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

Elizabeth “Betty” Smith

Elizabeth Jane Smith, 103, Wausau, died Sunday, December 15, 2019 at Stonecrest Residence under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Betty was born January 30, 1916 in Rhinelander to the late Charles and Jeanette (Burnsen) Smith. She worked for Kemper Hall Episcopal girls school in Kenosha for many years.

Betty was an active member of the altar guild at Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church, leading the guild for 15 years. She was also active in the choir, an Associate Community of St. Mary’s Western Province, volunteered at the Talent Shop with the Committee on Aging. In her free time, Betty enjoyed knitting and collecting stamps and coins.

Betty is survived by her nieces and nephews, Nancy (Chuck) Lampman, Kathy (Jeff) Martin, Charles (Stephanie) Smith and Richard (Lindy) Smith; and 9 grand-nieces and nephews and their spouses, and 20 great-grand-nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her brother, Charles Smith.

The funeral service for Betty will be at 10:30 AM on Friday, January 3, 2020 at Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church (330 McClellan Street, Wausau). The Reverend D. Copeland Johnston will officiate. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM on Thursday, January 2 at Helke Funeral Home; resuming on Friday at 10:00 AM until the time of service at the church. Burial will be at Pine Grove Cemetery. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.

Memorials for Betty may be directed to her church, Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church (330 McClellan Street, Wausau, WI 54403).


Ferdinand Paul

Ferdinand (Ferdie) Paul of Athens, passed away peacefully December 21, 2019. 

Ferdie was born to Ferdinand J Paul, Sr at Sidonia Bergman on August 15, 1937.  Ferdie attended schools in the Athens area.  After graduation he joined the Army Airforce and served from 1956 to 1959.

In 1961 Ferdie married the love of his life, Lois Bonkoski.  Together they farmed in the Athens area for 58 years.  Ferdie is survived by his loving wife Lois and daughters Shelley (Dickie) Sleight of Manitowish Waters, Debbie (Elmer) Olson of Medford, & Sandra (Bill) Muehlbauer of Withee.  Ferdie is further survived by 6 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren & his dog Daisie.

Siblings are Norbert Paul of Tripoli, Dorothy Paul of West Bend, Janice  ( Don) Rauen of Wausau, & Dale (Karen) Paul of Edgar.

Ferdie is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents & 2 sons Steven & David.

The family would like to thank Pastor Terri Hanson of the United Church of Christ and special friends Thomas Treweek, Roger and Mark Ewan.  Also, the family would like to express a special thank you to the caregivers and staff of Hope Hospice

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial contributions be given to Hope Hospice of Medford, WI.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date for family and close friends.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home of Schofield is serving the family.  For online condolences, please visit HonorOne.com.


Herman Alfred Liebers

Herman A. Liebers, 84, of the Town of Harding, passed away on Monday, December 23, 2019 at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital, Weston.

Herman was born December 7, 1935 in Wausau, son of the late Alfred and Irene Liebers. He married Janet Graap on July 12, 1958 in Merrill. She preceded him in death on May 13, 2001. Herman had been a heavy equipment operator with road construction. In his younger years he enjoyed deer hunting. More recently he enjoyed taking care of his lawn, gardening, canning, and cooking for his family.

Herman is survived by his son, Paul (Julie) Liebers, Town of Harding; two grandsons, Dustin (Tara) Liebers and Travis Liebers, both of the Merrill area; one sister, Arlene Krueger, Wausau; and one brother, Dennis (Jane) Liebers, Appleton. Besides his parents and wife, Herman is preceded in death by a brother, Ronald Liebers; a brother in law, Ronald Krueger; and a sister in law, Karen Graap.

A visitation for family and friends will begin at 9:30 AM on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at the Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill. At 12 Noon family and friends will proceed to St. Paul’s Cemetery, Town of Corning for a graveside service.

Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com.


Mitchell Lee Hefty

Mitchell Lee Hefty, 57 of Eland, died unexpectedly on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital, Weston.

He was born on February 18, 1962 in Madison, the son of the late Claude and Blanche (Berg) Eggerstaffer.

On August 7, 2001, Mitchell was united in marriage to Kristi Rosenow in Madison. She survives.

Mitch was a self-employed auto body repairman and once owned Rural Auto Body in Daleyville, WI. Mitch moved to the area in 2001. He loved spending time with his family, friends and dogs, and loved anything automotive.

Mitch is survived by his wife, Kristi; children, Jeremy (Kassara Kirker) Hefty, Chad Downs, Alexander (Danielle Mattson) Downs, Trevor Hefty and Travis Hefty; grandchildren, Kyler and Kiara Hefty and Evan and Elaina Downs; siblings, Duane Hefty, Larry (Rita) Hefty and Jeff Hefty and niece and nephew, Tori and Dylan Hefty.

Mitch was preceded in death by his parents and nephew Michael.

Memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at Congregation Church in Birnamwood. Rev. Richard Brunner will officiate.
Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories may be shared at schmidtschulta.com


Gail Marie Spranger

Gail Marie Spranger, 73 of Weston, died on Thursday, December 26, 2019 at her home under the care of her family and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Gail was born on December 19, 1946 in Tigerton, the daughter of the late Jesse and Adeline Low.

On July 31, 1965, Gail was united in marriage to Gary Spranger at St. Philomena Catholic Church, Birnamwood. He survives.

Following their wedding, the couple moved to Illinois for 53 years before returning to Wisconsin in July of 2018 to be near family.

Gail’s career included Buying, Accounting, Human Resources, with her last job as Office/Human Resource Manager for Sycamore Precision, in Genoa, Illinois for 18 years.

Gail was actively involved in religious and community service work. She loved planting flowers, gardening in the spring and the beautiful colors of fall. Her hobbies included knitting and crocheting. She loved playing dice and games with family and friends.

Gail is survived by her husband, Gary; two sons, Greg Spranger of Burlington, WI and Gary Spranger of Weston; two grandsons, Garett (friend Amber) Spranger of Green Bay and Conner Spranger of Burlington; one great-granddaughter, Alana of Green Bay; three brothers, Ken Low of Birnamwood, Curt (Evelyn) Low of Birnamwood and Kevin (Denise) Low of Eland; two sisters, Carolyn (Doc) Pfefferle of Birnamwood and Julie (Jerry) Trebus of Weston; one brother-in-law, Chet Matz of Eland and one sister-in-law, Helen Low of Rochester, MN.

Gail was preceded in death by her parents, Jesse and Adeline Low; brothers, Donald and Robert Low and sisters, Mary Low and Sharon Matz.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11AM on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Weston (Callon). Fr. Greg Bohren will officiate. Visitation will be from 4PM to 8PM on Friday at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg and again on Saturday from 9:30AM until the time of Mass at the church.

Memories and messages of support may be shared at schmidtschulta.com.
The family suggests memorials be given to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for the wonderful care given to Gail and her family.

To send flowers to the family of Gail Marie Spranger, please visit Tribute Store.


Viola “Weshok” LaMere

Viola V. LaMere, “Weshok”, 91 of Ringle, died on Sunday, December 22, 2019 at Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital, Weston.

She was born on November 8, 1928 in Crandon, the daughter of the late John and Ida (Barney) Sunco. On June 28, 1953, Viola was united in marriage to Angelo LaMere in Wittenberg. He preceded her in death on February 23, 1981.

Viola enjoyed her trips to the casino and visiting with others. She had a knack for bead work and created and sewed teepees. She enjoyed puzzle books and crocheting. Viola also had a soft spot for all animals but especially dogs and cats.

Viola is survived by her children, Bruce (Faye) LaMere of Tomahawk, Kerwin LaMere of Kronenwetter, Penny (Alton) Smart of Ringle, Leah (Edi) Calderon of Ringle, Kelly (Jamie) LaMere of Wittenberg, April (Mike) LaMere of Elderon and Kathy (Delbert) LaMere of Wittenberg; 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and several other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two sisters and one brother.

Commitment Service will be held at 1:00pm on Thursday, December 26, 2019 at the Siga Funmaker Community Center, Wittenberg. A meal will be served on Thursday at 11am at the center. Mr. Corwin Roth will officiate. Burial will be in the Native American Cemetery, Wittenberg. Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 1pm to 5pm at the Siga Center.

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

To send flowers to the family of Viola “Weshok” LaMere, please visit Tribute Store.

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