Archie A. Drake

Oh, how the trumpets played in Heaven at 9:30 AM on Saturday, March 27, 2021, when Archie A. Drake took his final breath here on earth with Tina and his kids by his side but was greeted into his eternal life by all of the loved ones who had gone before and had made a place for him. Oh, what a homecoming it must have been to see all the faces that he has missed for so long.  

We bet it was one hell of a homecoming when he was met by his mom, Beverly; his dad, Wallace; brothers, Wally and Dennis; sister, Linda; step-dad, Jerry Hartwig; father-in-law, Albert Krause; and his amazing grandma, Mae Corwith, who he told Tina he was going to see just days before he left us. We can only imagine the cackling that has begun with his best friends, Mark aka Chink and Larry, as they catch up on all of the gossip they have been missing out on; and all of the hugs and handshakes that he is already sharing.

To say Archie was one of the best is the understatement of the century. All who knew him knew a man with a great sense of humor, amazing strength, and someone who only gave unconditional love.

Growing up, Archie was known as a “hard-a**.” He could bench over 500 pounds, was the kid who drove his motorcycle through the halls of John Muir, locked his “favorite” art teacher into a locker, and, along with his buddies, picked up that same teacher’s car and set it on top of another teacher’s car. This of course made for interesting art classes for his kids, as they were constantly reminded by that same art teacher about the things that their dad had done. His kids, of course, thought that made their dad the coolest guy ever. 

After Archie turned 18 and a couple of interactions with the law, Archie was given the choice of jail or the United States Army. On August 13, 1968, Archie enlisted. During his time in the service, he became a member of an elite group of men who found enjoyment in jumping out of perfectly good airplanes.  One of his favorite jokes to tell was, “Do you know what falls from the sky? Bird sh** and idiots!” He always said if there was one thing he could do again; it would be to jump. In 1969 Archie was injured in an accident on his base in Germany. A jeep that he was a passenger in rolled and his leg was pinned underneath. He had to have two toes removed, several skin grafts, and spent two years in the hospital in a wheelchair with his foot sewn into his calf. Archie didn’t let being in the wheelchair stop him. His cousin Tommy told us how he, while in a wheelchair himself, would push injured veterans through the angry crowds who were demonstrating the war by throwing rocks and garbage at the returning wounded soldiers. On August 17, 1971, Archie retired from the United States Army with a permanent disability, earning the National Defense Medal, Parachutist Badge, and the Sharpshooter Badge with Rifle Bar.

After leaving the service, Archie married the love of his life and best friend, Tina. There was nothing that would come between Archie and Tina. He promised Tina faithful love and sobriety, and he never failed to keep that promise.  Archie and Tina lived their very best lives together. Nothing meant more to them than being with each other, their children, and their grandchildren. They created an amazing family that they were extremely proud of, and they did it together. For Archie, there was no other love, like the love he had for Tina. He knew that they were meant to be together, and his only fear in leaving this world, was that he would be leaving her behind, but Tina knows that it will only feel like a blink of an eye, and she will again be with the love of her life.

Growing up, Cory, Cortney, and Jesse were certain that they had the coolest dad to ever exist. He had the fast, cool cars that would leave layers of rubber outside of the school when he would pick them up, and never said “no” to anything that they wanted or felt like they needed. No matter what the cost was, he always found ways to get it for them.  Archie loved to spend time taking his kid’s trout fishing, going up north to Burrows Lake every weekend where they would spend the weekend four-wheeling, going to Tomahawk Speedway to watch the races, or going to the Burrows Lake Bar to shoot pool, listen to music,  and hang out with friends and family. Nothing made him happier than to see his kids happy. And they were.

As a proud Papa and Grandpa, he was the very best. He was so proud of his grandchildren and wanted to be around them as much as possible. We are quite certain that if he could have skipped having his kids and just go right into having his grandkids, he would have.  He was there from the very beginning and he loved watching them grow and was so proud of every single accomplishment they made.  He would want his grandkids to know that no matter where they end up in life, that he loved them and that he is so proud of them.

Many who knew Archie, were lucky enough to receive a nickname from him; and all who knew him, knew that if he gave you a hard time, that he liked you. It was when he was nice to you that you had to worry. However, there weren’t many who experienced his bad side because he was truly one of the kindest men to ever live on this earth. A man who loved everyone and would give the shirt off his back and his last dollar to someone in need. Heaven truly gained an angel; and while his family could never explain the pain and sadness that they are feeling from the weight of this loss, they know that he will continue to love and guide them from heaven, and they find peace in knowing that they will all be together again.

Archie leaves behind the love of his life and wife of 43 years 9 months and 2 days, Tina; his children, Cory (Kristen), Cortney aka Piglet (Johnny) Drake-Heck, and Jesse (Beth); his grandchildren, Malachi aka Doopa, James aka Buddha, Micah aka Micah Man, Noah aka Noah Noah, Tegan aka Tegan Beegan, Takoda aka Popeye, Wyatt aka Wyatt Earp, Taylor, Brady, and Reese; great-grandson Colt aka Colt-45; his mother-in-law, and someone he considered to be one of his very best friends, Joan Krause; as well as many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends that he loved very much. If there was one thing, we could say to each of you, it is that he loved every one of you and there wasn’t a day that he didn’t say a prayer for you.

Funeral services will take place at 12:00 noon on Monday, April 26, 2021, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce Street, Wausau. Pastor Jenn Collins will officiate. Visitation will take place on Sunday, April 25, 2021, from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm and again on Monday from 10:30 am until the time of the services. All to take place at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park.

Archie was a man who loved our Lord; and so, his story must be told, so others may find hope. He lived a life filled with his love of faith, family, and his country. He was a man who never gave up, but this mountain was just too high for him to climb; so, the Lord marked this day and called him home and told him his peace is now found. Remember to love your Lord, pray for each other, and love one another, and to hold each other tight. We are never promised tomorrow and our time here on this earth is short. ~ You are the love of my life and we will be together again… in just a blink of an eye. Love, Tina

Give heaven a little hell grandpa, until we are all together again, know that we love you and will miss you every day!

As our sweet Archie would say each night, “Goodnight, Sweet Dreams, Love You, God Bless.”

Verjean M. Steiner

Verjean “Jean” M. Steiner, 83, Wausau, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at her home, under the care of Compassus Hospice.

She was born October 17, 1937 in Edgar, daughter of the late Bernard and Elizabeth (Sterzinger) Dahlke.  Verjean grew up in Edgar and then moved to Milwaukee, where she worked as a bookkeeper for the Mobil Oil Company for 12 years.  Verjean met the love of her life, Thomas “Tom” Steiner and they were united in marriage on May 18, 1968 at St. John Catholic Church, Edgar.

She was a longtime member of St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau and a member of the National Catholic Society of Foresters.  Among her favorite pastimes, she enjoyed listening to polka music, singing, dancing, fishing (especially walleye fishing), driving her children and their friends on many school field trips prior to seat belt laws, decorating for holidays, making “rock” salad for her grandchildren and going to rummage sales.  Jean was a great cook and baker, and her husband Tom never went to work without a piece of homemade pie in his lunch box.  Her and her family spent many days at their cottage in Tomahawk where everyone was welcome and well fed. 

A major part of Verjean’s life was taking care of her Great Aunt Barbara Hagelschur.  She put over 100,000 miles on her car going back and forth to Marshfield and enjoyed every minute of her time spent with her Aunt.

Survivors include, her husband, Tom; two children, Lisa (David) Koch and Alan (Kristina) Steiner, both of Wausau; four grandchildren, Austin, Kaitlin, Jake and Lily; three sisters, Mary (Tom) Stack, Barbie (Romie) Schoenfuss and Jeanette Schoenherr, all of Stratford; one sister-in-law, Marie Dahlke, Colby; one brother-in-law, Henry (Betty) Steiner, Stratford; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by one brother, Bernard Dahlke; one sister, Dorothy (Frankie) Betzner; and one brother-in-law, Teddy Schoenherr.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau. Rev. Msgr. Mark Pierce will preside.  Entombment will be in the Garden of Eternal Rest Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will be on Monday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau and again on Tuesday from Noon until time of services at the church.  There will be a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Monday evening at the funeral home.  Social distancing will be observed and face masks are required to attend.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Michael P. Opela

Michael P. Opela Sr., 54, of Edgar passed away Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

He was born on July 17, 1966, in Duluth, Minnesota, son of Julian Opela, Duluth, Minnesota and June (Vanderbloom) Opela, Forest Lake, Minnesota.  On April 29, 2000 he married Joanna Ditko in Phoenix, AZ.  She survives.

Michael received his degree in Accounting from Mankato State University but followed his passion for Structural Engineering and became a licensed Structural Engineer in Arizona, Wisconsin and Washington.

Some of his favorite fun pastimes included riding ATVs, hunting and being a small hobby farmer in Edgar, WI.

Survivors include his father, Julian Opela, Duluth, MN; his mother, June Opela, Forest Lake, MN; his wife Joanna Opela, Edgar, WI; his children and grandchildren, Jayme and Lyla Holly, Texas; Jane Reichenberg and Sterling Monet, Arizona; Juliet, Al and Wayne Vrudny, Belleplaine, MN; Michael Opela Jr., Mankato, MN and Jocelyn Opela, Edgar, WI; his siblings, Phil, Ellen and Carson Opela, New Mexico and Karen Ewert, Arizona.

At Michael’s request no formal services will be held at this time, but a celebration of his life will be held this summer in Duluth, MN. Rest In Peace (with your friend…. Mike Fremhling)

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

Philip R. Walters

Mr. Philip Walters, 86 died peacefully at a local hospital on Tuesday, March 30th.
Philip was born on September 10, 1934, to the late Damon and Alma Walters in Wausau. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1955-1957.

He was united in marriage to Jo-Ann Kolbe on September 13, 1958, at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Wausau.

Phillip was best known as a loving father and grandfather who enjoyed his family, visiting with friends, and farming. Over the years, his favorite times included turning the soil that brought smells of spring, breaking land which included picking rocks, cooking maple syrup, celebrating the 4th of July with lots of firecracker “bangs”, excursions on his Gator through the woods, and Christmas parties with his milk route patrons. His fresh maple syrup and fresh garden vegetables will never be forgotten.

Phillip was active in several organizations, spending a large part of his life on the Town Board for the Town of Texas. He co-founded the Town of Texas Fire Department and remained an honorable member, served different roles at Calvary Lutheran Church in the Town of Pine River, and lastly was an active member with Marathon County Farm Bureau. He will be remembered for his dedication to serving others.

He will be dearly missed by his children Pat Soma, Black Creek, Pam (Jeff) Jansen, Kaukauna, Mark (Gina) Walters, Wausau, Todd (Tracey) Walters, Wausau, Paula, (Dave) Thurber, Fremont, Kent, (Jan) Walters, Wausau, Rick (Brenda) Walters, Wausau and 20 grand & great-grandchildren who he loved dearly. He leaves behind two siblings Phyllis Bliese, Wausau, and David Walters, Harshaw.

He is preceded in death by his parents and wife Jo-Ann.

Visitation will be at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau, on Tuesday, April 6th, 4:00 – 8:00 pm.

Funeral will be at Calvary Lutheran Church, N365 Cain Creek Rd., Merrill, in the town of Pine River on Wednesday, April 7th with visitation 9:00 – 11:00 am, service and burial starting at 11:00 am with Pastor Nicole Welke, then lunch following at the Town of Texas Municipal Center, 158644 River Hills Rd. Wausau.

Calvary Lutheran Church has no restrictions in place, but masks will be available on site. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established that benefits the local community.

Philip’s family would like to thank Shari Dickinson for her care and friendship, and the ICU Team consisting of Dr. Stysly and his staff of compassionate nurses.

Eleanor T. Dahm

Eleanor T. Dahm, 95, Wausau, died peacefully on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

She was born November 2, 1925 in the town of Cassel, daughter of the late Stanley and Rose (Filtzkowski) Wesolowski.  On May 10, 1947, she married Murrill “Jake” Dahm at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, town of Cassel.  He preceded her in death on September 14, 2019.

For years, Eleanor worked at many grocery stores in both Wausau and Minocqua.  She was a charter member of St. Anne Catholic Church, Wausau and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post No. 89, Minocqua.  Among her favorite pastimes, she enjoyed traveling, flower gardening, bowling and was an excellent cook.  Most of all she loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

Survivors include her children, Susan (Lawrence) Kutschenreuter, Minocqua and James (Catherine) Dahm, Wausau; son-in-law, LeRoy Plourd, Arbor Vitae; grandchildren, Jacob (Jennifer Kormanik) Kutschenreuter, Joseph (Danielle) Kutschenreuter, Michael Dahm, Brittany (Michael) Curtis and Bradley (Melissa) Dahm; great-grandchildren, Jase and Tanner Kutschenreuter, Preston, Landon and Owen Curtis; one brother, John (Pat) Wesolowski, Wausau; sisters-in-law, Merceda Wesolowski, Edgar and Carol Wesolowski, Weston; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents and husband, Jake, she was preceded in death by two daughters, Patti Dahm and Carol Plourd; three brothers, Joseph, Thomas and Stanley Jr.; and one sister, Rosemary VerBrugge.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at St. Anne Catholic Church, Wausau.  Rev. Tom Lindner will preside.  Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will be on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until time of services at the church.  Social distancing will be observed and face masks will be required to attend. 

A livestream of the funeral Mass may be viewed at beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Wayne L. Schmalfus

Wayne Leroy Schmalfus, 77, of Wausau, passed away on April 1st, 2021 in comfort and in the prayers of family and friends. 

Wayne was born in Merrill to the late Leroy and Doris (Kemnetz) Schmalfus on May 29th, 1943.

Wayne graduated from Merrill High School in 1961 and then entered the Wisconsin Army National Guard for seven years until 1967.  He also began his professional Police career in 1966 in Wausau and served 28 years until 1993. After retirement Wayne kept active with grandchildren and foster care while also continuing to work other various small jobs.  Wayne married Linda McLellan, daughter of late Sidney McLellan and Gladys (Sill) McLellan on May 28th, 1966 in Hawkins, Wisconsin.

Wayne is survived by his loving wife Linda and his loving family; their children, Lisa (Rick) Pilgrim of Wausau, Cindy (Russ) Penrod of Mosinee and Debra (Tin Martin of Wausau; seven grandchildren, Cory, Robert, and Lindsley Pilgrim, Casey, Andrew and Braylin Penrod and Zoe Martin; two great-grandchildren, Lexi Pilgrim and Lila Penrod.

Wayne and his family enjoyed camping and boating and traveling around from state to state going on trips. He always loved a good conversation with anyone. He always loved telling a good story, especially when he was pulling your leg. Wayne was always a jokester and he certainly picked a fitting day to go with God passing on April Fools Day. Although he always enjoyed clowning around, Wayne mostly loved spending time with his family. Being with them was always most important. The summer family bar-b-ques were his favorite. Wayne also loved his furry precious friends, his dog Haley May and Holly his cat.

Services will be held at Noon Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at The Shepard’s House Seventh Day Adventist Church, Wausau. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  Burial will follow at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  A lunch will follow the service at the church.  Social distancing guidelines will be observed as well as facemasks required by all who attend.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Robert R. Marquardt

Robert R. Marquardt, 83, of Rib Mountain passed away Saturday, March 20, 2021 at his home.  He was born April 2, 1937 in Wausau, WI to the late Walter and Evelyn (Kazmier) Marquardt. He was a graduate of Newman High School in 1955 and worked at Marathon Electric for 45 years, a testament of his hard work ethic and dedication.

On October 15, 1960, Robert married the love of his life, Marjorie Mosier.  Together, they enjoyed any activities that involved spending time with and/or cheering on their children, grandkids, and the little ones that grew up under their care.  From trips to basketball games, soccer games, swim meets, concerts, recitals and graduations, theses were moments that meant the most.  Bob and Marge also enjoyed traveling and supporting the Wausau Drum and Bugle Corp, as Bob was their equipment manager and they both were chaperones.

In his younger years, Bob enjoyed playing softball, hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling with family.  He was also an avid bowler and enjoyed, puzzles, gardening, watching all sports, cheering on his favorite teams, and collecting sports memorabilia. Even in his later years, he continued to catch a Woodchucks game, or an auto race any chance he had and continued to attend all sorts of High School sporting events.

Bob was the oldest of 14.  His heart as well as his door was always open to those in his immediate family as well as to those that were considered family.

He was a loving husband.  Marge meant everything to him and if you were lucky, you may have caught him singing his favorite love song when thinking of her.

He was a very supportive father and grandfather.  He proudly displayed and cherished any gifts he received from them, including all their works of art.  He loved to joke around and play games.  “Got your nose” was definitely a favorite.  He even would entertain the occasional Chinese fire drill when asked.  He loved them so much, he would do anything he could for them.

Survivors include four children, Debbie (Chris) DeLaporte of Wausau, Dawn (Keith) Kulpa of Arbor Vitae, Dean (Sue) Marquardt of Wausau, Diane (Clintt) Bogan of Maple Grove, four grandchildren, Sarah DeLaporte, Ariel Bogan, Hannah and MacKenzie Marquardt, seven sisters, Joan Ninnemann, Collette Braun, Yvonne Ridgeway, Sharon Weinkauf, Rita Flores, Pam Marquardt and Donna Flores, four brothers, Richard Marquardt, Gary Marquardt, Daniel Marquardt, Donald Marquardt, and many nieces and nephews.  Bob was preceded in death by his wife Marge of Rib Mountain, one brother, James Marquardt, one sister, Mary Winnie and a special aunt and uncle (Sophia and Harold Anderson) who helped raise him. 

Visitation will be 11am to 1pm, Saturday, April 10th at the Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St., Wausau, WI.  Fr. Robert Thorn will officiate a short service at 1:00 PM.  Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at