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

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William “Bill” Blair

William “Bill” Blair

William “Bill” Blair, 90, of Schofield joined his wife, Betty Blair, in heaven on Sept. 21, 2020. He is survived by his children Norma (Clifford) Bazer, LeRoy (Kim) Bassett, Naman (Donna) Bassett, Steven (Theresa) Bassett, Robert Bassett, and Paula Bassett; 21 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; extended family and friends.

Bill was born in Flint, Michigan, on Feb. 15, 1930, to the late Mark and Luzella Blair. He joined the U.S. Army after graduating and worked over 25 years as a courier driver, never getting a ticket or having an accident. He enjoyed a round of golf and was a great golfer. Bill married Betty Bassett in Arizona on July 29, 1978. They had the absolute perfect marriage. 

Private services will be held. 

Dale Tessmer

Dale Tessmer

Dale L. Tessmer, born on April 3, 1943, to Leslie and Doris Tessmer slipped away from us in his sleep on Sept. 20, 2020, from natural causes.

He graduated from Wausau Senior High in 1962. He married Veronica (Vicky Rhyner) Obermeier on June 20, 1964, and divorced in 1977.  He then moved to Janesville to work at the Chevrolet plant. Dale moved back to Wausau in 1967 and joined the Wausau Police Department where he worked up the ranks from patrol, sergeant, lieutenant and then Lieutenant Detective for 30 years, retiring in 1997. He then started a second career driving school bus for Laidlaw/First Student in Wausau. He started in August of 1997 and was planning on continuing this year. He really enjoyed driving a bus. The last few years he had a route that took him to the area he grew up in; the town Of Maine. That was the ultimate route for him. He and his wife Mari also tried their hand at real estate. Starting in 1998 they worked together at Century 21 TriCity, Keller-Williams and, lastly, Coldwell Banker Action, retiring from that career in 2015.

He married Mari Stelmark (Leitza) on Aug. 18,1978. Together they blended two families and added two more children .

He loved spending time with his family and there was always some occasion to celebrate. He enjoyed going to Canada fishing with one of his best friends, John Tappe. He also made a few trips to Canada with his kids and grandkids. Even convincing Mari to go on two occasions.

Every year, Dale, Mari and friends from work would go to Las Vegas to try their luck. We would meet up with Mari’s brother Don and his wife Mary. Sadly with COVID-19 restrictions we did not make our 20th year in Vegas.

He is survived by his wife Mari of 42 years. Children Steve (Diane), Don (Beverly) Andrew (Tonya) Shawn (Lorana) Jen (Jason) Leber. Stepchildren Paul (Jackie) Leitza and Scott (Theresa) Leitza .He also is survived by his siblings Dennis (Jean) Stanley (Connie) Karen (Mark) Wilkes and Debra (Jack Urmanski). Twenty-three grandchildren Ashley, Jacob, Dakota, Gerald, Austin, Nathan ,Tiffany, Hailey, Brian, A.J. Sarah, Natalie, Zack, Mikayla ,Kaleb, Victoria, Felicity, Mina, Roderick Egan ,Magnus ,Alec and Nolan. 9 Great Grandchildren Ayden, Alex, Kandon, Emma, Jordan, Oliver, Finn, Quinn and Lydia. So Christmas was an all out occasion. Also numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Les and Doris, in-laws Vincent and Dorothea Stelmark, sons Daniel and David, brother Ron, grandson Don Jr. granddaughter Taylor and brother-in-law Don Stelmark.

Dale loved life and said he was never going to grow up. He will be missed by family and friends. He was well liked and loved by everyone he met. We know you are fishing and playing cards with all your loved ones.

A funeral service will be held at noon on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston.  A visitation will begin at 11 a.m. until the time of the service.  Because we care about family and friends, facemasks will be required and social distancing will be observed.

Todd Schmidt

Todd Schmidt

Todd D. Schmidt, 57, Wausau, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, at his home.

He was born Oct. 1, 1962, in Wausau, the son of Janet (Miracle) Schmidt and the late Martin Schmidt Jr.  On Nov. 14, 1997, he married Corrine Goede in Marathon County.

Among some of his favorite pastimes, he enjoyed fishing, cooking, playing basketball, listening to music and was always willing to lend a helping hand to someone in need.

Survivors include his wife, Corrine Schmidt, Wausau; son, Adam Schmidt, Wausau; mother, Janet Schmidt, Wausau; three siblings, Perry (Laura) Schmidt, Hatley, Brian Schmidt, Schofield and Amy (Kurt) Cieslek, Kronenwetter; sister-in-law, Lisa Koskey, Wausau; brother-in-law, Daniel (Mary) Geode, Wausau; and nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau.  Social distancing will be observed and face masks will be required to attend.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Rick “Wolfy” Wolf

Rick “Wolfy” Wolf

Rick “Wolfy” Wolf, 55, of Wausau passed away unexpectedly on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.

He was born Oct. 31, 1964, in Wausau, son of the late Marvin and Sandra (Kolbeck) Wolf.  On Sept. 24, 1994, he married Susan Verhaegen in Tomahawk.  She survives.

Wolfy had a long history in the home building business. He worked at Wicks Lumber, Lakes States Lumber and most recently at Wausau Homes.  He also enjoyed grooming the runs at Granite Peak for more than 25 years.

Some of his favorite pastimes included attending car shows with Charlie, hunting, fishing in Canada with his friends and family, throwing darts with his partner Ricky, wood working, cooking, spending time with his nieces and nephews, telling stories around the campfires and traveling.  Wolfy and Sue truly enjoyed going on vacations together and living life to the fullest.

Survivors include his wife, Sue Wolf, Wausau, his cockatiel, Sammy, his sisters-in-law, Terri (Fred) Surrett, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Lorie (David) Graupmann, Minnetonka, Minnesota, Paula (Ron) Homa, Colgate, Wisconsin, Shirley (Roman) Derleth, Tomahawk, Wisconsin, Shelley Hermes, Annandale, Minnesota, his brothers-in-law, Bill (Stephanie) Verhaegen, Phoenix, Arizona, Paul Russell, DePere, Wisconsin, his Godchildren, Carlie Hermes and Faith Derleth, his aunt and uncle, Tom and Gale Narlock, Wausau, Wisconsin, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Chris, and grandparents, Richard and Dorothy Kolbeck and John Wolf and Estelle Lemke.

A public memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau.  Social distancing guidelines will be practiced, as well as face masks required for all attending the visitation.  A private family memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. The Rev. Erik Olson will officiate.  Online condolences may be expressed at  Wolfy’s service will be live-streamed through the Peterson/Kraemer Facebook Page.

The family would like to express their gratitude for the efforts of the Riverside EMS and the onsite doctor.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to be made in honor of Wolfy to the First English Lutheran Church Food Pantry or Building Fund.

Larry Framke

Larry Framke

Larry C. Framke, 83, Athens, died Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at Colonial Center, Colby.

He was born Jan. 12, 1937, in Athens, son of the late Charles and Linda (Bramm) Framke.

Larry graduated from the Athens High School.  His first job was with Stratford Homes, and he later worked for other area mobile home builders.  He also worked for Athens Co-op for five years, working on furnaces.  Later in life, he retired from Kolbe and Kolbe in Wausau.  Larry was a longtime member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens. 

When Larry was a young man, he had an interest in cars of all kinds.  His was always immaculate.  Throughout the years, he enjoyed heating his home with firewood.  On March 11, 2017, Larry had a devastating house fire that burned his family home to the ground.  He had been living there since 3 years of age and had lost most family photos and mementos.  Fortunately, family and friends generously helped him with things he needed following the fire. 

He is survived by many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Carl and Norman, three sisters, Agnes Framke, Jeri Poker and Bernice Giese, and one nephew, Gary Framke.  

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens.  Rev. Mark Schwalenberg will officiate.  Burial will be in the Athens Lutheran Cemetery.  Visitation will be on Friday from 10 a.m. until time of services at the funeral home.  Social distancing will be observed and face masks will be required to attend.

Pallbearers are Lori Butt, Robert Framke, Greg Framke, Geoff Framke, Michael Giese and Kenneth Giese.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Athens.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Barbara Peterson

Barbara Peterson

Barbara Ann (Hager) Peterson, 88, Wausau, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, under the care of Ascension Hospice at Bell Tower Residence, Merrill. 

She was born May 11, 1932, on the family farm in Fenwood, Wisconsin, to the late Andrew and Alvina (Wiesman) Hager.  She was the ninth of 10 children.  Barbara graduated from Edgar High School in 1950.  She met Russell A. Peterson at a friend’s wedding.  They married on Feb. 14, 1952.  They were married 58 years until Russell’s passing on Sept. 3, 2010.

After high school, Barbara went to UW-Stevens Point Normal School, obtaining an elementary school teaching degree.  She graduated in 1952.  Her first teaching job was in Spencer, Wisconsin, in a one-room schoolhouse, teaching grades first through eighth.  

Russell began his working career in Milwaukee and Barbara was able to find a teaching job at St. Francis Elementary School, where they lived.  Russell and Barbara wanted to move back to the Wausau area to be closer to family.  Barbara stopped teaching for a little while to raise three children.  Once the youngest child started first grade, she started teaching again.  Barbara taught or subbed at many of the elementary parochial schools in Wausau.  Her main teaching subjects were English and social studies in grades seventh and eighth.  Barbara was forever the teacher and always loved to learn.  She was very picky about proper English.  A couple of her sayings were that cake is done, everything else finished.  Another one was you borrow from, lend to.

Barbara had a variety of interests.  She loved playing games and cards, especially Sheepshead and Bridge.  Barbara loved to sew all types of things, especially quilts for family, friends and for Lutheran World Relief.  Barbara was an excellent cook.  She would experiment with different foods.  Her lasagna was the best.  She made wonderful Christmas bars and cookies.  Barbara loved hummingbirds.  She loved feeding them and watching them.

Barbara and Russell loved spending time at their cottage on Lost Lake in St. Germain and loved traveling to various places in the United States, Europe and Mexico.  For a number of years they stayed in Panama City Beach, Florida, six months of the year to get out of Wisconsin’s cold weather.

Barbara is survived by her children, Peggy (Lee) Olbrantz, Wausau, Dirk (Kathi) Peterson, Merrill and Grant (Judy) Peterson, Tomahawk; grandchildren, Jennifer (Mike Grozis) Olbrantz, Appleton, Rebecca (Seth) Van Heuklon, Oshkosh, Julia (Ciprian) Ionel, Wausau, Paul (Rachel) Peterson, Merrill and Christopher (Monica) Peterson, Wausau; and great-grandchildren, Cayden, Maverick, Elijah and Aubrey.  She is further survived by a sister, Janice (Clarence) Dumke, Oshkosh; brother-in-law, Rex Mortenson, Wausau; and many nieces and nephews.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; brothers, Gust, Warren and Marvin; and sisters, Ella, Melba, Florence, Verna and Adeline.

The family would like to thank the staff at Bell Tower Residence and Ascension Hospice, especially her nurse, Tim, for their wonderful care.  A big thank you also goes to Kathi Peterson, Barbara’s daughter-in-law, for all her extra care that she gave Barbara.

Private services will be held at Restlawn Memorial Park Chapel, Wausau.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 630 Adams St., Wausau, WI 54403.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau, is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Dorothy Flees

Dorothy Flees

Dorothy M. Flees, 95, of Wausau, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, at Marshfield Medical Center-Weston.  She had been residing at Mountain Terrace Senior Living for the past six years.

She was born on April 23, 1925, the youngest of five children, to the late Henry and Anna (Seidler) Barthels in the town of Hewitt.  She grew up in the Wausau area and attended school, completing high school.  She went on to work at Employers Insurance Co., eventually becoming office manager before retiring after many years of service.  Dorothy married Wallace Flees on April 18, 1964, in Wausau and he preceded her in death in 1967.

Dorothy will be remembered as a caring and generous person.  After working she was very generous with her time as a volunteer for many organizations in the Wausau area, including the Historical Society and United Way.  Dorothy was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church, Wausau.  She was head of quilting for Lutheran World Relief, member of sewing circle, Young at Heart, Ladies Aid, and attended Bible Study.  Dorothy was always available to lend a hand.  She also enjoyed traveling around the United States, Canada, and overseas.  In her younger years she was an avid bowler and enjoyed golf, even scoring a hole in one once.

Survivors include her nieces and nephews, Barbara and Wallace Hohn of Sheboygan, Barbara Baumann of Wausau, and Edward Hahn of Mosinee; great-nieces and nephews, Lori (Jeff) Braatz of Merrill, Donna Baumann of Wausau, Scott (Tonya) Baumann of Wausau, and Michael (Karen) Hohn of Sheboygan Falls; seven great-great-nieces and nephews; and six great-great-great-nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Wallace; parents, Henry and Anna Barthels; brothers and sisters, Elmer (Viola) Barthels, Henry Barthels, Louise (Harold) Krueger, and Leona (Herbert) Baumann; and niece and nephew, Sharon Hahn and Donald Baumann.

A funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, at Zion Lutheran Church, 709 North Sixth St., Wausau, with Rev. Christopher Johnson officiating.  Family and friends may call beginning at 1 p.m. until the time of service at the church.  Burial will follow in St. Michael Cemetery, Wausau.

You may sign the family guestbook at

The family would like to thank the staff at Mountain Terrace Senior Living for providing excellent care to Dorothy.

Due to the current recommendations masks will be required and social distancing will be observed.

Robert Thorson

Robert Thorson

Robert E. Thorson, 51, of Tigerton died on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, at Copperleaf Terrace under Interim Hospice Services.

Robert was born on June 30, 1969 in Appleton, the son of Lester and Juretta (Lund) Thorson.

Robert was a faithful member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, in the town of Morris, where he loved attending services. He worked as an iron pourer at the Waupaca Foundry for 19 years. Robert enjoyed walking his dogs and walked up to ten miles a day. He enjoyed spending time outdoors, especially snowmobiling and kayaking.

Robert is survived by his father, Lester; two brothers, Mike Thorson of Tigerton, and Russ (Diana) Thorson of Green Bay; seven nieces and nephews, Jennifer Thorson of Billings, Montana, Jeri Korth of Green Bay, Greg Thorson of Billings, Montana, Jordan Thorson of Tigerton, Mike Thorson Jr. and Jacob Thorson of Wittenberg, and Nick Thorson of Portland, Oregon. He was preceded in death by his mother, Juretta, and brothers David and Scott.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial service will be held in the spring of 2021.

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

James “Jim” Vaughn

James “Jim” Vaughn

James ‘Jim’ Vaughn, 83, of Aniwa died on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Jim was born on Nov. 10, 1936, in the town of Plover, Marathon County, the son of Glenn and Minnie (Trantow) Vaughn.

Jim was a United States Army veteran.

On July 25, 1959, Jim was united in marriage to Patricia Lenzner in Antigo.

Jim was employed at Graphic Packaging for 36 years until his retirement. He was active with his family and community and mentored many young people in the game of baseball. For over 40 years Jim coached Aniwa Little League, Babe Ruth and BABA. He loved spending time in the outdoors, especially deer hunting. His family was very important to him and he will be missed.

Jim is survived by his wife, Pat; four sons, James “Jamie’ (Teresa) Vaughn of Antigo, Greg (Tina) Vaughn of Wausau, Jeff (Amy) Vaughn of Antigo and Stuart (Kaia) Vaughn of Aniwa; 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, David and Dennis.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 164923 County Road Z, Wausau, WI 54403. Rev. John Stransky will preside. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, town of Harrison (Hogarty) with military rites. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood, and again at the church on Thursday from 9 a.m. until the time of service.

Memories and messages of support may be shared at