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

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Bruce Nelsen

Bruce Nelsen

It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Bruce W. Nelsen (aka Batman or Booman) on Jan. 1, 2021, with his wife by his side.

Bruce was born in 1964 in Northfield, Minnesota, to Wayne and Judy Nelsen. After graduating high school, he went to college at the University of Minnesota and then UW-River Falls. He met the love of his life, Shelly, while at a Disco Cures Cancer event, and when their eyes locked, it was love at first sight. From then on, the two of them would be inseparable. They took many trips together over the years as they always thought that a good family foundation began with parents spending time with each other.  

Bruce worked a variety of jobs throughout his adult life, but the majority seemed to revolve around sales in one way or another. Even as a young boy, he’d go around wedding receptions selling pieces of chicken to guests for spare change to spend at the arcade. Sales was in his blood. The last 15 years of his life were spent at Hurtis Heating & Air, the job he most enjoyed. Bruce would never tell you that he was a salesman ? he was a comfort specialist ? because he never felt like he was selling. Instead, he would say that he’s simply a man creating relationships, building trust and making friends. On multiple occasions, he would bring home syrup, baked goods, honey, beer and wine that his customers would gift him. As a particularly loquacious man, Bruce shared his life and his care through conversation, leaving work having made many a positive impression on customers and, oftentimes, new friends. He loved his job!

Bruce was an amazing man with a compassionate heart, a great sense of humor, a welcoming smile, and a contagious laugh. His family was everything. He spent many years running kids to and from daycare, school, sporting events, and friend’s houses. He and his family would frequently spend summers camping, boating and fishing. In his free time (which there didn’t seem to be much of), he would dabble in playing his guitars, researching guitar pedals, or learning a new song to play. Ultimately, Bruce had a passion for a wide array of music, his many guitars, but most of all, his family.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Shelly, and their four children, Kieran, Shaelyn, Miranda and Kayley; his mother, Judy Nelsen; his two sisters, Beverly Nelsen and Joyce Graham; and many other family and friends.  He is preceded in death by his father, Wayne, his grandparents on both sides of the family, and his beloved dog, Rocky.

Due to current public health concerns with COVID-19, a service will not be held.  A public Celebration of Life will be held in the late spring or early summer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Bruce Nelsen Memorial Fund by visiting this link. Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at

Rexall “Rex” Mortensen

Rexall “Rex” Mortensen

Rexall (Rex) G. Mortensen, 92, went to our Savior on Jan. 9, 2021.  He was born Jan. 9, 1929, in Marion, Wisconsin, the son of Otto and Tilda (Evenson) Mortensen.  He married Adeline (Hager), May 26, 1951.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Medical Corp and served during the Korean conflict.  Rex worked for Marathon Electric in Wausau for many years and retired in 1989 as quality control engineer. He was past chairman of the Marathon Electric Credit Union and member of their Quarter Century Club. He was an active member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Wausau. He loved fishing, gardening, and woodworking.

Survivors include his  son, Craig (Deb) Mortensen; daughter, Cheryl (Steve) Benson; four grandchildren, Tara Sperry, Dana Mortensen, Brooke (Josh) Klingbeil, and Christopher Mortensen; five great-grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Janice (Clarence) Dumke;  and his special friend, Marlene Laffin.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Adeline, and sister, Opal Steinfeldt.

In lieu of flowers, any memorials may be directed to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 600 Stevens Drive, Wausau, WI 54401, in Rex’s name.

A public visitation will take place from 10 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 600 Stevens Drive, Wausau. A private family service will take place at 11 a.m. A recording of the service will be available on Rex’s obituary page on Friday, Jan. 15. Burial will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park. Family and friends may go to to leave an online condolence or words of remembrance.

The family asks that all Covid-19 guidelines be followed with wearing masks and following social distancing.

Todd Larson

Todd Larson

Todd A. Larson of Wausau passed away too young at the age of 48, on Jan. 5, 2021, at Marshfield Medical Center.

Todd was born on Oct. 11, 1972, to James Kapell and Tina Williquette in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Shortly after his birth, he was adopted by parents Ronald and Elaine (Dvorak) Larson. Throughout his life, Todd worked as a Forklift Driver at Wausau Supply, Wausau Daily Herald and Linetec. He was a member at First United Methodist Church and had many hobbies but especially enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping; but above all, he loved spending time with his kids and dogs- even nursing one back to life due to Parvo. Though Todd was adopted early in life, he found comfort and pleasure in getting to know his biological mother in his adult years. His family will miss his smile, his kindness, and his compassion- he would do anything for a friend.

Todd is survived by his wife of 19 years, Elizabeth “Betsy” Larson; children Steven (Kasey) Larson, Chloe Larson, Lincoln Larson, London Larson, and Dane Larson; parents Ronald and Elaine Larson; sisters Linda (Garrett) Jensen and Paula (Jim) Bartz; biological mother Tina Williquette; biological sisters Heather Williquette and Geri Kapell; four nieces; two nephews; dogs Wrigley, Cubby and Bentley; and countless friends. He is preceded in death by his biological father, James Kapell; and Grandma Vera Dvorak, and Grandma Marie Larson.

A celebration of Todd’s life will be held later this spring. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Todd’s name can be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Todd’s family wishes to express their deep gratitude to the staff at Marshfield Medical Center for the care and compassion shown to him during his stay.

Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Russell “JR” Haroldson

Russell “JR” Haroldson

Russell C. Haroldson Jr., 67, of Wausau passed away unexpectedly due to health related issues, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Russell was a very strong-willed and hard working man. He was born in Wausau, May 19, 1953, he was the son of late Russell and Helen Haroldson. He graduated from Wausau West High School. Russell and Theresa Haroldson raised three beautiful children, whom he loved dearly. Russell had many passions that included spending time with his family, laughing, sarcastic remarks, watching the Packers and old Western movies, old cars, yard work, playing the drums, playing in bands, karaoke, kayaking, camping and helping anyone that needed help. All in all an amazing guy with a huge heart and loved life.

He is survived by his brothers, Randy (Cheryl) Haroldson, Land O’ Lakes, and Robbie Haroldson, Wausau. His girlfriend Arlene Vertz, Merrill. In-laws Keith (Marg) Ziegel, Marathon; Joe Busko, Hancock; and Linda Morrill, Wausau.  Three Children, Michelle Haroldson, Richard (Tara Gregory) Haroldson, Ryan (Joanie) Haroldson. 7 grandchildren, Anthony (Arianna Zuber) and Ashley Deland, Taylor Haroldson, Brendon Loos, Kiana Haroldson, Carter Dahlke-Haroldson, and Mason Haroldson. Two great-grandchildren Levi and Ava. Nieces and Nephews, Dawn and Doug Bielen, James (Angela), Michael, and Melissa (Zach Kufahl) Haroldson. Allen, Nick, Dustin Ziegel, Ken (Dennie Wiedeman) Busko, Katie (Adam) Thiem, Kyle (Laurie) Busko, Amanda (Jon) Peel, and Michael Morrill. Along with many other family and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents Russell and Helen Haroldson, Theresa Haroldson, Renee Haroldson, sisters-in-law Jodi Haroldson and Debra Busko.

Gathering will be held at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home in Schofield, Wisconsin, on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, from noon to 2 p.m.

A Celebration of Life for Russell will be held at the residence of Ryan (Joanie) Haroldson, 6610 Schofield Ave., Weston, WI, 54476. Date to be determined. There will be a book at the funeral home for names and addresses for anyone who would like to attend.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family, sent to the funeral home, or sent to 6610 Schofield Ave., Weston, WI 54476.

Martin Little Wolf Jr.

Martin Little Wolf Jr.

Martin Luther Little Wolf Jr., Giisg? m??ni (ga), Clear Walking, 78, of Wittenberg died on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at Marshfield Medical Center, Weston. Martin was born on April 9, 1942, in Tomah, the son of Martin Sr. and Annabelle (Winneshiek) Little Wolf Sr.

Martin was active in the Ho-Chunk Nation serving on the HHCDA and Traditional Courts, youth services and was a HCN housing worker.  He also worked road construction and was employed by the Marathon County Parks Dept.  Martin played on the Old Timer Softball League, the Wittenberg Bowling League and H.A.G.A. Golf.

Martin is survived by his wife, Frances Little Wolf; grandson, Julian Little Wolf; children, Michael (Terry Greendeer) Little Wolf, Black River Falls, Marlene Garrison, Wisconsin Dells, Myrna (Billy La Rock Sr.) Little Wolf, of Wittenberg, Carri (Dave) White Eagle of Mauston, Kristina ( Adam Bigjohn) Little Wolf of Wittenberg, Susana (McKinley Mann) Little Wolf of Black River Falls and Martin Little Wolf III of Appleton; 21 grandchildren, Larissa, Ava, Matthew, Lavina, Alana, Nichelle, Julina, Destiny, Kaylia, Erica, Aliyah, Lauren, Jacob, Camryn, Mark, Blue Sky, Martin, Maximus, Brooklynn, Maverick, and Kay-Lee; great-grandchildren, Landyn, Zoey, John Jr., Savannah, John IV, Reigh, Kaia, Little Bear and Khassious and sisters, Julia Little Wolf, Black River Falls, Annette Little Wolf of Merrillan, Martina Little Wolf and Serena Yellow Thunder of Black River Falls and Barb Little Wolf of Hixton.Martin was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Lauren Kay Decorah; and siblings, Edward Little Wolf, Nellie Cleveland, Audrey Little Wolf and Tommy in infancy.

Commitment service will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at the Native American Church, Wittenberg.  Visitation will be on Monday from noon to 3 p.m. at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg.  Burial will be in the Native American Cemetery, Wittenberg. Memories and messages of support may be shared at