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

Karen Schmutzler

The world lost a beautiful woman when Karen Schmutzler, 76, of Weston passed away on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at Pride TLC. Karen was born in Wausau on March 2, 1944, to the late Carl and Ida (Zahrt) Schmalz. She married Roger Schmutzler on Feb. 16, 1963.

Karen Schmutzler

Karen worked at the village of Weston as the deputy clerk-treasurer and then after her retirement, she was elected to the Village Board of Trustees for eight years of service.

She adored her life as Grandma and Mom, and was happy to be with her kids. Over her life she was always there for family, adventures, sleepovers and parties. She loved cooking and baking goodies for all.

Karen is survived by her husband of 57 years, Roger Schmutzler, daughters Renee (Tim) Feathers and Karla Marvin (Gary Churkey). She is also survived by her grandchildren Ryan Feathers, Nick Marvin, Kendra (James) Gilbertson and Logan (Emily) Marvin, and great-grandchildren Khloe and Jaxon Marvin. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, and her two sisters Chrys and Cathleen.

Private family burial will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery and a celebration of Karen’s life will be held at a later date.

The family wishes to thank Pride TLC and Aspirus Hospice workers, nurses and doctors for taking such great care of her during her stay and final days.

Coltyn Emmerich

Coltyn D. Emmerich, 28, of Athens passed away on Friday, March 20, 2020, at his home.

He was born June 19, 1991, in Marshfield, son of Sheila (Pecher) Schug, Athens, and Douglas Emmerich, Medford. He married Cassie Halopka. She survives.

Coltyn was so proud to be and enjoyed being a dad. Spending time with his son was his favorite thing to do. He had a passion for computers, gaming, and a good roll of sushi. During his free time he could be found shooting pool and singing karaoke with his mom. He had a heart of gold and will be forever missed by his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife Cassie Emmerich, Athens, his son, Axel Emmerich, at home, his parents, Sheila (Jim) Schug, Athens, his father, Doug (Lori)  Emmerich, Medford, his siblings Amber (Mike) Bartelt, Medford, Brienna Emmerich (fiance Thao), Wausau, and Alex Emmerich (Medford), nephew Alec Bartelt, niece Abbigail Bartelt, maternal grandparents Duane and Patricia Pecher, paternal grandparents Roger and Susan Emmerich, many aunts, uncles, and cousins, a special great aunt Lorraine Clark, and two brothers from another mother, David Rivera and Miguel Cortes.  He was preceded in death by a special great uncle, Harvey Clark.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Person/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Diane Melby

Diane C. Melby, 75, passed away Friday, March 20, 2020, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Benedictine Living Community of Wausau.

She was born May 23, 1944, in Milwaukee, daughter of the late Clarence and Norma (Melcher) Greene.

Diane enjoyed playing games online, trips to the casino, fishing and, above all, spending time with her family and grandchildren.

Survivors include her children, Brad Melby and Denise Pate; grandchildren, Jeremy Gross Sr., (Matika Gross) Tyler, Lena and Aiden Melby; great-grandchildren, Jeremy Gross Jr., Jelynn Gross and Yesina Gross. Several nieces Shawn Wojnowski, Michelle, Leanna, Tammy, Theresa Warthan, and nephew Alan Baier.

She was preceded in death by her significant other, Arthur Derouin, her beloved son Bryan Melby and her parents, Clarence and Norma (Melcher) Greene.

Per Diane’s wishes, there will be no services

In the midst of our loss, the Melby family thanks all friends and loved ones who were dear to Diane. We appreciate all of your love and support.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Conrad “Connie” Kraft

Conrad “Connie” Kraft, 85, of Stevens Point died Thursday, March 19, 2020, at his home surrounded by his loving family. Connie was born in Stevens Point on Oct. 22, 1934, the oldest child of Edwin Sr. and Marie (Gazda) Kraft.

Conrad “Connie” Kraft

After graduating from PJ Jacobs High School, Connie enlisted in the Marines in 1954 and was honorably discharged in 1959. Connie married Kathleen Zimmerman on May 7, 1960, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Stevens Point. Connie was employed at the Whiting-Plover paper mill until it closed. After that, he was employed with St. Michael’s Hospital in housekeeping and was later a courier for them until his retirement.

Connie enjoyed bowling, golfing, playing cards, listening to polka music, fishing for that big muskie up north at the family cottage and spending time with his grandchildren. He was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Bears and Cubs. Connie was a member of the Knights of Columbus for 50 years.

Connie is survived by his loving wife Kathy, son John (Mary) Kraft, daughter Jenn (Roy) Knapp, grandchildren Kayla (Nicholas) Firkus, Ryan (Jolene) Knapp, two step grandchildren and three step great grandchildren. Also survived by his siblings, Althea (Bill) Fucik, Jeff Kraft and Kim (O. Scott) Halverson and extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Edwin Jr. and many extended family members. Private services will be held for the immediate family.

Connie’s family wishes to thank Ascension at home hospice for their help and Fr. Hennes for his visits.

Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting family at this time. Online condolences can be expresses at

Nancy Peterson

Nancy L. Peterson, 83, of Birnamwood died on Friday, March 20, 2020, at the Homme Home of Wittenberg.

Nancy Peterson

Nancy was born on Aug. 17, 1936, in the town of Birnamwood to Edward and Hilda (Schroeder) Timm.

On Nov. 24, 1955, Nancy was united in marriage to Sydney Peterson at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Birnamwood. He preceded her in death on Feb. 11, 2007.

Nancy was a homemaker. She served as a director for the Wittenberg and Niagara Telephone companies. She enjoyed singing – especially with her husband’s polka band, in the Amidon Follies, and as a member of the Smile Awhiles. Nancy was also an avid Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers fan. Above all, she was loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Survivors include her children, Lucy Lopez (Darrell Ortivez) of Niagara, Jill Mongold (Donald) of Berryville, Virginia, Tim Peterson of Green Bay and Cheryl Peterson (Kris Schaefer) of St. Paul, Minnesota; four grandchildren, Lisa Bougie (Joel), Caprice Ortivez (Josh Klingbeil), Elliott Mongold (Katie Johnson) and Regan Mongold and two great-grandchildren, Lauren and Alyssa Bougie.

Nancy was preceded in death by her husband; parents; a daughter, Candy Peterson and siblings,  Clarence, Harold, Richard and James Timm, Violet Rew and Lucille Pivinski.

Due to the statewide mandate, Nancy’s family will have a private service at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Birnamwood. Pr. Matthew Christians will preside and burial will take place in Bethany Cemetery, Wittenberg. There will be a celebration of her life at a later date.

The family would like to thank the staff at Homme Home of Wittenberg, as well as Nancy’s niece Sally “Cookie” Van Order, for all of their special care and compassion.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Karen’s Pantry, Niagara, or the Wittenberg Food Pantry.

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