David A. Traska

David “Pep” Traska, 89, of Wausau, passed away at Aspirus Wausau Hospital on February 19, 2021.

David was born in the Town of Texas on March 7, 1931 to the late Arthur and Elsie (Steffen) Traska. David attended school until the 8th grade, when he left so he could help work the family farm.

 He married Marion Weber on June 9, 1952 in Wausau. Marion preceded David in death on May 10, 2013.

On January 25, 1952 David joined the United States Army and served his country honorably until December 9, 1953. For his service David was awarded the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and the Good Conduct Medal. David was honored to have participated in the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, and he was a proud member of the VFW Post 10.

After leaving the army, David worked for Wausau Iron Works, Murray’s Foundry, JI Case and several other job endeavors. He also owned and operated Traska Roofing for 25 years before passing it onto his son Jeff, who continues to run the business today.

David was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed gardening, fishing, and hunting.  He enjoyed taking drives, sharing stories, and sharing vegetables from his garden with his neighbors. Most important to David was his family. He looked forward to spending time with them whenever he could. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

David is survived by his children, Jeff (Kristi) and Julie (Mathew) Waldvogel; grandson, Michael (Brianne) Rice; great-grandchildren, Sterling, Rylie, Gracie, Bridge, and Brighem; step-grandchildren, Derick Woller and Chelsea (Chris) Baer; step-great-grandchildren, Jolene, Kenzie, Ava and Cash; his sister Caroline (Stuart) Kuehl; as well as his sister-in-law, Helen Traska.

David was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marion; his sisters, Lorrinda Boelter, Adeline Prahl, Katherine Zahrt, Florence Wirsbinski, Myrtle Beck and Arline Salo; as well as his six brothers, Louie, Arnold, Raymond, Elroy, Clarence, and Dale.

Funeral services will be held at 6:00 pm on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Brainard Funeral Home-Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams Street. Visitation will take place from 3:00 pm until the time of services at the funeral home. Livestreaming of the service will be available for those who are unable to attend.

There will be a Celebration of Life this Summer as well; please watch for an announcement on the Brainard Funeral Home website.

Family and friends may go to www.brainardfuneral.com to leave words of remembrance and online condolences and to view the livestreaming.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in David’s name may be sent to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

Social distancing and masks are requested.

Gordon A. Tapper

Gordon A. Tapper, aged 95 of Wausau died unexpectedly Thursday, Feb 18th, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He was born November 3, 1925, in Wausau to Helmuth and Alma (Raduechel) Tapper. Gordon was the fourth of seven children.

Gordon was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Town of Wausau, and attended the one-room Trinity school. In his younger years, he and his brother Dave often sang a duet in church and on occasion sang solos for weddings.

He worked with his parents on the dairy farm and later with his brother Elroy for their brothers Gib and Les at Tapper’s Dairy. After the dairy closed, he worked as a custodian at the Marathon County Courthouse until his retirement. He was a wonderful caregiver to his mother in her later years.

Gordon was proud of the fact that his parents originated the Tapper’s Dairy and spent many hours scouring the area for Tapper’s Dairy milk bottles and bottle caps. He was generally recognized a guy with the milk bottles and antiques of one sort or another at flea markets in the surrounding areas. His ability to talk to just about anyone helped him garner a friendship with fellow marketers.

In recent years Gordon resided at The Bay at Colonial Manor-Wausau. He was comfortable there and was liked by all the staff. Gordon could be seen in the sunroom at the manor working on jigsaw puzzles long into the evening. He enjoyed visits with the staff when they had a moment to sit and chat, telling tales of his life on the farm. It is obvious that the staff enjoyed him because they often sat while on break helping with the puzzles. Gordon liked his 70% or better dark chocolate bars and spending time just talking. One of the gentlemen staff would keep him happily supplied. Just the day before he passed away one of the nurses picked up a lemon meringue pie to share with him because she knew that was his favorite. They certainly cared for him in ways beyond his physical needs. They were family.

Gordon had a unique sense of humor and opinions. To his family, he was always challenging us to eat what he ate, drink what he drank and exercise in ways he thought would be best for us. Right down to the frying of tofu without seasoning, to drinking Liebfraumilch wine which, according to him, was the best wine ever with content of only 10%. He advised us to stay away from pizza and we are not sure if he ever was convinced it was healthy even after being told that it was a crust covered with all things good like tomato sauce, healthy meat, and cheese.

We want to thank all the staff at Colonial Manor and the staff for the two days that he was at Aspirus-Wausau Hospital. Also, we thank Arlene Krueger for all her visits and to clean his apartment while at City Walk. Arlene made regular visits while he was at Colonial Manor and spent much of her time chatting and doing puzzles with him.

Gordon is survived by his sister Beth Tapper Flory, sisters-in-law Esther Tapper, Mary-Ann Tapper, and many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Gerald (at birth), David (Pat), Gib, Les (Mildred), Mike (Ethel), and Elroy.

Because of the COVID pandemic, private services will be held at a later date.

Marvin J. Lodholz

Marvin James Lodholz, 94, passed away peacefully at Aspirus Hospice House on February 18, 2021.

Marv was born June 29, 1926 to Emil and Alma (Kopplin) Lodholz in Wausau, WI. He lived his entire life on the west side of Wausau, making his adult home in the house he built in 1957. Marv was a lifelong member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church.

After the loss of his father at age 11, Marv got a job delivering newspapers to help support his mother with expenses. He delivered over 60 papers every day after school riding his bike, even in the snow. Marv loved to tell stories about the shenanigans he and his friends carried out during his younger years. These included sledding and biking down the hills of Rib Mountain, sneaking out of school, and dancing with as many girls as he could at church dances. To get out of a boring study hall in high school, he asked to be in the band class across the hall. The only instrument available for him to play was the tuba. He learned to play so well that he became “first chair” and learned to perform with the marching band.

Marv married Elaine Brandt in October, 1949 and welcomed son James in 1951. Marv and Elaine celebrated 57 years of marriage before Elaine passed away in November, 2006. They enjoyed card club, dancing, and entertaining friends and family. Marv and Jim shared many hobbies including golf, crediting Jim for helping him play ”better.”

Marv worked for over 40 years at the James River Corporation in Wausau as a partsman. His job was to keep the inventory for and fix whatever the paper making machines needed. He enjoyed that job because every day he learned how to fix another machine. He was able to use a lot of the skills he learned at work while taking care of the four apartments he and Elaine owned, being their own maintenance and service team.

Marv married Margaret (Maggie) Ziehlke in May, 2008. Marv and Maggie dated when they were in their teens, before they went their separate ways. Maggie passed away on January 4, 2021. Marv enjoyed Maggie’s sense of humor and zest for life. He helped care for Maggie in their later years.

Marv was preceded in death by his parents, Elaine, brother Leonard, son James, and Maggie. He is survived by his granddaughters Stephanie, Anna and Maggie; daughter-in-law, Laurie; stepchildren Randy (Donna), Brenda (Roger), Kurt, Yvonne, and Sheryl (Jody), and several nieces and nephews.

Marv was very proud of his German heritage and loved sharing his family stories and history, especially with Anna, telling her it is up to her generation to continue learning about their heritage. They worked on writing his family tree in the last few years of his life, coming up with some silly nicknames for the family members whose names he could not remember. Marv loved the story that Jim told about the moment Anna was born. At that moment Jim said, “Oh my gosh! She looks just like my dad!”

Marv’s family would like to thank the many caregivers and Aspirus Home Hospice who helped to keep Marv at home, in the house he built, for as long as possible. The care team was led by his stepdaughter, Sheryl Babl. Their hours and efforts are greatly appreciated.

The funeral service for Marv will be at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, February 24 at Restlawn Memorial Park Chapel. Pr. Jen Hoffman will officiate. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until the time of service at the chapel. Facemasks and social distancing are requested by those in attendance. The service will be live streamed on Marv’s obituary page at helke.com. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at helke.com.

Jolene K. Greiner

Jolene K. Greiner, 66, died Monday, February 15, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

She was born July 15, 1954 in Wausau, daughter of the late Merlin and Arlyle (Bedynek) Hoff.  On November 21, 1979 she married Russell Greiner in Wausau.  He preceded her in death on July 26, 2013.

Jolene worked for the former Wausau Insurance Companies.  She enjoyed riding around sightseeing, especially looking at the farms in Little Chicago area where she grew up, listening to polka music, and getting together with her cousins.  In more recent years, she also enjoyed spending time with Warren Haehlke, who assisted her with her daily living.

Survivors include her brother, Tim (fiancé Karen Alexander) Hoff, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband.

Visitation will be 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau.  Burial will be in St. Peter Cemetery, Hamburg.  Current social distancing will be practiced and masks are required for all who attend. 

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Tara E. Verage

Tara E. Verage, 33 of Wisconsin Rapids passed away at the Hospice House in Wausau on February 16, 2021. She was born to David and Rebecca (Meister) Verage, on September 30, 1987.

She is survived by her three daughters Madelyn “Maddie” Ranke, Audrina “Audi” Verage, Bianca “Bee” Budde, her father David “Pop” Verage, Sisters Lisa Verage, Dena Meister, Aunts; Sue Camacho, Jill Camacho, Judy Verage, Uncles; Charlie Crump, Russell Verage and Fiance Shaun Budde.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Rebecca, grandparents; William & Elaine Crump, Marion and Leo E. Verage.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at The Rapids Room (at the Wisconsin Rapids Aquatics Center) 681 Chestnut Street, Wisconsin Rapids. With visitation starting at 11 a.m. followed by a Prayer Service at 12:30 p.m. officiated by Chaplin Dennis Fahey. A light luncheon will be served followed by the service. Masks are required by the facility, so use your best judgment.

Cards can be mailed to Tara E. Verage, Attn: Shuan Budde, 505 Park Street, Ontario, WI 54651 and flowers can be sent to Tara E. Verage, Attn: David Verage 1220 19th Ave. South Apt #2, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495.

Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting family at this time.

Reginald R. Hromek

On Monday, February 15, the Lord took my beloved husband from my arms to His Heavenly Home.

Reginald Hromek was born on August 14, 1940. On September 16, 1961, he married the love of his life, Nancy (Wurster) Hromek. He had three wonderful children; Vickie, Jill, and Tim.

Reg’s favorite thing was family. But when they were all together, it meant the most. Reggie could be found on the lake fishing, or in the woods hunting, or in the backyard grilling, mowing his lawn. When the day was done, everyone got a prickly mustache kiss, and one of his huge hugs. Those hugs were one of a kind, like him.

Reggie was most proud of his family. He loved his wife from the moment he met her as a little boy. He loved of her until his last breath. He was proud of his three children and their accomplishments. And as this family grew, he was so very proud of the grandkids. He took care of all of us, from fixing and repairing, to teaching us things like financing. He just knew everything we needed to know.

Reg is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy; his children: Vickie Vehrs; Jill Hromek; and Tim (Heidi) Hromek, Grandfather of: Bria (Josh) Newton, Erin (Jace Klemm) Tiry, Ivy Tiry, Mackenzie Drengler, Alex Hromek, and Maddie Hromek; and his great-grand daughter, Harper Newton.

Son of Andrew (deceased) and Elizabeth (Klinger) Hromek; brother to Shirley Hromek (deceased), David (and Mary) Hromek.

He was in the United States Army Reserves from January 1960 through November 1965. He worked as a Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriff, and later owned his own business of building, remodeling, and repairing homes.

We need to remember, now that his day is done, that Reggie is okay, It is only we who are still in pain. Reggie would agree:

“Perhaps my time seemed all to brief, don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me, I’m with God now. I’ve been set free.”

Reggie loved, and was loved, by so many. It’s not Good-bye, it’s “I’ll see you when…..”

A Celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Watch for dates to be posted.

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

Glen N. Bennett

Glen Norman Bennett died peacefully in his home on February 17, 2021 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin at the age of 84.

Glen is survived by his wife, Mary; sisters, Diane Lenox (Rod) and Mary Nell Dixon; children, Lori Ferrone (David), Glen “Rick” Bennett (Mary), Sherry Wilson (Michael), Randal Bennett (Elizabeth), and Jeffrey Bennett (Kerstin); grandchildren, Michael Sonnenberg, Jill Hamilton (Gene), Dustin Bennett (Victoria), Cariee Gibson (Derek), Richard Bennett (Amanda), Lauren Wilson, Camden Wilson (Kinnari), Isabell Bennett, and Finlay Bennett; great grandchildren, Alexes Henry, Ayva Bennett, Keegan Bennett (d. 2006), Nora Gibson, Teague Bennett, Sylvie Bennett, and Liberty Bennett. His beloved family includes many more nephews, nieces, cousins and in-laws. He is preceded in death by his father, mother, and five siblings.

Glen was born on September 17, 1936 in San Fernando, California to Joseph Richard and Fairy Bell Bennett. After attending San Fernando Senior High School he served in the United States Air Force for four years. The time he served was during the Korean War and most of his tour was spent in Germany.

Inspired by his brother, Joseph, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1958. That same year Glen married Gloria Manteufel and together they raised their five children.

Over the next twenty years, while faithfully performing his duties as a police officer and mentoring an LAPD sponsored Eagle Scout Troop, he was a loving and devoted father, an active member of his church, and participated in numerous political organizations.

Upon retiring from the LAPD, Glen moved to Wisconsin where he later met and married Mary Kleiber in 2013. They enjoyed going to church, spending time with their friends and family, and, of course, dancing.

Glen loved volleyball and spent much of his time on the court, often surprising his much younger teammates and opponents. He was charismatic and had so many friends and loved ones.

Those who knew Glen admired his faith and character. He was a man who lived intentionally by principle and faith. A man of true integrity who would act the same regardless of who was watching. Always calm and collected rooted in his faith and intellect. He felt compelled to protect those who needed it and wasn’t afraid to disagree with you or stand up for what was right.

He listened intently in a way that made you feel like the only person in the room…a nod of the head and a long pause after hearing your thoughts before he would carefully respond. Accompanying his calm collected presence was a vibrant energy. An energy that fueled an infectious smile, a glimmer in his eye, and a relentless energy to dance his way through life.

He always made an effort to be there for his children and grandchildren, never asking for anything in return, and always making it seem like his efforts were ‘no big deal’.   

Last September after multiple heart attacks, a terminal cancer diagnosis, and amidst a global pandemic, Glen still found a way to make it out to dance on his 84th birthday. He drove twenty five minutes to The Lure in Nekoosa, Wisconsin to see one of his favorite band members, Tom DeWitt.

Dressed in his best polo, bright white tennis shoes, a perfect flaptop, and that infectious smile, he blissfully danced. Rest assured that there’s at least one guy out on the dance floor in heaven today.  

A funeral is scheduled for February 27th at John J Buettgen Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids.

Visitation will begin at 10:00am with the service to follow at 11:00am. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Glen’s life. For those unable to attend in person, please utilize this link to join via video conferencing.

Michael D. Stefonik

Michael D. Stefonik, 67, passed into glory/eternity on Thursday February 18th, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. 

He was born on February 9th, 1954 in Rhinelander, WI to Donald M. and Viola (Brunette) Stefonik who preceded him in death. 

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Nancy (Poskie); children Maryann (Eli) Semer of Fremont, OH, Sarah (Ericka) Koepke of Mequon, WI, and Michael J. (Erin Keniry) of Fitchburg, WI; granddaughters Victoria Johnston and Eliza Semer who were the light of his life; siblings Philip (Jeanne) of Madison, WI, Steven (Patricia) of Appleton, WI, JoAnn Bos of Rhinelander, WI, and Thomas (Sue) of Wausau, WI.

Mike was described by those who knew him as charming and friendly, and he was always quick to share a joke or compliment to brighten someone’s day.  His Christian faith and love of his family were always his first priorities, followed by a great passion for golf.

Mike was an altruist, and the greatest gift that he would ask is that others receive with gratitude what he was able to give.  For that reason and in lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to a charity or non-profit organization in memory of Mike.  The family personally supports The Salvation Army (The Salvation Army USA), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital), and First Tee (First Tee – Homepage | First Tee), a non-profit organization which teaches golf and life lessons to children.

Due to Covid the family is choosing to have no services at this time.  A private Celebration of Life will be held on Easter 2021.

Calvin Bennett

Calvin Bennett 90, Wausau, passed away February 10, 2021. Calvin passed under the care of Aspirus Hospice Services at home surrounded by his family.

After graduation from Wausau High School he enlisted in the United States Army, serving during the Korean War. Calvin worked at Zimpro -US Filter as an electrician for 43 years. He served on the Rothschild Fire Department for 31 years as Fire chief, Firefighter and EMT. He was licensed as the first 001 EMT in the state of Wisconsin.

He is survived by wife Geraldine and sons Kevin, Kurt (Lynn) and Kyle. Grandchildren, Luke, Matt and Mitchell. He was preceded in death by daughter Carla.

Special thank you to Aspirus Dialysis and Kidney Care, Aspirus Hospital, and Aspirus Hospice Services for their excellent and compassionate care.

Barbara J. Kusik

Barb passed away peacefully at home Monday evening, February 15th, with her husband, Barry, by her side. Barb was born near Krosno, Poland on July 20, 1946. She was the middle child of six.

In 1959, Barb immigrated to the United States, where she was adopted by Joseph (Joe) and Clara Pelczar. She lived in Milwaukee with her family, including her brother Robert (Bob). She attended Rufus King High School, graduating in 1964.

On November 26, 1966, Barry and Barb married. They have 2 daughters, Tracy and Tanya.

Mom worked as a waitress at Big Boy’s on Mayfair Road, followed by many happy years at Kohl’s Food Store, in the bakery department. Barb loved to talk with her customers and she enjoyed her Kohl’s co-workers. Our home was never without fresh bakery.

After retirement, Barb and Barry moved up to the cottage on Lake Camelot. Mom gardened in the “wild area” under the pines and would have rummage sales, we think more for the social aspect rather than actually selling anything.

We will remember our Mom’s penchant for talk, love of flowers which she got from her father, Joe, and her dedication to family, especially to her grandchildren, Gillian and Sullivan (Sully).

She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Barry; daughter Tracy, granddaughter Gillian; and daughter and son-in-law Tanya, Joe and grandson, Sully. She is also survived by her brother Bob, sister-in-law Suzy, nephew Danny and niece Jennie.

Per Mom’s wishes, no formal funeral will be held. We will gather in her memory this summer when the flowers
are in bloom.

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

We love you and miss you. XOXO

Selma S. Turzinski

Selma Turzinski, 96 of Bevent, died on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at Copperleaf Assisted Living, Schofield.

Selma was born on June 19, 1924, in the Town of Sharon, Portage County, the daughter of Leo and Teckla (Maslowski) Stanczyk.

On June 1, 1946, Selma was united in marriage to Paul Turzinski at Sacred Heart Church, Polonia. He preceded her in death on November 25, 1988.

Selma worked in Milwaukee for a year and came back home to work on the farm. She liked gardening, canning, baking, and watching birds, especially cardinals.

In her younger years, Selma enjoyed Polka dancing. As years went on, she loved doing word search puzzles, scrapbooking, and watching Brewers and Packers games. Selma’s family would get together for annual fish frys where she would enjoy spending time with her grandkids and great grandkids.

Selma is survived by five children, Richard (Louise) Turzinski, Kathy (Chris) Sumiejski, both of Milwaukee, Jerome (Karen) Turzinski of Wausau, Dennis (Janet Cherek) Turzinski, and Janice (Michael) Kleman, both of Hatley; ten grandchildren, Deborah (Lesley), Steven (Dawn), Susan (John), Mary (Ricky), Louis Joseph (Denise), Scott, Jennifer, Sarah (Mark), Michelle (Michael), and Rachel (Daniel); 19 great-grandchildren, Cody, Ivy, Terra, Alexia, Cailey, Emmalyse, Nataley, Samuel, Breanna, Jacob, Elizabeth, Isaac, Louis James, Abigail, Samantha, Owen, Sawyer, Maxwell, Evelyn, and a baby boy on the way; and sisters-in-law, Beverly Stanczyk, of Custer, Sister Carolita Turzinski, of Chicago, and Delores Turzinski, of Schofield.

Selma was preceded in death by her husband; parents; siblings, Emil Stanczyk, Conrad Stanczyk, Theresa Kazmierczak, Chester Stanczyk, and Lorraine Check; granddaughter, Elizabeth, and her granddaughter’s husband, Thomas Kislow.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 AM on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church, Bevent. Rev. Augustine Bentil will preside. Visitation will be on Saturday from 9:30 AM until the time of mass at church.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

Memories and messages of support may be shared at schmidtschulta.com.