Judith M. Ravonet

Judith M. Ravonet, 74, Marathon passed away Wednesday, March 24, 2021 while under the care of Heartland Hospice at Wausau Manor.

She was born April 7, 1946 in Marshfield, daughter of the late Mark and Marie (Beck) Wagner.   On July 7, 1968 she married Richard Ravonet at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Stratford.  He preceded her in death on January 16, 2018.

For many years Judy was a cook at Marathon Lanes.  She was an avid bowler, enjoyed traveling with her husband Richard, doing crossword puzzles, reading and attending many Marathon sporting events.

Survivors include her brothers, Richard (Marilyn) Wagner, Don (Jeanette) Wagner, Herb (Dorothy) Wagner and John (Jane) Wagner, her sisters, Barb (Marvin) Mohr and Christy (Greg) Yuenger and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents and husband she was preceded in death by her twin sister Jean Wagner and her sister Janet Williams.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Noon, Saturday, March 27, 2021 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Marathon.  The Rev. Msgr. Joseph Diermeier will preside.  Burial will be in the parish cemetery.  Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  Social distancing guidelines will be in place as well as facemasks required by all who attend.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.  Judy’s family would like to extend a sincere thank you to all the doctors, nurses and staff with Heartland Hospice and Wausau Manor for the outstanding care they all shared with her.

Theresa J. Damitz

God gives each of us a certain number of days. Tess’s number was 24,601. She died on March 25, 2021 after a hard-fought battle against pancreatic cancer. She had a lot of choice words for her tumor, as do we. We’ll keep it clean here and just say that cancer sucks.  

Tess was born November 16, 1953, in Stambaugh, Michigan, to the late Dovey and Sylvia Camomilli. Tess’s parents named her Theresa, but she hated that name, because “Theresa Jane!” always meant she was in trouble with her mom. She was Tessy/Tessie growing up, later shortened to just Tess. Tess was born on the second day of deer season, and her dad was out hunting when she came into the world. The Hanna Mine, where her dad worked, published in their newspaper that Dovey got a buck AND a doe that day. She enjoyed an idyllic childhood full of wonderful times with friends and lots of cousins. 

Tess graduated from West Iron County High School in 1971 and never missed a class reunion. She graduated from Lake Superior State College nursing school in 1973 and worked as a nurse for more than 42 years. 

Tess married Jay Leonoff in 1972. They had two daughters together and later divorced, but Tess remained friendly with the Leonoff family until her death. She married Ken Damitz in 1981. They made their home in Wausau before moving to the Damitz family dairy farm near Hogarty in 1985. They farmed for many years before moving to Weston. 

Tess shared her gift of compassion in a variety of settings throughout her long nursing career. She worked at Crystal Falls Hospital, Dickinson Memorial Hospital, and Ice Lake Medical Clinic in Upper Michigan. In Wisconsin, she worked for Marathon County, Visiting Nurse Association, Hospice (as one of the first two nurses in the Wausau Hospice program), Pre-Admission Resource Center, OB-GYN Associates, Mount View Care Center, and Community Care Central Wisconsin (now Inclusa). Tess was funny and kind, and a fierce advocate for her patients. It became a family joke that we couldn’t go anywhere without running into former patients and families whose lives she impacted.  

Tess is survived by daughters Amie Leonoff and Brenda Leonoff, both of Wausau, and stepson Lee (Pam) Damitz of Crawfordville, Florida. She is also survived by grandson Christopher Damitz of North Carolina, and her beloved granddaughter Arganie Leonoff, whom she helped raise. Her biggest regret was not being able to live long enough to see Arganie into adulthood.

Tess is further survived by a brother Richard (Cindy) Camomilli of New Holstein, sister Suzzette Camomilli of Kiel, and several brothers- and sisters-in-law, including special sisters-in-law Patsy Damitz, Weston, and Ruth Camomilli, New Holstein. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews including special niece Gina Provensal of Kenner, LA, and many dear cousins.

Tess collected lifelong friends throughout her journey. Friends from childhood include Carol and Dave Callovi, Iron River, Michigan, and Patsy Peterson, Crystal Falls, Michigan. She treasured her later life bestie Christy Hinkens, and coworkers and acquaintances who became dear friends: Kathy Klemm, Gretchen Iverson, Lisa Otto, Lisa Strand, Jackie Feck, Donna Kijak, Kelly McGowan, Rose Boron, Gail Coxen, Pam Zimmer, Deb Hall, David Cha, Courtney Kuklinski, Kacie Niemuth, Josh and Leslei Dickerson, and Deb Schoepke. She is also survived by the best neighbors ever, Jiggs and Joe Meurett. 

Tess was preceded in death by grandparents, aunts and uncles, an infant brother Daniel, mother-in-law Cecilia Damitz, her parents, ex-husband Jay, and husband Ken. 

Tess was an avid gardener and seamstress. She sewed her daughters’ clothes when they were young and took up quilting in her later years. She enjoyed canning and preparing holiday feasts with daughter Amie. Besides her work as a nurse, Tess was a lifelong caregiver, raising her kids and granddaughter, and caring for her mother-in-law and both parents during their final illnesses. Until her mom’s death in March, 2019, Tess enjoyed years of nightly visits with her mom watching the Brewers, Family Feud, and Wheel of Fortune, and reading to her from the weekly Iron River newspaper. After several years of illness, her husband died in October, 2019. It was a hard pill to swallow that when her caregiving duties were finally coming to an end, she was already too ill to take the road trip to the northeast that she had planned with Amie and Arganie.  

Our eternal gratitude goes out to Tess’s oncologist, Dr. Christopher Peterson, family doctor Dr. Lor, and the wonderful nurses and staff at Aspirus Cancer Center and Aspirus Hospital oncology unit for their kindness, encouragement, and compassion on this journey. We are also grateful beyond words for Tess’s end-of-life caregivers Kathy Klemm, Christy Hinkens, Gretchen Iverson, and Delores Kessel, who helped Amie and Arganie care for Tess at home until her death. They are truly angels on earth.  

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 29, 2021 at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild.  The Rev. Allan Slowiak will preside.  Burial will be in the Iron River Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  Social distancing guidelines will be in place as well as face masks required by all who attend.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.  To maintain the safety of friends and family and our community, we will not be offering a meal after the funeral. Instead, we will plan to gather together for a picnic on a date TBD this summer to share stories and celebrate Tess’s life. 

Maynard W. Bedish

Maynard “Mick” W. Bedish, 92, died Wednesday, March 24, 2021 under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at his home.

He was born October 10, 1928 in town of Hewitt, son of the late Michael and Clara (Laffin) Bedish.  On August 27, 1949 he married Lucille Seymour at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Wausau.  She survives.

Mick worked for Riverside Sand & Gravel and was proud to tell people “he hauled the first truck load of concrete to be poured at the first Power Plant in Rothschild.”  He continued to work in the concrete business for 43 plus years working his way up to manager at 4X Corp.  He also farmed with his wife on the Seymour farm.  Some of his hobbies included hunting, playing drums with the Zahrt Boys and substitute drumming with other bands.

Mick was a volunteer firefighter for the town of Hewitt, a member of the Easton Hewitt Wausau Lions Club and the Conover Lions Club in Vilas County.

Survivors include his wife, Lucille; daughter, Sharon Prieve, Wausau; son, Dennis (Sue) Bedish, Eagle River; grandchildren, Sarah Bedish, Wausau, Michael (Deanna) Bedish, Wausau and Abby Bedish, Milwaukee; great-grandchildren, Emma Fleming, Lindsay Fleming, both of South Bend, IN and Eli D’Acquisto, Wausau; sister-in-law, Jean Bedish, Milwaukee, Joanne (DuWayne) Schulz, Shirley Madden, Darleen Fust and Rita Seymour, also many nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Arnold Bedish, granddaughter, Melissa Prieve Fleming, grandsons, Andrew Prieve and infant Joseph Bedish, son-in-law, Kenneth Prieve, brother and sister-in-laws, Donald and Ruth Seymour, Norman Seymour, Earl Madden and Roger Fust.

Public visitation will be Tuesday, March 30, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau.  The funeral service will be for the immediate and extended family only, and will be live streamed on the PetersonKraemer Facebook page starting at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday.  Rev. Jen Hoffman will officiate.  Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the staff at Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for all the kind, compassionate care given to Maynard and his family.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Catherine R. Shonka

Catherine Rita (nee Bredlau) Shonka (age 72), of Wisconsin Rapids, passed away peacefully in the presence of her family on February 25, 2021. She was a member of St. Vincent De Paul Parish and a Legion of Mary member.

Catherine was born in Marshfield, Wisconsin to the late David Bredlau and Audrey (Nikolai) Kuehl. She attended grade school at Saint John’s Catholic School and later received her General Education Diploma in March 1975 from Mid-State Technical College. She worked in the foodservice industry beginning in 1987 in many roles. In 1993 she was trained as a Kitchen Assistant/Short Order Cook at the Cobb Training Center in Cobb, Wisconsin. She had a career shift in 1994 working as a laborer at Spring Green Tech in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Catherine provided volunteer service to the Soil Conservation Service and the Head Start Program working with Children. In 2018 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and fearlessly beat it.

Catherine was exceptional at craft work including needlepoint, crochet, and other crafts and many people benefited from the beautiful handmade gifts she shared. She used this talent to generate extra income when needed. She enjoyed baking and cooking for her loved ones. She was a self-starter with a quick wit and an infectious giggle.

Catherine was preceded in death by her spouse, Joseph Shonka who passed away in 2018. Catherine and Joseph lived in Lodi, WI, then moved to Wisconsin Rapids, WI, to happily live out their years together. She was also preceded in death by her parents, David Bredlau and Audrey & Byron Kuehl; grandparents, Alois and Leonora Nikolai, her brother, Gerard Bredlau and her sister, Christine Halbur.

She is survived by her daughters, Lori Ann (George) Stetser and Renae Sigall; step-daughters, Jennie (Carel) Koch, Christine (Daren) Mazier, Laura Shonka Baynes, and Carol-Jo Shonka; her siblings, Rochelle Webb, Roslyn (Christopher) Dodd, Gail Peaslee, Paul (Carmen) Bredlau, Kevin (Joan) Bredlau, Andrew (Angie) Bredlau; sisters-in-law, Theresa (Michael) Palmer, Col. Bernadette Shonka (Ret.); her 12 grandchildren and her nieces and nephews.

A Family Service will be held at St. Vincent De Paul Church in Wisconsin Rapids, WI on Saturday, April 10, 2021. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am with Mass at 11:00 am.

In Lieu of flowers a donation to ADRC for Meals on Wheels to shut-ins would be appreciated.

The family wishes to thank Edgewater Haven, Ascension Riverview Hospital Cancer Unit and the Ascension Riverview Hospital Comfort Care for care and support as well as the St. Vincent De Paul Community for prayers and outreach over the past years.

Evan E. Yellow Thunder

Evan E. Yellow Thunder, 59, died on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

He was born on December 1, 1961 in Wausau. The son of Joseph and Lillian Mae (Long Tail) Yellow Thunder.

Evan worked at various jobs doing general labor. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed spending time in the woods, fishing and hunting.

Evan is survived by three siblings, Fredrick (Deb) Yellow Thunder, Aleta Yellow Thunder and Thomas Yellow Thunder and special friend, Mona.

Evan was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings, Joseph, Rachel and Quinn.

A Devotional Service will be held at 1:00 PM on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at The Native American Church, Wittenberg. Mr. Corwin Roth will preside.

Burial will be in Sox Minak Cemetery, Wittenberg. Visitation will be on Sunday from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM when a brunch will be served at the church.

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

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