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

Elizabeth “Betty” Karlen

Elizabeth (Betty) Karlen, 94, of Edgar passed away peacefully on Feb. 11, 2020, at Marshfield Medical Center surrounded by family.

Elizabeth “Betty” Karlen

Betty Wilichowski was born on Dec. 10, 1925, in the town of Cassel and grew up in a large family on the family farm. Being the oldest daughter, she had many responsibilities taking care of siblings and helping in the home. But life had more in store for her than being a housewife. At a time when many girls in rural Wisconsin did not go to school beyond elementary grades, Betty was interested in education, and with her parents’ support, she completed high school in 1943.

Unable to attend teacher training school because of distance and expense, Betty took advantage of the opportunity to move to Milwaukee for a year, living with her aunt and uncle, and working in a battery factory. This experience brought her into contact with people of different backgrounds and lifestyles. Betty always maintained that this year in the city helped her learn to accept people as individuals without regard to race, religion or economic status. Her children agree that she was never heard to say critical things of others nor make prejudicial comments about people who were different from her.

Betty returned to central Wisconsin in 1945 and married Ray Karlen, and for 25 years, they raised six children and dairy farmed in the town of Cassel. In 1970, they sold their farm and moved to Edgar, after which Betty was able to realize a personal dream of working in education. Until 1992 she was employed as a teacher’s aide in the Edgar Public School System. Helping students learn brought her much joy! At St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edgar, she served as Eucharistic Minister and was an active member of the parish. In her later years, after Ray passed away in 2012, she continued to maintain a warm home for others to visit, enjoying the company of friends, neighbors and her extended family.

Betty liked to bake, read, do crossword puzzles, grow flowers and vegetables in her garden, and spend time with those she cared about. She was kind, positive, curious, smart and accepting of whatever life brought her way. To her, the glass was always full. She will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Betty is survived by her brother Ruffin Wilichowski and three sisters, Virgie Mroczenski, Christine Martin (Jerome) and Sister Laverne, FSPA, along with three sisters-in-law, Mary Ann Wilichowski (Edwin), Lorraine Wilichowski (Gerald) and Irene Karlen (Norman). She is also survived by her six children, Duane Karlen (Karyn Sandelman), Jan Karlen, Denny Karlen (Barb Nowak), Suzanne (Ron) Blair, Robert Karlen (Karen), and Linda Karlen (Ed Elliott), along with nine grandchildren, Kristie Skluzacek (Matt), Robyn McCurdy (Clayton), Haanah McFadden (Phil), Kristin Solander, Julian Karlen, Tirzah Blair, Hava Blair, Ian Elliott and Corey Elliott, plus great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family, friends and neighbors too numerous to mention.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ray, by her parents Frank and Lucy Wilichowski, by her brothers Aloysius, Alfred (Kathleen), Edwin, Tony (Margie), Clarence (Vangie), Art (Marjorie), David and Gerald Wilichowski, by her brother-in-law Alphonse Mroczenski, by her sister Darlene Blaskowski (John), and by her sister-in-law Dorothy Wilichowski (Ruffin).

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, at St. John Catholic Church, Edgar. Rev. Thomas Huff will preside. Burial will take place at a private ceremony in the parish cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be on Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of services at the church.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Circle of Joy at St. John the Baptist Church in Edgar or to the Edgar Elementary School Library.

Fred Bryden Jr.

Fred Harris Bryden, Jr. died Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, at the home of his daughter Juanita Thomas while under the care of Ascension at Home Hospice. He was 84 years old. Fred was born May 4, 1935, in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. He was the son of the late Fred Harris Bryden Sr. and the late Mabel Myra (Crow) Bryden, both of Pennsylvania.

Fred Bryden Jr.

Fred joined the United States Air Force in 1954 and served our country for 20 years. He married the late Mary Ann Hartell on April 7, 1956, in Escanaba, Michigan. Together, Fred and Mary Ann raised three children. After his career in the U.S. Air Force, he enjoyed two more careers working in recreational vehicle sales and service and cross-country truck driving. Fred’s military career took his family to many locations and he always made their house a home.

Fred was an excellent small engine mechanic. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting and woodworking. Fred lived a life of many adventures from his time in the military, his time as a trucker and his time as a father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was the kind of guy who rode motorcycles and snowmobiles, could win every episode of “Jeopardy,” and knew every crossword puzzle answer.

Survivors include daughter Juanita (Dan) Thomas, Aniwa, son Fred (Lori) Bryden III, Wausau, daughter-in-law Terri Bryden, Birnamwood, grandchildren Ben Bryden, Hatley, Dr. Randall Bryden, Calimesa, CA, three great-grandchildren Deakyn, Dayne, and Danyka Suess, Birnamwood.

Fred was preceded in death by his parents; wife Mary Ann Bryden; siblings; son Robert Bryden; granddaughters Rheannon Thomas and Loral Suess (nee Thomas).

A private memorial service will be held later this spring at the Thomas Family Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the staffs of Ascension Hospital, Ascension at Home and the Rib Mountain EMS for the excellent care they provided.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

George “Andy” Andreas

George “Andy” Andreas, 67, of Wausau passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at his home.

George “Andy” Andreas

He was born on May 7, 1952, in Wausau to the late Gilbert and Maryann (Tarnow) Andreas. George grew up in Wausau and graduated from Wausau West High School in 1971. He went on to work construction for a time and then joined the U.S. Navy. After serving in the Navy he worked for Lockheed Martin Corp. on some of the submarine missile systems used by the military. Andy also attended University of Wisconsin-Superior and completed degrees from UW-Stout and Northcentral Technical College.

Andy loved his pets, going on bike rides and walking his dog, Rudy. Andy and Rudy were certified together as a therapy team and were able to provide training and services to others. He was also a lay minister and enjoyed impacting youth as a youth minister.

Survivors include brothers and sisters, Vicki L. Andreas of Wausau, Steve Andreas of Florence, Colorado, David Andreas, Scott (Karen) Andreas, and Kay (Erick) Walbeck, all of Wausau; nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; and his dog, Rudy.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gilbert and Maryann Andreas.

A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau, with Chaplain Wes Jedras officiating. Family and friends may call beginning at 9 a.m. until the time of service. Military honors will follow the service provided by American Legion Montgomery-Plant-Dudley Post 10. Burial will take place at a later date.

You may sign the family guestbook at

Beatrice “Bea” Jagodzinski

Bea Jagodzinski, 79, of Schofield passed away peacefully to the eternal life on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at the Marshfield Medical Center Palliative Care, Marshfield, Wisconsin. Bea was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Oct. 31, 1940. She was the third of eight children of Harry A. Sr. and Cecelia (Betker) Klopotek of Wausau.

Beatrice “Bea” Jagodzinski

Bea was united in marriage with Dennis Jagodzinski (of Edgar) on May 19, 1962, at St. Therese Catholic Church, Rothschild.

Bea graduated from Newman Catholic High School in 1958. In her adolescent years, Bea worked in a variety of jobs in her parent’s business, Colonial Ballroom, Wausau. After high school, Bea worked at Kraft Foods in Wausau for a few years until she and Dennis started their family and Bea then stayed at home raising their four sons. Additionally, Bea worked 15 years for the D.C. Everest School District, retiring in 2005.

In the early years of her marriage, Bea enjoyed bow hunting with her husband, Dennis, and successfully harvested her one and only deer. She was an awesome polka dancer and an avid radio listener. Bea loved fishing, which she did with her father as a child, and subsequently enjoyed many family trips to Ontario, Canada, and Star Lake, Wisconsin. She loved doing crossword puzzles, playing Sheepshead with her family, and watching “Wheel of Fortune” as a terrific home player. Her greatest joy was attending her children’s and grandchildren’s school and club events, including all sports, dance, drama and musical events. Bea and Dennis enjoyed traveling and visiting many casinos during their retirement years.

Survivors include her loving husband of 57 years, Dennis, her four sons and daughters-in-law and 10 grandchildren: Todd and Anne (Weston) and children Madeline and Matthew; Scott and Carolyn (Weston) and children Breanna and Nathaniel; Randy and Sharon (Wausau) and children Andrew, Allison and Jacob; Kevin and Jennifer (Weston) and children Hope, Micah and Lucas.

Additionally, Bea is survived by two brothers, Larry, Schofield; and Terry, Wausau; three sisters, Lucy (Milt) Pyke, Weston; Etta Stanke, Mosinee; and Bonnie (John) Martin, Rib Mountain. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Lois Klopotek, Ringle; and brother-in-law Frank (Jolanta) Jagodzinski, Edgar; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Bea was preceded in death by her parents Harry A. Sr. and Cecelia Klopotek and brothers Harry Jr. and Laurel Klopotek.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, at St. Therese’s Catholic Church, Rothschild, Wisconsin. Rev. Joseph Albert will officiate. Visitation will take place from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the church.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 948 Grand Ave., Schofield, is assisting the family. Online condolences can be made at

Pamela Paxon

Pamela Paxson, 75, of Minocqua, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully at Azura Memory Care in Wausau, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, with her loving dog, Scarlet, and husband, Ron, by her side.

Pamela Paxon

Pam and Ron, who were married at the Minocqua Country Club on Aug. 22, 1999, always knew they would eventually retire in Minocqua. They moved to Minocqua following Pam’s retirement from Borg-Warner in 2005 and have enjoyed the Northwoods lifestyle, especially Lake Minocqua, ever since.

Pam loved to cook and looked forward to visits from her kids and grandkids during the Minocuqa summers. She also was very proud of her work as a volunteer at Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, Wisconsin.

Pam was predeceased by her mother, Mildred Ortner, her father, Walter Kusay, Sr, and her stepfather, James Ortner. She is survived by her husband, Ron Paxson, two sons Bryan Ward (Elyse) and Eric Ward (Courtney), four grandchildren, Brandon, Aimee, Madysen and Hailey and Brother, Walter Kusay, Jr.

The family would like to offer a very special thank you to the staff and team at Azura Memory Care in Wausau, Wisconsin, for the outstanding and loving care Pam received since April 2019.

Memorial services are being planned for early spring in the suburbs of Chicago and for early summer in Minocqua, Wisconsin.

Sallie Linke

Sallie A. Linke, 79, of Wausau died on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, at Mount View Care Center in Wausau.

Sallie Linke

Sallie was born to Clarence and Martha (Meronk) Zblewski on Oct. 10, 1940, in Amherst Junction.

On Dec. 13, 1986, Sallie was united in marriage to Robert Linke in Wausau.

Sallie worked as a cashier at a car wash in Oshkosh for many years. After moving to Wausau, Sallie volunteered at Colonial Manor for several years. She enjoyed reading inspirational books and she loved her cats, especially her cat, Muffin.

Sallie is survived by her husband, Robert; three sisters, Nancy Helke, Sylvia Fischer, and Violet (Wayne) Hinz, all of Oshkosh; special nieces and nephews, Peter Helke, Kevin (Kris) Steinhilber, Kim (Moris) Williams and Wendy Hinz; seven stepchildren, Linda (Mark Felix) Philipp, Donna (Jeff) Amundson, Sharon (Gary) Meuret, Danny Linke, Marianne (Chris) Meyer, Carolyn Amundson and Jennifer (Rick) Popp and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Sallie was preceded in death by her parents and a grandson, Zachary Sickler.

A Celebration of Life is being planned.

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

Ronda Kerstner

Ronda R. Kerstner, 82, of Bowler died surrounded by family members on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in her home after a two-year courageous battle with cancer.

Ronda Kerstner

She was born on Dec. 29, 1937, in Shawano, the daughter of the late Ivan and Mae (Bartelt) Narlow.

Ronda was united in marriage to Carl Kerstner, on Nov. 21, 1959, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bowler. He survives.

Ronda went to St. James grade school in Shawano for grades 1 to 4. She then went to Bowler School and graduated in 1955. She then attended University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics. She went on to teach home economics at Birnamwood and later at Bowler High School. She also taught science.

She was a life-long member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where she sang in the choir since she was 12 years old and later directed the choir. She taught Sunday school over the years and she also helped run the food pantry with her husband. She enjoyed and spent her winters in her second home in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She loved to golf, bowl and she was an avid antique collector and reseller. She loved her family and they were a very important part of her life.

Survivors include her husband, Carl; her only child and daughter, Michelle (Todd) Schmid of Bowler; two grandsons, Zach (Nikki) Loftus of Madison and Ken (Missy) Schmid of Wilson, North Carolina; a granddaughter, Ariel (Alex) Sousek of Weston; and three great-grandchildren Ava, Kristian and Riley. She was proceeded in death by her parents.

A funeral service will be held at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bowler on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, at 11 a.m. Rev. Clifford Kessen will officiate. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, town of Almon. A visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of the service at the church with a luncheon to follow.

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