Robert Reichel

Robert Reichel

Robert David Reichel passed away on Thursday, September 17, 2020, at home surrounded by his family.

He was 92. Robert was born on November 4, 1927, to Christina and David Reichel. He was a Navy Veteran and served his country on the maiden voyage of the USS Mason that departed from the Boston Harbor and traveled to China. He returned home to central Wisconsin and began his career with WI Public Service, starting out building substations and finally retiring as a supervisor after 41 years. He married the love of his life, Shirley Hoppe, on October 7, 1950. Together they raised six children and one grandchild. He was a devoted husband and family man. He cared for his wife with steadfast and unconditional love in her final years and was fortunate enough to have spent the last six months of his life receiving that same love and care from his daughters. In his final days, he was surrounded by his great-grandchildren. He was and continues to be an inspiration to all who had the privilege to have known him. He will be dearly missed.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley, his parents, and one brother, Albert.

He is survived by his children, Lynne Clark, Dean (Jenn) Reichel, Diane (Robert) Parker, Jean (Jim) Gottlieb, Steven (Sheila) Reichel, Lori (Scott) Buckridge; grandchildren Jason (Kelley) Reichel, Jessica (Ryan) Baker, Amanda Buckridge, Matthew Gottlieb, Megan (Evy) Lara, Kyndra Reichel, Victoria Reichel, and 6 great grandchildren; his sister Donna Klein and many other relatives.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am at Restlawn Memorial Chapel, 235962 N. Troy Street, Wausau, WI on Saturday, September 26, 2020. Visitation will be at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce Street, on Friday, September 25, 2020, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Family and friends may go to to leave words of remembrance and online condolences.

The family would like to thank Aspirus Home Hospice for the loving care they gave our father. We would especially like to thank Haley, Shelley, and Linda.

Memorials may be directed to Paralyzed Veterans of America or The Smile Train

Theodore (Ted) Woller

Theodore “Ted” Woller

Theodore (Ted) Woller, 89 years old, passed away on Friday September 18, 2020 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk, WI. He was under the care of Ascension Healthcare Hospice Services. He was born at home on December 24, 1930 in Merrill to Theodore and Adeline Woller.

He met and married his most loved and cherished Violet Hoffman on Feb. 6, 1954 at Scott Memorial Methodist Church by Rev. Raymond Green. They spent 66 years of their life together raising their family.

Ted worked on a farm until he got his work permit when he turned 16 years old. Then he started to work at several different wood factories, Merrill Box Company, Northern Door Corp and Quality Wood Products. He retired at 74 years of age.

He loved the outdoors. He was most happy when he was cutting down trees, raking leaves, shoveling snow or mowing the grass. He also enjoyed taking care of his big vegetable garden. He enjoyed trout fishing and hunting squirrels with his dog Tippy. He also was an avid deer hunter. In the wintertime, snowmobiling with his homemade trailer made with skis (which he took his 2 daughters out for long rides)was his favorite sport. Watching all the football games on TV was one of his favorite past-times( the Green Bay Packers was his favorite team). He was well known as Firewood Fred by many of his family and friends. He kept many of them supplied with firewood.

He was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Merrill. He volunteered as an usher, a greeter, and rang the church bell on Sundays for many years. He served as co-superintendent for the Sunday School Programs and helped out as a youth leader. Attending Sunday Services were very important to him.

After waiting for over 2 years for the Lord to take him home, his prayers have now been answered. Ted is survived by his wife Violet; daughters Becky Woller, Sarah Polacek, and a sister Mary Ann Schaper who are all from Merrill. He was also survived by five grandchildren Melissa, Beth, Christopher, Nicholas and Kegan and 12 great grandchildren along with many nieces and nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Theodore and Adeline Woller, and infant son Gary, brothers Lawrence, Vernon, DuWayne, Gerald and Ralph (in infancy), sisters Berdean and Florence.

Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is handling the arrangements. Graveside Services will be held at a later date at the Joe Snow Cemetery. Online condolences can be made at

Michael Maurice Bird

Michael Bird

Michael Maurice Bird of Nekoosa, WI passed away on Thursday, September 17, 2020, at the age of 70. After several months of declining health, Michael died peacefully with his beloved wife Linda by his side.

Michael was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on February 9, 1950, to father Maurice Bird and mother Christine VerBerg. The youngest of three children, Michael liked to live on the wild side riding motorcycle, frequently travelling and working maintenance jobs most his life. Michael enjoyed fishing, metal detecting and spending time with friends and family.

In 1977 he met his wife Linda while in the hospital where she took care of him as his nursing assistant. They were married in Burnett, Wisconsin January 7, 1978. They built a beautiful family including two daughters and a son. Michael was overjoyed to become a grandfather in 2013 with the birth of his first granddaughter Eliana Jo and a year later a grandson Emmett Justin. Just recently, Michael was able to meet his newest granddaughter Kendall Anne.

Michael was preceded in death by his parents, by his brother Russell Bird and his sister Loretta Ganjai. He is survived by his wife Linda Bird; sister Marilyn Breeland; children Jennifer (Justin) Shermo; Anne (Justin) Fink; Jason (Alicia) Bird and three grandchildren.

A visitation for Michael is planned for Thursday, September 24th, from 9 am – 11 am. The visitation will be at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home on 631 E Grand Ave, Wisconsin Rapids, WI. All are invited to attend. The funeral service will follow immediately at 11am officiated by Pastor Beth Rohn-Habhegger.
“May love be what you remember most” – Darcie Sims

Rev. Roy Gerald Hoenecke

Rev. Roy Gerald Hoenecke

Reverend Roy Gerald Hoenecke, 88, of Wausau, died on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, WI.

Roy was born in South Milwaukee, WI, on December 10, 1931, to the late Professor Gerald and Norma (nee Larson) Hoenecke. He married Elizabeth L. Kade on June 7, 1958.

Roy’s early childhood years were spent in Cudahy, WI, where his father was pastor at St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church. In 1946, his father accepted a call to pastor the congregation at St. John Ev. Lutheran in Sleepy Eye, MN, and moved the family there in 1947. In 1952 the family moved once more to Thiensville, WI, where Roy’s father had accepted a call to teach at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

Roy graduated from Martin Luther Academy in New Ulm, MN, in 1950 and from Northwestern College, Watertown, WI, in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He continued his ministerial education at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Thiensville, WI, for two years before studying abroad in Germany for one semester at the Lutheran Seminary of Oberusel, near Frankfurt and another semester at Heidelburg University. During his year in Europe he traveled extensively, visiting 17 countries including the British Isles, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Norway. Upon his return he finished his studies at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, receiving a Master of Divinity degree on June 3, 1958. After marriage just four days later, he was assigned to Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in Fort Morgan, CO, where he served until 1961. At that time he accepted a call to serve the congregation of St. Paul Ev. Lutheran in Jordan, MN. In 1969 he accepted a call from Salem Ev. Lutheran Church in Wausau, where he remained as pastor until retiring in 2005. One particular passion throughout his ministry work was making visits to home-bound members and hospital patients. He called on unchurched and out-of-town WELS/ELS hospital patients in Wausau for over 35 years.

Roy had several varied interests and hobbies. Like his father, he developed a keen interest in photography and was one of the early adherents to the stereo (3-D) 35mm color slide photography format that was introduced in the late 1940s. In 1950 he entered a national photo contest, among whose contestants included movie director Cecile B. DeMille, in which he won first prize for a photo taken of a herd of cattle on a North Dakota ranch. Following his return from Europe, Roy gave 3-D European slide lectures to various church and community organizations. He also enjoyed cabinet-making and custom picture framing, and for a time generated a modest side income from the latter hobby. With his wife Elizabeth he shared a love for classical music and the two attended many such concerts over the years, practically from the day they met. Fondly remembered by his family are camping vacations to northern Wisconsin and the Rocky Mountain region of the west.

Above all, Roy was a child of God having been baptized in December 1931, confirmed in his faith on May 27, 1945, and professed his faith in his Savior Jesus Christ throughout his life. He is now home with his Lord.

Roy was a loving husband, a devoted father, a proud grandfather, a dear son, and a faithful friend. Roy is survived by his children: Mark (Susan) Hoenecke, Wausau; Daniel Hoenecke, Baraboo, WI; and Mary (Mark) Lepinske, Dodgeville, WI. He is also survived by four grandchildren: Katharine (Marc) Shambeau; Matthew (Karalyn) Hoenecke; and Christian and Stefan Lepinske; three great-grandchildren: Jonathan and Malachi Shambeau and Jenna Hoenecke. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Elizabeth, and his parents, Gerald and Norma Hoenecke.

The funeral service celebrating Roy’s entry into eternal glory will be on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at 11:00 A.M. at the Wausau campus of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2822 N. 6th Street. Reverend Kevin Schnake will officiate, and long-time family friend, Reverend Stephen Schlicht will preach the funeral sermon. Visitation will also be at the church from 9:00 A.M. until the time of service. John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be directed to the family at