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

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RuthAnn Jahns

RuthAnn Jahns

This service has been rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 16.

RuthAnn “Annie” Jahns, 87, Wausau, died Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.   

RuthAnn was born Sept. 23, 1933, to the late Melvin and Myrtle (Plautz) Arnette in Wausau, Wisconsin.  She was baptized at the Church of Saint Mary in Wausau on Dec. 10, 1933. She was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wausau on Dec. 7, 1952.  RuthAnn graduated from Wausau High School in 1951.  On July 12, 1952, she was united in marriage to Ray Clarence Jahns at Christ Lutheran Church in Menominee, Michigan.  Pastor Theodore Thurow officiated.   

RuthAnn had a life-long devotion to the Wausau community. A member of Trinity Lutheran Church, she volunteered for the Trinity Welfare Workers and Trinity Altar Guild.  She was an active member of the Pommerscher Verein of Central Wisconsin.  She also volunteered at Wausau Aspirus Hospital, and in later life for various political events.    

Hobbies included sewing, quilting, and reading.  RuthAnn made many quilts for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She also made lap quilts for Hospice and the nursing homes.   

RuthAnn is survived by her beloved husband of 68 years, Ray; children, Ann Christine (William) Potter, Paul (Cheryl) Jahns, Sue (Keith) Turner and Laura (Sam) Wurtinger; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; her twin sister, Rose Krohn-Koehler; the Arnet Family in Germany; and extended family and friends.   

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister and brother-in-law, Lenore and Gerald Gertschen, brother-in-law, Robert Koehler; father-in-law and mother-in-Law, Otto and Gertrude (Schubring) Jahns; brother-in-law, Robert Jahns and sister-in-law, Noel Hogberg; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Carol and Roger Lines. 

The funeral service for RuthAnn will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 501 Stewart Ave., Wausau.  Rev. Zach Holdorf will officiate.  Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Saturday.  Facemasks and social distancing are respectfully requested by all those in attendance. RuthAnn’s service will be streamed live and made available for future viewing on her obituary page at www.brainardfuneral.com.  Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.   

The family respectfully requests no flowers or plants. Memorials may be directed to the Education Grant Fund at Trinity Lutheran School (501 Stewart Ave., Wausau, WI 54401), the Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin Endowment Fund (Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin, P.O. Box 103, Wausau, WI 54402-0103) or the Marathon County Historical Society (410 McIndoe St., Wausau, WI 54403).   

Sincere thanks and appreciation go to all of RuthAnn’s Trinity Lutheran Church family for their many years of friendship and dedication.  


Alfred Hoggmann

Alfred Hoggmann

Alfred A. Hoffmann Jr., 89, of Kronenwetter died Jan. 5, 2021, at his home with his family by his side.

Alfred was born April 9, 1931, in the town of Stettin to the late Alfred and Clara (Bartelt) Hoffmann.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Takako (Shuto) Hoffmann of Kronenwetter; sons, Jimmy, Randy (Juella), Mark, and John; eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. 

Alfred was preceded in death by his parents; by brothers Marvin, Orville, Donald and Robert; and by sisters Winifred Barnett and Florence Krueger. 

After graduation from Wausau Senior High School, Alfred continued his education at Wausau School of Vocational and Adult Education where he completed two years of studies in agriculture and business management, graduating in 1952.

Alfred was a member of Company F, 426 Infantry, 32nd Wisconsin National Guard Division, when that unit was operating at Rothschild Pavilion.  He elected to go on active duty as a guardsman during the Korean War.

Upon completion of infantry training with the 31st “(Dixie)” division at Camp Alterburg, Indiana, Alfred was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.

After his tour in Korea, Alfred remained on active duty with assignment to the Far East/ United Nations Command in Tokyo.  It was here that he married his loving wife, Takako.  Together, and with future children, they remained a military family.

In addition to his tours in Korea and Japan, other overseas assignments included duty at Fort Clayton, Panama Canal Zone; another town in Korea with duty at eight Army/ UN command; US Army Pacific Intelligence School in Okinawa; and US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.

Main stateside assignments were with Fitzsimons Army Hospital, Denver; Army ROTC Instructor Groups and University of Maine, Orono; and Fort Lewis, Washington.

After retiring from military service in 1973; Alfred and his family moved to Wisconsin.  He worked as a credit manager at Wausau Medical Center; worked with District offices at Rhinelander for the 1980 census and at Wausau for the 1990 census.  Alfred filled in as a part-time rural mail carrier at Rhinelander and Wausau; and kept busy as an independent real estate broker.

Time was always allowed for travel with Takako to visit relatives and friends in Japan and Malaysia.  Whenever they, in return, visited Wisconsin, Alfred and Takako enjoyed taking them to see America via Amtrak trips.  He enjoyed bus tours to Branson, and more recently, overnight trips to more local casinos with old time friends and neighbors.

Alfred was a charter and life member of Peplin Memorial VFW Post 8280 where he served as Post Adjutant for many years.

A celebration of Alfred’s life will be held at a later date to be announced.

Alfred lived his life with honor, dignity, and respect but will also be remembered for his quiet nature and truly altruistic heart. His dedication to his wife and family were shown through many acts of compassion, which will be imprinted in our hearts as the memories he now leaves with us.  

Brainard Funeral Home- Everest Chapel is assisting the family.


Mai Lee Pha

Mai Lee Pha

With heavy hearts, we announce the death of Mai Lee Pha, aka Black Wido, of Wausau, Wisconsin, who passed away on Jan. 4, 2021, at the age of 34. Funeral services were held on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Pastor Yauo Yang spoke with words of encouragement to the family. Burial followed at the funeral at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 1620-1630 Old Highway 51, Kronenwetter, WI 54455.

Mai Lee is survived by her mother, and stepfather, Khoua Pao Lee, Son, siblings, Mai See Pha, Kong Pha, Roger Pha, stepsiblings, Pheng Lee, Phong Lee, Mai Neng Lee (Xiong), Mai Yang Lee, Teng Lee, Keng Lee, Va Lee, Yee Lee, Ann Lee, Soua Lee, Zoua Lee, Yer Lee, and predeceased by her father and brother, Tu Hue Pha.

Mai Lee was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on March 26, 1986. She then moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1990. She attended Wausau West High School but respectfully ventured to Sheboygan to receive her G.E.D. Afterward, she welcomed her son, Jedrek Wablong Lee, born Aug. 27, 2005. She then decided to move back to Wausau to be closer to her family and friends.

She was a free spirit with a creative mind. With that, brought out her passion for painting and drawing. If not on canvas, it was on her rather long, artificial nails. Her gracious heart made friendships grow with every hilarious joke or impressions. Her ear for music was diverse and she sang her lyrics or bars with soul. She will be deeply missed by her family, especially her only sister, and all who knew her.

Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.


B. Eugene “Gene” Davis

B. Eugene “Gene” Davis

Bertis Eugene “Gene” Davis, 79, passed away on Jan. 3, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Wausau, Wisconsin.

Gene was born on July 2, 1941, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, son of the late Bertis Eugene Davis Sr and Mary Virginia (Danner) Davis. While at Milton College, Gene played on the basketball team and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He also attended the University of Wisconsin School of Law and later acquired a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Business.

After five years of courtship, he married the love of his life, Anita Brenda Mello, on Oct. 15, 1966, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. At the time he served as a Second Lieutenant, Signal Officer for a service and supply battalion in the United States Army Reserve and served until 1972.

From 1965-1975, he also worked in industrial engineering, sales and distribution at Wausau Paper. During his tenure, he assisted in the design and implementation of industry firsts in paper converting processes and was the first to open the Canadian market as a customer for Wausau Paper.

In 1975, Gene branched out as the owner and president of CW Paper of Wisconsin, a passion for over 25 years and a company he built by acquiring five competitive business. Active in the industry, he also served as president of 3M National Distributor Council and President of National Paper Trade Association Foundation.

After retiring, Gene founded Davis Solutions, LLC, serving as President and Principle and specialized in Project Management. He then joined Newmark Grubb Pfefferle as a Commercial Real Estate Advisor in 2010, with a concentration in retail, industrial, office and land development, receiving top selling honors numerous times.

Gene had a wonderful passion for volunteering and was heavily involved in many organizations throughout the community including Northcentral Technical College, serving as an ordained ruling elder of First Presbyterian Church, founding board member and former President of the Boys and Girls Club, past President of the Chamber of Commerce, former President and Paul Harris Fellow Recipient of the Wausau Rotary Club and was also heavily involved with the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program. While serving as President of the Samoset Council Boy Scouts of America, he received the Silver Beaver Award.

As many remember, Gene always loved to have a good time and enjoyed many fun groups including the B&B, Spring Fever and the CW Paper Basketball team. Gene always enjoyed being out on the golf course, spending time with his Grandchildren, doing crazy tricks while water skiing and always looked forward to his annual fishing trip with his son, Gene.

Survivors include his wife, A. Brenda Davis of Wausau; his three children, Jennifer Davis of Minnesota, Gene (Hiromi) Davis III of California, and Jessica (Alan) Matkovic of Maryland; three grandchildren, Alexander, Sophia and Mathias Matkovic; brother, Jeff (Dee) Davis of Verona, Wisconsin; sister, Cheryl Davis of Wausau; and nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date when family and friends can safely gather. The family would like to thank the caregivers of Aspirus and Mayo Clinics, as well as the kind people of the Wausau community for their support.

Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. You may leave messages and condolences for his family at brainardfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Boys and Girls Club, First Presbyterian Church, the Samoset Council Boy Scouts of America, or the Salvation Army.


Andrew Geier

Andrew Geier

Andrew R. Geier, 47, Wausau, died Wednesday, Dec. 30,  2020.

He was born Nov. 28, 1973, in Wausau, son of Ronald and Jody (Mickevich) Geier.

“Andy” was his nickname.  He was autistic and mentally disabled.  Andy was baptized as an infant at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wausau.  As a boy, Andy lived at home in Pike Lake, with his parents and brother and sister.  His brother, Casey, would give him rides on the back of the ATV 4-wheeler, which he liked.  Andy attended many special education classes through the years, in many local schools.  Andy went to Wisconsin Badger Camp, near Prairie du Chien, a couple of summers.  He had a “3-wheel bike” to ride.  He lived for some years in Madison, Chippewa Falls, and Oshkosh.  In Wausau, at the last group home he lived at, a staff person named Reva, cooked Andy delicious meals which he enjoyed at “Tharen’s House.”  Andy liked watching TV and listening to country music on his boombox in his bedroom, and sometimes taking a walk. 

Before the pandemic, Andy enjoyed going for car rides with his parents, and getting a chocolate shake.  Andy was a special person.  We will miss him greatly.  Maybe in heaven, Andy will be able to talk.  He had many cousins.

Besides his parents, Andrew is survived by a brother, Casey (Amy Long) Geier, Wittenberg, Holly Geier, Wausau and maternal grandmother, Joy Heideman, Merrill.  He was preceded in death by maternal grandfather, Lyle Mickevich and paternal grandparents, Cliff and Helen Geier.

Private family services were held at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home and burial followed at Mosinee Cemetery.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.


Margaret Ziehlke-Lodholz

Margaret Ziehlke-Lodholz

Margaret H. Ziehlke-Lodholz, 95, passed away peacefully at her home in Wausau on Jan. 4, 2021, under the loving care of her daughters, caregivers, and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Maggie was born July 5, 1925, on the Joseph and Helen Schrauth family farm in the town of Little Black, the middle child of 13 children. She loved growing up on the farm and had many fond memories to share. She attended the local two-room schoolhouse until the eighth grade, freely admitting that recess was her favorite time spent there. She enjoyed sewing, making clothes for her appreciative siblings on her mother’s treadle sewing machine. She worked in a defense plant in Milwaukee during World War II, and then in the Wausau and Merrill area until her marriage to Roy Ziehlke on Oct. 3, 1953, in Medford. On May 25, 2008, she married Marvin Lodholz, at which time she moved back to Wausau.

Maggie is survived by her children Randy (Donna), Brenda (Roger), Kurt, Yvonne, and Sheryl (Jody). She is further survived by her husband Marvin, step daughter-in-law Laurie, eight grandchildren, three great grandchildren, three step granddaughters, her two remaining sisters, Josephine and Kathryn (John), and many loving nieces and nephews. Maggie is preceded in death by Roy, daughter Kelly Ann, her parents Joseph and Helen (Fleischmann) Schrauth, and her siblings Marcella, Alvin, Aloysius, Bernard, Leona, Mary Florence, Joey, Lucille, Sister Helen, and Danny, and stepson James.

She babysat for many children through the years who got to enjoy her homemade french fries and applesauce. Maggie enjoyed working at the Chelsea Conservation Club for weddings and her years of seasonal work at local mink ranches. She always had a big vegetable garden and many flowers.  She found enjoyment and comfort in strumming a guitar, playing the piano, and singing old country and western songs, especially for the “old people” at the Medford Nursing Home. She was a regular participant in the Perkinstown Snowshoe Race, being honored as the oldest racer for a few years. Maggie was known for her annual garage sales and selling her ‘happy worms’ to anxious fishermen. Her patchwork quilts are still enjoyed by many. Her positive outlook and sense of humor enabled Maggie to live a long and happy life; qualities that were admired by all who knew her. In her younger days she loved going to the Saturday night polka dances. Maggie spent her last remaining months listening to the music of her beloved Carter Family. A visit to the Carter Family Homestead in Virginia with her sisters was a highlight of her many travels.

Maggie was a lifelong member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Although her memory failed her in recent years, she still remembered and recited her prayers, even surprising her family with an occasional one we could only assume she learned as a child.

A memorial service will be held at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 11:00am. Visitation will take place at the church from 10:00am until the time of service. Burial will be at the Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery.

The family wishes to thank all the loving caregivers that helped care for our mother in her last few years. The John J. Buettgen Funeral Home and Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society were entrusted with arrangements. Share memories and condolences with Maggie’s family online at office@HonorOne.com.


Dennis Weinke

Dennis Weinke

Dennis Weinke, 64, passed on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, with his loving wife by his side after a long battle with renal failure and COVID pneumonia. 

Dennis was born on Sept. 17, 1956, in Wausau, son of the late Victor and Lorraine Weinke. He married the love of his life, Jane Wagner, on Oct. 15, 1983. Throughout their marriage, they were the happy parents to many dog babies. 

During winter months you could always find Dennis at a snowmobile race track and summer he was a flagman at the State Park Speedway. Enjoyed hunting and fishing at the cabin in Boulder Junction. He was also known for his specialty sausages, bacon, and other meats. 

As per Dennis’s wishes, there will be no celebration of life. 

The family would like to thank Dr. Schneider and the Aspirus nephrology team for all their help and compassion over the past several years.


Christopher “Chris” Clifford

Christopher “Chris” Clifford

Dr. Christopher “Chris” Clifford, 46, of Wausau passed away unexpectedly Jan. 1, 2021. 

Preceded in death by his parents, Cathy Pregont Clifford and William Clifford. Chris will be deeply missed by his wife, Larissa; children, Emma, Lily, and Griffin; sister, Patricia Casar (Jeff Ohrmundt) and her children, Kegan, Joey, Mason, and Ethan Casar; brother, Robert (Shari) and their children, John (Breanna) and their son Brooks, and Avery Clifford. 

Chris was born in Wausau on May 11, 1974, and spent his childhood in Wausau and Minocqua, Wisconsin. Chris graduated from D.C. Everest High School in 1992 where he was heavily involved in the hockey program. Chris completed a Bachelor of Science degree in human biology and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences. Chris was a well-loved member of the Wausau community and was active in many youth sports organizations, including his children’s hockey and swim teams.

Chris was a proud business owner and served his patients with compassion. He considered many as good friends. Chris was a loving and supportive husband to his wife Larissa, and doting father to his daughters Emma and Lily, and son Griffin who will miss him immensely. As an avid outdoorsman, Chris could often be found in the Northwoods of Wisconsin where he enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family and friends. 

Chris was able to continue improving the lives of others through the gift of organ donation.The family would like to thank the incredible care team at Aspirus Wausau Hospital who showed unending compassion to Chris and his family. Additionally, the family is grateful for those who have reached out and shown their support to the family during such a difficult time. 

Memorial services will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for the benefit of the family at GoFundMe.com as the Chris-Clifford-Tribute.


Joel Thiex

Joel Thiex

Joel M. Thiex, 68, of Bowler died on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at his home under the loving care of his family and LeRoyer Hospice.

Joel was born on Aug. 10, 1952, in Wausau. The son of Arnie and Wanda (Pollack) Thiex. He graduated from Bowler High School, where he was involved in football and baseball.

On Dec. 6, 1975, Joel was united in marriage to Pamela Reissman at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Birnamwood.

Joel worked as a heavy equipment operator at Terra Engineering and Construction and at Duffek Sand and Gravel for many years until his retirement. He loved operating the backhoe. He enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson. Joel loved spending time with his family, especially his grandkids. He was known by them as Papa the Candyman and always made it a point to attend their events to cheer them on.

Joel is survived by his wife of 45 years, Pamela; two children, Jeremy (Shirley) Thiex of Birnamwood and Jessica (Ryan) Wanta of Bowler; four grandsons, Tyler (Kylie) Thiex, Cody (Nicole Nousen) Thiex, Caden and Gage Wanta; one great granddaughter, Kinsley; three brothers, Bruce (Janet) Thiex of Hope Hull, Alabama, Bill Thiex and Mark Thiex; father-in-law, Ervin Reissman; brothers and sisters in-law, Sue Thiex, Randy (Mary) Reissman, Richie (Liz) Reissman, Nancy Reinke, Lori (Dave) Hedtke, Larry (Dianne) Reissman, Julie (Chuck) Natzke, Shirley (Chuck) Wendler and Paul (Holly) Reissman and many nieces and nephews.

Joel was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Peter Thiex; one nephew, Ryan Wendler; sister-in-law, Margaret Thiex; brother-in-law, David Klitzka and mother and father-in-law, Delores and Christ Haase.

A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, at St. John Lutheran Church in Birnamwood. Vicar Jennifer Sosinski officiated. Burial was in the parish cemetery. Visitation was from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the church.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood, assisted the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family recommends memorials to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Memories and messages of support may be shared at schmidtschulta.com.
The family would like to thank LeRoyer Hospice, especially, Liz and Shelley for their most compassionate care given to Joel.


Peter Rickert

Peter Rickert

Peter R. Rickert, 49, of the town of Hutchins, Shawano County, died on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Pete was born on March 17, 1971, in Antigo, the son of Harvey and Dorothy (Kochanik) Rickert.

On May 28, 1993, Peter was united in marriage to Michelle Spiegel in Antigo. She survives.

Peter currently owned and operated Pete Rickert Trucking Inc. and has been driving truck for 27 years. He was very dedicated to his business and was an extremely hard worker. In his free time, Pete enjoyed snowmobiling, campfires, driving his Razor and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

Peter is survived by his wife, Michelle; mother, Dorothy Rickert of Birnamwood; two sons, Jesse (Chemon) Rickert and Cole Rickert, all of Antigo; three grandchildren, Ava, Henry and Hollynd; siblings, Bill (Cindy) Rickert, Rick (Ann) Rickert, Susan (Jeff) Shepherd and Renee Rickert-Smith; Father and mother-in-law, Malcolm and Kathy Spiegel; two brothers-in-law, Joe Spiegel and Matt Spiegel and several nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

Peter was preceded in death by his father, Harvey; a brother, Dennis and a brother-in-law, Walter Smith III.

A public visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2020, at St. John Lutheran Church, Mattoon. A private family service will follow with Rev. Dean Bertsch officiating.

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