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

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Jeffrey Matzke

Jeffrey Matzke

Jeff Matzke, affectionately known as “Animal,” passed away unexpectedly at his home on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at the age of 58.

He was born on March 21, 1962, to Dean and Germayne (Borner) Matzke in Oconomowoc. At the age of 16, he began a lifelong career of snowplowing in the Wausau area. He graduated from Wausau West High School in 1981. Jeff and his wife, Amy, owned Countryside Fence in Wausau until their retirement in 2019. Jeff formerly worked at County Concrete and the 139 Operating Engineers.

Jeff married Amy Waldvogel on Sept. 12, 2009, in Wausau, Wisconsin. Together they enjoyed traveling, especially loved their motorcycle, snowmobile and UTV trips with friends.

He was the life of the party and brought laughter and smiles to any occasion with a joke or funny story. He also enjoyed spending time with his friends on the golf course. Jeff’s most-enjoyed hobby was woodworking, where his talents were used for making generous, handcrafted gifts for others. In his retirement, Jeff spent his days outside caring for his meticulous lawn, creating a beautiful and immaculate landscape at their home in Wausau.

He is survived by his wife, Amy; stepdaughter Maya Desai; mother, Germayne Matzke; brother, Kevin Matzke (Lori); sister, Lori (Ron) Covelli; sister-in-law, Monica Matzke; Mother-in-law, Karen Waldvogel, brothers-in-law Andy (Jinny), Pete, and Rick (Susan) Waldvogel; nieces and nephews, Marissa and Paige Matzke, Jayme, Connor, and Colton Schubring, Grace and Leo Waldvogel and Raina and Cash Waldvogel. He is further survived by his beloved dog, Davey. He was proceeded in death by his father, Dean Matzke.

A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston. Because we care for family and friends, masks will be required, and social distancing observed. Memorials may be directed to the family for a charitable donation in Jeff’s name. A Celebration of Jeff’s Life, which will follow the visitation, is pending. In honor of Jeff, please dress casually and bring a story to share over a drink.

Online condolences may be shared at

Janet Burns

Janet Burns

Janet E. Burns, 90, of Wausau died on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. 

Janet was born on June 10, 1930, in the town of Maine to the late Otto and Alma (Radtke) Imm.  She married James Burns on Nov. 8, 1954, in Waukegan, Illinois.  Together they had six wonderful children.   

Growing up with immigrant parents and working on the farm, Janet learned what hard work was from a young age. She was employed as a bartender at the VFW but also worked hard at raising her family as well as being a caretaker to several aging family members.  Janet had a witty sense of humor and would often joke about playing the “old lady card.”  She enjoyed the slot machines at the NorthStar Casino and always looked forward to her and James’ twice-yearly trips to Las Vegas.  She will be remembered as a wonderful woman of God who loved her family unconditionally.   

Janet was joined in heaven by her husband, James; son Thomas; and her late brothers and sister.

Janet is survived by her children Linda Moreland, Michael Burns, Robert (Colleen) Burns, Patrick (Leslie) Burns, and Lori (Scott) Siejkowski; 11 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren; brothers Otto (Lenore) Imm Jr. and Charles Imm; and sister-in-law Catherine Kickbusch, her entire network of loving nieces, nephews and friends. 

Memorial Service will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 501 Stewart Ave., Wausau. The Rev. Timothy Smith will officiate.  Visitation will take place from 5 p.m. until the time of the service at the church on Friday.   

Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family.  Online condolences may be given at

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church, 501 Stewart Ave., Wausau, WI 54401. 

The family would like to thank Janet’s former neighbors, Dan and Theresa Mills, for their love and care of Janet. An immense thank you to all of the caring doctors, nurses and attendant staff, all of whom risk so much, especially Hannah and our angelic nurse, Sheila Oestreich.

Mamie Hardt

Mamie Hardt

Mamie A. Hardt, 98, passed away Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, at Aspirus Care and Rehab, Medford.

She was born Feb. 21, 1922, in Athens, daughter of the late Anton and Tekla (Klein) Neumann.  She was born at home on Bungaloo Road, and lived there until she met Wilbert Hardt at a dance and he swept her off her feet.  They married on April 29, 1944.  They farmed on Greiner Road until retirement.

She enjoyed playing Bingo, making crafts and listening to the music that came to Aspirus each week.  Mamie also enjoyed going to the casino with her daughters and read many books, especially about the Amish.

Survivors include her children, Marlene (Ronald) Kremsreiter, Athens, Gerald Hardt, Athens, Joycelyn (Lynn) Shattuck, Owen, Rhonda (Daniel) Janda, Meford and Donald (Cindy) Hardt, Dorchester; 15 grandchildren, Keith (Nettie) Kremsreiter, Athens, Ken (Julie) Kremsreiter, Merrill, Karla (Ed) Fink, Athens, Kriste (Paul) Niznik, Medford, Kimberly Reif, Edgar, Jeffrey Shattuck, Abbotsford, Wendy (Ron) Lundt, Rhinelander, Jaime (Kevin) Sherwood, Curtiss, Tom Janda, Medford, Tim (Missy) Janda, Medford, Julie (Freddie) Berger, Medford, Jill (Davy) Ecker, Athens, Miranda (Nathan) Bornville, Green Bay, Chantel Hardt, Appleton and Kaylee (Jake ) Dassow, Medford; 9 step-grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren and 22 great great-grandchildren.

Besides her parents and husband, Wilbert, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Elmer, Harold (Eleanor) and Lester “Pee Wee” (Lorna) Neumann.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens.  Rev. Mark Schwalenberg will officiate.  Burial will be in Athens Lutheran Cemetery.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  Social distancing will be practiced and masks are required for all attending.

A big thank you to all the nurses at Aspirus who took care of our dear mom for the past year.  Also thanks to activity director Amy Winter whom mom thought the world of.

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

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

Doris Zaitz

Doris Zaitz

Doris A. Zaitz, 78, Merrill, passed away on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

She was born Nov. 1, 1941, in Merrill, daughter of the late Albert and Agnes (Schauss) Schleif. On July 6, 1963, she married Ronald Zaitz at St. Wencel’s Church in Deerbrook.

Her favorite pastimes included knitting, sewing, cross-stitch and quilting. She loved spending time with family, especially the grandchildren. She was a Brewers fan and liked attending games. She enjoyed bowling in her younger years. Doris and Ronald met at Les and Jim’s Bowling Alley in Merrill.

Survivors include, her husband, Ronald; three children, Connie (Christopher) Kinney, Lino Lakes, MN, Christine (David) Johnson, Lino Lakes, MN and Craig Zaitz, Rothschild; three grandchildren, Stephanie and Steven Kinney and Riley Johnson; four sisters-in-law, Mary Ann Matuszewski, Isabelle Zaitz, Beverly Fleishman and Nancy Schleif; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Amy Zaitz; and one brother, Donald Schleif.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, at St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau. Rev. Joseph Richards will preside. Burial will be in Merrill Memorial Park. Visitation will be on Friday from 9 a.m. until time of services at the church. Social distancing will be observed, and face masks are required to attend.

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

Adeline Schwartz

Adeline Schwartz

Adeline A. Schwartz, 90, of Wausau, passed away on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, at Azura Memory Care. 

She was born in Mosinee to the late William and Florence (Slagoski) Steffen. She married Ernest Schwartz on July 2, 1949, at Grace United Church of Christ.

Together they raised four sons David, Dennis, Thomas, and Raymond. Ernest passed away on Oct. 20, 1997.

Adeline enjoyed listening to country music and dancing to polkas. She loved to travel and especially loved her trips to California and the special cruise she went on with her sons. She enjoyed playing canasta and spending time with family and friends. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Adeline is survived by her children, David (Mary), Dennis (Sharon), Thomas and Raymond; grandchildren, Kevin (Becky) Schwartz, Eric (Joy) Schwartz, Adam (Roberta) Schwartz, Chad Schwartz, Heather (Bob) Hare, and Jody (Kyron) Williams; great-grandchildren, Connor Schwartz, Annika Schwartz, Grayson Schwartz, Ethan Schwartz, Alexis Hare, Andrew Hare, Alaina Williams, and Amira Williams; brothers, Gene and Leroy (Katherine) Steffen; and brother-in-law, Wally Litza.

In addition to her husband and parents, Adeline was preceded in death by her brother, Edward (Erna) Steffen; sister’s, Gertie (Clarence) Kurszewski, and Betty Litza; as well as her in-laws, Bill (Tootie) Schwartz, Elsie (Gib) Krueger, and Helen Steffen.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau. Visitation will take place from 9 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park. Family and friends may go to to leave online condolences or words of remembrance. 

The family would like to thank the staff at Azura Memory Care for the compassionate care that they showed to Adeline over the past three years, especially during her last days.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Adeline’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Cancer Society

Betty Steidinger

Betty Steidinger

Betty Ruth Steidinger went to her eternal rest on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, surrounded by family at her home.  She will be greeted in heaven with outstretched arms and a wide smile from her son, Tom, who preceded her in death on May 7, 2013.

She was born Aug. 25, 1933, in the town of Marathon to the late Oscar and Clara (Koenig) Buttke.  Betty attended elementary school at Trinity Lutheran School, Wausau, and was a graduate of Mosinee High School. 

On Sept. 10, 1952, Betty married Gene Steidinger Sr. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau. 

In her earlier years, Betty worked at Wausau Labor Temple, helping cater weddings and events, later as a nurse’s aide at Sunnyvale Nursing Home and helped Gene on the family farm.  She enjoyed family trips and yearly get-togethers at the county fairs.  Betty took great pride in her vegetable and flower gardens and it was always a treat when you got a taste of her German potato salad or graham cracker pie.  When Betty and Gene raised Belgian horses, they always looked forward to their yearly 4th of July “wagon trains” with their friends who also raised horses.  Her happiest times were when she was with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband, Gene Sr., two sons, Gene Jr. and Brian, all of the town of Stettin, twin daughters, Cindy (Doug) Breyer and Sandy (Randy) Schmidt, all of Birnamwood, five grandchildren, Cody (Kimberly) Schmidt. Dillon Breyer, Derek (Special friend-Katelyn) Breyer, Jeremy (Trisha) Schmidt, Linda (Stan) Piszczor and seven great grandchildren, Tori, Bree, Zachary, Aaron, Brayden, Morgan, Ethan.  In addition to her parents and Tom,  Betty was further preceded in death by her siblings, Mildred (Ervin) Graveen, Donald (Helen) Buttke and Donna (Albert) Neuman and brothers and sisters-in-law, Rheinhold (Eleanore) Steidinger, Elsie (Walter) Semerau, Esther (Norman) Fellbaum, Erna (Rudolph) Thurs, Sadie (Alfred) Strei, Verna (Lawrence) Hanke, Hilton (Elaine) Steidinger and Vilas (Phyllis) Steidinger.   

Betty expressed her wish for private family services.  Her private services will be held on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church, town of Stettin.  Reverend Tryphine Schruba will officiate.  Burial will be in Stettin Christian Cemetery.  You may sign our family guest book at 

We would like to extend a special thank you to Interim Health Care for the care and kindness they gave Betty and our family.   The support we received from family and friends through their visits over the last few years means more than you can imagine.

Amy Tomczik

Amy Tomczik

Amy Tomczik, 56, passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 5, 2020. 

Amy was born July 6, 1964, in Merrill, Wisconsin, to Bill and Nona Zortman. Her father being a florist by trade, she spent much of her youth in the garden. She would carry this love of nature with her throughout her life. Whether it be fishing, animal watching, or tending to the various plants and trees in her own back yard. 

Her nurturing spirit was also evident in the way she raised her boys. A family woman, she always put her sons first, never missing a baseball, soccer, or football game. In her later years, she took pride in helping to raise her granddaughter, Kennedy. 

Amy’s enthusiasm wasn’t just confined to her family though. She worked hard and played even harder. Her work ethic was apparent for anybody to see, hardly ever resting and always going the extra mile. As an adult, she channeled this tireless energy by staying active while playing women’s softball. 

To those that knew her, Amy was an outspoken presence who always wore her heart on her sleeve. Loyal, affectionate, strong-willed to the point of stubbornness, she was also kind, considerate, profoundly sensitive, and generous to a fault. Whether it be as a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, or grandmother, the best way to describe Amy would be ‘devoted’. 

Her absence is deeply felt by everyone that knew her. Nevertheless, we are grateful for the time we had. Amy’s life would seem too short to many, but those who were touched by her understood that the quality of life far exceeds the amount of time in which one lives. 

Amy is survived by the love of her life, Scott Tomczik, as well as her mother, Nona Zortman, her sister, Kerry Zortman, her two sons, Michael (Vanessa) Wiederhoeft, and Eric (Amber) Lokemoen, and her three grandchildren, Caleb and Eli Wiederhoeft, and Kennedy Lokemoen. 

She was preceded in death by sister, Cynthia Zortman and her father, Bill Zortman. 

Please follow COVID-19 guidlines.  All attending will be required to wear a face mask and follow social distancing.

Betty Wadinski

Betty Wadinski

Betty Margaret Lucille Wadinski (1931-2020) 

Betty Wadinski, 89, of Wausau most recently residing at Pride TLC, passed away at Aspirus Hospital on Aug. 4, 2020. 

Betty was born in 1931 to Raymond and Mae Heiser. Betty was preceded in death by her loving husband William “Rover” Wadinski and her loving son Donald William Wadinski. She loved her family and grandchildren with all of her heart.  

She enjoyed camping, fishing, card playing, country music, and knitting. Making wool socks was one of her favorites. She loved reading from her bible. She became quite the social butterfly during her time at Pride TLC. She attended all the events they offered. She loved winning the prizes. She was always the 1st one at exercise class.  

Betty is survived by her three sons and three daughters – Thomas (Karen) Wadinski of Hazlehurst, David (Wendy) Wadinski of Kronenwetter, Dale (Natalie) Wadinski of Kronenwetter, Diane Doering of Wausau, Sue (Shawn) Mueller of Wausau, Barbara (Jay) Maier of Mosinee. She had 20 grandchildren and many great grandchildren.  

A special thank you to mom’s extended family at Pride TLC for loving her like her family did. Also a special thank you to the employees of Aspirus Wausau Hospital for their outstanding care and compassion towards our mother.  

Private services will be with her loving family.