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

Michael “Mike” Borneman

Michael “Mike” E. Borneman, 55, passed away surrounded by loved ones on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, after a hard fought battle with cancer. He was born on April 1, 1964, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Bob and Lee (Smrz) Borneman.

Michael “Mike” Borneman

Mike married the love of his life Julie (Woodward) on June 17, 1989. After 39 years together they were each others rock and it showed to everyone they met, especially during the last 17 months while he battled these diseases. Mike was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in July 2018 and after four months of chemo he received a bone marrow transplant from his son, Mitch. In April 2019, Mike was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, and in May he suffered from an ischemic stroke. Recently, the cancer had metastasized to his liver. He was always positive, with a smile so big it reached his piercing blue eyes. Through everything he would always say, “We got this. Go team Mike!” He was an amazing husband and a wonderful father who will be greatly missed.

Mike was a graduate of Wausau East High School. He started working for Bob Borneman Homes in 1981, where he crafted his talent for working with his hands. Mike has worked for Ghidorzi Construction since 2005. As a family, we could not have asked for a better employer, especially since Mike’s diagnosis.

Mike’s favorite pastime was hunting at the shack, his passing was in true “Big Mike” fashion to take place opening day of rifle season. He also loved spending time with family and friends at the cottage during the summer where he taught many people to fish and enjoy the outdoors. Mike loved coaching his son in hockey and watching him play from mites to college. He enjoyed maintaining his garden and helping Julie harvest the crop into salsa and sauces for everyone to enjoy. Mike spent many hours admiring the birds at the feeders in their backyard. He loved listening to music on ozzy’s bone-yard and quizzing people, especially his daughter-in-law. Mike also liked talking about politics with his son-in-law.

Mike is survived by his beloved wife Julie; children Ashley (KC) Kline of Rib Mountain and Mitchael (Kristina) Borneman of Weston; his parents Bob and Lee Borneman of Rib Mountain; sister Sandy Weiland of Wausau; brother-in-law Kurt (Jessica Tlusty) Woodward of Ringle; nephew Maxwell Woodward, niece Grace Woodward and his dog Audrey May. He is preceded in death by his father-in-law Lionel Woodward and mother-in-law Karen Woodward.

Our family would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the oncology nurses and Dr. Ahuja for taking such great care of Mike. He said he could not have gotten through everything he did without their genuine concern and support. In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to the Aspirus Oncology Department for Cancer Research.

Thank you to Dr. Nietert for all the support and guidance over the years. The dedication and hard work from the Aspirus Rehab Unit was greatly appreciated to help Mike achieve his goal of walking down the aisle at his son’s wedding. We would also like to extend gratitude toward Dr. Hall and staff at UW-Madison Carbone Cancer Center.

A Memorial service for Mike will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, at Brainard Funeral Home-Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston. Rev. Cindy Bachara will officiate. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. To share condolences, please visit

Here are some of our favorite Mike-isms. If you have others, please share them:

“Be productive.”

“It’s only money.”

“YOU are the predator.”

“We got this!”

“Somebody’s gotta be the first statistic.”

“You have one job and one job only and that is to cover the back door man.”

“Aim small, miss small.”

“Doesn’t matter where you go, they’re gonna be there.”

“Don’t fruit the beer.”

“Just providing for my family.”

Kay Kettner

Marveen “Kay” Kettner passed away at her home on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at the age of 75.

Kay Kettner

She was born on Jan. 12, 1944, to the late Howard and Kitty Christenson in Grand Forks, North Dakota. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of North Dakota. She married Edward Kettner on Aug. 12, 1967, in North Dakota.

Kay enjoyed hosting family for the holidays, loved to tend to her garden, and made the best chocolate chip cookies. She was a great homemaker and loved her children and grandchildren more than words can express. Her patient love will be missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Edward; sons, Michael (Monica) Kettner and Greg Kettner, daughters, Diane (Jimmy) Kettner-Hoeppner and Jill Kreitzer; sister-in-law Shirley Christenson; as well as seven grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Greg.

Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, at Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams St., Wausau. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Interment will be at Restlawn Memorial Park.

Online condolences may be shared at

Jayne Zilisch

Jayne Lynn Zilisch, 61, of Ringle joined her Heavenly Father in eternal paradise on Nov. 18, 2019. Her soul mate, Thomas, and Lori from Aspirus Hospice were by her side.

Jayne Zilisch

Jayne was born Sept. 6, 1958, in Wausau to James and Eleanor (Brunner) Nyholm. She was one of four daughters. Jayne married the love of her life, Thomas Zilisch, on May 17, 1980. Together, she and Tom were blessed with one son, Matthew. Jayne attended the University of Wisconsin Marathon County and later worked as an instructional assistant at Northcentral Technical College.

Jayne is survived by her devoted husband Thomas Zilisch; son Matthew (Brandy) Zilisch; grandchildren Baylee and Blake Zilisch; mother Eleanor (Lynn) Gourley; sisters Joni (Rodney) Thorn and Jamie (Mark) Wisnewski; mother-in-law Lorraine Zilisch; sister-in-law Barb (Mark) Torzewski; brother-in-law Scott (Sue) Zilisch; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. She is preceded in death by her father James Nyholm and father-in-law Weldon Zilisch and sister Debra Nyholm.

A Celebration of Jayne’s life will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4, at noon at Zion Lutheran Church, 709 N. Sixth St., Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to Zion Lutheran Church or Aspirus Hospice. The family wishes to thank the ministers from Zion Lutheran Church and the entire Aspirus Hospice staff.

Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Sally Gorski

Sally A. Gorski, 68, Wausau, passed away peacefully in her home while surrounded by family on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, under the care of Ascension at Home Hospice.

Sally Gorski

She was born Jan. 29, 1951, in Wausau, daughter of the late Roger and Lorraine (Durand) Gilbertson. On Sept. 14, 1974, she married Ken Gorski at St. Anne Catholic Church in Wausau.  He survives.

Sally enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom, baby-sitting and also worked for several years at the Quilting Workshop in Wausau. Among her favorite pastimes, she liked reading, sewing, quilting, cooking, baking and shopping, especially her weekly shopping trips with her sister, Sue. Sally loved to go up North to the family cottage and enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and her favorite kitty “Hattie.” She also spent countless hours road tripping to quilt shops with her late best friend Faye.

Sally was a very loving, giving and charitable person, always willing to help someone in need.  She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Survivors include her loving husband of 45 years, Ken, Wausau; children, Scott Gorski, Mosinee, Andy Gorski, Stevens Point, Jesse Gorski, Weston and Amy (Jason) Karpinski, Stevens Point; grandchildren, Liam and Jacob Gorski and Lenon and Abraham Karpinski; sister, Sue (Mike) Schwede; brothers-in-law, Leroy (Deb) Gorski, Glen Gorski, Rod (Deb) Gorski, Jerry (LuAnn) Gorski and Pat (Dawn) Gorski; sister-in-law, Mary (Ernie) Harris; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ray and Georgiana Gorski; granddaughter, Autumn Karpinski; nephew, Jody Gorski; sisters-in-law, Francine Gorski and Sharon Gorski; and an infant brother-in-law, Dennis Gorski.

Visitation will be from 4 until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau. Burial will be in the St. John Lutheran Cemetery, town of Maine.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Adedayo Onitilo and the staff at the Marshfield Clinic Oncology Department in Weston and Jennifer and Stephanie and all the staff with Ascension at Home Hospice for the wonderful care and support given to Sally.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Joyce Goetsch

Joyce Goetsch, 89 of Wausau passed away Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, at Wausau Manor.

Joyce Goetsch

She was born March 23, 1930, in Brokaw to the late Henry and Anna (Kniess) Heinz. In 1947, Joyce married Alvin Tanck at St. James Catholic Church, Wausau. She and Alvin raised three children, Gail, Lonnie and Glenda. Joyce took great pride in taking care of her home and family.  She was gifted in embroidery, quilting and sewing. Joyce also enjoyed baking and canning. Her two favorite pastimes were putting on her yearly garage sales and playing guitar for family and friends. On May 25, 1971, Joyce married Alvin Goetsch at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, where Alvin had been a member. Joyce was a past member of the St. Stephen’s Mary Martha Circle and had been the greeter coordinator for 11 years.

Survivors include her children, Gail (Terry) Glisch of Merrill, Lonnie (Darlene) Tanck of Merrill, Glenda Modrzejewski (Terry Komarek) of Wausau, seven grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, six great great grandchildren, two sisters, Sandra Ryan of Wausau, Annette (Terry) Lach of Wausau and two brothers, Dale Heinz of Merrill and Milton (Marlene) Heinz of Wausau. Joyce was further preceded in death by her husband, Alvin Goetsch, great great grandson, Austin, sister, Maryann Wimmer and three brothers, Henry Jr., Roger and Donald Heinz.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 512 McClellan St., Wausau. Reverend Jennifer Hoffman will officiate. Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, village of Maine. Visitation will be at the church on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until the time of services. You may sign our family guest book at

We would like to extend a special thank you to Terry and Annette Lach and Jackie Bushar for all the care and kindness you gave Mom while she was at home and Wausau Manor.

Eugene Pesavento

Eugene R. Pesavento, 78, of Wausau died on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at his home.

Eugene Pesavento

He was born on March 13, 1941, in Bessemer, Michigan, the son of the late Bruno and Jeanette (Armata) Pesavento.

Eugene was a U.S. Army veteran.

On Feb. 8, 1964, Eugene was united in marriage to Jeanette Meverden at St. William’s Catholic Church, Eland. She survives.

Eugene was employed at American Can and Graphic Packaging for many years until his retirement. He enjoyed golfing and was a member of Trapp River Golf Course, Wausau. Eugene was also an avid Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and NASCAR fan.

Eugene is survived by his wife, Jeanette; three children, Todd (Kathleen) Pesavento of Rio, Wisconsin, Tim (Tammy) Pesavento of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Michelle (Elizabeth Vaughn) Pesavento of Hillsboro, North Carolina; four grandchildren, Anthony, Nicholas, Tim Jr. and Mario, and other relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents, Bruno and Jeanette, Eugene was preceded in death by two siblings, Richard Pesavento and Patricia Kuhlman.

Private family services will be held.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood, is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and messages of support may be shared at

Genevieve “Jean” Szews

Genevieve “Jean” Szews, 90, of Hatley died on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Naples, Florida.

Genevieve “Jean” Szews

She was born in the town of Reid, Marathon County, the daughter of the late Lawrence and Lillian (Stoltz) Knippel.

After high school, Jean managed the Walgreens café in Wausau where she won numerous sales and service prizes, and briefly attended college.

On Oct. 15, 1949, Jean was united in marriage to Rupert Szews at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church, Bevent.

Jean enjoyed taking care of her family, maintaining a super clean home, cooking and baking. Her chicken noodle soup, homemade polish sausage, fresh buns and cookies were a delight for family and visitors. Known to many as Auntie Jean, she had a smile and kind word for all. She was a poll worker for the village of Hatley and cherished her Canasta Birthday Club friends and parties. Jean was an active member of the St. Florian Catholic Church, Hatley, and its Rosary Society, working most events for 60 years. She was also a teacher’s aide and served as a Eucharistic Minister for 38 years.

Jean is survived by two sons, Fr. George Szews of Prescott, Wisconsin, and Charles (Rochelle) Szews of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Naples, Florida, and two grandchildren, Luke and Leah Sophia, who she loved dearly.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Rupert, in January of 2017, her parents and a sister, Marion Knippel.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at St. Florian Catholic Church, Hatley. Fr. George Szews and Fr. Gregory Bohren will preside. Burial will take place in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be held on Saturday at the church beginning at 10 a.m. until the time of Mass.

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

The family would like to express its sincere appreciation to relatives and friends that aided Jean and Rupert over many years so that they could live independently. Please direct any memorials to St. Florian Catholic Church, Hatley.

Marcus Johnson

Marcus Avery Johnson, 48, of Minneapolis, died on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Minneapolis.

Marcus Johnson

He was born on April 13, 1971, in Woodruff, Wisconsin, the son of Walter Johnson of Wittenberg and the late Eleanor (Long) Johnson.

Marcus was a self-employed artist and photographer. He was a world traveler and enjoyed going to concerts. Marcus was a genuinely kind and caring person and was an “Awesomeologist at Being.”

Marcus is survived by his father, Walter Johnson of Wittenberg; siblings, Walter Johnson Jr. of Berkeley, California, Peter Johnson of Rhinelander, Crystal (Daniel) Deschinny of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and St. Michaels, Arizona, Candace (Alan) Johnson of Hasting, Minnesota, and Andrea Johnson of Wausau; nieces and nephews, Jaiden Johnson, Jacob Johnson, Ophelia Johnson, Gerald Smith Jr, Jamela Smith, Alaytra Johnson, Skylar Johnson and Heyla Johnson and his cat, Neko.

Marcus was preceded in death by his mother and grandparents.

Devotional services were held at the Native American Church, Wittenberg, on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, following a brunch that was served at 10 a.m. Visitation was at the church on Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Burial will be in the Sox Minak Cemetery, Wittenberg.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

Memories and messages of support may be shared at