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

Sandra Snyder

Sandra Kay Snyder, 78, of Wausau entered into rest on Nov. 29, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital with her husband and children by her side.

Sandra Snyder

Sandra was born Dec. 29, 1940, in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised by her parents Robert and Bertha Smith in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Sandra attended Beloit Memorial High and graduated from Rockford Memorial School of Nursing. After completing nursing school, she spent over four decades in nursing. She took a break to raise her own children. Sandra then spent the last 25 years as an OB nurse at Aspirus Wausau Hospital where she never met a baby she didn’t love.

Her interests included bridge, all Wisconsin sports teams, vacationing in Sanibel, and spoiling her grandkids.

She was a faithful attendee of St. Agnes Catholic Church.

Sandra is survived by her husband of 57 years, George Snyder; children Eric (Kim), Mike, and Amy Martin (Paul); and grandchildren Emily, Thomas, Noah and Nathanael.

A memorial Mass will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 6101 Zinser St., Weston, with a visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Fr. Greg Bohren will officiate. A visitation on Tuesday, Dec. 3 will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home-Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the OB Department through the Aspirus Health Foundation in Sandra’s name. Their number is 715-847-2470.

Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Patricia Kemps

Patricia Helen Kemps, 77, of Wausau passed away Nov. 28, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Patricia was born to Wilbert and Helen (Hrobsky) Hargraves. Patricia married Jack Kemps on May 18, 1974, and together they had two children. She worked as a nurse’s aid for Colonial Manor. She was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church and was a part of the Ladies Missionary Society and Jubilant Seniors Club. She loved to bake pies and bread for her family and friends. She crocheted angels and afghans in her spare time. She enjoyed tending her garden — growing corn, peas and cabbage and different flowers. She loved her dogs Shannon, Monty and Cricket. Patricia will be deeply missed.

She is survived by her husband Jack Kemps; children Steven (Kathleen) Kemps and Shawna Kemps; sister Josephine Hargraves; brother Randy (Joanne) Hargraves. She is preceded in death by her stepmother, Dorothy Hargraves, sisters Darlene (Jim) Prelipp and Charlene (Denny) Ross; brothers, Ronald (Mary Ann) Denzin, and Douglass (Charlene) Denzin; several nieces and nephews and many friends.

A funeral will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at Restlawn Memorial Park’s Mausoleum Chapel, 4710 N. Troy St., Wausau. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Entombment will follow.

Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Marianne Pickering

Marianne Pickering, 89, died peacefully on the morning of Nov. 28 at Aspirus Hospice House in Wausau. She was born on Feb. 8, 1930, in Oelwein, Iowa, to Hilma and R.M. (Jack) Stines. She married Roger Pickering in Glenview, Illinois, on Feb. 7, 1953.

Marianne Pickering

Marianne was a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. She enjoyed sewing, reading, music and the activities of her children and grandchildren. A gifted pianist, Marianne was the accompanist for the Wausau Senior Chorus for 30 years.

She is survived by her husband Roger and children: Susan, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Bill (Joy Tapper), Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; and Barbara Dreas (Bill), Rib Mountain, Wisconsin.

She is also survived by her brother, Robert Stines (Bonnie), The Villages, Florida.

Her grandchildren are Erin Greitens (Marc), North Brook, Illinois; Emily Bauman, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Benjamin Pickering, London, United Kingdom; Joseph Pickering, Oakland, California; Ellen Pickering, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Alexandria Dreas, Denver, Colorado; and Adam Reilly-Dreas (Megan), Greensboro, North Carolina.

Service will be held at the First Universalist Unitarian Church, 504 Grant St., Wausau, on Friday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. A celebration of life will follow the service. Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be directed to the family at

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Aspirus Hospice House, 520 N. 32nd Ave., Wausau, WI, 54401.

Marianne will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Richard “Dick” Merriam

Richard (Dick) J. Merriam, 92, of Ringle died Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, surrounded by family.

Richard “Dick” Merriam

Richard was born on July 22, 1927, to the late Alva and Nina Merriam. He married the love of his life, Lucille Merriam, on Sept. 30, 1950. She preceded him in eternal life Nov. 19, 2014.

Richard was the most hard-working man. He owned and operated Sandy Acres farm with his beloved wife and son. He loved to farm and took great pride in his farm and land, and farmed until the age of 92.

He was very devoted to his faith, family and friends. He was a proud member of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and also New Hope Community Church. Richard was a veteran of the Korean War and was honored to participate in the Never Forgotten Honor Flight on Oct. 15, 2015. He also volunteered for the Ringle Fire Department in his younger years.

Richard is survived by his children; Cheryl (Bill) Trotzer, Rothschild, Terry (Carol) Merriam, Ringle.  Grandchildren; Aaron Trotzer, Rothschild, Sarah Paulson (Bryan Landwehr) Rothschild, Katie (Josh) Norton, Weston, Brooke (Steve) Turner, Weston. Great-grandchildren; Carson, Corbin, Dawson and Deakin Trotzer, Abbie, Myles and Elliott Paulson, Jaxon and Cameron Norton, Avery, Sydney and (soon to be new baby) Turner.

A funeral service will be on Dec. 4, 2019, at noon at New Hope Community Church, 229375 County Highway J, Wausau, WI 54403. Rev. Larry TenHaken will officiate. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service, all at the church. Burial will take place on a later date at Forestville Cemetery. Brainard Funeral Home – Weston Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be directed to the family at

Donald Hussong

Donald R. Hussong, 78, Wausau, died unexpectedly Wednesday, Nov. 27 at home.

Donald Hussong

Don was born Sept. 25, 1941, to the late Elmer and Lorene Hussong. He married Nancy Koehler on Feb. 24, 1962. She preceded him in death in 2014.

Don worked for M&J Marine for over 40 years until his retirement in 2011. He was well respected for his expert mechanical abilities.

Don’s passion was his model A cars. He loved restoring them and driving them. He traveled many states and Canada with his sedan, and he was especially proud that this summer after 31 years, his odometer reached 100,000 miles!

Don enjoyed spending time with his family, going to his cottage, road trips, fishing, hunting and playing cards. He loved conversations with family and friends, especially as he was tinkering in his garage. He looked forward to his Saturday morning breakfasts with his car club friends, Wednesday morning coffee clutch and hunting for car parts with close friends.

Don is survived by three daughters, Roxann (Brian) Scheffler, Wausau, Lori (Marvin Jr) Podgorski, Merrill, and Ronda (Raymond Jr) Rogers, Wausau; six grandchildren, Adam (Yvonne) Scheffler, Ashley (Aaron) Ninnemann, Jenna Podgorski (Adam), Brittany (Josh) Kautz, Jacob and Zachary Rogers; seven great grandchildren and six step great grandchildren; sisters Judith Ostrowski and Patricia (Sigmund) Opper, brothers William and Duane, and many brother- and sisters-in-law.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy, his parents, his mother and father-in-law, and brothers Jack and Bernard.

A funeral service will be held at St. Peters Evangelical Lutheran Church, 238537 Del Rio Road, Wausau, at noon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. The Rev Russell Kampfer will officiate. Visitation will be at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams St., Wausau, on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 3-7 p.m. and again at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of service on Friday. Burial will take place in the spring of next year at Restlawn Memorial Park. Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be directed to the family at

Michael “Mike” Hartwig

Michael “Mike” D. Hartwig, 77, died Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Michael “Mike” Hartwig

He was born May 27, 1942, in Bremerton, Washington, son of the late George and Velma (Borden) Hartwig.

When Mike was a toddler, the family moved to Medford, where he attended school. After graduating, he moved to Kansas and then to Galveston, Texas, where he spent most of his life. Although he spent his youth in Wisconsin, his spirit, temperament and body sure loved the warmth and pace of Texas and living on the Gulf of Mexico. Mike was extremely artistic and worked as a floral designer. He created all the floral arrangements for his nieces’ weddings.

Survivors include his sisters, Peggy (Jim) Pagenkopf and Sarah (Jack) Hill; four nieces, Jennifer, Carrie, Catie and Carla; one nephew, Patrick; and “the boys,” Derek and Jacob.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by brother, Patrick, Robert and Dennis Hartwig.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Wausau. Rev. Eric Hauan will officiate.

The family of Mike would like to thank the staff at Aspirus for having such care and compassion with Mike and his family during this difficult time.

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

Helen Schmitt

Helen M. Schmitt, 75, Weston, died Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Helen Schmitt

She was born March 20, 1944, in Phillips, daughter of the late Frank and Marie (Sikyta) Samal. On June 11, 1966, she married Duane Schmitt in Phillips. He survives.

Helen graduated from Phillips High School in 1962. She had been employed in food service at a Rib Mountain school and later with Horace Mann Middle School. Through the years, she enjoyed camping and watching her grandchildren in their various sporting and school events.

Survivors include her husband, Duane Schmitt, two sons, Mike (Wendy) Schmitt, Kronenwetter, and Bob Schmitt, Weston; three grandchildren, Sarah (Robert) Hartman, Austin, Minn., Ethan Schmitt, Weston, and Colby Schmitt, Weston; one great grandson, Owen Hartman.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Richard and a sister, Betty.

Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Schofield.  Rev. Lance Hoelscher will officiate. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the church. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established.

The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the staff of the Aspirus Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit for the compassionate care given to Helen.

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

Dewey Rusch

Duane W. “Dewey” Rusch, 76, of Arkdale, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, after an extended illness.

Dewey Rusch

Dewey was born in Baraboo, Wisconsin, on Jan. 13, 1943, to Carroll and Rosetta (Esselman) Rusch. He grew up in Shopiere, Wisconsin, graduating from Clinton High School in 1961.

He married Kitty Martinek on Oct. 24, 1964, at St. John Lutheran Church in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Dewey worked at Regal Beloit Durst Division for 37 years, retiring in 1998. The couple moved to Arkdale, on Lake Petenwell, where they built their lake house. He then worked at Terrace Homes, retiring in 2005.

He enjoyed his lake house, boating and hunting with his family; did a lot of camping and took many family vacations with Kitty and his children. He also enjoyed spending winters in Port Aransas, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona. His other interests included restoring and working on his 1931 Model A with his son and going to car shows.

Dewey is survived by his wife, Kitty; daughter, Joelle (Steve) Keller of Portage, Wisconsin; son, Bradd (Amber) of Sharon, Wisconsin; sister, Donna Kitelinger; brothers, Dick (Kathy) and Mike (Laura) all of Clinton, Wisconsin; sister-in-law, Jan Rusch of Janesville, Wisconsin; grandchildren, Lauren (Jesus) Rusch, Joe, Ione (Tyler) and Harley West; step-grandchildren, Rachel (Josh) Wendt, Patrick (Chelsae) Keller; great-grandchildren, Kryztov, Lincoln and Jackson; many nieces and nephews; and he adored his scottie, Chloe Rose.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Dick Kitelinger; brother, Carl; sister-in-law, Pat; and great-nephew, Tanner Kitelinger.

There will be no services held. The Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family. For online condolences, please visit