” Leo enjoyed model airplanes, golf, bowling, woodworking and remodeling his homes. He was also quite the conversationalist who loved watching sports – especially the Badgers, Brewers and Packers.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Karen, Kronenwetter; children, Lance (Stacy) Ottman, Blue River, Wisconsin, Leah (Bruce) Fisher, Kronenwetter, and Becky (Cory) Frederick, Kansas City, Missouri; grandchildren, Jamie, Jennifer, Luke, Sarah, and Sadie, as well as one great-grandchild, Lincoln. He is further survived by his sisters, Joy Sahagian, Carol Yauch, Jane Webber, and Rose Burke. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Leon Ottman, and sister, Bernadyne Tommet.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1351 Grand Ave., Schofield, Wisconsin. Rev. Walter Davidson will officiate. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and again on Thursday from 9 a.m. until the time of service; all at the church.

Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at

Grace Janikowski

Grace Janikowski, 88, of Weston died Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at Azura Memory Care, surrounded by her family.

Grace Janikowski

Grace was born on May 5, 1931, in Pike Lake, Wisconsin, to the late Theodore and Theresa (Gorski) Koskey. She married Norbert Janikowski on Oct. 27, 1952, at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church in Bevent, Wisconsin.

Grace loved to be around her family, doting on them by cooking and baking every chance she had. Spending time up north on a lake with her cane pole was a favorite pastime. Grace and Nortbert always had a good time while in each other’s company, whether it was couples league bowling, casino trips, those trips up north, or driving to Stevens Point on Sunday’s to participate in the polka dances, they made the most of their time together.

Besides her husband Norbert, Grace is survived by, her children; Corri (Tom) Marschall, Tim (JoAnn) Janikowski, Mark (Lorrie) Janikowski, and Laurie (Karl) Kurtzweil; five grandchildren, Brock (Meghan) Janikowski, Stacy (Klay) Swatloski, Breanna Janikowski, Tiffany (Ben Herzfeldt) Janikowski, and Tanner Janikowski; two great-grandchildren, Kenley and Kashten Swatloski; sister-in-law Marge Koskey; and brother-in-law Donald Maszk.  Grace was preceded in death by two brothers, Elmer Gorski and Lawrence Koskey, and one sister, Elsie Maszk.

A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 6101 Zinser St., Weston. Rev. Greg Bohren will officiate. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of service all at the church. Burial will take place at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Rothschild. Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be directed to the family at

A special thank you to the staff at Azura Memory Care for their compassion and care that they gave Grace during her stay, and to Interim Healthcare & Hospice Service for all they did for Grace to have comfort and peace.

Barbara Halminiak

Barbara A. Halminiak, 76, died Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at her home.

Barbara Halminiak

She was born Feb. 1, 1943, in Wausau, daughter of the late George and Gertrude (Nowacki) Paulman. On Sept. 3, 1960, she married Lawrence Halminiak in Wausau. He preceded her in death on Sept. 24, 1989.

Barbara worked as a bartender at The Domino Bar in Wausau for 35 years.

Survivors include her children, Jenny Ohland, Andy (Lauri) Halminiak, Larry Halminiak and Patricia (John) Sanderfer; grandchildren, James (Mysti), David, Jamie (Barry), Max, Danny and R.J.; four great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, George Paulman and sisters, Merceda Christensen and Virginia Heldt.

A celebration of Barbara’s life will be Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at The Domino Bar, 740 Washington St., Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established.

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

Kristine Ayvaczdeh

Kristine (Zoromski) Ayvaczdeh, 49, of St. Germain died Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, at home.

Kristine Ayvaczdeh

She was born Dec. 24, 1969, in Wausau, daughter of Mark Zoromski, Kronenwetter, and Lynn (Busko) Tessmer, Weston.

Kristine enjoyed the outdoors and all that went with it including, camping, hunting and fishing. She was the owner and operator of Kristine’s Crystal Cleaning.

Survivors include her father, Mark Zoromski, Kronenwetter, her mother, Lynn (Mike) Tessmer, Weston, two sisters, Shelly (Jeff) Adams, Wausau, Sheila (Dale) Kuhnert, Kronenwetter, two nephews, one niece and one great niece, a special friend, Nick Lecher, St. Germain, aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends.

A Celebration of Life Visitation will be from 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau. Online condolences may be expressed at

Lee Burmeister

Lee Gary Burmeister, 38, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019.

Lee Burmeister

Lee was born July 9, 1981, in Wausau, son of Gary and Suzanne (Dombrowski) Burmeister. Lee went to Marathon school all 12 years and graduated in 2000. On Aug. 27, 2005, he married the love of his life, Gina Thiel, on top of Rib Mountain.

Lee was a very ambitious man and a jack of all trades. He worked for Old Dominion Freight Line for 13 years and was proud to have achieved a reward, his 1 million-mile mark of safe driving. Lee also helped his parents with the family business, Burmeister Motors. With his family and friends Lee enjoyed being outdoors, hunting, fishing, downhill skiing, snowmobiling and camping. He loved the Northwoods and recently purchased a new boat and permanent campsite in Boulder Junction so he could enjoy more time with his family. Lee was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need and above all he especially loved his “five girls” which consisted of his wife, Gina, two daughters, Aliyah and Audrey and two dogs, Miley and Luna. Monday’s were very special for Lee and his Honeybuns (Gina), as it was Date Day!

Your life was a blessing and a treasure. You are loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure.

Survivors include his wife, Gina Burmeister; daughters, Aliyah and Audrey; father and mother, Gary and Suzie Burmeister; siblings, Albert (Cheryl) Burmeister, and Lynette (Jeremy) Bryant; father-in-law, Russ Thiel; mother-in-law, Sue (Deno) Teske; sisters-in-law, Stacie Thiel, Danyle (Jamie) Lester; nieces and nephews, Maculey, Alexandria, Seth, Miranda, Nathan, River, Kyler and Elsie; great-nephew, Robert; cousins, Michael, Lisa, Sarah (Ehren), Breanna, Leah, Jordan; and many other relatives and close friends.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Albert Dombrowski, Vernon and Pauline Fellbaum, Henry and Barbara Burmeister; uncle Robert Burmeister, cousins, Bruce Burmeister and Robert Kuklinski Jr.; and his godfather, Arden Fellbaum.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, 3200 N. Mountain Road, Rib Mountain. Rev. Jenn Collins will officiate. Visitation will be Friday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave., Wausau, and again on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of the services at Saint Andrew Lutheran Church.

The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the Marathon, Edgar and town of Hamburg Fire departments, Spirit Medical Transport, Aspirus Wausau Hospital and all the others involved in the life-saving efforts and support of the family during this very difficult time.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Linda Dustan

On Nov. 4, 2019, Linda Carol Dustan, 72, of Wausau, Wisconsin, entered into eternal life after a 17-month furiously fought battle with cancer.

Linda Dustan

Linda was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to Donald L and Gail Skamfer. On June 26, 1971, Linda married Ronald Dustan, beginning a 48-year long love story that will continue on through their children: Elizabeth (Mike) Sautebin of Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Andrew (Amanda) Dustan of Eagan, Minnesota, and her grandchildren Emily and Ean Sautebin and Elliot and Charlotte Dustan.

In 1969, Linda began teaching in Edgar Public Schools and took a break from her career to raise her two children. She took great pride in making her house a loving home for everyone. Additionally, she volunteered her time to the Girl Scouts, the school PTO and St. Stephen’s church as a Sunday School teacher and director. Later, Linda returned to work as a teacher’s aide in the Wausau School District at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. Through her dedication and outreach she undoubtedly had a positive impact on thousands of young people.

In retirement Linda enjoyed spending winters in The Villages, Florida, where she made new friends and was always visited by friends and family from all over the country. A talented athlete, it should be noted that she was a ping pong champion at Memorial High School in Eau Claire, participated in bowling leagues and also enjoyed playing golf. But more than anything she loved being with her family, of which she was immeasurably proud.

Linda is survived by her husband Ron; her children and grandchildren; brothers Mike (Karen) Skamfer of The Villages, Florida; Ric (Jeanine) Skamfer of Santa Maria, California; sister Gail (Lori Anda) Skamfer of Menominie, Wisconsin; sister-in-law Margaret Manthei of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and brother-in-law Greg (Cindy) Dustan, Kenosha, and sister-in-law Kim Dustan of El Paso, Texas.

She is preceded in death by her parents; father-in-law and mother-in-law Doc and Eileen Dustan; brother-in-law Jerry Dustan and brother-in-law Jim Manthei.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 512 McClellan St., Wausau. The Rev. Jen Hoffman will officiate. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services, all at the church. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Linda’s name to the American Cancer Society at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Charles “Marty” Gaugush

Charles M. “Marty” Gaugush, Wausau, ended his long battle with leukemia on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, at the age of 91.

Charles “Marty” Gaugush

He was born Sept. 8, 1928, in Chicago, to Charles and Agnes (Martin) Gaugush. Marty served honorably in the United States Army from 1951 until 1952 and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. In 1956, he married Jean Crowder in Chicago and together they had three children. Jean preceded him in death.

Marty moved to Wausau in 1968 and worked for Hoffer Glass in Weston until his retirement.

Marty’s good friends Ben and Evelyn Chrusniak arranged a blind date for him and Janice Layman, which ended in 40 years of marriage on Aug. 11. He also inherited four children.

Among his favorite pastimes, he enjoyed playing sheepshead with the teacher’s group and playing poker with a friend’s group. He was an avid reader and loved to watch the Packers and Badgers. Marty and Jan liked to travel and took many fun vacations to Hawaii, Mexico, Michigan, California, New York, Maine, Florida and enjoyed many cruises.

Survivors include, his wife Janice; six children, Cheryl (Mike) Strasser, Wausau, Kim (Ken) Marksman, Appleton, Scott Layman, New York, Sheri Shade, Green Bay, Debra Krahn, Florida and Tim Layman, Wausau; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Don (Donna) Gaugush and Vern (Pat) Gaugush.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Jean; his son, Martin Gaugush; two sisters, Marge Jern and Barbara Sullivan; and one brother, Roland Gaugush.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Wausau. Rev. Msgr. Mark Pierce will preside. Visitation will be on Friday from 9 a.m. until time of services at the church. Entombment will be in the Garden of Eternal Rest Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park with full military honors conducted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Burns Post No. 388, Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Marty’s memory.

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

Amy Nowak

Amy Nowak was a beautiful soul who always took care of others before herself. She was blessed to have a loving husband for 34 years, a mother who was her best friend and a son whom she saw grow up to be “an incredible man and husband.” Family meant everything to her, especially being a grandma.

Amy Nowak

Amy was born on March 8, 1967, in Wausau to the late Edward Betts and Carol (Huber) Betts of Wausau. After graduating from Wausau West High School, Amy married the love of her life, Jay Nowak. They were married on Aug. 24, 1985, at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. Amy realized how lucky she was to have a job she “absolutely loved doing” as an ultrasound technician at the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin for 28 years. If you knew Amy, she was a junk shopper, a coupon fanatic and loved to wheel and deal for a bargain. If it had to do with elephants, you would find Amy enjoying her passion in collecting statues, pictures or knick knacks. She enjoyed playing board games, dice and cards and you were lucky if you won.

At the age of 52, Amy passed away at home on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Service.

Survivors include her husband, Jay, son, Jayson (Julia), parents, Carol Betts and Pat Gibbons all of Wausau, two granddaughters, Eevie and Annie, grandmother, Bernadine Dallman of Wausau and her beloved dog, Maggie. She was preceded in death by her father, Edward and grandson, Nico.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at the Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau. A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. officiated by Father Sam Martin. You may sign our family guest book at

Ellen Richards

Ellen Marie Richards, 90, of Wausau passed away on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, at Azura Memory Care, Rib Mountain, under the care of Heartland Hospice.

Ellen Richards

She was born on Dec. 21, 1928, in Wausau to the late Ralph and Mildred (Holleran) Huntington. Ellen grew up in Wausau and was a life-long resident. She married Bernard Richards Sr. on Jan. 25, 1947, in Wausau at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He knew she would be the love of his life before Ellen ever knew.

Ellen cleaned for the phone company and was a homemaker caring for her family. She was also president of the family business, Rib Mountain Glass, a title she took much pride in. She enjoyed the time with her family and the activities that went along with it. Together, many games of Spades and Yahtzee were played, and they spent many weekends at the family cottage. Ellen loved decorating for the holidays, shopping for clothes, league bowling, watching the Packers and her casino trips. She was a member of the V.F.W. with Bernard and a life-long member of Holy Name of Jesus Parish. She always had the loving companionship of her cats in her life.

Survivors include her children, Lois (James Sr.) Kleiber, Ann Quaschnick, and Bernard Jr. (Sue) Richards; 17 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and many nephews, nieces, and family friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard Sr.; son, Ronald Richards; daughter, Debbie (Francis) Moeller; parents, Ralph and Mildred; brothers, Robert, Richard, Laverne, and Bill Huntington; sister, Rosaline Russ; son-in-law, Dwight Quaschnick, and great-grandson, Bernard James.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, with Father Samuel Martin officiating. Family and friends may call beginning at 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, town of Texas.

You may sign the family guestbook at

The family sends a special thank you to Ellen’s caregivers while she was at home and the staff of Azura Memory Care and Heartland Hospice for the care she received.

Marvin Deffner

Marvin R. Deffner, 78, of the town of Hewitt, passed away quietly in his sleep at the Benedictine Living Center on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.

Marvin Deffner

Marvin was born on March 22, 1941, in Merrill, Wisconsin, the son of the late Oscar and Elsie (Liebers) Deffner. He married Joanne Weber on May 25, 1968, in Cedarburg, Wisconsin; she survives.

The couple was blessed with three children, Daniel (Amy Clark) of Wausau, Mary (David) Noha of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Matthew (Rebecca) of Brokaw,Wisconsin; four grandchildren, Lucas, Connor, Taylor and Teagan Deffner; two brothers, Norman (Jan) and Roger (Lioudmila) all of Wausau; sister, Elaine (Thomas) Disch of Brookfield, Wisconsin; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and close friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Otto and Alvin Deffner; and his sisters-in-law, Carole Deffner and Betty Deffner.

Marvin was a life-long woodsman and dairy farmer. He was perpetually excited about the change of seasons and the opportunity to spend time outdoors, whether it was planting, or harvesting, or working with the cattle to help them thrive, working in the woods on logging or cutting firewood or improving the woods, or hunting (even if the day only brought the opportunity to watch wildlife in its natural surroundings). He especially enjoyed riding through his land on his Kubota 900 RTV and “checking on things,” oftentimes accompanied by his beloved dog, Sam, or some of his grand-puppies.

A special thanks goes out to my nephew, Arnold, for all his years of helping us to make our farm grow and prosper.

Services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Calvary Lutheran Church in the town of Pine River, Lincoln County. Pastor Nicole Behnke-Welke will officiate. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. Saturday until the time of services at the church.The Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family. For online condolences, please visit

Katherine Krull

Katherine Mae Krull, 87, of Green Bay died on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Bishop’s Court, Green Bay.

Katherine Krull

She was born on Nov. 17, 1931, in the town of Norrie, the daughter of the late Walter and Violet (Gardner) Schwamer.

On June 11, 1949, Katherine was united in marriage to Willard K. Krull at Trinity Lutheran Church, Birnamwood. They spent 61 years together. He preceded her in death on July 1, 2010. Together, Katherine and Willard raised four children in Ashwaubenon before retiring to Newald, Wisconsin.

Katherine was an Avon Lady for over 20 years and liked to tend bar. She loved knitting, crocheting and enjoyed dancing polkas with Willard.

Katherine is survived by her children, Randy (Dawn) Krull of Green Bay, Kay (Larry) Mercier of Athelstane, and Lori (Al) VandenBush of McKinney, Texas and daughter-in-law Dottie Krull, of Oneida. She also leaves behind her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Katherine was preceded in death by her parents, husband, one son Douglas Krull, brother Lloyd, and sisters Arlene VanProoyen and Delores Barke.

The family of Katherine would like to extend a special thanks to Bishop’s Court and Heartland Hospice Care for their kindness.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood. Visitation will be on Saturday at the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of service. Rev. Betty Wyatt will officiate. Burial will take place in Hillcrest Cemetery, town of Norrie. Memories and messages of support may be shared at