Robert “Bob” “Benji” Winter

Robert “Bob” “Benji” E. Winter

Robert “Bob” “Benji” E. Winter, 76, of Weston, went home to be with Jesus on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, surrounded by his family at his home, after being lovingly and tenderly cared for by his loved ones with the help of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, Wausau. 

He was born on July 13, 1944, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, son of the late Lloyd and Vera (Poplasky) Winter. Bob served his country honorably in the US Air Force from 1962 – 1965, as part of the Military Police, serving stateside during the Vietnam War. He married Mary Ellen (Filbin) Winter in 1966 in Minnesota. Bob and Mary had three wonderful children together. He later married Gail Sue Miears in 1991 in Austin Texas. She preceded him in death on November 30, 2017, after 25 years of marriage.  

Bob had a long career in sales for 3M Corporation, which took him to Minnesota, Texas and Colorado. He moved to Wisconsin in 2019 to be closer to his beloved family. Bob enjoyed traveling, being outdoors, riding his motorcycle, entertaining friends & family and cooking – especially grilling. He was known for his grilled ribs, and he was affectionately referred to as the “Spaghetti Master” by those who enjoyed his cooking. Family meant the world to Bob, and he’ll be remembered for his great sense of humor and love for his children.  
Survivors include his three children, Robert “Bob” G. Winter of St. Paul, MN; Lisa (Rob) Pue of Rib Mountain, WI; and Becky Winter of Wisconsin Rapids, WI; four grandchildren, Rob (Shelby) Pue, Jennifer Pue, Alley (Peter) Heckenberg, and Brandon Winter; two great-grandchildren, Jude and Evelyn Pue; and one brother, Michael (Colleen) Winter of Merrifield, MN, and a sister-in-law, Theresa Winter of Apple Valley, MN.

In addition to his parents and his wife Gail, he was further preceded in death by his three siblings, Steven Winter, Gene Rogowski, and Marianne McKay, as well as his beloved dachshund, Molly. 

A memorial service will be announced soon, and entombment will take place at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN. Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel, Weston, is assisting the family with arrangements. 

You may leave messages and condolences for his family at

Walter Vinson II

Walter Vinson II

Walter E. Vinson II, 75, passed away Sunday, December 27, 2020 in Wausau, WI, with his family by his side.

Due to current public health concerns with COVID-19, a service will not be held.

He was born June 14, 1945 in Indianapolis, IN to Walter and Marian Vinson.  He served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War.  Then graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Business Administration from Indiana University at Indianapolis.  Walt went on to work for many years in various aspects of health insurance, as a Vice President of Claims and Director of Network Operations.  He and his wife Bette have lived in Wausau, WI since 2003.

Walt was an amazing man who had a profound effect on so many lives.  He had a quick wit, a compassionate heart and a smile that could light up any room.  He never met a stranger and had a servant’s heart.  Christ’s love truly shined through him and his actions on a daily basis.

He was an active member of Highland Community Church and loved serving his church and the community.

His interests included time with family, especially his four grandchildren; reading; yardwork; watching Ohio State athletics; rides on the golf cart; and caring for the multitude of woodland animals that frequented the serenity of their backyard.

Walter is survived by his wife of 52 years, Bette Vinson, and his two daughters and their families; Jennifer Gilbertson (children Andrew and Sydney), Jeremy and Diana Braziel (children Chase and Kinley).

He was preceded in death by his parents Walter E. Vinson and Marian E. Frost-Vinson, as well as by his half-brother Glenn Vinson.

Though we mourn our earthly loss, we celebrate his heavenly homecoming and reunion with Christ and his Heavenly Father.  We find comfort knowing that in our salvation through Christ we will see him again.

Carl Penno

Carl Penno

Carl Penno, 98, Marshfield, formerly of Edgar passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020 while under the care of Heartland Hospice at Aster Assisted Living Center in Marshfield, WI.

Carl was an educator in Blair, WI and also Edgar, serving as a high school teacher, guidance counselor and principal.  In his early twenties he saw extended combat in World War II, earning a purple heart, serving in North Africa, Anzio and the Battle of the Bulge.  He felt his calling to become a teacher while in combat, promising himself that he would serve others if he survived the war.

Proudly serving as a Corporal during WWII Carl was wounded in action at Anzio Beech.  He also served in North Africa, 2nd Armored Division under General George Patton and at Cassino in Italy in 1943.  He landed in southern France on D-Day with the 5th Army and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  He served with the Army of Occupation in Germany for six months as an interpreter.  He was finally discharged at Camp Grant, Illinois in 1945.

He married Margaret (Marge) Florence Mueller soon after discharge from the Army, and they remained married until her death in 2008. He attended college under the GI Bill at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and obtained a master’s in education from the University of Wisconsin – Superior. He spent most of his life living in Edgar, WI. Carl was fortunate to enjoy retirement for more than 40 years.  He also belonged to many clubs and organizations in the Edgar and Wausau areas.

Like all of us, Carl experienced many joys and sorrows during his life. Among them was a great sadness that the family experienced when daughter, Mary Ellen, suddenly passed away at the age of 18 in 1967. Aside from his very dear wife and family, music was definitely among Carl’s greatest joys. He could play several instruments and he loved to sing. His incredible memory produced a repertoire of several hundred tunes, including hymns and old-time music which he would play at the drop of a hat on his accordion, making frequent visits to play for nursing home residents in Marshfield.  Carl also enjoyed spending many summers at Lake Tomahawk and traveling with Margaret. 

Until recently he played his accordion at the Aster during Happy Hour Fridays. Carl loved languages. During the War, he enthusiastically learned words, phrases and songs in French and Italian, and remembering them long after. His German was very good, and he was asked to stay on in Germany after the War to interrogate German officers. He cherished having the time to read – histories in particular. He enjoyed carving birds for friends and family.  Other joys during his eight year stay at the Aster included cheering up any resident who seemed to be lonely and helping with church services.

Carl has two surviving children Mark (Bonnie) Penno, Iowa City, Iowa and Tim (Linda) Penno, Marshfield and one grandson, Alex Penno, Houston, Texas.

Besides his parents and loving wife, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary Ellen Penno in 1967, his sister Dorothy Mais and his brothers, Lawrence, Fred and Irvin.

Private family services will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Edgar is in charge of arrangements.  Memorials in Carl’s name may be directed to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, Wausau.  Online condolences may be expressed at  The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to all the staff at Aster Assisted Living Center and Heartland Hospice for the outstanding care they all gave Carl during his stay with them.

Rita Voermans

Rita Voermans

Rita Jayne Voermans, age 87, died peacefully at the Wellington Place at Rib Mountain, Wausau, WI on December 29, 2020.

Rita is survived by her longtime companion Alan Wesner, sons, Donald, Jeffrey (Ann), Greenville, WI and Gerald (Beth), Roseville, MN; grandchildren Ellen Earixson (Daniel), Carrboro, NC, Scott (Megan Dallas), White Bear Lake, MN, Michelle Michal (Zachary), Grayslake, IL and Benjamin, Milwaukee, WI; greatgrandchild Soren Earixson, Carrboro, NC; and sisters Marcella Kennedy, Portland, OR and Maxine Barber, McMinnville, OR.

She is preceded in death by her husband Donald John Voermans; parents John and Ernestine Bergeron and Albert and Marie Sund; infant granddaughter Charlotte Quednow; and siblings Cyril Bergeron, Murray Bergeron, Roy Bergeron and Bruce Bergeron.

Rita was born on March 13, 1933 in Chippewa Falls, WI to parents John and Ernestine Bergeron.  Following the death of her mother, she was raised by her uncle and aunt, Albert and Marie Sund, in Tomahawk, WI. 

She graduated from Tomahawk High School in 1950 and married Donald Voermans on September 4, 1954.  The couple lived in Wausau, WI.  Donald worked at Wisconsin Public Service and Rita was a homemaker raising their growing family.  In 1958, Donald was tragically killed in an accident while at work.  At this time, Rita was now a mother of three boys, ages 2 years to 3 months. 

A strong, determined, independent woman, Rita, raised her family with the support of family and friends.  In the early years she did clothing alterations for Don Fitzgerald Drycleaners in her home.  When the boys reached school age, she began working for Manpower, Inc. doing administrative work.  In 1974, she left Manpower, Inc. and began working at the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) as a County Office Clerk.  Through the years she raised through the ranks at FmHA continuously increasing her responsibility.  In 1995, she was promoted to Community Development Manager where she supervised the Rhinelander, WI office and managed the Rural Housing program for seven counties in Wisconsin.  In 1996, she was promoted to Rural Development Specialist in the Stevens Point, WI office and temporarily assumed supervisory responsibilities for that office, upon the former supervisor’s retirement.  Ever determined and tenacious, she fought the battle for all women and older workers as she successfully won an age and gender discrimination suit when treated unfairly.  She retired from FmHA in 1999.

Rita was an avid seamstress, crafter and gardener.  Her sons fondly recall her particular love for the occasional snake she would run across while gardening!  She enjoyed garage sales where she collected treasures and then wrapped them to use for bingo party prizes for her grandchildren.  Additionally, she enjoyed some travel and socializing with friends and family.

A private funeral is scheduled for Monday, January 4, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Wausau, WI.  It will be live streamed from the Peterson/Kraemer Facebook page and later on the Peterson/Kraemer website.  The internment will follow at St. Augustine’s Cemetery in Harrison Hills, WI, where she will be buried alongside her husband.

The family would like to thank the staff of the Wellington Place at Rib Mountain and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for providing loving care to Rita over the past months.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Wellington Place at Rib Mountain in her name.