Obituaries are a service of Brainard Funeral Home, with locations in Wausau and Weston.
Robert “Bob” Denison
Robert “Bob” Walter Denison, 71, of Weston lost his battle with leukemia at his home on April 27, 2020, surrounded by his loving family under the care of Aspirus Home Hospice.
Bob was born in Anamosa, Iowa, on Sept. 23, 1948, to Walter and Dorothy (Wright) Denison. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judy (Stegge) Denison; children Sara (Dan) Denison of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and Dave (Nicole) Denison of Austin, Texas; grandchildren Abby and Zach; sister-in-law Rosann Beekman; brother-in-law Terry Stegge; and grandpuppy Ava. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Judie Ortgies, in-laws Lawrence and Lillian Stegge, and brothers-in-law Larry Stegge and Jerry Stegge.
Bob grew up in eastern Iowa and attended the University of Iowa where he met the love of his life, Judy. They were married in Iowa City on May 31, 1969. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree he worked in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1978, he and his family relocated to Schofield, Wisconsin. Bob worked at Wausau Insurance Co. / Liberty Mutual Insurance for 27 years in the information systems department. He enjoyed the technical aspects of his work, but, more importantly, the lasting friendships he made along the way. Later in life, Bob spent fall and winters in Sun City, Texas, to be closer to his grandchildren.
Bob loved the activities he shared with his family and friends. He enjoyed traveling to new places, playing golf with extra handicap strokes, reading a good book, casino trips with his buddies, Tuesday morning breakfast, cheering on the Green Bay Packers, following the stock market, and afternoon stops for ice cream at Briq’s.
The family wishes to thank all involved with Bob’s care, with special thanks to Dr. Chris Peterson and the team at the Aspirus Cancer Center. Bob was grateful for all those who donate blood and plasma to help others.
A Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, Rothschild, will be held at a future date when we are all able to gather again.
Online condolences can be made at brainardfuneral.com.
For those wishing to send memorial gifts, please consider Aspirus Hospice Services or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For those who are able, also consider donating blood at a local blood center.
John Stanley Solheim, 85, passed away on Saturday, April 25, 2020, lovingly surrounded by his family. John was born Feb. 25, 1935, to Oscar and Evelyn Solheim in Stoughton, Wisconsin. A sister, Mary, would soon follow. It was here that he grew up amid aunts, uncles and grandparents. But Stoughton was also the birthplace of John’s great love and passion for sports, especially baseball.
He attended Stoughton High School, graduating in 1953. John’s high school career fostered his deep love for playing baseball which he carried with him to play for the University of Wisconsin and Carroll College where he graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree. John was then drafted into the U.S. Army. Upon completion of his service, John began creating the rest of his life.
It began in the fall of 1961. John found himself at Wauzeka High School teaching physical education and coaching football, basketball, track and baseball. It was here that he met Sandra Lawson, a first year home economics teacher. A storybook romance began. In John’s words, “When I saw her, I thought she was an angel.” They were married in Luck, Wisconsin, in December 1962. Fifty-seven years of marriage and five children would be the result of their life paths crossing. Both John and Sandy would teach in Wauzeka and in Highland, Wisconsin. Their final move together would be to Schofield, Wisconsin, where John would teach physical education and coach in the D.C. Everest School District from 1968 to his retirement in 1997.
John’s contributions to education and coaching were honored when he was inducted into the D.C. Everest High School Wall of Fame. For D.C. Everest, he was head baseball coach from 1969-1988. He also developed the baseball diamond currently located next to Stiehm Stadium. In 1970, John started coaching the Wausau Legion Baseball Team. He lead D.C. Everest to a state tournament appearance in 1982 and were Wisconsin Valley Conference Champions in 1985. John’s talent for teaching and coaching was also recognized in 1977 by being named Teacher of the Year. In 1984, the American Legion named John as coach for the annual American Legion Baseball All-Star Game held at Milwaukee County Stadium.
Upon retirement, John widened his passions beyond athletics to include another gift he would share with the world, his love of music. John sang in the Senior Chorus. He became a member of the River Valley Harmonizers, performing every year in churches and Christmas shows at the Grand Theater. He was Barbershopper of the Year in 2013. John thoroughly loved every Valentine’s Day when he would deliver singing valentines with a quartet to people in the community. He also volunteered for Meals on Wheels. He would occasionally take his grandchildren with him, in hopes of exposing them to the value of helping others in need. Lastly, John’s Norwegian heritage led him to belong to the Sons of Norway where he served as president for a year.
To all of us, Dad, you were our world. You taught us how to love by loving our mother. Our world feels very empty without you. We will forever be grateful for you. Our loss of you will be heaven’s gain. Until we see you again, this family will carry you in our hearts.
John Stanley Solheim, you will be missed by many. But your wife, Sandra; five children, Mary Solheim (Carol), Kathleen Kowalke, Michelle Lynch, Susan Marshall, Michael Solheim (Aimee); grandchildren, Nicoletta, Matt, Tyler, Dylan, Christian, Michelle, Jonah, Molly, Lucy, Lilly; and three great grandchildren, Tianna, Tayson and Maleah; plus all of your nieces and nephews will miss you the most. Your passion for living will undoubtedly not be forgotten by all you have touched. He is further survived by sister-in-law, Barbara Lawson; and brothers-in-law, Jim Lawson and Marty Deignan. Preceding John in death are his parents, Oscar and Evelyn; sister, Mary; father-in-law, Meredith Lawson and mother-in-law, Edna Lawson; and brother-in-law, Terry Lawson.
Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services. Your compassionate care of our father will remain in our hearts as a genuine extension of human kindness. We felt blessed by your presence in our home and are deeply grateful for your support through this journey.
John’s service will be live-streamed at 1: p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2020, at brainardfuneral.com during a private family funeral Mass held at St. Therese Catholic Church, Rothschild. A public celebration of John’s life will be held at a later date. John’s service will be made available for future viewing on Brainard Funeral Home’s website.
Our family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services and St. Therese Catholic Church.
Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center – Everest Chapel is assisting the family. Online condolences may be shared at brainardfuneral.com.
Kenneth “Ken” J. Heldt, 72, Wausau, died Friday, April 24, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
He was born June 9, 1947, in Antigo, son of the late Reinhold and Esther (Lotzer) Heldt.
Ken attended school in both Phlox and Athens. He farmed with his parents until their retirement, and Ken went to work for Wausau Homes.
Some of his favorite pastimes were hunting, fishing, transporting cars for various dealers and always lending a hand to his many friends.
Survivors include, his brother, Ray (Erika) Heldt, Florida; and lots of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Betty Dahl, Delores Nowacki and Audrey Uhthoff; one brother, Donald Heldt; and special friend, Sharon Kohnhorst.
A private graveside service will be held at Athens Lutheran Cemetery in Athens.
Memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens.
Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at petersonkraemer.com.
On Paul Schuett’s 90th birthday, he left us in the wee hours of the morning to celebrate his birthday with his loving wife, Leah, family and friends in heaven. His loving daughter and son-in-law were by his side before he embarked on his journey.
Paul was born April 13, 1930, to the late Herman and Sadie (Sarah Cowling) Schuett. He grew up with three brothers, Fred, Donald and William, Paul being the only survivor and the youngest of four.
Paul Schuett was a very tall and dignified man, when Paul spoke, he received attention. He was a very distinguished man with his trademark bald head and a matching pocket square in his jacket pocket. Paul’s successful lifetime career in retail started in the 50s, first at Heinemann’s and then Winkelman’s Department store. In 1960, he opened his own business Lad & Lassie Children’s Store and in 1966 expanded to the Town & Country Ladies apparel. Paul’s hard work ethic lead him to expand his stores even further in 1972 and opened West Park Fashions, which was called a junior department store that serviced children, ladies and men’s fashions. Paul will be forever be remembered as one of Third Street’s original specialty retailers.
In 1951, he married Leah Joan Brehmer, who had a career in nursing. Leah gave up nursing to assist in the stores. They continued to work together for over 35 years.
Paul loved to be with people, but on the summer weekends, he chose to be at his beautiful lake home on Two Sisters Lake. He loved mowing grass, pontoon boating, entertaining friends or golfing. In 1999, Paul and Leah gave up their lake home and became residents in Timber Ridge Golf Course community in Minocqua. In the winter months, he and Leah enjoyed their home in Florida. They spent several years in Naples, Florida, and then later in Venice, Florida. During their early retirement years, they enjoyed extensive travel of the United States and Europe. Paul was also a huge Green Bay Packers fan and a season ticket holder; he spent many years going to the games with his brothers, as well as friends.
Paul is survived by his daughter Sara Schuett-Hebein and her husband, Kenneth; Kennth’s son Devin Hebein and his wife, Haley, and daughter Eliza; niece Judith Hoover and her husband, Tom; nephew Dennis Schuett and his wife, Susan. He is proceeded in death by his parents and three brothers.
In the last two years Paul managed to break both hips and he was wheelchair bound. He evolved into this humorous, kind and appreciative man. He always wanted the staff to laugh at his witty humor.
He was cared for at the NCHC center. He loved all the nurses, CNAs and helpers who took such good care of him. We wish to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Brian Smith, all the staff at Southern Reflections and the physical therapy department at NCHC.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to NCHC’s Legacies by The Lake, 1100 Lakeview Drive, Wausau, WI 54403.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at 11 a.m. at Restlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum, 4710 N. Troy St., Wausau. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. at Restlawn Mausoleum as well. Services are subject to change due to COVID-19. Please be sure to check back for updates.
Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Elroy E. Strassman, 89, entered his heavenly home on the evening of April 25, 2020, at Sylvan Crossing.
He was born May 30, 1930, in the town of Texas to Henry and Helen (Borman) Strassman. He married Marjean Buttke at Trinity Lutheran Church in the town of Stettin on Nov. 6, 1954.
Elroy graduated from Wausau High School in 1948. He was employed at Wausau Papers for 39 years. He spent time in the U.S. Army and was a 54-year member of the American Legion Post 10.
He served on the board of directors at Brokaw Credit Union for many years. Elroy was a lifelong active member of St. Peters Evangelical Lutheran Church, where he held several offices. He was also a Lutheran Laymen’s League member.
Elroy and Marjean loved visiting family and friends, going to baseball games in Chicago, and traveling to many countries around the world. Elroy enjoyed working at the church, at Camp Luther, cutting wood, and working on his farm until Parkinson’s took over his life.
He and Marjean were charter members of the Pommersher Verein of Central Wisconsin. They were also charter members of Orphan Grain Train, a charitable organization, for which they packed donated items to be sent around the world, operating a packing station at their farm for 23 + years.
Elroy is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Marjean; five children, Roni of Chicago, Rick (Leigh) of Maplewood, Minnesota, Loni (Jodi Hartwig) of St. Paul, Minnesota, Lori Januszewski of Apple Valley, Minnesota, and Perry (Sherri) of Golden Valley, Minnesota; seven grandchildren, Jacob and Kate (Drake) Strassman, Kieffer and Mason Strassman, Luke and Anna Januszewski and Ben Strassman; Sisters, Myrtle Kirchner of Clintonville and Vernice Krueger of Pflugerville, Texas; as well as his sister-in-law, Mildred Strassman of Mosinee.
Elroy was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Herbert, Ervin, and Anton; as well as his sisters, Viola Genrich and Arlene Sloniker.
A private family service will be held at St. Peters Lutheran Cemetery on May 2, 2020. Family and friends may go to helke.com to leave an online condolence.
Memorials may be directed to the family to donate to charities that Elroy supported.
The family would like to thank the staff at Sylvan Crossings for their loving care and kindness.
“Rest in Peace Thou Good and Faithful Servant.”
Barbara Jane Bartels, 76, formerly of Wisconsin Rapids, passed unexpectedly at Aspirus Regency House in Phillips, Wisconsin, on Sunday, April 26, 2020.
Because of the Safer-at-Home order, visitation will be for immediate family only from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 631 E. Grand Ave., Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Friends and family may call at the graveside service and burial at 2:30 p.m. at the Port Edwards Municipal Cemetery, Port Edwards. Visitors are asked to maintain social distancing and are free to stay in their vehicles if they wish.
Barbara was born on July 5, 1943, in Friendship, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of Belva Jane Warren and Harold Ervin Sonnenberg of Phillips and formerly of Port Edwards and Friendship. She married Warren Dean Bartels on June 16, 1962, in Port Edwards. Together, she and Warren raised three daughters, Paula Ann Zwicke (Timothy) of Park Falls; Pamela Jane Tesch (William) of Wisconsin Rapids; and Brenda Lynn Hoffman (Joshua) of Gresham who survived her, along with eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Two children predeceased Barbara, Wendy Sue in 1968; and Warren Dean Harold August in 1979. In addition, Barbara’s parents predeceased her, her mother on April 28, 2019, and her father in 2009; and three infant siblings born after Barbara, Michael in 1949, and twins, Linda and Larry in 1950.
Alice Louise Wetzel Nelmark, 82, Mosinee, left her earthly home and entered her heavenly home on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Alice was born on April 8, 1938, in New Martinsville, West Virginia, to Goldie Mae Wetzel.
Alice loved her three sons: Randall (Laura) Berger of Bayfield, Wisconsin, Kevin (Karla) Berger of Wausau, and Kelly (Carrie) Berger of Mosinee and daughter: Dana (Ronald) Parr of Weirton, West Virginia. Alice was blessed to have two granddaughters: Alicia Gardino and Jessie Utecht and four grandsons: Joshua, Michael, Terri, and Kasse Berger as well as four step-grandchildren: Brady and Andrew Larson and Ian and Carmin Wipperfurth.
Alice was a proud great grandmother to 11 great grandchildren. Alice worked hard in her life to support her children. She cared for elderly people in her home.
She attended community college to further her career in management.
She followed her sons to Wisconsin in 1984. Alice married Renold Nelmark in 2002. He has been waiting for her in heaven since 2016.
Alice will be dearly missed, especially by her family. We would like to thank the wonderful staff of Aspirus Hospice Health for their compassionate care.
A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
Cathy Ann Begrow, 55, of Wausau passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family on April 16, 2020. She was born to Norman and Delores (Smolinski) Stainbrook on Nov. 4, 1964. Cathy married William (Bill) Begrow on Sept. 22, 2007.
She is survived by her husband, three sons; Jeff Yellow Thunder, Jon Yellow Thunder and Jacob Begrow all of Wausau, four brothers; Franklin Stainbrook, Madison, Andy Stainbrook, Mattoon, James (Amber) Stainbrook, Mosinee, and David Stainbrook, Mattoon. Cathy had one grandson Jordan Yellow Thunder who she adored along with her nieces and nephews.
Cathy lived life to the fullest. She was “Mom” to many, friends with everyone and always willing to lend a helping hand if someone needed it. She was the matriarch of her family and she enjoyed hosting the holidays so her family could gather together. Cathy’s favorite holiday was Halloween.
She was known for designing and making by hand some outstanding costumes. She was always ready for game night, playing cards, board games and laughing hysterically all night long. Cathy enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, camping and visiting new places. Cathy had a special place in her heart for her furry friends. She loved her dogs and they were a comfort to her. They were able to visit her when she was in the hospital which brought her a lot of joy.
Cathy was preceded in death by her parents and her sister-in-law Debbie Stainbrook.