Norman Thurs Norman V. Thurs, 90, Athens, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, at Ascension Saint Clare’s Hospital, Weston. He was born Sept. 17, 1929, in the town of Hamburg, one of five sons to the late Gustave and Gertrude (Mueller) Thurs. For 37 years, Norman worked as a manager for the Athens Co-Op, a job he truly loved. He was a lifelong member of St. Peter Lutheran Church, Hamburg, and a member of the Pomeranian German Club and the Hamburg Fire Department. Among his favorite pastimes, he enjoyed fishing, working in the woods, spending time with his family at “The World’s Fair” in Athens, watching the Milwaukee Brewers and he loved his John Deere 420 tractor. Most of all, Norman enjoyed helping family and friends when needed and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. Survivors include two brothers, Harvey (Mavis) Thurs, Weston and Elgart Thurs, Hamburg; one sister-in-law, Alladine Thurs, Merrill; and many nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Wilmer Thurs and Orville Thurs; and two sisters-in-law, Iris Thurs and Shirley Thurs. Visitation will be on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, from 10 a.m. until time of service at St. Peter Lutheran Church, town of Hamburg. Funeral service will be at noon. Rev. Philip Bogen will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Ministry Home Care Hospice in Rhinelander. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Ascension Saint Clare’s Hospital, Ministry Home Care Hospice and Bell Tower in Merrill for the outstanding care they provided. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
Gary Burmeister Gary Lee Burmeister, 69, town of Rib Falls, passed away peacefully on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, while under the care of Heartland Hospice Care at Wausau Manor. He was born Sept. 8, 1950, son of the late Henry and Barbara (Williamson) Burmeister. On Nov. 3, 1973, he married, what Gary referred to as his “Queen”, Suzanne “Suzie” Dombrowski at St. Mary Catholic Church, Marathon. She survives. Gary was a man of many talents and a very hard worker. Gary loved being with family and friends. For many years, Gary and Suzie farmed in the town of Rib Falls. He later went on to run Burmeister Machinery and Excavating, Burmeister Custom Round Baling, selling firewood, and Burmeister Motors with son Lee. Gary enjoyed attending the Hodag Country Music Festival, Fuddfest, camping and listening to country and polka music. Survivors include his wife Suzie Burmeister, Marathon, his treasured children, Albert (Cheryl) Burmeister, Wisconsin Rapids, and Lynette (Jeremy) Bryant, Edgar, his daughter-in-law, Gina Burmeister, Wausau, his grandchildren, Maculy Mehlbreck, Seth Zabranski, (Godchild) Alexandria Zoborowski, Miranda Thomsen (Jake), Aliyah and Audrey Burmeister and a great grandson, Robert LaPorte. Gary is further survived by his siblings, Helen (Robert) Kuklinski, Hatley and Allen Burmeister, Marathon, brother-in-law, Randy (Jeanene) Dombrowski, sister-in-law, Renee Burmeister, nieces, and nephews, Michael Burmeister, Lisa Kuklinski, Sarah (Ehren) Malinowski, Brenna, Derek & Leah Burmeister and Jordan Dombrowski, Godchild Wade Ninnemann and many cousins and friends. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Lee, his brother, Robert and two nephews, Robert Kuklinski Jr. and Bruce Burmeister. A limb has fallen from the family tree that says, Grieve not for me, Remember the BEST TIMES, the laughter, the song the good life I lived while I was STRONG. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at St. Peter Lutheran Church, town of Hamburg. A private burial will be at Zion Lutheran Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of services all at the church. Family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to the staff at Wausau Manor, Heartland Hospice and Pastor Phil Bogen for guidance through visits and prayers. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
Priscilla Ruplinger Priscilla M. Ruplinger, 79, of Wausau passed away peacefully on Jan. 6, 2020, at North Central Health Care in Wausau. She was born to the late Henry and Ella (Lutzke) Ristow on April 21, 1940. She married Leander Ruplinger in May of 1963; he preceded her in death in March 1974. Priscilla showed remarkable strength and courage dealing with a long-term battle with Guillain–Barre’ Syndrome. She never let the disease slow her down. She was a very special and remarkable woman, friend, grandmother, aunt and mother. She loved playing cards, sipping on her diet Pepsi, volunteering, and just being with her family. She worked at Northern Valley Workshop for several years helping people with special needs, at East Bay and she volunteered in the gift shop at Mount View Care Center. She is survived by her children, Herb Ruplinger, Lorton, Virginia, Linda Ruplinger, Kronenwetter, Wisconsin, Julie (Kevin Hanson) Soukup, Mosinee, Wisconsin, Mike (Renee) Ruplinger, Mosinee, Wisconsin, Scott (Kelly Fisher) Ruplinger, Puyallup, Washington, brother Henry “Butch” (Karen) Ristow, Wausau, Wisconsin, four grandchildren, Beau Kraus, Seattle, Washington, Joe Soukup, Mosinee, Wisconsin, Hannah (fiancé Bob Baker) Ruplinger, Appleton, Wisconsin, and Eli (Makala Bach) Ruplinger, Chicago, Illinois. She is preceded in death by her husband Leander, parents and one sister Janette Borchardt. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at Bethany Baptist Church, 6601 Alderson St., Schofield, Wisconsin. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with service to follow at 11 a.m., with Pastor Kim Swenson officiating. Interment will be in the spring at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Marathon, Wisconsin. John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family at this time. Online condolences can be expressed at www.HonorOne.com.
Laura Ann Glassford, Wausau, passed away on Jan. 3, 2020, Wausau, Wisconsin.She was born to Margaret Heiden, Stratford, father deceased, Elmer Heiden on July 3, 1946, in Mount Clemons, Michigan. Her siblings included Richard, Raymond, Steven, Karl, Tim and Mark Heiden. Deceased – Allen Heiden. Children: Sadie (Heath) Gassner, Wendy (William) Bolin-Glassford, John (Roxanne) Glassford Jr., Lisa (James) Hunter. Grandchildren: Cassandra (Kris Bucholtz) Glassford, Nicole (Nathan Cavallin) Linnell, Nathaniel Glassford, Cole (Holly) Glassford, Arik Gassner and Analise Gassner. She graduated from Memphis High School in 1964, Michigan. She married John Paul Glassford on Sept. 25, 1965. Laura had many interests and activities: Homemaker, cake decorator, avid reader, Avon representative, 4H leader, very active in church activities at St. Andrews in the past, knitted and donated hats and scarves, volunteered at Leigh Yawkey and North Central Health Care in the past. A Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. at Highland Community Church, 800 River Road, Marathon, WI 54448. Having lived at Wausau Manor for several years, the staff and many residents there became an extension of her family and we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for being her home away from home. A special thank you to her Aspirus Hospice Team for being a beacon of light to our family during this difficult time and for supporting/comforting her in ways we never would have been able to. You have been a blessing to us all! The family requests that flowers and plants not be given at this time.
Barbara KinneyOn Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at the age of 87, Barbara Kinney was called home to join her Lord. Barbara grew up in the town of Norrie and graduated from Wittenberg-Birnamwood high school, where she had been a cheerleader. She later worked at Employers Mutual Insurance company and as a telephone operator at General Telephone in Wausau. She retired from Kraft Foods, after a career of working evenings so she could be home to see the kids off to school each morning. She then worked long after retirement as a demo lady at Sam’s Club, enjoying her interactions with customers who grew to recognize her. On Dec. 27, 1952, she married the love of her life, Dale Kinney, who preceded her in death. They raised five children, Patrick Kinney (Cheryl) of Watertown, Gail Kinney (Chuck Johnson) of Eau Claire, Jill Kinney-Horvat (Terry Horvat) of Wausau, Jane Kinney of Eau Claire, and Joy Mitchell of Wausau. Barbara was spunky, independent, spirited and strong. Her many talents included cooking, sewing, knitting, dancing, piano playing and gardening. Financially savvy, she loved a good bargain. Her flair for fashion was obvious in her impeccable style, both in her personal dress and her home decor. She had strong opinions that she freely shared. She took pride in her quick wit, announcing more than once, “I should have been a comedian.” Social interactions with Barbara were fun-she was a talker. Her favorite topics included current events, politics, family and the Green Bay Packers. As an avid Packers fan, she decorated and dressed for every game. She also enjoyed watching basketball and game shows. One of her greatest loves, her beloved cat Gracie, was always with her, and well-fed. Bragging about her kids, grandkids and great grandkids was not reserved for their special accomplishments, but a main theme of her conversations. She took pride in each one of them. Her kind, compassionate soft spot was for her family, pets and good friends Marge and Mona with whom she shared many adventures. She was infinitely honest and fair with everyone. The church was important to Barbara and she had a strong faith in God. In early years she was active with Sunday school, cookie bakes, and other church activities. In later years she enjoyed communion at home and visits with Pastor Jenn who prayed with her and sang to her. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents Helen (Suick) and Ole Paulson, and her siblings Chuck Paulson, Evern (Puzzy) Paulson, Myrtle (Punky) Kainz, and Branch Paulson. She is survived by her five children, nine grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews who knew her as Aunt Toolie, and their children and grandchildren. Visitation will be held at Saint Andrew Lutheran Church (same location at 3200 N. Mountain Road, but newly assigned address of 150202 County Road NN, Wausau WI 54401) on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, from 10 a.m. to noon followed by the funeral service and lunch. To share a memory or send a condolence to Barbara’s family, visit https://www.honorone.com. Arrangements by John J. Buettgen Funeral Home in Schofield, Wisconsin.
Josephine Pietz Our beloved mother, Josephine May Crnkovich Pietz, 92, died at home on Jan. 7, 2020, after gracefully enduring Alzheimer’s disease for 20 years. Jo was born Nov. 25, 1927, in Karney, Iowa, the daughter of Anton and Ann (Verbonac) Crnkovich. She was raised in Mohawk, Michigan, and graduated from Calumet High. At 18, she adventured to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she worked as a secretary for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Jo later joined Galloway Company in Neenah, Wisconsin, as a secretary. In 1956, she married Palmer Pietz and they shared 43 years together. The couple purchased a farm in Birnamwood, Wisconsin, in 1969 and began dairy farming. She worked mornings and evenings in the barn caring for animals and milking cows. Jo was a member of St. Philomena’s Catholic Church in Birnamwood for 50 years and was active in Christian mothers, serving as the President of the Ladies Altar Society. Jo enjoyed crossword puzzles, playing cards, bowling and ice skating. She loved spending time on the beach of Lake Superior with a bonfire and roasting hot dogs. Her favorite past time was going to rummage sales with her girlfriend. Spending time with her grandchildren and family meant the most to her. Jo is survived by her two children, Chris (Vicky) Pietz of Birnamwood and Nancy (Richard Castro) of Beaverton, Michigan. Two grandchildren: Casey Pietz Brown (Logan) of Birnamwood and Chase Castro (girlfriend Carley Van Tiem) of Beaverton; brother Robert Crnkovich of Carmel, Indiana, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings Tony, Matt, Steven and Charles Crnkovich. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, at St. Philomena’s Catholic Church in Birnamwood, with the Rev. Vicente Llagas officiating. Visitation will be held at the church from 9 a.m. until the service on Tuesday. Interment will be at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Neenah. Josephine and family wish to send heartfelt thanks to her dedicated caregiver Richard Castro and special caregiver Nancy Coffman for their care and compassion with special thanks to Kathy Kustra. Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and messages of support may be shared at schmidtschulta.com.
Robert Uttecht Robert C. Uttecht, 77, of the town of Franzen died on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Robert was born on April 3, 1942, in Wausau, the son of the late Arnold and Phyllis (Bossell) Uttecht. On July 22, 1961, Robert was united in marriage to Judith Johnson in Northland. She survives. Robert was a member at Northland Lutheran Church. He worked for Bushman Potatoes (Ernie, Joe and Brian) for over 60 years, retiring in 2018. Robert was an avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed playing horseshoes. Robert had a hobby farm and loved his animals who were always keeping him busy. Robert is survived by his wife Judy; four children, Steve (Tracy) Uttecht of Elderon, Lori Smith of Birnamwood, Rick Uttecht and Bob (Paula) Uttecht, all of Elderon; seven grandchildren, Lance (Heidi), Matt (Sp. Friend Tanya), Joshua, Aaron, Brook (Tommy), Bobby, and Allen; eight great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Lowell (Linda) Johnson, sisters-in-law Judy Johnson and Millie Uttecht; numerous nieces and nephews and special family member, Rita. Robert is preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Wayne, James and Donald, and one son-in-law, Garald Smith. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at Northland Lutheran Church. Rev. Dan Somers will officiate. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and messages of support may be shared at schmidtschulta.com.