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

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Jessica Drexler

Jessica Drexler

On Aug. 15, 2020, Jessica Elizabeth Drexler, 26, passed away cradled in the loving arms of her mother due to complications of diabetes and depression. She was the beloved daughter of Kevin and Kathryn (Basiliere) Drexler, sister of Jordan (Ashley) and a loving aunt to Penny.

Jessica was born on June 10, 1994, and was a long-awaited blessed gift to her parents. She was an athletic child and loved to play basketball as nothing was better than a 3-pointer. Even as a 5-year-old she took a permanent magic marker and wrote Shaq on her new tennis shoes-she was quite a dreamer. Her love of the outdoors continued throughout her life as she played golf with her Dad, kayaked with her brother and best friend, and skate boarded on beautiful days.

When Jessica was 6 years old, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes which started a life of struggle and challenges only known by other families of diabetic children. She fought relentlessly a disease that continued to inflict complications, pain and hardship. She actively participated in the JDRF walk to cure diabetes and was surrounded by family and friends walking on Jess’s team. For many years she was able to share her experiences by attending the Chris Dudley Diabetes Basketball camp, first as a camper, then as a camp counselor-it was some of the happiest times of her life.

Jess graduated from Oshkosh North High School and St. Norbert’s College with a degree in English and creative writing. Jess loved poetry, especially Edgar Allen Poe, and published her own poems. Her poetry was later expressed through her musical talent as she wrote songs.  She taught herself the guitar, had an amazing gift with words and a beautiful smooth voice. She often said her two favorite things were her guitar and Penny, her little niece.

Jess is survived by her parents, Kathy and Kevin Drexler, her brother, Jordan Drexler (Ashley), her niece Penny, her grandfather, Dr. James Basiliere (Rita Anderson), her Godparents and aunts Teresa Basiliere-Madaus (Timothy), Marie Metz (Scott).  She is further survived by her aunts and uncles Michael Drexler, Irene Walter (Randy), Margaret Beck (Jerry), Roseann Raupp (Terry), Joe Drexler, Paul Drexler (Connie), Patricia Kleinfeldt, James Basiliere Jr. (Tiffany), and Richard Basiliere (Annette), and many cousins and friends who loved her very much.

Jess was preceded in death by her grandmothers, Jessie Basiliere and Betty Drexler, grandfather, Frank Drexler, and cousin Shana Beck-Stinski.

Jess, we will hold you in our hearts and cherish the beautiful memory of you forever.  Your pain and sorrow is no more.  Now you can fly with the other angels.

To honor her memory please spread Jess’s message.  In her own words:

It’s easy to be a kind person.

It’s easy to be polite.

It’s easy to be considerate.

It’s easy to treat others with respect.

It easier to sleep at night knowing you are doing what you can to make the world a better place.

It’s easy to love.

It’s easy to forgive.

It’s difficult to hate, judge, and hold grudges. It takes so much energy to fight, argue, and be violent.

Find it in your heart to love. The world needs it now.

A Vigil will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 21, 2020 at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church, 830 S. Westhaven Drive, Oshkosh, WI 54904. Visitation will be held from 4:00-6:00 p.m. until the time of service at the church. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Jessica Drexler’s name. Memorials may be sent to The Drexler Family c/o Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams Street, Wausau, WI 54403. Condolences may be expressed at

Jacob “Jake” Jonas

Jacob “Jake” Jonas

Jacob “Jake” Jonas, 66, died on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, at his home in Hazelhurst. 

Jake was born on Feb. 21, 1954, in Wausau to the late James and Doloris (Elson) Jonas.  After graduating from Wausau High School, he attended Northcentral Technical College where he received his associate degree.  Jake was united in marriage on July 1, 1972, to Jane Pyan.  Together they had three children; Alan, Amy, and Jeremy.  Jake and Jane raised their kids in Wausau where he was employed as an electrician.  In 1999, they moved to Hazelhurst where Jake continued his career as an electrician. 

Jake was a Jack of all trades and loved anything that had an engine.  He could often be found tinkering and always did his own work, from vehicle maintenance to building his own homes.  He enjoyed riding and racing motorcycles, a passion that he passed down to his kids and grandkids.  Watching his sons, daughter, and grandkids racing motocross brought him great joy, but anytime he could spend with his wife and family meant the world to him.  When he wasn’t riding motorcycles, he could be found outdoors.  From hunting, camping  boating and snowmobiling to fishing any season with his brother John; he loved it all.  Jake will also be remembered as a kind, big hearted man who was always willing to lend a helping hand to anybody in need.

Jake is survived by his wife Jane of Hazelhurst; children Alan (Holly) Jonas of New London and their children Jazmin and Jada Jonas, Amy Jonas Saari of Minocqua and her children Grayson and Mathias Saari, and Jeremy (Kelly) Jonas of Junction City.  He is further survived by his brother John (Cherryl) Jonas of Weston; mother and father-in-law Duane and Barbara Pyan of Wausau; sisters-in-law Linda (Pete) Meyer of Merril, Connie (Jeff) Brodjeski of Wausau, and Gail (Rick) Dobrzynski of Portage; many nieces and nephews, and his dog Buckwheat and cat Sassy.

Besides his parents, Jake was preceded in death by his aunt and uncle Ruthie and LeRoy Jonas II.

A private service was held

The family would like to thank Ascension Hospice Services, Tina Neuendank N.P. and Dr. O. Sule and Oma Sule RN for their kindness and compassion in caring for Jake and his family.

David Zimmermann

David Zimmermann

David Zimmermann, 93, left this earth to be with his Savior on Aug. 11, 2020, under the care of hospice and in the loving hands of Rennes Health and Rehab. He was born on March 3, 1927, in Wausau to Herbert and Esther Zimmermann of the Town of Easton.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Norma, who resides at Rennes Health and Rehab; his twin sister, Doris of Milwaukee; sister-in-law, Marion Blaschka of Madison; sons, Ross of Manitowoc, Mark of Wausau and Jeffrey (Tina) of Rhinelander. He is further survived by five grandchildren, Brenda Zimmermann–Thorpe of Wausau, Grant (Kari) Zimmermann of Manitowoc, Lili (Andrew) Goehring of Valders, Christopher (Scott) of Kronenwetter, Amy (Matthew) Jaecks of Weston, Ben (Lora) Zimmermann of Wausau, and Wade (Tori) Hahner of Rhinelander. David is also survived by nine great-grandchildren, Lorissa and Porter Thorpe, Cale and Camryn Zimmermann, Olivia and Brady Jaecks, Rueben, Ethan, and Evelyn Zimmermann; as well as many wonderful nieces, nephews, and a special family friend, Glenda Schilling. David is also survived by brother and sisters–in–law William and Elaine Klass, Sue Jensen and Judy Jensen of Cornell, Wisconsin.

David is preceded in death by his parents Herbert and Esther Zimmermann; brother Harold; sisters Wilma Christ, Mildred Seidl, Caroline Yolitz-Serley, and Anne Scheuerman. He is also preceded by his brother-in-law’s David Christ, Jerome Seidl, Wilbur Yolitz, Harvey Serley, and Conrad Scheuerman. David is also preceded in death by father and mother-in-law, Arthur and Mildred Jensen; brothers and sister-in-law, LaVerne Jensen, Robert Jensen of Cornell, and Marion (Earl) Western of Albuquerque.

David attended St. John’s Lutheran school Town of Easton and Wausau High School, followed by short – course study at UW Madison. David worked with his father on the family farm for several years until he took over the farm. He married Norma Jensen in April 1949. His parents then purchased the farm directly to the North and they farmed closely together until his parent’s retirement.

The “warehouse” was built in 1975, which soon housed the needed storage for the feed and seed business; a profitable business David started 1977. David’s son Mark took over the dairy portion of the farm in 1978 and eventually took over the entire farming operation.

David and Norma later moved to Florida where they enjoyed life for 21 years, moving back to Wausau for their twilight years.

David was a progressive farmer, always looking for better ways to get things done. He strongly supported his church, community, friends, and his family. Among his favorite pastimes were playing sheepshead and deer hunting with relatives, friends, and neighbors. As much as he loved to work hard, he loved to tease his children and their cousins. He will always be loved and remembered for that.

A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, at St. John Lutheran Church, town of Easton. Reverend John Stransky will officiate. Visitation will take place on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and again on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services. All to take place at the church. Inurnment will take place in the church cemetery. Family and friends may go to to leave words of remembrance and online condolences.

Ruth Brandt

Ruth Brandt

Ruth Joyce Mae Brandt, 83, died Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020.

Born in Hamburg, Wisconsin, on May 18, 1937, she was the daughter of the late Paul and Erna (Lodholz) Wilde.  On Aug. 22, 1956, she married Elroy Brandt at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Marathon.  Elroy preceded her to heaven on Dec. 24, 2014.

Ruth spent most of her career working at General Telephone in a variety of positions.  She retired in 1983.  A second career followed with the Marathon County Commission on Aging and the Marathon County Register of Deeds Office.

Ruth was an active member at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church for over 60 years.  She enjoyed volunteering in many capacities and treasured her parish family.

Survivors include Ruth’s daughters, Connie (Tom) DeLonay of Merrill and Susan (David) Schreiber of Wausau; and grandsons, Joshua of Wausau and Mitchell Schreiber of Stevens Point.  Also surviving are two sisters, Jean (Dale) Wilde, Milton, WI, and Virene (Arlis) Cramer, Wausau.

She was preceded in death by six sisters, Bernhardine Ohde, Myrtle Sluga, Doris Tobalsky, Lucina Dawn-Gaskens, Viletta Wade, and Shirley Thurs; and seven brothers, Edward, Harold, Arden, Marvin, Earl, Gilbert, and William Wilde.

Ruth is also survived by her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jean Wilde of Wausau, Lorraine Wilde of Wausau, Elgart Thurs of Hamburg, Robert Wade of Kenosha, Jean Seliger of Paris, Tennessee, Marvin and Ann Brandt of Iowa Park, Texas, Earl Brandt of Rib Falls, Kenneth Weston of New Berlin, Wisconsin, and Don and Delores Kapellen of Buchanan, Tennessee.  Several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law passed away before her who also held a special place in Ruth’s heart.

Services will be held Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, 11 a.m. at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 1104 S. Ninth Ave., Wausau.  Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services.  Burial will follow in Restlawn Memorial Park, town of Texas.

You may sign the family guestbook at

Because we care about family and friends, face masks are encouraged and social distancing will be observed.

In lieu of flowers, please send your memorials to Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Wausau, or a charity of your choice.

Ardell Kort

Ardell Kort, beloved wife of Ardean Kort, went home to be with The Lord Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.  She began her journey on earth Oct. 2, 1927, being born to Eleanore and Leslie Schwartz Sr. 

A new chapter began in Ardell’s life when she married her best friend, Ardean Kort, and they were blessed with over 71 years together. 

Ardell and Ardean were also blessed with two daughters, Sue (David) Pilon, and Jean (Neal) Torney, and their three children, Kerri (Brian) Torney-Williams and Nathan and Steven Pilon.  Per Ardell’s wishes, the family will celebrate her life together privately.

Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting family at this time.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Steve Kufahl

Steve Kufahl

Steve Kim Kufahl, 54, of Mosinee passed away unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. He was born on Feb. 22, 1966, to the late Charles and Dorothy L. (Brandt) Kufahl in Wausau, Wisconsin, and graduated from Wausau West High School. Steve worked at Fleet Farm for a number of years after graduation from Northcentral Technical College. He was currently working as a restoration technician for NorthStar Restoration Services.

Steve was an avid Wisconsin sports fan, an active member of his church, and lover of the outdoors. He was always there to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. His warm smile and hearty laugh will be missed by many. He never failed to spread his compassion to others he showed love to everyone he came in contact with.

He is survived by his beloved daughters Stephanie Kufahl, Stevens Point, and Lisa Kufahl, Mosinee, two brothers; Darwin (Debbie) Kufahl, Perry (Shelley) Kufahl, uncle Lavern Brandt, four nephews: Dustin (Kristin) Kufahl, Deric Kufahl, Elliot Force, Ethan Force, five nieces Abigail Kufahl, Sarah Young, Katy Young, Megan Zoellick, Grace Zoellick, two brothers-in-law Burt (Liza) Zoellick, Keith Zoellick, one sister-in-law Shannon Force, mother of his children, Rachael Zyduck, the daughter’s maternal grandparents John (Rachel) Martin, the daughter’s maternal grandmother Jeanne Schroeder, three great nephews, along with many other family members.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Wendell Kufahl.

Services will be held at Good New Church in Mosinee, on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, with a visitation from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a service at 11 a.m. officiated by Pastor Jay O’Conner.

In lieu of flowers please direct memorials to family to help cover funeral expenses.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family at this time. Online condolences may be expressed at

Gerald Klopotek

Gerald Klopotek

Gerald ‘Jerry’ Klopotek, 86, of Wausau died on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, at Our House Senior Living in Wausau.

He was born on June 21, 1934, in the town of Norrie, the son of Alois and Meta (Buss) Klopotek.

On May 7, 1960, Gerald was united in marriage to Leah Meverden at St. William Catholic Church, Eland.

Jerry was a United States Army veteran, serving from 1955 to 1958.

He was an electrician for Wausau Insurance for 30 years until his retirement. Jerry was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting, fishing and camping. He also enjoyed feeding and watching the birds. The couple enjoyed traveling, especially wintering in Gulf Shores, Alabama, where they were members of the Wisconsin Club. Most important to Jerry was the time spent with his family, especially his grandchildren.

Gerald is survived by his wife Leah; two children, Douglas (Carol) Klopotek of Wausau and Diane (Bill) Poole of Belleville, Wisconsin; three grandchildren, Amanda (Nick) Unger of Duluth, Nathan (Haley) Klopotek of Weston and Hannah Klopotek of Wausau; great-grandson, William Klopotek; siblings, Joyce Umland of Birnamwood, Mildred Jolitz of Oshkosh and David (Patti) Klopotek of Colorado; first cousin, Sandy (Maurice) Damask of Custer and many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Joan Ostroski and Mary Ann Wawrzaszek.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, at St. Anne’s Catholic Parish in Wausau. Father Tom Lindner will preside. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church. Burial will be in St. Florian’s Catholic Cemetery, Hatley, with military rites conducted by the Darling-Gunderson Post #341, American Legion, Birnamwood.

Please keep the state mandate in mind with required masks and social distancing. Mass will be limited to 90 attendees.

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