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

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Sandra “Sandy” Ewan

Sandra “Sandy” Ewan

Sandra “Sandy” Ewan, 68, Athens, passed away peacefully at her home with her family by her side on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Sandy was born in Merrill, Wisconsin, on March 12, 1952, to Gilbert and Ceora (Haffemann) Sabatke. She attended Trinity Lutheran School and Merrill High School. Upon graduation, she worked at Merrill Manufacturing for less than a year. She then married Mark Ewan on June 19, 1971.

She ran a daycare and did some bartending for some time. After that, she worked at Athens Veterinary Service for nine years.  She was then offered a job at North Central Health Care working with the developmentally disabled.  She began by transporting clients and eventually became a job coach.  She was promoted to consultant and stayed with them for 20 years. When the program closed, she was so dedicated and happy with her career that she found the same job at Opportunity Development Center in Marshfield. She was immediately hired as a job consultant where she remained for eight and a half years. She worked there until her illness made it impossible for her to work anymore.

Sandy could light up any room she was in and always made everyone feel welcome. She enjoyed being with family at their cabin on Lake Nokomis. Sandy loved spending time with her children and grandchildren, especially when they were all together as a family. Pontooning and fishing were the highlight of many weekends. Animals were always close to Sandy’s heart which inspired many pets through the years, even some non-traditional ones. Her favorite of them all was little Roxie.

Sandy is survived by her beloved husband, Mark Ewan; children, Jeffrey (Dr. Amy) Ewan, Jayna (Cory) Brunke, and Jillian Ewan; grandchildren, Carter Brunke and Kylie Ewan, sister; Deborah (Barry Haff) Harris; brother, Steven (Cindy) Sabatke; brothers-in-law, Don Ewan and Roger (Carol) Ewan; sister-in-law, Shirley (Cliff) Parker; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and aunts.

She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Norman and Elsie Sabatke and Roy and Leona Haffemann; parents, Gilbert and Ceora Sabatke; in-laws, Harvey and Clara Ewan; brother, Duwayne “Butch” Sabatke; sister, Darlene Schmitt; brothers-in-law, Thomas Ewan and Larry Schmitt; sister-in Law, Karen Ewan; and two sons, Michael and Mark.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens.  Rev. Mark Schwalenberg will officiate.  Burial will follow at Athens Lutheran Cemetery.  Visitation will be on Friday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, and again on Saturday from 10 a.m. until time of services at the church.  Social distancing will be observed and face masks are required.  

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

Derek Williams

Derek Williams

Derek J. Williams, 31, of Wausau died unexpectedly on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020.

Derek was born on Feb. 17, 1989, in Wausau to Doug and Brigid (Finnegan) Williams.  He graduated from Wausau East High School in 2007 and went on to get his bachelor’s degree in business operations management with a minor in economics and sociology from UW Milwaukee in 2012.

Derek was constantly striving to be the best version of himself.  He was eager to learn and proud to be currently enrolled in the Human Services and Substance Abuse Counselor Education programs at Northcentral Technical College.  He dreamed of helping as many people as he could and aspired to be a positive influence to those in need. 

Derek loved spending time with his dad at the shooting range or taking spontaneous trips on the motorcycles, as well as hanging out at Hodag around a fire with his mom. He also enjoyed hiking and going on random adventures with his sister. Derek was an old soul who could be found with a cup of coffee watching the sun come up, and listening to music. Derek also found happiness in a beautiful sunset and the San Francisco Bay beaches.

Derek had a passion for helping others and volunteered often. He was always there for advice, support and encouragement, or a shoulder to cry on whenever he was needed. Derek always put others first and never met a stranger. He will be remembered for his big heart, sense of humor and contagious smile.

Derek is survived by his dad Doug (Deanna Budd) Williams, mom Brigid (Jeff Schaefer) Williams, sister Kaitlyn (AJ Stark) Williams, dog Bentley and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. 

He is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Ermal and Edith Williams, maternal grandparents Laurence and Caryl Finnegan, aunt Theresa Williams, uncle Larry Finnegan and cousin Chelsea Williams

Memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau. Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home on Sunday.     

Carol Spear

Carol Spear

Carol Jeanette Spear, 87, passed away on Sept. 15, 2020, at Azura Memory Care in Wausau. Carol was born on Jan. 18, 1933, to Henry and Myrtle Maas in Milwaukee. There she met and married Leroy (Lee) Spear in 1954, then moved to Rothschild in 1958 where they raised their seven children.

Carol is survived by four sons and three daughters: Roy of Ft. Myers, Florida, Mark (Judy) of Wausau, Scott (Jen) of Ringle, and Jim (Denise) of Weston. Her daughters are Jackie (Mike) Palmer of Wausau, Jean (Ross) Howland of Schofield, and Renee (Dina) Rasmussen-Spear of Wittenberg. She is also survived by a sister Mary Hartman of Waukesha, along with 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and former daughter-in-law Julie Spear. She cherished her friends and neighbors. You brought such joy to her life!

Carol was preceded in death by her loving husband Lee, (baby) daughter Laura Lee, sister Lois Matel and her husband Joe, brother-in-law Bob Hartman, and sisters-in-law Elaine Zarnowski and her husband Gene, and Joanne Spear and her husband Bill Drenzek.

Carol had a special talent playing the piano. One of her greatest pleasures was sitting side-by-side with her grandchildren, teaching them to play “Chopsticks.” Without realizing, she entertained her neighbors and those walking by on days when the windows and doors were open.

She spent many years helping at St. Mark Catholic Church in Rothschild with funeral luncheons, June Bug, and playing bells in the church choir, and working in the activities area at Kennedy Park Nursing Home. She also took great pride in her contributions to the restoration of the Rothschild pavilion, a cause that was especially important to her.

The family wants to say thank you to Carissa from Interim HealthCare & Hospice and to the amazing staff at Azura Memory Care for the loving care they gave Carol while residing there. Heroes really do work there!

Services will be held at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home on Thursday, Sept. 17 with visitation from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by a prayer service at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild, officiated by Father Alan Slowiak on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, at 10 a.m.

Memorials may be directed to Azura Memory Care at 3704 Hummingbird Road, Wausau, WI 54401 in memory of Carol.

Susan Hurst

Susan Hurst

Susan Mary Hurst passed away peacefully on Sept. 13, 2020, under the care of Wausau Manor with family by her side. Susan was born on April 28, 1947.

She grew up in Wausau and moved around, but she ended up spending the last five years back in her hometown with her daughter. She had many jobs to support her growing family, until she found her calling as a CNA and a nurse tech. Most of that time was caring for patients in Georgia and also caring for her grandchildren.

She enjoyed her travels and sightseeing around the United States with her parents, brothers, children and grandchildren. Her favorite place was on a beach next to the ocean when traveling. She also enjoyed watching movies (old time ones were her favorites), reading, doing crafts, and spending time with her large family. Her grandchildren meant the world to her.

She is survived by her brothers Pat (Lucy) McCarthy and Shawn (Jen) McCarthy: her children Paula Metallo (Jason Bombagi), Angie Braun (Jeff Graves), James (Maci) Shrock, Heather (Thomas) Hurst and Tim Hurst. The grandchildren are Matthew, Zachary, Megan, Brittany, McKayla, Robert, McKenna, JB, Chyann, Bella, Kali, Vanessa, and Ashlyn along with many nieces and nephews also.

Susan was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Delores McCarthy.

A Mass will be said in her memory at St Anne’s in Wausau at a later date. Family is asking in lieu of flowers; to send donations towards her Mass or to The Women’s Community center in Wausau in her name.