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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bramard-pgp-771x414.jpg

Scott Owens

Scott Owens

Scott Grady Owens was born Jan. 20, 1975, in Wausau, Wisconsin, to Wayne Owens and Paula Hawkins.  He died July 17, 2020.

Scott graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1994, where he was on the football and track teams, and attended Northcentral Technical College.  He was employed for many years at North Central Health Care in Wausau.  He was a model employee and was named an employee of the month.  He will be missed there.  He was also employed part-time at Family Foot and Ankle in Weston and Merrill.

Scott was a kind, considerate, compassionate and trusting soul with a beautiful smile and a great laugh.  He was known to many as “Smiley.”  He could talk to anyone about almost anything.

He was an avid outdoorsman and was passionate about hunting and fishing in all seasons and liked experimenting with game recipes.  He loved history, especially the Civil War, and watched the History Channel as often as he could.  He could quote you years of Packers and Brewers statistics.

Although he was the older brother, while growing up he often got dragged into the many crazy schemes his younger sister thought up.

Scott is survived and loved by his father, Wayne (Marcia) Owens (Kronenwetter, Wisconsin), mother Paula (James) Hawkins (Wausau, Wisconsin), sister Carrie (Steve) Genrich (Wausau, Wisconsin) and their boys Allen and Baron, stepbrothers Joseph Hawkins (Wausau, Wisconsin) and Richard (Kyle Kunz) Hawkins (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), aunts and uncles Clyde (Joyce) Owens (St. Germain, Wisconsin), Nancy Sprotte (San Diego, California), Phyllis (John) Hines (Oregon City, Oregon), Dennis Jones (Katy, Texas), cousins Todd, Jeff and Steve Owens, Michael and Derek Hines, and Chadwick Jones, and many friends, especially his long-time friend Joel (Kara) Tikalsky.

In lieu of flowers, you may donate to North Central Health Care – Mental Health Services, 1100 Lakeview Drive, Wausau, WI 54403; a local pet shelter, or a favorite charity.

Scott’s family will accept friends and visitors from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams St., Wausau. Private services will be held. Online condolences may be shared at

Kenneth “Kenny” Schuster

Kenneth “Kenny” Schuster

Kenneth “Kenny” J. Schuster, 74, of Weston passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, July 16, 2020, due to a traffic accident.  

Born on July 13, 1946, in Wausau, son of the late Alois and Viola (Strasser) Schuster, Kenny proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. He married Kathy Woznicki on Aug. 9, 1969, at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Wausau.  

Kenny worked for Lamers Bus Lines for more than 30 years as a coach mechanic. After retiring in 2012, he continued as a part-time coach driver until 2019. In his free time, he enjoyed golfing, fishing, camping, casino trips and traveling with his wife and family. His true passion was doing anything he could with and for his children and grandchildren, including woodworking projects, watching sporting events or just hanging out in the backyard around the fire pit.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Kathy Schuster of Weston; his four children, Jamie (Scott) Lerch of Weston, Kevin Schuster of Green Bay, Craig (Kate) Schuster of Wausau, and Cindy (Nate) Hall of Weston; nine grandchildren, Keri (Zach) Neuner of Stevens Point, Kayla Rogan of Weston, Madisyn Schuster of Colby, Ashton Schuster of Stevens Point, Colton, Marcus, and Kirsten Hall, all of Weston, Casper and Linus Schuster of Wausau; step-grandson, Seth (Sam) Lerch of Weston; two step great-grandchildren, Zoey and Conor Lerch; his six siblings, Harold Schuster of Alaska, Marilyn (Fred) Steinagel of Schofield, Rosie (Bill) Viertel of Rothschild, Theresa (Gary) Stanke of Wausau, Ron (Julie) Schuster of Merrill, and Ed Schuster of Eagle, Wis.  He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, and other relatives and friends.

Kenny was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Robert Schuster.

Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at St. Agnes Parish, 6101 Zinser St. Weston. The Rev. Gregory Bohren will officiate. Burial will be in the parish cemetery, where military honors will be conducted. Visitation will be held at St. Agnes Parish from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and from 9:30 a.m. until Mass on Tuesday.  Social distancing will be observed. Attendance for Mass may not exceed 150 people. Livestream of the Mass may be viewed by visiting

James Kiepke

James Kiepke

James William Kiepke, 79, of Hazelhurst, formerly of Wausau, passed away on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital surrounded by his children.

He was born to William and Martha (Breitenfeldt) Kiepke on Feb. 2, 1941, in Wausau.  He truly loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing.  Other interests included baseball, fast-pitch softball and archery.

Jim worked in the trucking and transportation field.  His first job was delivering bread for Jaeger Bakery.  He also worked for Wausau Homes, established WH Transportation, and was transportation manager for Fred Rueping Leather (Fond du Lac).  After this extensive career in the trucking industry he moved north to Hazelhurst, WI; there he pursued his true passion of fishing, operating the Willow Guide Service for over 30 years.  In the winter he could be found ice fishing or out grooming snowmobile trails. He especially enjoyed mentoring his grandchildren in these outdoor activities.

Survivors include his sons, Jay (Linda) Kiepke, Naperville, Illinois, children Jackson and Lillian; Joel (Pam) Kiepke, Rib Mountain, children Kendra, Jared and Christian; and daughter Julie (Rick) Jamroz, Mosinee, children Ryan and Brandon.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Martha.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau; and on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. until the time of service at the cemetery.  The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at Pine Grove Cemetery, 1501 Grand Ave., Wausau, with Rev. Timothy Swanson officiating.  The gravesite is located in the northeast corner of the cemetery in Block 125.  Burial will follow.

To comply with current CDC recommendations for COVID-19, facemasks are strongly encouraged, and appropriate social distancing measures shall be followed by those in attendance.

Thomas Wilde

Thomas Wilde

Thomas M. Wilde, 65, of Lake Tomahawk passed away on July 14, 2020, at Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, due to unknown medical complications.

On Aug. 13, 1954, in Wausau, Wisconsin, Thomas Michael Wilde entered this world, son to the late Alvin and Irma (Baumann) Wilde. After graduating from Wausau East High in 1972, Thomas went on to work for over 30 years as a lead machine operator at James River.

On Aug. 19, 1972, Thomas married Susan Rhyner and they welcomed their daughter, Amy, on Dec. 19, 1972. Throughout the years, Susan and Thomas joined many bowling leagues together. This is where his love of the sport grew and where he formed many lifelong friendships. Thomas bowled up until his death. Susan and Thomas parted ways after 17 years of marriage. It was after their parting that Thomas met Patti Porath through work. They eventually fell in love and spent the next 25 years together, until Patti unexpectedly passed away in September 2018.

Together, Patti and Thomas moved up north, where Thomas worked in construction where he remodeled many buildings, homes, and cottages. Thomas lived his life to the fullest and spent everyday living it as if it were his last. He was a huge outdoorsman who enjoyed going for rides on his motorcycles, hunting and he would spend many hours on the many Northwood lakes, which included the Rainbow Flowage, boating, fishing, and ice fishing.  Thomas was always ready for a Bonfire and a beer and looked forward to spending time with friends and family. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Thomas is survived by his daughter, Amy (Matt Hager) Wilde of Wausau; grandson, Lucas Hager of Wausau; stepdaughter, April (Dee) Degner of Merrill; step-granddaughter, Alissa; step-greatgrandchildren, Easton and Lincoln; siblings, Mary (Larry) Rydell of Algoma, Carla Carpenter of Wausau, Barb Wilde of Austin, Texas, Steven (Diane) Wilde of Weston, Catherine (Howard) Attiliis of Lancaster, Virginia, John Wilde of Wausau, Robert (Monica) Wilde of Wausau, Kevin Wilde of Ashburn, Virginia, and Jane (Scott) Weber of Sterling, Virginia. Thomas is further survived by his sisters-in-law Kathy Wilde of Wausau and Tracy (Todd) Miller; brother-in-law, Randy Porath; as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.

In addition to his parents and life partner Patti, Thomas was preceded in death by brother Frederick Wilde; brother-in-law Bruce Carpenter; his ex-wife Susan Wilde-Harn and nephew Andrew Wilde.

Public visitation will be held from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St. The family requests that all visitors wear a face mask and practice social distancing. A private family service will be held at 7 p.m. at the funeral home, where masks and social distancing will also be required. Pastor Justin Smoot from Saint Andrew Lutheran Church will officiate. Online live streaming will be available. Family and friends may go to to leave words of remembrance and condolences.

Michael Lepak

Michael Lepak

Mike was born at the old Memorial Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin, on April 19, 1944, to his mom, Violet (Steinke) and dad, Sylvester (deceased). He also had a younger brother, Sylvester Jr., who died at birth. Together with his sister Sandy, Mike spent all of his growing up years in Hatley.

Mike’s childhood was filled with fishing with his Grandpa, Joseph Steinke (deceased), his dad, and his uncle, Joe Jr., up at Grandpa’s cottage. Playing baseball, catching pollywogs and frogs down by the creek, and tobogganing were among his favorite pastimes with childhood friends, Johnny, Timmy, Gary, Abe, Spider, and Dale. Mike was also an altar boy at Saint Florian Parish in Hatley.

There was work to be done, too, and picking beans was Mike’s least favorite childhood activity. He picked beans one summer, but only until he earned enough to buy a new bike. After that, he vowed never to pick beans again!

Mike graduated from D.C. Everest High School and went on to earn an Associate Degree in residential design from Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. He then joined the U.S. Army Reserves, and served for 10 years. Friendships he made during that time with Rick, Bill, Ron, Dan, Randy, Wayne, Butch, Jay, and Steve meant a lot to him.

Mike’s degree and a good word from his Uncle Dan (by marriage) landed him a job at Wausau Concrete Company (now County Materials Corp.). Mike spent his entire 44-year working career there. He was a loyal, hardworking employee. He never took vacation in the summer over all of those 44 years because that was “the company’s busiest time.”

Mike respected the people he worked with, especially his truck drivers. They respected him, as well. Mike appreciated his drivers as people with families, understood the rigors of long hauls and long hours, and thought well of “the guys” for their work ethic. Every time a truck pulled into the yard, Mike knew which driver it was just by the sound of their truck’s engine.

Mike’s Residential Design degree became somewhat of a hobby for him. He enjoyed designing houses, and he was good at it. Over 50 years together, Mike designed five different homes for his family. He and his wife, Dianne (Hubert) had fun planning the houses together and then decorating them. Even their kids became part of the adventure!

Mike was a loving son and brother to his mom and his sister. There was nothing he couldn’t or wouldn’t do for them. He seeded lawn, built a carport, remodeled the kitchen, installed paneling, did endless yard work, put up Christmas trees and outdoor lights, planted and replaced shrubbery, finished garages…the list goes on. Mike did all of these things very well and, except for the occasional colorful word, all of these projects were fun, family accomplishments that he felt good about.

Mike treated his mother-in-law, Dee Hubert and his father-in-law, Tom, (deceased) with the same love and respect. It was a blessing for them to have Mike in their lives, and they loved him dearly.

Mike met his wife, Dianne, at her Grandma Breske’s (deceased) tavern on a rainy spring day, April 7, 1968. Mike was coming home after seeing a girl he had met in Wisconsin Rapids. He stopped in at Breske’s Bar for a beer. The same Uncle Dan, mentioned before, introduced Dianne to Mike, and that is how their life, love, and 50 years of marriage began. They were married two years later, April 25, 1970, at the old Saint Michael’s Church on Sixth Street in Wausau.

Mike and Dianne have two sons, Brian and Jesse. The greatest love in Mike’s life was the love he felt for his boys. He was so proud of them, not just for what they have accomplished by their own hard work, but more importantly, the kind of men they made of themselves. They are truly good people who Mike couldn’t mention without his eyes welling up with pride and love.

For nearly six years, Mike faced the challenges of Lewy Body Dementia – an incurable disease that tangles signals in the brain and eventually robbed him of his mind and body. He accepted his diagnosis with quiet dignity.

Mike died with his family beside him on Friday, July 17, 2020. He is at peace now, resting in the arms of Jesus.

In addition to Mike’s wife, Dianne, and his sons, Brian and Jesse, he is survived by his mom, Violet Lepak, his sister, Sandy Lepak, and his mother-in-law, Dee Hubert. Mike is also survived by loving relatives, Rick (Phyllis), Mandy (Bob), Arla (Chuck), and their families, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, and his Godchildren, Carmen, Theresa, Lisa and Andy.

Dianne, Brian and Jesse would like to thank the staff at Stone Crest Residence for their help in caring for Mike as his condition worsened over the last six months. Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services were added to Mike’s care in June. Their kindness, compassion, and professionalism are sincerely appreciated.

Mike chose many years ago not to have a traditional funeral. His ashes are interred at Restlawn Memorial Park on North Troy Street in Wausau. If ever you would like to come pay your respects, Mike’s niche is through the foyer to the left and then left again at the end of the hall.

If you would like to memorialize Mike, a donation can be made in his name to Bridge Street Mission, 115 W. Bridge Street, Wausau, WI 54401.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences can be expressed at

Keith Schulrud

Keith Schulrud

Keith J. Schulrud, 63, of Marathon passed away with his family by his side on Thursday July 16, 2020, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau.

Keith was born on Dec. 22, 1956, in Wausau to the late Arthur and Ramona (Fust) Schulrud.

He was currently employed at Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork as a specialty builder for 34 years. In his free time he liked  to build and do upholstery for people which was his first job out of high school.  He always had a green thumb for growing a garden and a very special love for his dogs.

Survivors include Jean (the mother of her daughter), Jessica (Autumn) Bennett, Step daughters Melissa(Cory), Sarah(Ram), and his step grandson Maxwell. Brothers Randy,Terry,Jeff(Vicki),Tim. Niece Maria and mother in law Mary Ann Lemmer. Aunt Deb and Kathleen, Uncle Roger and Ron(JoAnn).

He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and his father-in-law Norman Lemmer.

Services will be held on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 948 Grand Ave., Schofield.  Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. until time of service.

Private burial be at a later date.

Daniel Jolitz

Daniel Jolitz

Daniel Milton Jolitz, 63, passed away unexpectedly, Sunday, July 12.

He was born to Kenneth and Jeannie (Luedke) Jolitz, on June 23, 1957.

He enjoyed campfires and cookouts with family and friends. He loved anytime he could get out on his motorcycle.He also served his county in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Daniel is preceded in death by his Father, Kenneth Jolitz, Step daughter Heidi Cannon and his first wife Susan. He is survived by his Mother, Jeannie Jolitz, Wife Carol (Pflanzer) Jolitz, his Brother, Laurence (Linda) Jolitz, Sisters Mary (Dean) Barker, Margaret Peterson, Donna (Gordan) Weil, his Children, Thomas (Becky Krueger) Jolitz, Desirae (Jon) Weller, Valarie (Chris) Grubb, Ross Cannon. Grandchildren, Zoey, Amila, Tiffany, Cody, Great Grand child Heyden, and loving extended family and friends.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 31, at John J. Buettgen Memorial Chapel in Mosinee, with Visitation starting at 10 a.m., including a Memorial Service at 11:30 p.m.

Following the burial of the ashes, there will be a Celebration of Life at River Park in Mosinee.