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Wausau area obituaries, Dec. 4, 2019

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

Gloria Prochnow

Gloria Marie Prochnow (Paglini), 85, of Friendship, Wisconsin, went home to Jesus on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. She was born to the late Paul and Inna Klemke on June 30, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois.

Gloria Prochnow

On March 24, 1973, Gloria married John “JC” Prochnow, the love of her life. JC brought out her fearless side, challenging her to ride snowmobiles, motorcycles, try new things. They volunteered for many activities and organizations together, serving others for the past 46 years.

Gloria was a courageous woman who survived cancer, earned her GED in 1974 and went on to work as a pharmacy technician in Mundelein, Illinois, for 25 years, until she and her husband, JC, retired in Friendship, Wisconsin, in 2001.

She treasured her family and their time spent together. She loved reading, crafting, puzzles, her gardens, being a member of the Red Hat Society and socializing with friends both old and new. She enriched the life of everyone she met through the power of kindness and friendship.

She is preceded in death by her brothers Paul and Donald Klemke, son Carl Paglini Sr. and is survived by her husband, JC, Josie her beloved Yorkshire terrier, daughter Joann Tompkins-Winborn, son Gregory Paglini (Heidi), daughter Debbie Mohelnitzky (Ric) and daughter Dawn Paglini, 17 grandchild and 19 great grandchildren.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Tender Reflections Memory Care of Weston and Ministry at Home Hospice of Wausau, who demonstrated kindness and compassion while caring for her during her final days.

Please join family and friends to share your personal memories and celebrate Gloria’s life on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Spot In the Woods, 1940 17th Court, Friendship, Wisconsin 54613.

In honor of her memory, love for children, and spirit of giving, the family is asking those who attend to please bring an unwrapped toy, fuzzy blanket or children’s book, in lieu of flowers. These gifts will be donated to The Adams County Angel Tree Program, which will, in turn, distribute them to local families, so they can provide Christmas gifts to their children.

For those who are unable to attend, monetary donations can be sent by mail to: The Angel Tree, P.O. Box 334, Adams, WI 53901.

Roseberry’s Funeral Home is assisting the family. Visit www.roseberrys.com for online condolences and further information.


Lorraine Zilisch

Lorraine Zilisch, 93, died Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, at Sylvan Crossing, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Lorraine Zilisch

She was born June 12, 1926, in the town of Easton, daughter of the late Gustave Sr. and Minnie (Rick) Mueller. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the town of Easton. She met her lifelong love, Weldon, at a dance in Nutterville. They were married May 25, 1946, also at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Survivors include three children, Tom Zilisch, Barbara (Mark) Torzewski, Scott (Sue) Zilisch. She is further survived by six grandchildren; Matthew (Brandy) Zilisch, Jennifer (Jason) Kummerow, Phillip Zilisch, Trent (Jessica Meyer), Troy (Sarah Andersen) and Hannah (Tyler Ninneman) Torzewski; three great grandchildren, Jordan Russell, Baylee and Blake Zilisch. She also is survived by one brother-in-law, Hank Dakai, and one sister-in-law, Beverly Mueller, along with many special nieces, nephews and friends.

Lorraine was preceded in death by her husband, Weldon, her daughter-in-law, Jayne, her parents, three brothers and three sisters.

Our mom had a wonderful personality. She was kind, caring, generous and loving. She was very strong in her faith and she always said, “I’ve lived a good life!” We will miss her so much!

Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at Zion Lutheran Church, 709 Sixth St., Wausau. Rev. Joseph Prinzl will officiate. Visitation will be on Friday, Dec. 20, from 10 a.m. until the time of services at the church. Burial will be in Forestville Cemetery in the spring. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Zion Lutheran Church.

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


Chong Cha Yang

Chong Cha Yang, 61, Wausau, passed away Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Chong Cha Yang

He was born Feb. 1, 1958, in Laos to Txawj Yeeg Yaj and Mao Chang. He married Chao Xiong Dec. 3, 1977.

He served as a soldier in the United States Special Guerrilla Unit from 1972-1978; immigrated his family to the U.S. in Akron, Ohio, in 1980 then relocated to Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1993, where he lived his remaining days. He worked at Marathon County Courthouse until retirement in May 2018. He was most dedicated to worshiping God.

Survivors include his wife, Chao X. Yang, three sisters, Ju Yang, Ger (Cher Xiong Moua) Yang and Zay(Cher Thao) Yang, three sons, Carl (Zuag) Yang, Luke (Keo) Yang, PJ (Zoua) Yang, three daughters, Youa (Tou Lee) Yang, Mai (Nick) Friese and Mai La Yang and 11 grandchildren, Eva Lee, Porsche Yang, Conan Yang, Cain Yang, Charleen Yang, Honey Yang, Chloe Yang, Lana Lee, Abigail Lee, Alexis Lee and Charlize Lee.

He was preceded in death by his son, Charing “Mike” Yang.

Services will be held Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave., Wausau. Interment will be on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, at Gate of Heaven, Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.


Mavis Krueger

Mavis E. Krueger, 91, Wausau, died Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, at her home.

Mavis Krueger

She was born Feb. 18, 1928, in the town of Stettin, daughter of the late Hugo and Ida (Steidinger) Wendorff.  Mavis was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the town of Stettin, where on June 3, 1949, she married Victor Krueger. He preceded her in death on Dec. 20, 1993.

Mavis was born and raised on the family farm in the town of Stettin. After her marriage to Victor, they ran a dairy farm for many years and later raised ginseng. For many years she was a member of the Altar Guild and was also a charter member of the Women’s Bible Study group at her church. She loved traveling, cooking, baking, canning and tending to her flower beds. Chili and chicken dumpling soup were a couple of her favorite dishes to make and her family truly enjoyed them both. She was also a charter member of the Pommerscherveron Club of Wisconsin.

Survivors include her children, Margo (John) Bergs, Marathon Vicki (Michael) Cherek, Suamico and Marlo (Lynn) Krueger, Marathon; granddaughters, Marissa (Andrew) Wenig, Olivia Cherek, Vanessa Krueger, Ava Krueger and two sisters-in-law, LaVila Luedtke, Edgar and Marilyn Krueger, Grendale.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Lutheran Church in the town of Stettin. Burial will be in Stettin Christian Cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave., Wausau, and again on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of services at the church. There will be a prayer service at 7 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.


Jacob “Jack” Altenhofen

Jacob “Jack” G. Altenhofen, 82, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, after a brave battle with Parkinson’s on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019.

Jacob “Jack” Altenhofen

He was born June 25, 1937, in Marathon, son of the late Jacob and Victoria (Kohlbeck) Altenhofen. On May 9, 1964, he married Marion Corda in Wausau.

Jack served his country in the United States Air Force and before retirement worked for 36 years at Wisconsin Public Service as a substation electrician. He enjoyed gardening, growing pumpkins, making maple syrup and was also a master Sheepshead player. He was a Jack-of-all-trades, especially when it came to building things.  Jack was a loving husband, father and grandfather who also had a great love for dogs.

Survivors include his wife, Marion Altenhofen; children, Scott (Michelle), Daniel (Dana) and Glen (Natalie) Altenhofen; grandchildren, Kyle, Kate, Haylee, Hunter and Marlena Altenhofen; sister, Vicky (Ken) Petznick; many other relatives and friends.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Mary Ann; infant son, Ronald; twin brother, Jim Altenhofen; sister, Catherine Gassner; brothers, Roger and Charles Altenhofen; and David Kohlbeck.

Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Diermeier will officiate. Visitation will be Wednesday from noon until the time of services, all at the Marathon funeral home. Private burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

The family would like to thank Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for their assistance and compassion throughout the last several months.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.


Jean Erickson

Jean S. Erickson, 85, of Wausau, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.

Jean Erickson

She was born in Wausau on May 28, 1934, to the late Carroll and Beulah (Jordahl) Swenson.

After graduating high school in 1952, she studied nursing in Chicago until 1955. She then worked at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. Overall, Jean was proud of her work as a registered nurse for over 25 years.

She married Ronald Erickson on Aug. 30, 1958. Together, they raised three wonderful children, Scott, Bruce and Karen.

Jean was active in Christian Women’s Club setting up and leading Bible studies. She felt it was important to be active in politics and help elect good moral candidates. She also worked at Wausau Hospital for 20 years.

Jean enjoyed the Sons of Norway and was passionate about her Scandinavian Heritage. Her final statement is: “We only have one life and only what’s done for Christ will last.”

She will truly be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Jean is survived by her husband Ron of 61 years; her children, Scott (Ginger) Erickson, Bruce (Rachel) Erickson and Karen (Mike) Benacka; as well as her five grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Jean was preceded in death by her late brother David Swenson.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at Immanuel Baptist Church, 5100 Hummingbird Road, Wausau (Rib Mountain). Rob Love will officiate. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of services at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes memorials in Jean’s honor, be directed to Immanuel Baptist.

The family wishes to thank Jean’s friend MaryAnn Dykes for her outstanding love and care, as well as Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for their compassion and care during these difficult days.

Family and friends may go to www.helke.com to leave online condolences.


Elaine DeMario

Elaine M. Demario, 65, of Wausau passed away on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, shortly after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

She was born in Ironwood, Michigan, on March 6, 1954, the youngest daughter of the late John and Jenny Honkanen of Hurley, Wisconsin. She met and fell in love with her high school sweetheart, Robert Demario. They moved to Wausau right after Elaine graduated. On Sept. 22, 1973, they were married in Hurley, Wisconsin. Elaine worked as the office manager for CTL before retiring.

Working in her flower and vegetable gardens, watching football and being outdoors enjoying nature were some of the things that Elaine liked to do. But most important to her were her friends and family. Elaine will be missed by many.

Elaine is survived by her husband of 46 years, Bob; her two brothers, Don Honkanen of Hurley, Wisconsin, and Dave Honkanen of Brown Deer, Wisconsin; as well as her nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Elaine was preceded in death by her sister Janice Johnson.

Family and friends may go to helke.com to leave an online condolence.


Esther-Jean Parker

On Aug. 19, 1926, Esther-Jean Nichols  was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, to Ernest Nichols and Winifred Riggs Nichols. The family moved to Wichita, Kansas, when Esther was an infant, and then to New York City when she was 5 years old. In New York, Ernest worked for many years as a nurse at Bellevue Hospital and Winifred taught piano and voice at the Metropolitan Opera House. The family was members of the 15th Street (Quaker) Meeting. Esther was the youngest of four children that included two brothers, Lindley and Herbert, and one sister, Ernestine. Esther was proud of her Quaker heritage and she loved New York City with its tall skyscrapers, subway system, cultural opportunities (especially Carnegie Hall), and beautiful Central Park. When Esther was a teenager, she worked at Macy’s and regularly attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. After moving to the Midwest, she faithfully watched the parade every year, joyfully remembering the happy days of her childhood in the city she loved.

Esther-Jean Parker

During World War II, a friend from Esther’s church arranged a blind date for her with a young man who while serving his country in the Merchant Marine was in New York, far from his home in Pittsville, Wisconsin. Esther was immediately drawn to Arnold with his kind and caring ways and his wavy red hair. And Arnold fell in love with Esther-Jean, who believed in him from the start, encouraged him and soon loved him without reservation. He loved to hear her sing and thought she had the voice of an angel. Their faith in God and in one another would last through 68 years of marriage. When Arnold felt called to the ministry, Esther agreed to leave their comfortable home in Levittown and move to Chicago, where Arnold attended Bible College. Their marriage would often face severe financial tests, but their faith in God and in one another would sustain them and give them great joy that they shared unreservedly with those around them.

Six years ago, God called Arnold home to be with him. That night, Esther’s granddaughter (Heather Jeffers Zahner) laid beside her grandma in bed. She held Esther’s hand, comforting this precious grandma who had been her comforter throughout the tender years of childhood. Esther’s children and grandchildren worried about her that night, and wondered how she would go on.

Esther spent the final years of her life at Atrium Post Acute Care in Wisconsin Rapids. Throughout her days there, despite many physical challenges, Esther looked for ways to encourage others. She became the family cheerleader, continually praising the efforts of her children and grandchildren. She loved every visit from family and friends. She was grateful for emails, phone calls and books that others sent to enrich her life (so many sent by her dear niece, Elizabeth Parker Allen). Esther enjoyed the company of old friends and dear ladies who make it their ministry to visit nursing home residents regularly. She was deeply appreciative of the kind workers at Atrium who cheerfully and tenderly cared for her. She thanked them profusely and meant it from the bottom of her heart. She treasured the visits and special attention given to her by Heartland hospice caregivers and volunteers.

At this bittersweet moment, Esther’s family mourns their loss but celebrates her happiness as she has met her Savior and been reunited with Arnold, and many other cherished family and friends who have been waiting for her. Esther is survived by one son: Jonathan (Nancy); two daughters: Winnie (Gary) Jeffers, Claudia (Andrew) Kikuta; five granddaughters: Heather, Tiffany, Jessica, Angela, Bethany; six grandsons: Christopher, Gary II, Daineal, Corey, Micah, Steven, all of their spouses and many loving great grandchildren.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Esther-Jean’s family and friends are invited to gather at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 631 E. Grand Ave. in Wisconsin Rapids to share joyful memories together, sing some of the hymns Esther loved so much, and pay tribute to a dear and special person whose life was a blessing to so many.


Elizabeth Michalski

Elizabeth A. Michalski, 50, of Wausau passed away after a long battle with lupus and fibromyalgia on Dec. 1, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital with her family by her side. She was born to Steven and Ruth (Beckman) Matuszak on April 13, 1969, in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Elizabeth Michalski

Even though she battled with her illness she still found time to dabble in the culinary arts. She enjoyed getting dressed up for dinner, going out on the town followed by either a movie or a show at the grand. She enjoyed swimming with dolphins, but most of all she strongly believed in family and all it stands for. Always making sure they were taken care of, always putting them before her. Beth thank you for all the wonderful memories. Now you can spend time with past family and be free of pain and suffering.

She is survived by her husband, Russell, son Jon and daughter Megan (fiancé Taylor Austin), parents Steven and Ruth Matuszak. A visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 948 Grand Ave., Schofield. Burial will be at Restlawn Memorial Park in Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Lupus Foundation of America, 2600 N. Mayfair Road, Suite 320, Milwaukee, WI 53226. 414-443-6400

Online condolences maybe expressed at www.HonorOne.com.


Ronald Firkus

Ronald J. Firkus, 64, of Rosholt passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, at his home with his wife, Cindy Kostuch of 40 years by his side. He was born to the late Casmir and Helen (Harzowski) Firkus on July 14, 1955, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He married Cindy on Sept. 29, 1979, at St. Albert’s Catholic Church in Rosholt. Together they celebrated 45 years. Ron enjoyed going to view the old cars at the Iola Old Car Show and walking through the swap meet with Cindy every year. He was even at the very first car show that was held at the Iola Park.

He also enjoyed woodworking, gardening, landscaping, fishing, hunting watching the Green Bay Packers, going up North to his brother-in-law’s cabin, but most of all he loved being with his wife, two sons who were his world, and his one granddaughter, Evelyn Grace, who was the “apple of his eye.”

He is survived by his wife, Cindy; two sons, Cole (Krystle) and Dean (Megan) Firkus; one granddaughter, Evelyn Grace; siblings, Grace (Arnold) Filtz, Richard (Mary) Firkus, Irvin Firkus, Dennis Firkus, and Fred (Louise) Firkus; in-laws, Robert (Melanie) Kostuch, Faith (Melvin) Boge, Duane (Alicia) Kostuch, Christine Kostuch; and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Casmir and Helen Firkus; father and mother-in-law, George and Natalie (Landowski) Kostuch; and brother-in-law, Dennis; along with his favorite four legged friend, Abby.

Family would like to send out a special thank you to Cindy Yonker (who was Ron’s angel), Aspirus Hospice, family and neighbors for all the wonderful help and support they showed during this time.

Ron was a wonderful husband, amazing father and a loving grandpa. He will truly be missed by so many.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at the American Legion Hall in Rosholt, 290 Grand Ave. E., Rosholt, Wisconsin. Friends may visit from noon to 4 p.m.

The Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family. For online condolences, please visit www.HonorOne.com.


Judith Herrold

Judith Ann Herrold, PhD., 82, Stevens Point, died Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, at the Portage County Health Care Center. She was born Feb. 22, 1937, to Dr. Alden E. and Helen B. (Reed) Herrold. Her brother, Dr. Jon Herrold, and her parents preceded her in death. She is survived by her nephews and niece, Michael Herrold, Thorntown, Indiana, Sheri (Herrold) Potts of South Bend, Indiana, and Jeff Herrold of Canyon Lake, Texas; and a Godchild, Cathy J. Van Dyn Hoven, Wisconsin.

Judith Herrold

Judy was an emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and held joint appointments in the Schools of Health Promotion/Human Development, and Health Exercise Science/Athletics. She was a specialist in teaching physiology of exercise and human anatomy, retiring in 2001-2002 academic year after 34 years of teaching.

Judy established one of the first human anatomy labs in the state. She was also one of the first women certified by American College of Sports Medicine in exercise technology in the late 1970s. She was well known for advising students in pre-med, nursing, physical therapy, majors in physical education and health and wellness. Judy was active in UWSP faculty senate.

In addition to her teaching, Judy, spent a lifetime enjoying music. She played piano, trombone and her favorites, flute and piccolo. She played in many groups over the years, including the Laporte, Indiana, City Band, Michigan City, Indiana, Municipal Band, Indiana University Symphonic Band, and more recently the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, Stevens Point City Band and the Stevens Point Grenadiers.

A memorial service will be held at United Methodist Church, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Stevens Point, Wisconsin, on Dec. 9, 2019, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Minister Tim O’Brien will preside, 4 p.m. welcome in the fellowship room, light meal provided, 4:30-5:30 minister open service; invite stories/music/memories shared; 6 p.m. closure.

In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to contribute to the Judith Ann Herrold AT Professional Scholarship. Checks can be mailed to the UWSP Foundation, 2100 Main St., 134 Old Main, Stevens Point, WI  54481.

The Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family and friends of Judith. For online condolences, please visit www.HonorOne.com.


 

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