Obituaries are a service of Brainard Funeral Home, with locations in Wausau and Weston.
Peter DeSantis, 84, of Wausau, Wisconsin, passed away Dec. 15, 2019.
Peter was born Sept. 27, 1935, in Ironwood, Michigan, son of the late Peter and Mary DeSantis. He was united in marriage to Patricia Lynn Kirby at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Montreal, Wisconsin. Peter graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1954 and attended Gogebic Community College where he obtained an Associate of Arts degree in 1956. Peter always said it was the best educational experience he had. He went on to Wisconsin State College in Superior where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1958 and majored in speech and history. After being turned down for teaching positions because of his disability and/or religious affiliation, Peter, Pat and daughter Jeanne went on to Michigan State University where he received a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation in 1960. In addition, Peter attended numerous advance studies in management, personnel, finance, service delivery system, prosthetics and orthotics. Following graduation, he was employed by the State of Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation in Akron where he received several awards for his work in developing the first workshop in Kent. Peter developed a rehabilitation program for hearing impaired at Kent State University and services to the state hospital for the mentally ill where he was named the first Rehabilitation Counselor of the Year.
From 1963-65 he was employed by the Adult Rehabilitation Center of the Curative Workshop in Milwaukee. His main responsibility was to develop service systems and coordination of services with other organizations which involved working with the State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Milwaukee County Hospital System and Marquette University Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. From 1965-72 he was the executive director of Northern Valley Workshop and Day Care Center in Wausau. First starting with no facility, Peter worked out of his car. The Workshop developed over the years and ended up in a new facility near Wausau Industrial Park. With the help of Congressman Laird Peter, he obtained the first of many federal, state and private grants. Peter was well known for his grantsmanship bringing in over $25 million, and some are still coming in.
From 1972-1995 Peter was the CEO of North Central Health Care, which was the first federally approved multi-county community mental health system that grew to be one of the most comprehensive delivery systems in the nation. Peter attributed its success to the dedicated families and compassionate staff.
Peter was an active member in many professional organizations. He was very proud to be one of the four founders of the Wisconsin Association of Sheltered Workshops and past president of Wisconsin Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Wisconsin Association of Community Mental Health Centers, Wisconsin Association of Human Services, Governor’s Council on Mental Health, Ohio Portage County Health & Welfare, and National Rehabilitation Region V.
Peter was a member and director of the National Rehabilitation, Counseling, American Personnel & Guidance, International Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Community Mental Health Centers, Wisconsin Association of County Homes, International Association for Mental Health Services, Partnership for Housing, State of Wisconsin Supreme Court Committee on Needs of Elderly and Persons with Disabilities. Peter was a lifelong member and past president of Wausau Noon Optimist and Italian Men’s Club of Wausau. He served on the Governor’s Committee on Reorganization of Education Systems, Chairman of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Mental Health. Peter was recipient of the Special Award for Dedicated Services in Rehabilitation, Wisconsin Counties Human Services Association, and was honored by Wisconsin Counties Association as a Friend of County Government. He was honored to present a paper on deinstitutionalization at the International Conference at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
Peter served on numerous county committees, City/County Data System, Transportation, and 21 years on the Capital Improvement Committee, as well as the Board of Community Care Central Wisconsin. Throughout his career and retirement, Peter was always available to assist with many people calling for advice. He was well known for his political knowledge.
Peter is preceded in death by his loving wife, Pat. Peter met Pat while he was attending college and Pat attending St. Scholastica School of Nursing. There was immediate attraction that continued to grow over their 59 years of marriage. Throughout the years Pat not only raised their five children but was always there to support his work, including dealing with clients needing assistance in power outages. They enjoyed many family trips, especially to Ireland and Italy where they made many personal friends. Peter would always say, let’s go while we’re still young and healthy to enjoy life. Peter and Pat always found the time to enjoy their children whether it was attending school events, playing or traveling. They even tried camping but Peter’s idea of roughing it was to check into a motel. Later on they were blessed with nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren. They were all a joy whether it was telling stories, just talking, playing, trips, cooking or helping with homework.
Peter is survived by his sister, Anna Mae Strand; children, Jeanne DeSantis (Col. Kirk Hopinka, Ret.), David (Kathryn), Thomas, and Monica (David) Tackes; grandchildren, Devanne (Jacob) Skalitzky, Bryan (Kazia) Rehwinkel, Paul (Patty) Tackes, Mitchel (Shelby) DeSantis, Larron (Ashley) Tackes, Andrew (Christine) Tackes, Terry (Samantha) Tackes, Dondrick Tackes, and Robert DeSantis; and great-grandchildren, Ayden, Owen, Porter, Liam, Jaylen, and Legend. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Pat; brothers, Joseph and Robert; and son, Philip.
A Memorial Service will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court Weston, Wisconsin. Nancy Petulla will officiate. Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Online condolences may be shared at www.brainardfuneral.com.
The family wishes to thank the staff from Aspirus for their special care.
Frank A. Tiffany, 88, of Athens passed away Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, while under the care of St. Croix Hospice at Bedrock Health, Abbotsford.
He was born Aug. 24, 1931, in Tomahawk, son of the late Edgar Tiffany and Zella Fish. On Aug. 21, 1954, he married Beverly Smith at St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill. She survives.
For many years, Frank and Beverly farmed in rural Athens until his retirement. Frank also drove for Kenosha Auto Transport for many years. Some of his favorite pastimes included hunting, fishing and spending time with his family; especially his grandchildren.
Frank proudly served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
Survivors include his wife, Beverly Tiffany, Athens, his children, Trina (Peter) Tiffany-Barbella, Athens, Terry (Ann) Tiffany, Merrill, Dorann (Michael) Tiffany-Froh, Lone Rock, James (Connie) Tiffany, Athens and Jeff (Lenore) Tiffany, Athens, 17 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren, four great great grandchildren, two sisters, Joy (Paul) Barker, Tomahawk and VeeVee (George) Van Fossen, Raymond, Washington, and many nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents he was preceded in death by one son, Frank Andrew Tiffany and many siblings.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens. The Rev. Mark Schwalenberg will officiate. Burial will be in Merrill Memorial Park, Merrill. Visitation will be held on Friday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and again on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of services all at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
John “Tiny” Krueger
John “Tiny” C. D. Krueger, 78, Wausau, died Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
He was born June 28, 1941, in Wausau, son of the late Clarence and Eleanor (Zacher) Krueger. On Sept. 23, 1967, he was united in marriage to the love of his life, Patricia “Pat” Cisler at St. Paul Catholic Church, Mosinee. She preceded him in death on May 23, 2011.
Tiny was a former Union Stewart and former Union President at Crestline Windows/SNE Enterprises, Inc. in Mosinee, where he worked until retirement. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for the Crestline/SNE Credit Union.
Tiny had a larger than life personality and a kind giving heart. He loved sharing stories and memories with family and friends and those will live in our hearts forever.
Survivors include, sisters, Lucy (Dave) Tiry, Ripon and Margaret Barber (David Treichel), Stevens Point; brother, Joe Krueger, Wausau; brothers-in-law, Ervin Jr. (Carla) Cisler, Mosinee and Bill Nechuta, Mosinee; sister-in-law, Pamela (Gene) Thanig, Mosinee; Special cousins, Gary Krueger, Donald and Mary Krueger, Ronald Krueger; Special friends, Verlin and Kathy Oelke, Dennis and Mary Blaschka, 17 nieces and nephews who loved him dearly; and numerous other cousins further survive.
Besides his parents and wife, Pat, he was preceded in death by nephew, Matthew Cisler; infant sister, Mary Ann; and sister-in-law, Nancy Nechuta.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, at St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau. Rev. Samuel Martin will preside. Visitation will be on Saturday from 10 a.m. until time of services at the church. Interment will be in the St. Paul Cemetery, Mosinee.
Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
The Rev. Keane Du Wayne Foster, 80, died Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Benedictine Living Community; formerly of R5620 Meridian Road in Athens, Wisconsin, and of 1919 Grand Ave., Schofield, Wisconsin. Born May 29, 1939, in Wausau, Wisconsin. The son of Archie Paul Foster and Martha Josephine Nahring.
While in school Keane worked as an usher at the Hollywood Theatre on Fourth Street in Wausau. Then as manager for the Highway 29 Drive-in Theatre in Schofield where the current Target shopping center is now located. While at the drive-in theatre he was instrumental in running promotions that included “Spook Night Parties” and “Beach Parties.” He also worked with Rev. Vernon Dolde of Peace Church in Schofield by holding church services at the drive-in theatre on Sunday mornings. He was also employed with Jonas Industries Inc. and the Jonas Gun Shop in Rib Mountain until June 1969. On June 1, 1969, he joined Wausau Dodge Inc., on Grand Avenue in Wausau as their secretary/treasurer. He continued there joining as co-owner with the name change to Grand Central Dodge Inc. On April 1, 1980, Jerry Brickner Jr. joined forces with Keane as co-partners. The name was then changed a few years later to Brickner Chrysler center when they obtained the Chrysler franchise to add to the Dodge franchise. Keane retired from Brickner Chrysler Center in July 1997. He moved from Schofield to Athens in December 2005. This was a big change since Keane was a city person all of his life, but this was helped along due to his dedicated work with family history and the number of family members living in the area. He really enjoyed living in this new wide open space, with the kid in him coming out to enjoy playing with all the country toys. Being retired did not mean sitting at home. He was very active in various organizations, such as the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Auto Truck Education Association and the board of the Wausau Cemetery Association.
Keane’s Christian life began as a teacher for adults and children in Christian Education Classes at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Wausau which began in 1958. He was a lay minister at St. Paul’s and enjoyed giving scripture and prayer readings asking with presenting sermons. His plans were to further his ministry education to serve his church, family and friends. He was also active in the visitation ministry for the members of St. Paul’s. He enjoyed listening, praying, and reading to these special people. He always commented that people are so interesting. Keane often marveled at how the fear of talking in front of large groups of people when he was younger had changed, and he always thanked God for His spiritual direction in his life to speak freely before a large congregation. He took independent home study courses along with classes with the United Church of Christ lay Academy. This was a personal accomplishment of which he never wanted to gloat about. Keane received his certificate to be a Licensed Minister on Dec. 8, 2011, with installation on Jan. 22, 2012, at St. Paul’s. He had full capacity for all ministerial actions of the church. His ministry did not stop there. he expanded his faith direction at his home in Athens with the “Faith Ranch Ministries”. He took his oaths and commitments seriously. He knew he would always have to answer to a higher authority. He developed a chapel setting in his woods just west of his home. A special twenty foot cross was installed next to the chapel that came from a friend of his that obtained the cross from Trinity Church which had been removed for remodeling. On Good Friday 2009 Keane started his annual special Good Friday Services at his home with a walk to the cross in the woods. This was a special faith time for him and those that attended this service. Each year the attendance grew.
Keane was a Patrol Officer with the Wausau Emergency Police Unit and enjoyed serving that position working under the main Wausau Police Department. Keane was aggressive in ideas for the group to become better and be ready for the “what if’s” that could happen in the community. He was always there to help and always appreciated being of help to other officers and the people of the city of Wausau. He swore an oath and took that oath seriously. He immensely enjoyed going on “ride alongs” with the regular officers. This fulfilled a dream of being a part of the law enforcement program. He always wished he could go on more of those ride alongs. He was promoted to Corporal, Benevolent Chairperson, and Quarter Master. Keane was then promoted to Sergeant which took effect at the January 2010 Annual Banquet. Keane had once commented that after high school he wanted to get involved with working for the FBI as he would have enjoyed the investigations, such as paper crimes. Due to personal problems with family at home, this did not come to fruition.
Keane was a past member of the Wausau Jaycees, Noon Optimist Club, American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, and a Life Member, Endowment Member, and Legion of Honor member of the National Rifle Association. He was also a member in the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, the Marathon County Genealogical Society, and the South Area Business Association. Furthermore, he worked on the Schofield Centennial Fun Days 2004 Committee for budget and finance.
He was elected to the Dodge Dealer Council and a member of the Dodge Delta Sales Club. He was secretary/treasurer of the Wausau areas New Car Dealers Association (Feb. 11, 1983 – July 1997). He belonged to the Dodge Brothers Club, Walter P. Chrysler Restorers Club, Mopar Performance Club, Team dodge. He was also a member of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War for his paternal great grandfather Nathum Cromwell and one for his maternal great grandfather Herman Nahring.
Keane was active in drag racing along with being instrumental in obtaining a new Daytona from Chrysler which was converted into a rear wheel drive vehicle and raced by Keane’s cousin Jim Reissman. Keane also tried his freedom in flying, obtaining his student license and accomplishing his solo flight and April 28, 1978, at the Wausau Municipal Airport in a Grumman American AA-1 aircraft being a member of the Private Fighter Pilot in the EEgie Squadron. He had his fun with owning motorcycles, snowmobiles, four-wheelers, Go Karts, special RZR Polaris 4×4 and Polaris Ranger. Keane also liked shooting, from hand guns to rifles and shot guns. the only complaint he ever made was not getting in enough shooting with friends. Then there was the Gatling Gun that his brother in law Clement Olbrantz made for him. We also remember his vehicles (all Dodges of course) the R/T Nitro 4×4, the semi Ram 4×4 pick up, and is pride, a 1987 Daytona Shelby Turbo with inner cooler. He later had a Dodge Ram Caravan that was used for his church activities. Most recently he had a dark red 2013 Dodge Durango. He had a collection of special Dodges and models cars which are now lovingly in the hands of family and friends. He enjoyed the car business and was so happy being able to have demo vehicles that were available to him over the years.
Keane liked animals and had a special dog companion around while growing up. He even liked the wild ones on his property, including the deer, foxes, and bears.
He was involved with family genealogy on both sides of the family. Some records he had traced back to 1600 Germany with over 750 family names in the listings. he was instrumental in having an annual family reunion each year which he started in July 1998. He was recognized for his efforts at family reunion with a Five Year Certificate from the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society in August of 2002. Due to his personal genealogy work, he was instrumental in setting up a Genealogy Club for St. Paul’s United Church of Christ and being asked to make presentations for other organizations. He won first place out of a class of 28 with his entry for 2004 with Walter P Chrysler photo meet with his 1987 Flash Red Dodge Shelby Z with only 9,997 miles.
While working with Chrysler, Keane had his original training with Chrysler Marketing Investment. He passed on the opportunity to work for Chrysler Corporation in the Marketing Investment Division due to the amount of travel that would have taken him away from home. He was a member of Chrysler’s honor society of Accountants and Chrysler Management Development. He obtained numerous awards including several of Chryslers Five Star Awards, Service professionals Awards, the Pentastar awards for Excellence. He was given many Chrysler trips including his ten day trip to Australia which he talked about often. One accomplishment that he was very proud of was that of bringing Brickner Chrysler Center to be number six in their group in the nation of dealers with the highest service absorption. This was an honor showing customer satisfaction along with business expense control and profitability.
Keane was a very dedicated individual toward his career with Chrysler and with the dealer people with Wausau Dodge, Grand Central Dodge, and with the Brickner family. He was proud to be co-owner with Jerry Brickner Junior. Keane thought very highly of his many friends, as they were very important to him and tried to help them out in any way possible. Keane had many friends, and he always welcomed more.
Keane always stated that God gave us life to enjoy. In one of his sermons which was based on the reading from the Gospel of John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” It is so true. Take hold and enjoy what God’s offering you. So take a lesson from Keane, and take hold and enjoy what God is offering you.
Survivors include his sisters, Lorraine Olbrantz, Wausau and Marlene Fleming, Florida; and 15 nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Gordon Foster, sister, Ruth Lewis, brothers-in-law, Walter “Jack” Lewis, Clem Olbrantz and James Fugerer.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau. Rev. Teri Hanson will officiate. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau. Visitation will be Friday 12:30 p.m. until the time of services, all at the Sixth Street funeral home.
A complete obituary can be viewed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
John “Jack” Ludkey
John “Jack” Eagan Ludkey has closed the door from his earthly life on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, and entered the glorious kingdom of his Lord and Savior, where his soul will live forever. We commend his spirit to eternal life as we remember his time with us.
John was born on Sept. 28, 1928, to Richard and Myrtle Ludkey and grew up in Edgar, Wisconsin. In 1951, he joined the U.S. Army and served his country as a medic in Korea. During his service, he received a number of medals for his bravery and heroic work assisting and helping save his fellow soldiers. After his discharge, he returned to work at Wausau Insurance Co. for 40 years as a forms designer and specialist. His leisure time was spent hunting, fishing, golfing and, of course, the Packers.
He married the love of his life, Marcella Belter, on May 2, 1953. John was very proud of the life he built with Marcie and together they raised four children, Jeffrey (Janell), Terri (Robert) Wiederhoeft, Jay, and Jody (Charlotte). He was blessed with seven grandchildren, Gabriel, Jared, Tiffany, Adam, Amy, Kaycie, and Mitchell; and six great-grandchildren, Lillie, Sidney, Eagan, Isaac, Cullen, and Eliza. John’s family was his greatest joy. He is also survived by many loving in-laws, and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Myrtle; brother, Robert; and son, Jeffrey. John is now enjoying his new life in Christ with those family and friends that have passed before him.
John may be gone in body but his spirit lives on, and we remember him well with those memories we hold dear to our hearts. A celebration of his life will be on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Wausau. Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. when the Mass of Christian Burial will be held. Military honors will follow provided by American Legion Montgomery-Plant-Dudley Post 10.
You may sign the family guestbook at www.helke.com.
The family requests that memorials be made to St. Matthew Catholic Church or to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services. The care John received from his special caregivers gave him comfort and companionship in his final days. We thank Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for their support and loving care to John.
Edith “Judi” Giese
Edith I. Giese (nee Olson), known as “Judi” to her family and friends, passed away peacefully at 80 years of age on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. She spent her last years as a resident of Cranberry Court in Wisconsin Rapids, where she received excellent care.
Born Oct. 31, 1939, to the late Clarence and Leona (Flatoff) Olson, she grew up in Biron, one of 10 children.
Judi was a devoted wife to Gerald; mother to Robert (Debbie) of Waukesha, Randall (Teri) of Buckeye, Arizona, and Kelly; grandmother to Drew, Gabby, Connor and Justin.
She was a big follower of Rapids wrestling back in the 1970s-80s, and loved NASCAR, the Packers, and also enjoyed cooking, baking and occasional trips to the casino.
Judi was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Gerald; son, Kelly; and five of her siblings.
She will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, at the John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 631 E. Grand Ave. in Wisconsin Rapids. A procession will take place to Forest Hill Mausoleum Chapel for an 11:30 a.m. committal service officiated by Deacon Vern Linzmeier.
For online condolences, please visit www.HonorOne.com.