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

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Marla Schroeder

Marla Schroeder

Marla Schroeder, 83, entered into the arms of her Savior on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, surrounded by her loving family under Interim Hospice Care at her home.   

Marla was born July 16, 1937, in Wausau to the late Walter and Eleanor (Lietz) Kirstein. She graduated from Marathon High School in 1955. She met her husband while both were employed at Drott Manufacturing. They were married June 13, 1959.  Together they owned and operated Schroeder Excavating, Inc. in the Wausau area for over 25 years.   

Marla loved to plan and entertain for many family and friends events.  She also had a great passion for seeking out a variety of collectibles and displaying them for all to enjoy.  Scrapbooking was another talent of Marla’s.  Besides family memories, she also created family heritage albums.  Over the years Jim and Marla spent time snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, and traveling together in their motor home, taking them on many adventures throughout the states and Canada. 

She is survived by her husband of 61 years, her daughter, Jodene (Stephen) Meinel, Weston, and their children, Tyler, Chad (Ana), and Keaton (Megan); sons, Jeffrey Schroeder, Tucson, Arizona,  and Todd Schroeder, Knowlton, and his children, Tucker and Taylen. She is further survived by her brother, Ronnie Kirstein; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and other extended family.   

Marla was preceded in death by her granddaughter, Lacey Meinel; and her sister, Karmen Hanke; as well as other extended family.   

Funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at St. Peter Ev. Lutheran Church, 1351 S. Grand Ave., Schofield, WI 54476. Pastor Kevin Schnake will officiate. Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, and again from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday, all at the church. Private interment will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Kronenwetter. Marla’s service will be streamed live and made available for future viewing on her obituary page at Because we care about family and friends, masks are required, and social distancing will be observed.  

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Marla’s family in her honor. Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.

Robert “Bob” Wadzinski

Robert “Bob” Wadzinski

Robert Lee Wadzinski, 78, town of Cassel died unexpectedly at his home Dec. 31, 2020.

He was born in Hammond, Indiana, on July 28, 1942, the third of 10 children to the late Walter & Sylvia (Bonin) Wadzinski.  After his graduation from Marathon High School in 1961, he worked at Marathon Cheese, and lived on the family farm until he was drafted into the U.S. Army.  He was stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, from 1964 to 1966 as a cook for NSA (Secret Service).  When he returned from the service, he attended NTC and after graduation began his career working for GTE as a central office equipment installer. 

Bob was a member of Honor Guard, American Legion Post #469 and served in many military honors funerals, and Memorial Day events.  He, along with other members of Post #469, would participate in the annual Marathon Fun Days Parade.  If he wasn’t marching down that hill, he would be a part of the Polish float that was enjoyed by so many.  We certainly will miss seeing him marching in that parade.

After his retirement from GTE, at the age of 56 he purchased the house his parents were living in and became their caretakers until Walter’s death in 2001, and Sylvia’s in 2005. 

Being an outdoorsman, hunting and fishing were some of Bob’s favorite things to do.  He made about six trips over a number of years to hunt in Colorado.  In recent years he enjoyed deer hunting in Newood country with the notorious Skrzypchak gang.  He also enjoyed watching the Packers.  In his earlier years he enjoyed softball and bowling.  Bob was also a teacher.  The radio was always on while the boys milked the cows.  He taught George to do the Polka in the barn.  He also took the time with some of his nieces and nephews and taught them how to drive.  He was also an official member of “The Cassel Sneaky Devil’s Club” along with some of the neighbor boys.

Bob was a life long member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church serving in many capacities.  From maintenance, to sexton, to being a member of the choir for many years, he also served on various committees.

Bob had a special ability to remember things from the past, especially dates. He will always be remembered as a very gentle, quiet and humble soul.  He was a much loved son, brother, uncle and friend.

Bob is survived by his six brothers and three sisters.  Walter Jr. (Joan), Patricia Berg, George, Alice (Bob) Peterson, Bonnie (Jay) Heindl, Gene, Tim (Dawn), Gerard (Ruby), and Bill.  Besides two aunts, he is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, one great great niece, and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, many aunts and uncles, a sister-in-law Paulette Wadzinski and infant nephew, Joey Wadzinski and great niece, Isabelle Fetters.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, town of Cassel.  Rev. Joseph Nakwah will preside.  Visitation will be Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  Current social distancing protocols will be observed and masks are required for all who attend.

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

Elmer Dawson

Elmer Dawson

On Dec. 31, 2020, Elmer George Dawson, surrounded by his children, was released from the confines of this world into the arms of his Savior, Jesus, no longer tethered to oxygen tubing and struggling to breathe. 

What can we say about our Dad, Elmer Dawson?  We could lay out the timeline of when he was born, when he was married, and where he worked.  But it may paint a better picture just to tell you about the man we called Dad.

To say Dad was a social butterfly would be a complete understatement. He could literally go anywhere and talk to anybody, usually with a beer in hand! He loved to tell jokes and stories, and each time the stories were told the details grew and became even larger than life!

Dad was quite worldly for a country boy, born Dec. 7, 1938, on the family farm in Athens, Wisconsin.  He proudly served in the U.S. Army until honorably discharged April 26, 1963, at a rank of Sergeant (T) E5.  He would always say, “I was one of those crazies that jumped out of a perfectly good airplane!”  While serving in Korea, Dad met our mother.  She did not speak English, so he needed to learn to speak Korean to communicate, and he did so quite fluently.  They married in Korea and in the early ’60s, they returned to America, back to his home in Athens.  Dad was a hard worker and had many different jobs over the course of his life, but he spent the bigger portions of his life as an over-the-road semi driver and  farmer.  Even into his later years, the farmer in him was still shining through in his amazing vegetable gardens that produced an over-abundance.  If you haven’t ever tasted ground cherries, you definitely should!

In his younger days, Dad was a fabulous dancer!  I remember dancing with him, not knowing the steps, yet still knowing exactly where to go because of his lead.  That dancing ability spilled over to roller skating.  The first time we saw him on a pair of skates, it was like he was walking on air!

Dad was the original Dr. Dolittle.  He had a kind and gentle heart, and he really could talk to the animals.  When he farmed, he called to the cattle out in the pasture and they obediently came to his voice; he was their advocate for compassionate treatment.  He loved the flocks of birds, which he religiously fed, and called some of them by name, like Petey, the Pileated Woodpecker.  On a daily basis, there were more hummingbirds than you could count, darting around his feeders.  His latest animals were two tiny unwanted kittens that were dumped off in the country, who luckily had found their way to Dad’s house.  He took them in, named them Simon Slick and Gray Boy and cared for them the way a pet should be…deeply loved and very well fed!

Being an avid sportsman, Dad especially enjoyed hunting and fishing and continued for as long as the limitations of his body would allow.  A favorite hunting spot was Tripoli, where he took many people and taught them the ropes of deer hunting.  There are numerous antler mounts on his walls, the result of many successful deer hunting seasons.  In the spring of the year, when the suckers were running, you would find Dad at Rib Falls, having a blast!  If you knew Elmer Dawson, you more than likely experienced his fish patties, pickled fish or canned suckers that tasted just like salmon!  Taking it one step further, perhaps you were even right beside him, up to your elbows in Red Horse or Buffalo suckers making these “delicacies.”

Dad loved playing cards and cribbage was a favorite.  There is a long list of people he taught to play his favorite game.  Along with learning to play the game were often other lessons along the way.  One very poignant lesson was to move on after the death of someone you love.  It’s OK to be sad for a while, but then remember that you are not the one who died, you are still alive and you need to live.  This lesson, coming from a man who spent over 20 years tethered to oxygen tubing 24/7!  Dad always made the best of the cards he was dealt. 

We would like to thank Dick and Janice Hawley, Lay Ministers at St. Peter Lutheran Church, who provided spiritual care as well as genuine friendship to Dad.  Also a special thank you to Brittany Solt for the compassionate care she provided for Dad over the last couple of years.  Brittany always went above and beyond the responsibilities of a home health aide; she truly cared.  Lastly, we would like to thank the many generous and caring neighbors and friends in the Little Chicago and extended area who became more like family to Dad over the years.

Elmer George Dawson was preceded in death by his parents: Sidney Dawson and Flora Mae (Coon) Dawson: brothers Martin Dawson, Tom Dawson, Lawrence (Bill) Dawson; sisters: Marcella Bunkelman, Marion Hoffman, Lillian (Susie) Frahm, Winifred Klimpke.  Elmer is survived by three sisters: Arlene (Toddy) Stahnke, Darlene Abbengen and Shirley Rose as well as his loving family whom he was extremely proud of.  His three children:  Marilyn Dawson (Daniel Wolfgram), James (Caryn) Dawson, Glen (Virginia) Dawson; grandchildren  Benjamin Bedroske, Emily (Ian) Zimmermann, Nicholas Bedroske, Jimmy Dawson, Alexa Dawson, Sierra Dawson, Chaz Dawson, Asher Dawson; great-grandson Finneas Zimmermann.  

A memorial tribute will be planned for a later date.  Elmer Dawson will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him, but always remember to make the best of the cards you are dealt! 

Bernard Spatz

Bernard “Bernie” Spatz, 93, of Wausau, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. Bernard was born on Dec. 29, 1927, in Wausau, Wisconsin, and was the youngest son of the late Alexia (nee Drake) and John A. Spatz.

Bernard served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1946, worked in the family greenhouse, was a real estate agent, the proud owner of the Green Bough Bar in Wausau, and served as the groundskeeper for Kolbe-Kolbe Millwork until he retired at the age of 83.

Bernard married Lorraine (nee Kozlowski) on Nov. 29, 1946. They were married for 61 years until her death on July 8, 2007. He was also predeceased in death by his brothers, Joseph, John, Sylvester, Robert, and Arnold; and sisters, Evelyn, Genevieve, Mary, Isabelle and Delores.

Bernard is survived by his son, Kelly (Dawn); grandson, Anton (Nicole); great-grandchildren, Alexia, Noah, and Joseph; his nieces, Judi (Randy) Gorski and MonaSue Kolbe; and many other nieces, nephews, and friends.

Bernard was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who loved flowers, animals, his family, and friends. He enjoyed watching the Packers and Brewers. He will be truly missed.

Private family services will be held at a later date. Interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau. Online condolences may be shared at