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

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William “Bill” Kent

William “Bill” Kent

In loving memory of William Clark “Superman” Kent, who left our world peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at the age of 68.  He died surrounded by family following complications from a sudden aortic aneurysm at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Bill was born on Jan. 19, 1952, in Wausau, to the late Robert and Sallie (Fisher) Kent. He grew up in the Schofield area. Bill excelled in sports, especially football and wrestling, while attending D.C. Everest schools and graduated from there in 1970. He married his high school sweetheart, Linda, who survives him. Together they raised two children, who are their pride and joy.

Bill was employed as an engineer at the former Zimpro in Rothschild for 20 years. Later he worked for A&B Process Systems in Stratford. In between these, he owned and operated a plumbing contracting business in Wausau, Ace Plumbing, for 10 years. He retired in 2019. He was a skilled carpenter, having built several homes and completed numerous building projects for others in his spare time. He loved nothing more than holding a hammer in his hands and especially loved to help his children with his knowledge and skills. God must have needed something repaired in heaven.

Bill was active in his Church, singing in the church choir, and was a past Church President at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Rothschild. He loved to play golf and go camping, especially wilderness camping in the Boundary Waters. He enjoyed spending time every summer camping at Crystal Lake and Door County with family and friends; and treasured trips to Hawaii, sweet treats, and Mai Tais.

Bill was the embodiment of the Good Samaritan. He had a warm, gentle spirit, and his kindness knew no bounds. In times of trouble, there was no one more reliable and steadfast than Bill. You always knew it would be OK when he was there – and he was always there. He loved visiting with people and could bend your ear with long stories. He was the best husband, father, and grandpa in the whole world. Above all, Bill was a peacekeeper and the anchor of his family. He left us far too soon, we had so much more to say and do, and though the world is less without him, he will always be with us as we do and say as he taught us. His kindness will live on through all of us and all that he left behind.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, a brother Rod, father-in-law Raymond Kolbeck and mother-in-law Elaine Carpenter and her husband Wilfred. In addition, an infant niece. He is survived by his wife, a son Sam and Allie Kent, in Green Bay, and a daughter Sarah and Keith Sumner, Rib Mountain, and two granddaughters, Emily and Caitlyn, Rib Mountain. He is also survived by a brother, Bob and Carol Kent, Bayfield, Wisconsin, and sister-in-law, Deb Kent, Kronenwetter. As well as a large loving family of cousins, nieces, and nephews and many cherished friends.

The public visitation will be on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, beginning at 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams St., Wausau, Wisconsin. 54403. Due to current recommendations, masks are required and social distancing will be observed. Bill’s funeral service will be live-streamed at noon on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at during a private family service. Pastor Rich Block from Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Rothschild, will officiate. Bill will be laid to rest during a private committal service at Pine Grove Cemetery. The service will be made available for future viewing on the Brainard website. Online condolences may be shared at 

Lawrence “Nemo” Neitzke

Lawrence “Nemo” Neitzke

Lawrence “Nemo” Neitzke, 82, of Ringle passed away on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at Marshfield Medical Center, Weston.  

He was born in Wausau on July 19, 1938, son of the late Lawrence and Frances (Haffeman) Neitzke. He served his country honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1960 to 1962.  On Oct. 19, 1963, he married Mary Donovan in Wausau.  She preceded him in death in 2006.   

Nemo worked all his life as a semitruck driver.  He spent many years with Haupt Contractor Carriers, hauling equipment for Drott Manufacturing, later working for Foreway Express before eventually owning Neitzke Enterprises.  He was a member of the Road Nights car club and loved his 1969 Ford truck.  He enjoyed camping, traveling, hunting, and watching football games.  Most of all, he loved holidays spent with his family.  His grandkids and family were very important to him.  

Survivors include his daughter, Pam (Mike) Gregory of Kronenwetter, son, James (Terese Villiard) Neitzke of Kronenwetter, and daughter, Sandy Neitzke of Ringle; his siblings, LouAnn, Art, Andrea and Carolyn; his grandchildren, Marissa (Colin) Helke of Rothschild, and Zachary Neitzke of Ringle; his long-time friend, Darryl “Deputy” Will; granddog, Harvey, and his dog and special side-kick, Willy. 

In addition to his parents and wife, Mary, he was also preceded in death by his brother John, son Steven, and two grandsons, Jarred and Dyllan Gregory. 

Memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston.  Rev. Allan Slowiak will officiate.  Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the time of service.  Lawrence will eventually be laid to rest next to his wife, Mary, at Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau.   

Memories and condolences may be shared at

Joyce Voigt

Joyce Voigt

Joyce E. Voigt, 91, went home peacefully to her Lord and Savior in heaven surrounded by her husband, Carl, and family on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, while under Aspirus Hospice Care at Copperleaf Assisted Living of Marathon.  She is now our sweetest guardian angel here on earth.

Joyce was born Oct. 12, 1929, in Wausau, daughter of the late John and Clara (Fishbach) Zastrow.  On May 31, 1952, she married Carl H. Voigt at St. John Lutheran Church, town of Hamburg.  Carl and Joyce celebrated 68 wonderful years of marriage this past summer.  They were a perfect match, made just for each other.

Joyce graduated from Athens High School in 1947 and then went on to earn her teaching degree from UWSP.  She taught in her early years at Thayer School, Hamburg.  She went on to teach for many years at St. Mary’s in Marathon and also St. Anthony’s in Athens.  After retiring from full time teaching, she continued to substitute teach in many area schools.  She loved her students and they loved her.  During her life she also enjoyed many memorable times on the farm she owned with Carl in Hamburg.  In these years after retirement Joyce became a very much loved and appreciated daycare provider for her seven grandchildren. The memories given to these children are endless.   She mastered the art of knitting making many sweaters, slippers, scarves, hats and mittens for them. She also greatly enjoyed her time accompanying her husband, Concertina Carl, while he played in his band at area events and parties.  She was his best friend and he hers.

Joyce was very active in her community and church.  She was superintendent of Sunday School for 25 years.  She created many of the church’s banners, which still hang in St. Peter today.  She was a very active member of Berlin-Hamburg Lions for 20 plus years holding many different offices.  She served as Public Relations Lioness for many years making countless picture boards and displaying them just right.  Many will remember her sweet little phone calls asking to buy Lions benefit tickets which few could refuse.  She proudly received the Birch Sturm Fellowship award for her work with the Lions.

Survivors include her loving husband, Carl H. Voigt, Marathon; 4 adoring children: Jeffrey Voigt, Hamburg, Randall (Kay) Voigt, Wausau, Rhonda (John) Altfillisch and Valerie (John) Stubbe, Hamburg; 7 cherished grandchildren: Nicole (Ben) Krenz, Danita (Nick) Hahn, Gina (Derek) Grenfell, Brodie (Samantha) Altfillisch, Brandice (Alex) Clauff, John Carl Stubbe and Samantha (Tyler) Hamann; 10 treasured great-grandchildren: Lydia Krenz, Alexander, Bennett and Connor Hahn, Charlotte, Louisa and Adelaide Grenfell, Cecelia Clauff, Clara Altfillisch and Porter Hamann with another great grandchild due in January 2021; and 1 loving sister: June Mikesell, Wausau.

Besides her parents, mother and father-in-law, and numerous brothers and sisters in-law, she was preceded in death by an infant son.

Public visitation will be Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon.  Social distancing will be practiced and face coverings are required for all who attend.  Private funeral services will be at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Hamburg.

The family would like to thank Aspirus Hospice staff especially RN Beth, for her compassion and kindness at a time when we needed it most.  Also thank you to the staff at Copperleaf in Marathon for their care and kindness. 

Online condolences may be expressed at

Leonard “Smokey” Springer

Leonard “Smokey” Springer

Leonard “Smokey” E. Springer, 76, died Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

He was born Sept. 13, 1944, in town of Emmett, son of the late Paul Sr. and Blanche (Austin) Springer.  On Nov. 27, 1971, he married Janice Schlais at St. John Catholic Church, Edgar.

Leonard was a farmer and also worked on farm equipment for a machine shop in Edgar.  His hobbies included hunting, fishing and woodworking especially making birdhouses and working on a special cabinet with his grandson.  Above all, he loved spending time with his grandkids and family.

Survivors include his wife, Janice Springer; children, Jeremy (Barb), Matthew, Jon, Luke (Kayla) and Steven (Nichole) Springer; 11 grandchildren, brother, Robert Springer; sister, Rose (James) Karlen.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, Paul Jr., Edward, William, Delores and LaVerne Springer and a daughter-in-law, Erika Springer.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at St. John Catholic Church, Edgar.  Rev. Thomas Huff will preside.  Burial will be in the parish cemetery.  Visitation will be Saturday from 11 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  Social distancing will be practiced and face coverings are required for all who attend.

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

Esther Mueller

Esther L. Mueller, 97, Westfield, formerly of Athens, died Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, while under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Tivoli Nursing Home, Portage.

She was born Feb. 16, 1923, in the town of Hamburg, daughter of the late August and Wilhelmina (Krenz) Langhoff.  In 1944, she married Erwin Mueller at St. John Lutheran Church, town of Hamburg.  He preceded her in death on Dec. 22, 1992.

For many years Esther was a custodian and cook at Trinity Lutheran School.  She was very active in both the church and school most of her life.

Survivors include her daughter, Lois (Roy) Wiebe, Ottertail, Minnesota, her son, Ron (Dawn) Mueller, Westfield, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by one daughter, Edith, her grandson Joel and 12 siblings.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens.  The Rev. Mark Schwalenberg will officiate.  Burial will be in the Athens Lutheran Cemetery, next to her husband and grandson.  Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  Social distancing guidelines will be observed, as well as face masks required by all who attend.  Memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran School, Athens.  Funeral services will be live streamed thru the church’s facebook page. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Marcus Resch

Marcus “Mark” Resch

Marcus A. “Mark” Resch, 87, Wausau, died Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, at Our House Memory Care under the care of Interim Hospice.

He was born Oct. 2, 1933, in Aniwa, Wisconsin, son of the late John and Elisabeth (Toetschinger) Resch.  On May 14, 1960, he married Rosemarie Koerten at St. Therese Catholic Church, Rothschild.  She survives.

Mark was a longtime barber in the city of Wausau and many tales were told in his shop.  He also was a homebuilder and auctioneer having helped his brother, Herbert, with his business and eventually branching off on his own.

The Resch family has been parishioners of St. Michael Catholic Church.  Mark belonged to the Knights of Columbus George Schreier Council No. 1069 and the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Pere Rene Menard General Assembly, Wausau, as well as having been affiliated with the Brothers of Pius X.

Survivors include his wife, Rosemarie, two daughters, Mary (Joel) Bates, Keller, Texas, Diane (Bob) Donohoo, Franklin, Wisconsin; grandchildren, Alex Bates and Adam Bates; sister, Susanna (Lenard) LaPorte, Schofield; brother, Anton Resch, Weyauwega as well as nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant son, James and a brother, Herbert.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, at St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau.  Rev. Msgr. Mark Pierce will preside.  Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will be on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church.  Face mask and social distancing protocols are encouraged.

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

Irene Schmitz

Irene Schmitz

Irene Schmitz, 98, Wausau, died on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, at Marshfield Medical Center, Weston, from complications with COVID.

She was born Aug. 28, 1922, in Wausau, daughter of the late John and Catherine (Burger) Schmitz. 

For many years, she worked for Honeywell in Illinois until her retirement.  Among her favorite pastimes, she enjoyed bowling, golfing, and playing basketball and softball.

Survivors include, five nieces and nephews, Patsy Resch, Kronenwetter, Joan (Henry) Froehlich, Rib Mountain, Leonard Resch, Wausau, Sandy (James) Roll, Schofield and Dale Schmitz, Tomahawk; and other relatives and friends.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by nine siblings, Edward, Claude, Maynard, John and Ralph Schmitz, Katherine Gerber, Ethel Resch, Mildred Schmitz and Leona Schmitz.

Private burial will be in the Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau.

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

Wayne Mirek

Wayne Mirek

Wayne is survived by two sisters Barbara Lonsdorf and Nancy Folz and brother-in-law, Darrold Folz, along with eight nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Patricia Rucinski, brother-in-law Tom Lonsdorf and nephew Mark Rucinski. 

Private family graveside service at Gate of Heaven with Celebration of Life at a later date. 

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

Peggy Maier

Peggy Maier

Peggy June Maier, 87, of Wisconsin Rapids passed away peacefully on Nov. 6, 2020, with her loving family at her side. She was born on April 16, 1933, to William and Patricia (Clark) Tessmer in Junction City. She graduated from P. J. Jacob’s High School, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in 1951. She married Conlin Maier on Oct. 11, 1952, in Junction City.

She is survived by her loving husband “Connie” Conlin Maier, son Tom Maier, Rome, three daughters; Debra Maier, Amherst Junction, Patrice Maier, Wis. Rapids, Beth (Jeffrey) Frank, Wis. Rapids, granddaughter Sierra Frank, Wis. Rapids, grandson Brandon Frank, Wis. Rapids, brothers; Bill (Louise) Tessmer, Junction City, James (Kathleen) Tessmer, DuBay, sisters, Nancy (Ken) Tippery, Harmony Grove, Sharon (Gerald) Studinski, Custer, and brother-in-laws Nathan Bruce, Milton, Wisconsin, David Bishop, Hendersonville, North Carolina, Bill (Marge) Maier, Geneva, Illinois, and Ed (Mickie) Maier, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and many loving nieces and nephews.

Peggy was preceded in death by her sister Rosemary Bruce, Milton, Wisconsin, and sister Judith Bishop, Hendersonville, North Carolina, and brother-in-law Ted Maier, Wisconsin Rapids.

Peggy was a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and friend, and will be deeply missed by all. She was a faithful member and servant to her church, going to Gulf Port, Mississippi to help with hurricane Katrina relief efforts. One of her greatest passions in her life was being a nurse’s aid and providing Hospice care and in-home health care to families. Peggy and Connie enjoyed many travels together including camping with family and friends and vacations to Yellowstone National Park, Branson, Missouri, and fishing trips to Canada. Peggy loved gardening, star-gazing, dancing to Polka music, and reading and always had a book with her. She was an excellent cook and always had a baked good in the oven.

Services will be held at the Wisconsin Rapids Moravian Church, 310 First Ave., S., Wisconsin Rapids, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, with a visitation from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a noon service officiated by Rev. Beth Rohn-Habhegger with burial to follow at Restlawn Cemetery. The service will also be live via zoom by logging into the following address.

The family would like to thank the staff at Arborwood Lodge for their loving care for Peggy. All of you have become our family. Additional thanks to Heartland Hospice and John. J. Buettgen Funeral Home for your care and support during this time.

COVID19 Guidelines will be observed along with social distancing.

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

Dorothy Witucki

Dorothy Witucki

Dorothy H. Witucki, 88, entered into the house of the Lord on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at her daughter’s house surrounded by her family. She was born Dec. 20, 1931, in the city of Chicago, Illinois, to the late William and Violet Kucharski. She married John Witucki on June 23, 1951, at St. Fidelis church in Illinois. They celebrated 63 years together. Dorothy was loved and devoted to her two children and grandchildren as well as her great grandchildren and will be deeply missed by all.

She is survived by her daughter, Denise (William Rodgers Jr.,) and their two children William Rodgers and Tiffany Dietz. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law Diana Witucki and her three children, Mitchell Witucki, Maddie (Jeremiah) Harper, Meghan (Mike) Miller. And her great grandchildren, Marley, Wyatt and Rory Harper.

She is preceded in death by her parents William and Violet Kucharski, husband John and son James Witucki, and two sisters Loraine Levatino and Virginia Bartik.

Funeral Mass will be on Nov. 19, 2020, at 10 a.m. at Saint Bronsilava Catholic Church in Plover. No visitation at this time. Father Brandon will officiate.

Online condolences can be made at Mid-Wisconsin cremation society is assisting the family at this time.

Shirley Hartleben

Shirley Hartleben

Shirley E. Hartleben, 90, of Wittenberg died on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at Aspirus Hospice House, Wausau.

Shirley was born on Jan. 15, 1930, the daughter of Elmer and Ethel (Tullberg) Johnson.  She moved to the area from Milwaukee in 1938, at the age of 8.  She attended and graduated from Wittenberg High School in 1947. 

On Aug. 13, 1949, she was united in marriage to John J. Hartleben in Birnamwood.  He preceded her in death on Aug. 19, 2010.  The couple owned and operated the former Evergreen Inn in Wittenberg from 1961 to 1976 where Shirley made the best fish fry in the area.  The couple then owned and operated the Wittenberg Enterprise for eight years, retiring in 1987. 

Shirley worked in the kitchen at the Wittenberg Grade School for many years.  Shirley liked to play bingo at Homme Home of Wittenberg and enjoyed helping those who needed a little more assistance playing.  She also volunteered at the Homme Home resale shop, Alpha House, in Wittenberg. 

She was always willing to do shopping for friends and neighbors who had trouble getting around.  Acting as a chauffeur, one of Shirley’s joys was driving people to the Aquatic Center in Wittenberg, to doctor appointments, community affairs and the like. 

Shirley also liked to bake and enjoyed volunteering at the Wittenberg mealsite by helping with clean up and visiting with others.  She also served on the Nutrition Council as one of the Wittenberg mealsite representatives. 

Shirley was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Wittenberg and graciously volunteered whenever she could. 

She enjoyed card club and sitting outside enjoying her flowers, hummingbirds and deer.  

After living in Wittenberg for 82 years, her bucket list was fulfilled after traveling to Hawaii. 

Water exercise was a favorite of Shirley’s for many years in her retirement.  Please share a splash in her honor.   

Life was very good to Shirley.  She always said she was so blessed with wonderful family and great friends.  The little things in life made her happy.  

Shirley is survived by four children, Dennis (Patti) Hartleben of Eland, Melana Schlueter of Eland, Paul (Marcia Nueske) Hartleben of Wittenberg and Alan (Charis) Hartleben of Hudson; grandchildren, Todd (Jessica) Hartleben of North Bennington, Vermont, Jennifer (Greg Mercure) Hartleben of Neenah, Michelle Siebert of Charleston, South Carolina, Shawn (Jessie) Siebert of Greenville, Hope (Dave) Linke of Wausau, Ron (Michelle) Schlueter Jr. of Weston, Jordan (Ashley) Hartleben of Norwich, CT, Cody (Frances VanEyck) Hartleben of Chicago, IL, Lucas (Anna) Hartleben of Minneapolis, MN, Ryan (Elyse) Hartleben of Milwaukee and Nolan Hartleben of Minneapolis, MN; 11 (soon to be 12) great grandchildren; a sister, Eileen Schmidt of Neenah, sister-in-law, Audrey Hartleben of Wittenberg, a brother-in-law, Larry Trickel of Port Washington and several other relatives and friends. 

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John Hartleben; son-in-law, Ron Schlueter and three sisters, Mildred Johnson, Charlotte Yaeger and Betty Trickel.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family has decided to have a small, immediate family only funeral service.  Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  The funeral service will be live streamed on Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home’s Facebook and available at where memories and messages of support may be shared.

Armond “Dan” Schmidt

Armond “Dan” Schmidt

Armond “Dan” Schmidt, 85, formerly of Caroline, died Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, at the Pines Post Acute and Memory Care, Clintonville.

Dan was born on April 23, 1935, in the town of Red Springs, Shawano County, the son of George and Leona (Eggers) Schmidt Sr.

Dan honorably served his country in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 completing Utility Repairman and Construction Equipment Mechanic Certification at the USAREUR Engineer School in 1954. He was a member of the VFW and the Gresham American Legion Post 390 where he was Commander from 2002 to 2007, earning the Commander Award on June 1, 2007. Armond was honored to travel with the North East Wisconsin Honor Flight in 2015.

He operated a dairy farm, drove logging trucks and was employed by Grunewald Excavating until his retirement. In his retirement, he used his skills and developed his passion for restoring old cars and tractors that were showcased in numerous community parades.

Dan is survived by his loving wife, Annette; two daughters, Patty Jo (Kelly) Zillmer and Penny Lou (Dan) Boileau; three grandchildren, Scott (Jodilyn) Zillmer, Catherine Zillmer and Kysia (Jason) Vanderveren; one great-grandson, Lincoln; three step-grandchildren; seven step-great-grandchildren; siblings, Connie (Austin) Newcomb and Carol (Jack) Lowder; sisters-in-law, Charlotte Schmidt and Judy Hanson and 32 adoring nieces and nephews.

Greeting Dan in heaven were his parents; siblings LaVon (Leonard) Andrus, Carmen (Milan) Thiex, Marlea (Ed) Schulz, Rose Marie (Jim) Churchill and George Jr. and Angela; step-grandson, Michael; niece, Carol Jean (Jim) Aleson; and in-laws, Alfred and Catherine Hanson and brother-in-law, Roger Hanson.

We will always remember Dan’s quick wit that made us laugh and his charming mannerism that made us all feel loved and special in his life. We are proud of his accomplishments, admired his hard work ethic and loved him dearly. We now say good-bye until we meet again.

A wake will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bowler from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, followed by the funeral at 11 a.m.

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

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith

Thomas A. Smith (aka Taco and Graaavy) died peacefully with his wife by his side, on Oct. 31, 2020, after a courageous battle with metastatic prostate cancer.

Tom was born on Jan. 16, 1951, in Wausau to Alfred (Bevo) and Virginia (nee Cole) Smith. He attended St. Michael’s Catholic School and graduated from Wausau High School in 1969. After graduation, he went on to hold various jobs in different fields until he found his hidden talent at Wausau Tent and Awning Company/Wausau Canvas Co., where he became an expert sewer and fabricator of awnings, boat and truck covers and many other items. After 13 years he decided it was time to get out of a shop and back outside. He started working as a greenskeeper during the inception of Greenwood Hills and worked there for several years until transferring over to the Wausau Country Club in 2000. It was there he earned the name ‘Graaavy’ because he always got the easy jobs and got to ride the mowers all day long. He worked there until retiring at seasons end in 2014.

He, along with his wife and son, have owned Xena’s Village Inn, Wittenberg, for the past 20 years. His sick sense of humor, raunchy nasty jokes (how he earned the name ‘Taco’) and eclectic taste in music will be missed by all he shared them with. The Village will never be the same without their Taco.

In his younger days, he was an avid runner and bicyclists. Putting 1000s of miles on his orange Schwinn. He enjoyed camping and cooking over the open fire. His favorite past time was hiking with his two buddies, Thor and Shadow, on Rib Mountain. Rain, shine, snow or below zero temps, they went almost every day. I’m sure they were there to greet him, eagerly yipping for him to take them on a hike. He had a green thumb and after moving out in the country, enjoyed tending his huge garden for many years. He also had an extreme love of music. Reggae being one of his favorites which inspired several trips for him to Jamaica, his home away from home.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Amy White; their son, Justin White; two sisters, Jane (Joe) Nikolai and their children Julie and David and Shirley (Alan) Schilling and their children Rhonda and Brenda; many nieces, nephews, in-laws, relatives, his Village family and many other very special friends too numerous to mention. He is also survived by Prada, his companion dog he sat for. She is already missing her Taco and the rides SHE TOOK HIM ON in HER little purple truck.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Virginia Smith and a brother, James Smith.

We would like to thank the staff at The Homme Home of Wittenberg for the loving care you gave to Tom during his time with you. He had nothing but good to say about all of you and raved about the food! A very special thank you to Kimmyra Bowers for being there and taking care of our Taco when I wasn’t allowed to be. I know it was very hard on you and we both love you very much.

We would also like to thank The Diagnostic & Treatment Center Radiology Oncology Department, Melissa, Josh, Aaron, Heather, Claire, Kristen, Jini and Dr. Ly for the wonderful care given to Tom and the love and support given to us both during his treatments there. You all went above and beyond what was ever expected. Also a very bit Thank You to Cindy, the most AWESOME greeter at the Marshfield Cancer Center. Your kindness and smile will never be forgotten.

Please join us for a Celebration of Tom’s Life/Memorial Pot Luck Gathering beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Village Inn, 500 S. Webb St., Wittenberg. Food, fun, good music and the sharing of many great memories. A dish to pass is welcome but NOT REQUIRED to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the family to assist with medical and funeral expenses appreciated.

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