Obituaries are a service of Brainard Funeral Home, with locations in Wausau and Weston.
James “Jimbo” Vercimak
James “Jimbo” Vercimak, 61, passed away at home on Feb. 3, 2020, surrounded by his wife and children after a courageous battle with cancer.
He is survived by his wife Teresa Volpe-Vercimak; daughter Emily and Jason Casteel; daughter Mckenzie Danielson; son Elliott Johnson (Erica Laffin); daughter Danika Green (Romero); son Joshua Vercimak (Krista) and grandchildren Onan, Annabelle, Marley and Samantha. Jim was grateful for his father in law, Angelo Volpe, who he recently thanked for being a father to him for the past 25 years.
He was proceeded in death by his son Jalen Vercimak. Jalen was adopted by Jim and Teresa and he was a bright light in Jim and Teresa’s heart that was extinguished far too soon.
Jim began his service and patrol as a Livermore Police Officer in California from 1984 through 1990. He moved to the Schofield Police Department in 1990 and when Schofield and Weston merged departments, he continued to serve the Everest Metro Police Department until he retired as Patrol Captain in 2011. He was kind and understanding, qualities that made him a beloved officer. Jim loved serving his community as a police officer.
Jim enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. His patience and kindness will be missed by his family, and the listening ear and wise advice cannot be replaced. He loved rock music, fantasy football, the outdoors and going to the hunting cabin, breakfast at the Eagle’s Nest with “the boys,” Hershey bars, spending time on the beach sleeping in the Bahamas and watching his shows about the wild, untamed Alaskan wilderness. Jim absolutely loved being by the lake kayaking and fishing, and the smile on his sun burned cheeks when he would reel in “a big one” is something we will always cherish. He was spontaneous, enjoyed life fully and never hesitated to be “in the moment.” His new love was his puppy Walter who has been a loyal companion by Jim’s side. He will be greatly missed.
A visitation will be held at John J. Buettegen Funeral Home, 948 Grand Ave., Schofield, Wisconsin, from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2020, with a brief service to follow.
Jane Marie Sternberg, redeemed child of God through the life, death, and resurrection of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and devoted wife, mother, and friend, received the crown of life from her Savior on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at the age of 75 in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Jane and her identical twin sister Julia were born on Dec. 8, 1944. Jane was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit on April 1, 1945, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and was raised by her late mother Dorothy (Pierce) Kellogg and her late adoptive father Charles Kellogg. After graduating from Wausau High School in 1963, Jane held several positions, including insurance claims representative at Employers Mutual of Wausau/Wausau Insurance, first female employee in the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department, and administrative assistant at Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Services. Yet the role she cherished most was Christian wife and mother.
Jane married her loving husband of 50 years, Richard Allen Sternberg, on Oct. 4, 1969, and gave birth to identical twin sons, Jonathan David and Timothy Michael, on Oct. 24, 1975.
Jane loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with all her heart and trusted in His redemptive work for her eternal salvation. Her family was the love of her life, second only to her Savior. An avid volunteer at her church, she taught Sunday School, bringing children to their loving Savior, and served on the Altar Guild, beautifying her Lord’s house and preparing the altar for Holy Communion. God blessed her with profound gifts of encouragement, empathy, kindness, patience, gentleness, humbleness and selflessness, which spilled over in abundance to those whom God in turn blessed with her presence. During the last years of her life, she used those gifts to endure multiple health issues with quiet dignity, patience and perseverance.
Jane especially enjoyed trips to the Holy Land and England with her family and attending her children’s activities throughout elementary school, high school and college. As a “groupie” of the Wisconsin Lutheran College choir, she particularly enjoyed the opportunity to chaperone the choir with Richard during the choir’s 1998 tour. She was an avid reader who also loved cross-stitch and birds, particularly loons and hummingbirds. As a talented cook and baker, she delighted others with the gift of delicious food, including a chili con carne that was second to none.
Jane was preceded in death by her mother, Dorothy; her adoptive father, Charles; and her sister, Julia. She is survived by her husband, Richard; her sons, Jonathan and Timothy; her brother, Charlie; and several in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at St. Peter Ev. Lutheran Church, 1351 Grand Ave., Schofield. Rev. Jeffrey Mahnke and Vicar Adam Marley will officiate. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. A reception will follow the service. Interment will be at Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau.
Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at brainardfuneral.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jane’s name may be directed to St. Peter Lutheran Church, 1351 Grand Ave., Schofield, WI 54476.
Matthew “Matt” Milne
Matthew James Milne, 43, of Lake Hallie, Wisconsin, died Jan. 27, 2020, at Mayo Clinic Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, due to injuries sustained from a motor vehicle accident five days prior.
Born in San Antonio, Texas May 2, 1976, Matthew was a 1994 graduate of Wausau West High School where he participated in soccer and swim team. Gifted with a bright mind that could unlock seemingly unsolvable puzzles in mere moments, Matthew applied his interest in electronics to a brief study at Northcentral Technical College.
Throughout the years, Matthew worked in construction, sharing his talents in home maintenance and remodeling wherever needed. He especially enjoyed working on the family cabin and chose not to play until the work was done. At the time of his death, Matthew was employed at Eau Claire Press in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
He enjoyed bicycling any terrain, downhill skiing with his dad, kayaking at the lake, and spending time with family. Matthew’s nieces looked forward to their special time with Uncle Matti.
In life, Matthew met many challenges. Yet, he persevered through adversity and lived authentically, sharing with heartfelt transparency his struggles as well as his wins. His resilience inspired others. At death, Matthew was living his best life, having found lasting sobriety, a partner who committed to sharing her life with him, and an employer who recognized his talent with a recent promotion.
Well-loved and deeply missed, Matthew is survived by parents Mark and Jamelle Milne, Wausau, Wisconsin; sisters Shannon (Wayne) Semmerling, Stevens Point, Wisconsin and Ashley (Benjamin) Pernitz, Minneapolis, Minnesota; sons Cameron, Wausau, Wisconsin and Logan, Claxton, Georgia; nieces Penelope, Raegan and Thatcher; fiancé Jeanie Holland, Lake Hallie, Wisconsin; and extended family and friends. He joins his guardian angels Auntie Rae Lyn Chart, Chicago, Illinois and four grandparents Stewart and Evelyn Milne, Medford, Oregon and Jim and Theo Chart, Minocqua, Wisconsin.
Matthew’s family extends their sincere appreciation to the surgical teams and care providers at Mayo Clinic who compassionately cared for him and the family during Matthew’s final days; to the two Good Samaritans who resuscitated Matthew at the accident; and, to the University of Wisconsin organ donation team who facilitated the matches and transport of Matthew’s organs around the country. Together, these efforts helped to improve the quality of life for four individuals through organ donation, and untold numbers more through gifts to medical research.
A Celebration of Matthew’s life will be held at noon Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at Peterson Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave., Wausau. Family friend and Matthew’s elementary school teacher, Michael C. Zeidler, will lead. Visitation will be open prior to the celebration from 10 a.m. to noon. A private ceremony with family will occur at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions can be made in Matthew’s name to one of three nonprofit organizations: Donate Life Wisconsin (donatelifewisconsin.org), The Neighbors’ Place (neighborsplace.org), or Wausau Community Warming Center (cclse.org).
Even in death, Matthew’s kindness and well-known practice of giving all that he had, lives on through your stories and gifts. To every person who returned the kindness Matthew extended, his family thanks you.
Online condolences may be expressed at petersonkraemer.com.
Clarence J. Durr, 87, Edgar, passed away peacefully on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
He was born Sept. 16, 1932, in the town of Browning, only child of the late Albert and Helen (Wedeman) Durr. On Sept. 14, 1957, he was united in marriage to Sandra Heidmann at St. John Catholic Church, Wuertzburg. She survives.
Clarence was a veteran of the United States Navy. For many years, he worked at Edgar Packing, until his retirement. He was a former member of the Edgar Fire Department and St. John Cemetery Board. Some of his favorite pastimes included tinkering around in his garage and going to the casino.
He had strong faith and was a longtime member of St. John Catholic Church, Edgar.
Survivors include his wife, Sandra; his children, Daniel (Connie) Durr, Athens, Brian Durr (deceased), Roy Durr (deceased), Kevin (Dawn) Durr, Edgar, Denise Adamus, Wausau and Aaron (Kelly) Durr, Wausau; and his grandchildren, Nathan, Tyler, McKenzie, Kayla, Tanner, Jordan, Kyle, Madison, Jaden and Maci.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at St. John Catholic Church, Edgar. Rev. Thomas Huff will preside. Visitation will be on Thursday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the church and again on Friday from 10 a.m. until time of services. A rosary service will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday evening at the church.
Full military honors will be conducted by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Edgar.
Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Edgar, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at petersonkraemer.com.
Darrell Henry Zunker passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.
He was born on Oct. 3, 1936, to Henry and Adela (Treu) Zunker.
Darrell graduated from Wausau High School. He entered the U.S. Army and proudly served in Germany for over three years in the 10th Mountain Division and 2nd Armored Division. He achieved the rank of Staff Sargent.
After the service, Darrell entered an electrical apprentice program. He became an industrial electrician and dairy farmer.
Darrell is survived by his wife Eileen (Semerau) Zunker, his three children, Jeannine (Mike) Matushak, David A. Zunker (Debra Bauman) and Deneen (Joseph) Hinrichs and his five granddaughters, Danielle Zunker, Michaela Matushak, Marissa Matushak, Noelle Hinrichs and Allison Hinrichs, sister JoAnn (Ralph) Rucinski and brother Henry (Charlotte Renn) Zunker.
Darrell’s surviving in-laws are Julaine (Raynard) Zunker, Charmaine Storm, Kareen Semerau and Walleen (David) Storm.
A private family celebration of Darrell’s life will be held at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home with Rev. Phil Bogen, Trinity Lutheran Church Town of Stettin officiating. Military honors were conducted by American Legion Montgomery-Plant-Dudley Post #10.
His family would like to thank Aspirus Hospice Service for the wonderful people that cared for Darrell and his family.
Online condolences may be expressed at petersonkraemer.com.
Frances Ann Kennedy, 76, Wausau, Wisconsin, passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully in her home on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.
Fran was born April 27, 1943, in Munising, Michigan, to the late Michael and Margaret (Rose) Kennedy. Fran was an accomplished seamstress for the majority of her life and even started her own sewing and upholstery business about 20 years ago, most recently The Sewing Room, in Wausau. She was well known for her quality workmanship. At times, when taking on one of her more challenging projects, she may have uttered some rather “colorful” comments.
Fran was incredibly creative and enjoyed home improvement projects; she was generally armed with not one, but two cordless drills and wasn’t afraid to use them! She believed there was nothing a little hard work and creativity couldn’t fix. Fran deeply loved her canine pets, the first, LuLu, and most recently, Missy, her faithful companion who misses her immensely.
Fran enjoyed spending her evenings snuggling with Missy and watching crime investigation shows. She loved to cook, entertain, listen to a wide variety of music, and spend time with family and friends; after a few cocktails, she was known to dance the night away.
She and Dan Artibee married right out of high school and in addition to raising Fran’s younger brother Denny, they had two daughters, Cindy and Danette; she later married Bob Cota who passed away in 2008. Fran had a huge heart and was always ready to provide a listening ear or a cheerful message. She even volunteered time with needy children and opened her home to foreign exchange students.
Fran was an enthusiastic and devoted grandma to her four grandchildren Krista and Serina, teenage daughters of Cindy and Jim Zelenka, and Brad and Adam, teenage sons to Danette and Tim Bernklau. She is survived by her brothers Patrick (Lois) Kennedy and Dennis Kennedy. Fran was preceded in death by her sister Margaret (known as Mickey), her brother Michael, and numerous extended family members and close friends. Fran was a parish member of St. Michael Catholic Church of Wausau and attended Mass regularly.
The Funeral Mass for Fran will be at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 611 Stark St., Wausau, Wisconsin 54403. Rev. Msgr. Mark Pierce will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until the time of service at the church. In Summer of 2020, a Memorial Mass and Committal Service for Fran will be held in Munising, Michigan. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements: you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.
Heartfelt appreciation to the staff at Helke, as well as all of Fran’s family and friends for their sincere support and condolences.