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

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Michelle LeBlanc

Michelle LeBlanc

Michelle Ann LeBlanc, 40, died Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at her home after a short battle with lung disease.

She was born March 17, 1980, in Wausau, daughter of Rodney and JoAnn (Fons) Gavitt.

She worked as a phlebotomist at Marshfield Clinic and later pursued a career in accounting.

Michelle was a compassionate and loving person who had a great love for animals.  She enjoyed crocheting, canning, baking, wine making, crafting and going to the races.  She also loved spending time with family and friends.  She will be remembered as a very caring person who put other’s needs before her own and as someone you could always talk to.

Michelle is survived by her parents Rodney (Alicia) Gavitt, JoAnn (Arlin) Soczka; siblings Sherri (Erv) Mielke, children Sierra, Patrick, Phillip, Bradley; Rod (Judy) Gavitt, children Britney, Billy, Kali, Lindsey; Brenda (Lee) Weigel, children Janita, Jenna; Laurie (Kyle) Busko as well as great-nieces and nephews. 

Michelle is also survived by Barry LeBlanc, her significant other and his parents, Brian and Karen; siblings Ashley (Kirk), children Katie and Kenzie; Cody (Jackie), daughter Harper.

Michelle was also a proud godmother to Katie and Phillip.

Special thanks to Jennifer Merriam and Jonelle Behnke for all their support and friendship and also to the Marathon City First Responders.

Visitation will be Saturday, July 11, 2020, from 10 a.m. until noon at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon.  Social distancing guidelines will be followed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to New Life Pet Adoption or the Marathon County Humane Society. 

Verna Narlock

Verna Narlock

Verna M. Narlock, 85, Rib Mountain, died Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at her home under the care of her family and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

She was born June 9, 1935, in Edgar, daughter of the late Arthur and Violet (Bast) Kohnhorst.  At the age of 7, Verna moved to Wausau with her family, where she was a member of the first graduating class from Holy Name Catholic School and later graduated from Wausau High School.  On July 22, 1953, she married James A. Narlock at Holy Name Catholic Church, Wausau.  He preceded her in death Dec. 22, 2000.

After raising her family, Verna went back to school and received her CNA certification and was proud to be a part of the Aspirus ICU team for 28 years where she dedicated her time to providing the patients with comfort and kindness.  She often spoke of the need to “feel it in your heart” as a caregiver in a medical setting.  After her employment, she stayed on at her “second home” as a volunteer.

Special to her was the time spent with her daughters and grandchildren, especially visits with her girls in Arizona.  The adventure of traveling was among Verna’s favorite things to do and she had the opportunity to visit Poland, Germany and her best memories were of her trip to the Holy Land.

Survivors include her daughters, Kim (Rick) Reyer, Wausau, Michelle (Ken) Gillespie and Jody (Matt) Hobbs, both of Phoenix, Arizona, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Besides her parents and husband, Verna was preceded in death by three siblings, Hubert, Jerome and Betty.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 11, 2020, at St. Therese Catholic Church, Rothschild.  Rev. Joseph Albert will preside.  Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will be on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church.  Social distancing precautions will be observed, and masks are highly encouraged for those in attendance.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

The Funeral Mass will be live streamed at 11 a.m. on the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home Facebook page.

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

Gerald “Jerry” Geiger

Gerald “Jerry” Geiger

Gerald “Jerry” J. Geiger, 82, Wausau, died Saturday, July 4, 2020.

He was born Feb. 17, 1938, in Wausau, son of the late Joseph and Catherine (Pupp) Geiger.  On Jan. 26, 1957, he married Janice Mortenson at the former St. James Catholic Church, Wausau.

Jerry worked for many years at Wisconsin Public Service as an electrician.  He enjoyed working in his shop, gardening, camping, and traveling especially spending winters in Texas or Arizona.  On Friday he enjoyed a fish fry followed by some card games with his wife and friends.  He loved being with his children and grandchildren at family gatherings.  On Saturday and Sunday morning you would find him listening to Polka music.  He was a member of the Central Wisconsin Polka Club as well as the Wausau Merrill German Club holding several offices for both.  For over 15 years, he was an usher and greeter at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild.  Jerry never refused an opportunity to help his family and friends. 

Survivors include his wife, Janice Geiger; children, Randy (Charlotte Tyskiewicz and family) Geiger, Robert (Deborah) Geiger, Linda (Jeff Smith) Geiger, Jeff Geiger and Rick (Debra Mielke) Geiger; seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; siblings, Joan (Don) Schmidt, Marlene Behnke, Bonnie (Gilbert) Slivicki, Susie (Danny) Fluegge and Beth (Kent) Fluegge; sister-in-law, Stephanie Geiger.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Gloria Kleman, brother, Dennis Geiger, great-granddaughter, Claire Lemanski and brother-in-laws, Jerry Behnke and Danny Kleman.

Public visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave., Wausau.  Social distancing guidelines will be practiced.

Private Mass will be at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild.  Rev. Allan L. Slowiak will preside.  Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

There will be a live stream of the funeral Mass on the Peterson/Kraemer facebook page at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 10, 2020.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Brett Lucht

Brett Lucht

Brett Michael Lucht, 50, of Wausau, Wisconsin, passed away unexpectedly on July 3, 2020, from an accidental drowning while at a gathering with friends and his family.  Brett was born in Neenah, Wisconsin, on Jan. 4, 1970, the third child and first-born son of Larry and Sandra Lucht. When Brett was nine months old the family moved to Gillett, Wisconsin, where Brett attended Gillett Public Schools until he graduated as a co-salutatorian with the class of 1988. 

While in high school, Brett excelled both academically and athletically. He was involved in the Scott Hi-Q academic quiz team, Student Council as Treasurer, Forensic, Yearbook staff, Photography Club, and Business Clubs.  Brett was a standout three-sport athlete as a quarterback, basketball guard even playing varsity under his Dad’s coaching, and a catcher on the baseball team.  Brett was naturally right-handed but worked hard to develop a left-handed swing.   Brett received many team and All-Conference awards.  As a senior his class voted him Most Athletic and Best Buddies.  Brett had an unparalleled mental toughness and competitiveness that made him the type of leader that wanted the ball in the final seconds or to be the batter if his team was down by one in the bottom of the ninth.

Brett was a hard worker and learned that work ethic from his parents.  Through summer jobs at Friday Canning or curb and gutter concrete work with Sommers Construction and Musson Construction, Brett never had to take out a student loan through five years of college.  Some of the curb and gutter work he did still exists in the very roads in Wausau that he drove on these past 20 years.

Brett attended UW-Oshkosh graduating in 1993 with a double major in Business Management and Advertising/ Public Relations.  He spent the last 22 years starting as a sales rep, sales manager and then promoted to his current position as the VP/ Market Manager for Midwest Communications in Central WI where he helped shape five radio stations.  In the workplace he was viewed as a great boss; one that his coworkers enjoyed being around.  Brett had the ability to see the potential in others and always tried to lift people up. 

Brett had many interests.  He was a life-long reader and enjoyed suspense authors such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, and John Grisham.  Brett was a huge Wisconsin sports’ fan; Packers, Badgers, Brewers, and Bucks.  Brett played Modified Softball for many summers with Arbuckles and The Bullpen, sometimes playing with his brother and future Father-in-Law.  Brett participated in Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournaments and was known to visit the “Y” on his lunch hour to shoot hoops.  He became an avid golfer; his drive so strong he broke a few clubs. 

High school sweethearts from neighboring towns, Brett married Stacy Braun on June 13, 1998, and they recently celebrated 22 years of marriage. Together they were raising three outstanding daughters: Natalie, Lindsey, and Emily.   Brett knew the gift he had in Stacy; he cherished her and never left for work without kissing her first. Brett wrote the sweetest messages in cards to his wife. Brett and Stacy were the type of couple that looked at-ease with their arms around each other.  Together they enjoyed Country Fest and spending time with their many friends and family. Brett was “the planner” and was always thinking of fun excursions for the family to do whether it was traveling, hiking up Granite Peak, biking in Seven Mile Park, or recently trying his skills at kayaking. 

Brett was the ultimate “Girl Dad.”  His daughters describe him as loving, fun, goofy, and out-going.  His girls have experienced many whisker rubs and wrestling matches on the living room floor with their “Daddio.” Brett had a strong and natural bond with his daughters.  As a family, they were known to effortlessly cuddle, hug, and genuinely love each other.  Brett relented when his girls wanted a dog and their Quincy became a fixture on Brett’s lap and was known to nudge Brett out of the bed.  Daddy-Daughter luncheons, workouts, movie nights, and yard games were common.  He was an extremely proud Dad.  He just glowed telling others about their academic and soccer achievements.  Brett’s goofy humor kept these girls laughing and then just shaking their heads at their Dad.  Once in all seriousness he told them the plural of moose was meese and then he had some explaining to do after their school friends corrected them.  We can hear him laughing even now.

Brett is survived by his loving wife Stacy, daughters Natalie, Lindsey, and Emily.  Father Larry Lucht, three siblings Lisa (Don) Snyder, Linda Lucht, and Trent (Tracy) Lucht.  Father-in law Gary Braun, other in-laws Marc (Karen) Braun, Gina (David) Neumann, Greg (Allison) Braun.  Several nieces and nephews:  Haylee (Anson) Monestime, Dr. Tatum (Dylan) Scarpato, Cameron (fiancé Hannah) Snyder, Quinn Snyder, Bryn and Eli Lucht, Abbie (Alan) Tomow, Ethan and Evan Braun.  Numerous Aunts and Uncles including his Godparents Carl Lucht and June Voss.

Brett was preceded in death by his mom Sandra Lucht, mother-in-law Jeanne Braun, his siblings Brent and Leslie.

Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, with the service to follow at noon on Saturday, July 11, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 6205 Alderson St., Schofield, Wisconsin. 

Helke Funeral Home, Wausau, Wisconsin, is assisting the family.  Service will be live streamed on their website.

Special note:  Mount Olive has graciously opened their doors to accommodate.  The church’s capacity does allow for social distancing.   Face masks are required as guests go through the receiving line and recommended during the service.  Brett and Stacy’s church, Saint Andrew Lutheran will preside over the service.

Irene Schoepke

Irene Schoepke

Irene Ruth Schoepke, 93, of Wausau passed away on Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

She was born on Aug. 30, 1926, to the late Albert and Melida (Luetschwager) Golz. Irene stood up as a bridesmaid for a friend’s wedding, where she met Leander “Bud” Schoepke, who was a groomsman at the same wedding. It was that evening that they had their first dance, and when their love began. Bud and Irene were married on Sept. 13, 1947, at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Wausau, and celebrated 67 years of marriage before Bud’s passing on March 28, 2014.

Irene went to a country school for eight years, before graduating from Wausau High School in 1944. She then worked for the Wipfli Accounting Firm for 42 years and was a lifetime member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, where she was baptized, confirmed, and married. She belonged to the Women of St. Stephens and taught Sunday School there. She enjoyed spending summers at her cabin on Fence Lake and vacationing in Florida and Mexico with her family. She also enjoyed dancing and listening to polka music, lunch with her girlfriends, cooking, reading, and doing puzzles, as well as creating and attending craft shows with her husband Bud. Most important to Irene was her family, she loved watching both her grand and great-grandchildren participate in their activities and spending time with them whenever she could. Her memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

Irene is survived by her son, Lee (Lynn) Schoepke; two granddaughters, Nicole (Jeff) Starck and Megan (Wyatt) Thompson and her four great-grandchildren, Ethan Starck and Braxton, Sawyer, and Asher Thompson.

In addition to her parents and husband, Irene was preceded in death by her sister and her husband, Carol (Gene) Thomas; sister-in-law and her husband Evelyn (Kenny) Jaeger; and one brother-in-law and his wife, Lester (Dorothy) Schoepke.

A graveside service will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau. Pastor Jen Hoffman will officiate. Family and friends may go to to leave words of remembrance and condolences.

Norman Skare

Norman Skare

Norman O. Skare of Weston, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on July 4, 2020, at Rennes Health & Rehab Center of Weston.  He was born on Feb. 21, 1928, in Merrill, Wisconsin.  He is the son of Olaf B. Skare and Amelia (Stevenson) Skare.  He met his beautiful wife, Betty (Betz)  M. (Galipeau) Skare, while setting pins at her family-owned Gold Arrow Lanes in Merrill while they were just teenagers.  Norman joined the U.S. Navy as a junior in high school and Betz waited for him to come home. They were married the year after on Oct. 7, 1947, in Merrill.  Betz passed away on July 1, 2015.  They were married 68 years. 

The Lord blessed them with nine children.  Norm is survived by Tom and (Joyce) Skare, Sue and (Wayne) Pagryzinski, Don and (Denise) Skare, Ray and (Terri) Skare, Debra and (Joe) Smith, 14 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.  He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, four of his children: Michael, Joseph, Mary and Ellen, a grandson, Jeff Skare, a brother, Edward Skare, and his sisters Marian Skare, Anna Mae Henrichs and Lois DuBois.  

Norm’s first job was at age 15 as a pin setter at the Gold Arrow Lanes.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II where he served aboard two different ships and was then discharged to the Naval Reserve through 1950.  He returned home to finish high school and enlisted in the Wisconsin National Guard for a period of six years reaching the rank of Sergeant First Class.  He became a licensed barber working for Norm Raasch in Merrill and did this for several years. Most of his career was spent in the retail and sales profession.  He is a past president of the Wausau Chapter Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association and also served as a field representative for this organization.                                                              

As a World War II veteran, he was honored to go on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17, 2011, and was accompanied by his son Ray.  Norman said it was the trip of a lifetime and something he will cherish forever.  A few days later following the Honor Flight, he and his wife appeared on the front page of the Wausau Daily Herald.  He had arrived at the Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee that evening where she was waiting for him.  As he got off the plane, Ray was pushing him in a wheelchair across the room shaking hands with the crowd. They stopped when he saw his mother standing in the aisle. She leaned over and kissed Norman.  A photographer from the newspaper captured this special moment and published it. What a beautiful reflection of their love. 

On Dec. 8, 2019, during a ceremony held at Rennes, Norman received a proclamation from the State of Wisconsin for his service in World War II.  The plaque was presented to him by Congressman Tom Tiffany.  VFW Post 1638 and the Women’s Auxiliary from Merrill also presented Norman with a beautiful hand-made quilt in honor of his military service as a World War II veteran.  The quilt covered an entire wall as it hung in his room at Rennes. The ceremony was attended by family and friends. He was very humbled by the presentations.  Both channels 7 and 9 from Wausau interviewed him and aired it on television that evening.   

Norman enjoyed playing dominoes with family and friends.  He also enjoyed a game of cribbage with anyone that knew how to play the game, and was willing to teach anyone who didn’t.  He and Betz would get together with Floyd and Sylvia Lemon (from Merrill) often to play cards and socialize. No matter what the weather was like outside, they were traveling to Merrill to play cards! 

Norman will be greatly missed by his children, grandchildren, and friends.  The Skare family would like to thank the wonderful and caring staff at Rennes. Dad felt everybody there was his extended family and enjoyed his time with the staff and other residents.  Based on the comments from all the staff, they felt the same way about him!  The incredible care he received was a great comfort to him and to his family.     

Visitation and Funeral Service will be held on July 9, 2020, at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 948 Grand Ave., Schofield, Wisconsin.  Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and  Pastor Lori Slaughter from Living Well Faith Community Church will officiate the service at 11 a.m.  Norman will be laid to rest at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Mosinee, Wisconsin, on Friday, July 10, at 3:30 p.m. with military honors. 

In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the “Never Forgotten Honor Flight” at: 

Condolences may be directed to:  John J. Buettgen Funeral Home in Schofield, Wisconsin or at

Norbert Landowski

Norbert Landowski

Nobert was a United States Army veteran serving from 1956 to 1958.

He worked at American Motors Corp. in Milwaukee for many years until retirement. Norbert enjoyed, fishing, hunting, berry and mushroom picking and loved watching wildlife in his back yard.

Survivors include three children, Robert (June) Landowski of Theresa, Linda (Brian) Oakley of Watertown and Carolyn (Ronald) Jones of Port Washington; six grandchildren, Adam, Jason, Josh, Stephanie, Tina and Amanda; seven great-grandchildren, Justin, Brianna, Weston, Caleb, Dylan, Autumn and Jasper; siblings, Irene Berti, Margaret Trester, Clara (Raymond) Haugh, James (Linda) Landowski, Clarence (Nancy) Landowski, Delores (Michael) Barth, George (Margaret) Landowski and Betty (Edward) Kolokowski; friend and companion, Patricia Brzezinski and her children, Pam Stanczyk, Sandra Bolen, Tricia Wright and Roman (Jodi) Brzezinski and many nieces and nephews.

Norbert was preceded in death by his wife; parents; and siblings Robert, Martha, Ernest, Eugene and David Landowski and Alice Damerau.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 10, 2020, at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church, Bevent. Fr. Augustine Bentil will preside. Burial will be in the parish cemetery with military rites conducted by the Elderon Memorial Post #8068 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Visitation will be on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church.

Social distancing will be practiced and the Mass will be limited to 100 attendees.

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

Norbert’s family would like to thank the physicians, nurses and staff at St. Clare’s for their kind and compassionate care.

Vernadean Hubbard

Vernadean Hubbard

Vernadean L. Hubbard, 82, of Wausau died on Monday, July 6, 2020, at the Benedictine Senior Living Community, Wausau.

She was born on Aug. 31, 1937, in Shawano, the daughter of Reuben and Verna (Tryba) Wichman.

On Nov. 22, 1958, Vernadean was united in marriage to James Hubbard in Wittenberg. He preceded her in death on Dec. 13, 1983.

Vernadean was a freelance artist and traveled throughout the country painting murals, carnival rides, billboards and vehicles. Family was very important to Vernadean and she enjoyed spending time and socializing with them.

Survivors include four children, Steve (fiancée Nancy Torigian) Hubbard, Denise Hubbard, Cande (Steve) McGirk and Scott (Priscilla) Hubbard; five grandchildren, James (Amber) Hubbard, Jennifer Hubbard, Josiah Dumas, Tyler Brazee and Katie Rathe; five great-grandchildren, Parker Ecklund, Kennedy James Hubbard, Lana Rathe, Austin Rathe, and Jaycee Rathe; brother, Robert Wichman; sister, Jeanette (Fred) Wolffe; sister-in-law, Linda Wichman and many other relatives and friends.

Vernadean was preceded in death by her husband; parents and a brother Ken.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic a funeral service will be held at a later date. If you would like to be notified when the service will take place, please contact Denise at 608-884-2808. Burial will take place at Holy Family Catholic Cemetery, Wittenberg.

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