Rev. Thomas F. Hoelter
Rev. Thomas F. Hoelter was called home to claim the fullness of his redemption promise on April 16. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family after a months-long battle with cancer. Thomas was born to Edwin and Doris (Gain) Hoelter in DuQuoin, IL on July 3, 1947.
At age 13, Thomas attended preparatory school at Concordia Junior College in Milwaukee, WI to begin pastoral studies like his father before him. He graduated in 1967 and went on to Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, IN where he graduated in 1969. He then attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO, graduating in 1973.
He married the love of his life, Mary (Gunther) Hoelter in 1970 and the two enjoyed 50 years of loving marriage.
Thomas was ordained as a minister of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Norwood Park, IL in 1973. He served his first parish at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Chambers, Nebreska 1973-1976. He also served at Calvary Lutheran Church in Council Grove, KS from 1976 to 1979 and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Durand, Wisconsin as well as Immanuel Lutheran Church in Plum City from 1979 to 1987. Reverend Hoelter served as Pastor of Rib Mountain Lutheran Church from 1987 until his retirement in 2013. Upon retiring, he continued to preach as a guest pastor at various parishes in north central Wisconsin.
Thomas worked hard and found joy in various pursuits throughout his life. He held a number of different jobs as a young man, including delivering papers, working at a blacksmith shop, building Harris FloteBotes, laying concrete conduit for telephone lines, working at Harley Davidson, and answering phones for an attorney of Jimmy Hoffa. He was spirited and athletic in his younger years, joining the cheer team while at Junior College. He also volunteered as a firefighter at his first parish and led devotions at nursing homes in the Wausau area. Thomas was an avid cook who found a creative outlet in cooking, particularly grilling. He enjoyed playing guitar and had a passion for the classical and ancient languages of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He spent a good deal of time translating the original texts of scripture when preparing his weekly sermon.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Doris; brother, Steve; and step-father, Louis Carstens. He is survived by his wife, Mary; brothers, Mark (Karen) and Joel (Velma) Hoelter; sister Susan (Rusty) Brown; sons James (Lori) Hoelter, Matthew (Michelle) Hoelter, and Jonathan (Elizabeth) Hoelter; and ten grandchildren: Luke, Benjamin, Samuel, and Jessie; Bronson and Eva; Emmy, Hansel, Gus, and Charity.
Visitation will be held at Rib Mountain Lutheran Church, 227150 Harrier Ave, Wausau on Wednesday, April 21 from 10am until the start of the funeral service at noon. Pastor Tim Swanson will officiate. The service will also be available to stream at https://www.helke.com/obituary/PastorThomas-Hoelter.
We would like to thank Interim Healthcare Home Care and Hospice, Dr. Abhishek Seth and the Marshfield Clinic oncology team, and Dr. Olatunji Oladeji and the staff at the Marshfield Medical Center – Weston for their great care, compassion, and kindness they showed Tom and his family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Lutheran World Relief or to the family to be allocated to other organizations important to Tom.
Dennis L. Frahm
Dennis L. Frahm, 72, Athens, died Thursday, April 15, 2021 under the care of Heartland Hospice at Edenbrook Nursing Home, Wisconsin Rapids.
He was born November 12, 1948 in Wisconsin, the fifth child of eleven to the late Leonard and Delores (Dietsche) Frahm Sr. On February 3, 1967 he married Shirley Schemenauer in Athens.
Dennis loved the outdoors, hunting, gardening and took pride in his maple syrup. He also enjoyed playing cards with family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley Frahm; children, Char, Keith (Robin Hetchler), Terry (Michele), and Tracy (Johnathon Dahl); grandchildren, Kody, Bobby, Ashley, Heather, Harlie, Hannah, Miaja and Kailey; siblings, Leonard Jr. (Gloria) Athens, Calvin Sr. (Nancy), Athens, Schanon (Angela), Athens, David (Connie), Edgar, Richard (Sue), Wausau, Jeff (Carmen), Athens, Kim (Kim), Wausau, and Perry (Linda), Medford.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Jennifer, son, Paul, brother, Roger and sister, Karen Duellmann.
Dennis wished no services to be held at this time.
Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com
Terrance “Terry” Piehl
Terrance “Terry” Piehl, 72, Wausau, died Thursday April 15, 2021 at his home.
He was born February 9, 1949 in Wausau, son of the late William and Alice (Novitzke) Piehl. On November 6, 1971 he married Alice Hanke at St. Michael Catholic Church. She survives.
A 1967 graduate of Newman High School, Terry played varsity football and was an avid Green Bay Packer fan. Prior to his retirement Terry had been employed as a route salesman with Frito Lay for 30 years. Among his favorite pastimes, he enjoyed music, especially the Blues, and was a big supporter of the Wausau Area Blues Festival. He also enjoyed boating and fishing. Terry was a 35-year member of the Wausau Elks Lodge No. 248.
Survivors include his wife, Alice Piehl, a son, Robert Piehl, sisters, Sharon (John) Pijan, Polly (Fritz) Kimball; brother, Steve (Mary) Piehl; brother-in-law, Andy (Kathy) Hanke, Glenn Hanke; sister-in-law, Alonna (Al) Weinberger; nephews and nieces were a big part of Terry’s life and they include; Jim, Paul, Scott, Adam, Kimberly, Joe, Erin, Rick, Cherie, Tony, Sarah, Kevin, Nicholas and Travis. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Bill, Tim and Chris Piehl; nephews, Rich, Kevin and Patrick and a niece, Mary Elizabeth.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Thursday April 22, 2021 at Holy Name Catholic Church, Wausau. Rev. Samuel Martin will preside. Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau and again on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church. There will be a Parish Rosary Service at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Sixth Street funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Holy Name Catholic Church. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com
Lawrence E. Gajewski
Lawrence Edmund Gajewski, 87, Athens, died Saturday April 17, 2021 at his home.
He was born November 15, 1933 in the Town of Rietbrock, son of the late Leo and Pelogia Gajewski. Lawrence served his country in the United States Army, at the age of 18, stationed in Germany. He started the family farm after serving his country. On February 2, 1957 he married Dottie Schug and celebrated 64 years of marriage. She survives.
Some of Lawrence’s hobbies included playing sheepshead, deer hunting, deer shining with his grandkids, an occasional trip to the casino, whisker rubs with the grandkids and after all the rocks were picked they were going fishing, and we’re still picking.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy Gajewski, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Jeff Gajewski and his children, Eric (Lexi) Gajewski and their children, Kashton, Klayton and Lennon, Justin (Angie) Gajewski, and their children, Devin, Jade, Archer and Marshall, Jordan (Amanda) Gajewski and their children, Kodiak and baby Bristol and Danny Gajewski, Dale (Lori) Gajewski and their children, Travis (Sasha) Gajewski and their children, Jayden, S’Niyah and Isabella, and Gina Gajewski, Wayne (Annette) Gajewski and their children, Matthew (Annie) Gajewski and their children, Patrick, Eli and Jane, Stacey (Dustin) Dahlke and Erin Gajewski, Debbie Gajewski and her children, Kenny (Megan) Feltz and their children, Austin and Elli Feltz, Dustin Feltz and Katie Feltz and her daughter, Tessa Thomas, and Gary (Michele) Gajewski and their children, Amanda, Samantha and her daughter, Alessandra and Alexa (Zach) Borter, brother, Joseph (Barbara) Gajewski and sisters-in-law, Nancy Gajewski, Marilyn Gajewski and Delores Gajewski.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant son, Duane, 2 granddaughters, Marissa and Tabitha and siblings, Clara (Charles) Brown, Alois (MaryAnn) Gajewski, Raymond Gajewski, Stanley Gajewski, Leon Gajewski and Leonard Gajewski.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Thursday April 22, 2021 at Holy Family Catholic Church, Poniatowski. Rev. Thomas Huff will preside. Burial will be in the Parish cemetery with military rites conducted by the American Legion Edgar-Sawyer-Drumm Post #393 and the Edgar VFW Memorial #10187. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church and again on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church. There will be a Parish Prayer Service at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Church. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com
Eunice A. Tess
As the poet Mary Oliver once asked, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” And, for a life well-lived, the question becomes how do you capture the essence of that one wild and precious life in a few meager paragraphs? Yet, the time has come for us to make that attempt as Eunice Adeline Wagner Tess passed from this life on Friday, April 16, 2021, at UW Hospital in Madison, WI, where she was surrounded by her family, in person, virtually, and in spirit.
Eunice, or, as we called her, “Mom”, was born on October 14, 1929, in Edgar, WI to George and Margaret (Fischer) Wagner. She was the fifth of ten children and we never tired of hearing her stories of growing up on a farm, during the Depression era, with such a large and loving family. In fact, family was so important to the Wagner clan, that in 1946, a tradition was established that continues to this day as the annual Wagner Family Reunion, held each year at the “home place”. This summer we will gather for the 75th year of this time-honored event, and Mom was so looking forward to being part of the celebration. She has never missed a reunion and her smile, her laughter, and her sense of humor will leave a void that cannot ever be filled. She is survived by two brothers, George (Ann) Wagner, Valparaiso, FL and Daniel (Joan) Wagner, Anoka, MN and one sister, Dolores (Paul) Gohdes, Madison, WI. She was preceded in death by sisters Marie McWatters, Germaine Zweck, Sister Margaret Wagner, FSPA, and Joan Baeseman; and by brothers Roman and Gerald.
On August 16, 1958, Eunice married the love of her life, Earl Tess, in Edgar, WI and together they raised five children: Sheila Rossmiller, Wausau, WI; Bill Tess, Edgar, WI; Julie (Neil) Tess-Michek, Highland, WI; Bob (Laura Belanger) Tess, Stevens Point, WI; and Kathy (Jack) Blume, Mequon, WI. Eunice was also known as “Grandma” to her eleven grandchildren: Will Rossmiller, Hudson, WI; Sam Rossmiller (Cailin Scherer), Sheboygan, WI; Elizabeth Tess (Travis VonBruenchenhein), Edgar, WI; Nate Michek, Morgantown, WV, Alex Michek, Platteville, WI; and Adeline Michek, Highland, WI; Augie and Charlie Blume, Mequon, WI; and Ava, Ella and Nia Tess, Stevens Point, WI; and grand-dogs Leroy, Lima, Clover and Stan. Earl preceded her in death on December 16, 1997. Mom was fond of saying that “we have the best family ever” and she played an incredible role in making that true. She was the matriarch, the guiding light, the example to follow for us, for the 51 Wagner cousins, and countless great and great-great nieces and nephews. Now it is our turn to carry forward her legacy within our own lives.
Eunice was our Mom first and foremost, yet also pursued a career at a time when that was unusual for a woman with a family to raise. She was a leader and a trailblazer. Her career as bookkeeper for Edgar Public Schools spanned 35 years, and began with her filling ledgers with numbers penned in ink from a fountain pen and ended with her converting the accounting system to computer. During her time there she made countless friends among the faculty and staff and knew every student by name. In her book, there were no “hey yous”, one of her many nuggets of wisdom.
Our Mom traveled through life with a humble servant’s heart. She was a servant leader, perhaps even prior to the term being coined. And, in her understated and unassuming way, Mom positively impacted her community and church through sharing both talent and time. She was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church her entire life, and participated in parish life as a member of the choir, CCD teacher, fish fry volunteer, reader, and communion minister, both in church and to the homebound. Mom loved the village of Edgar, and was active in her community in many ways, serving as part of the history committee, medical center board, and Edgar Centennial Committee. In her retirement, she worked at the food pantry and at the polls and was honored for her lifelong volunteerism as Edgar’s Citizen of the Year in 2003.
Mom certainly made the most of her one wild and precious life, and in doing so, taught us the importance of living in the moment and embracing the joy of being alive. She instilled in us a life-long love of reading, music, and nature. The top shelf of her bookcase showed a diversity of word and thought and it is therefore not at all surprising to realize both how intelligent she was, and how accepting she was of everyone she met, without exception. Mom’s record collection was no different, and we grew up listening to Danny Kaye and Burl Ives, jazz and rock, country and opera, cowboy folk songs and symphonies. A walk through the woods with Mom was never a dull moment. She had such a sense of wonder as she enthusiastically pointed out a rare nodding trillium, the song of an oriole, or the whisper of the wind through the poplar trees.
Mom possessed an unshakeable faith and eternal optimism. She believed in brighter days ahead, and in God’s goodness and his ultimate plan, which she relentlessly held onto in times of joy, times of struggle, and during all the seemingly ordinary days in between. She was, and will continue to be, a shining example to us and to all those whose paths she crossed.
Another well-known writer, A.A. Milne, once said, “How lucky are we to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Genuinely fitting words for our family at this time. And, while we know Mom will be missed immensely, by many, we rejoice for her, and feel deeply grateful to have known her as an extraordinary human . . . and most importantly, as our Mom.
Visitation for Eunice will be held on Saturday, April 24, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edgar, WI. A Funeral Mass in celebration of her life will follow at Noon. All are welcome. For those unable to attend in person, the Funeral Mass will be live streamed through the Peterson Kraemer Funeral Home Facebook page, and will be uploaded to her obituary page the following week. Burial will be held as part of the 75th Annual Wagner Family Reunion in July. Social distancing guidelines will be observed as well as facemasks required by all who attend. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com
Our gratitude goes to the staff at UW Hospital in Madison, where Mom received outstanding and truly compassionate care during her final days; and to the staff at Our House Assisted Living, where, especially during these COVID times, the staff and residents became an important part of her family. She loved you all!
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Eunice Tess Servant Leader Scholarship at Edgar High School (please make checks payable to School District of Edgar, PO Box 196, Edgar, WI 54426) or to a charity dear to your heart, as Mom had too many worthy causes to list here.
Thomas J. Wanserski
Thomas J. Wanserski, “Tommy”, 42, Wausau, passed peacefully Wednesday April 14, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Tommy was an avid outdoorsman, in his spare time you would find him out at the hunting cabin changing memory cards in the deer cameras, planting food plots or baiting the bear with his son, Axton. He had an incredible love of the outdoors and this is where he was at his happiest. Tommy loved sharing the outdoors with his children, Axton, 4 and Camryn, 1 as well as his wife Lindsay.
Tommy met his wife, Lindsay, in 2002 in college at UW- Stevens Point. Tom and Lindsay have a love that most people will never find. Lindsay will often describe Tom as, “her person”. It’s a love that you find once in a lifetime and they are so blessed to have spent 19 years together. They traveled, adventured, lounged at home and just enjoyed each other at every opportunity.
Tom worked 15 years at Rocket Industrial and wound up becoming one of Rocket’s best employees in the company’s history. With multiple sales awards, and championing several industry-leading advancements, he was a shining, positive example, of a team player—regularly thanking the entire team in multiple ways. It was normal to run into him at one of their warehouses where he was dropping by just to say thank you.
Tommy was so proud to take Axton to track practice at Wausau West where he served as a Track and Field Coach for over 20 years. Mentoring young athletes brought him so much joy and pride. The Wausau West Coaching Staff were Tom’s second family.
Tommy was the best father to his children, he was calm, patient, kind, loving and cherished every second he had with them. Tom was also a devoted brother and son. His family was everything to him. His mother could often be found making all of his favorite treats, or calling him “just because.” She was his biggest fan and #1 advocate in life. His father, Henry, was his very best friend and his favorite hunting partner. Their relationship was so strong it’s hard to describe with words, they were each other’s confidants and partners in crime. The two were always happily working on some kind of project. Tommy was always willing to help with any task easy or difficult if it meant that they could spend more time together. Tom also had five adoring nephews who he loved to play with and left them all with memories that they will treasure forever.
Tom is survived by his wife Lindsay, his children Axton and Camryn as well as his parents, Henry and Cindy Wanserski, his sisters Cara (Jeff) Spatz and Meghan (Karsten) Board. His in-laws Bruce (Cathy) George, his brother in-law Chris (Emily) George and his sister in-law Emily (Josh)Meidl with his immediate family he is survived by many friends, cousins, aunts and uncles. A Memorial Celebration is being planned for a future date. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com
Anita A. Lewandowski
Anita A. Lewandowski, 84, Wausau, died Saturday April 17, 2021 surrounded by family at Rennes Health and Rehab under the care of Compassus Hospice.
Anita was born August 26, 1936 in Wausau, daughter of the late Anton Jr (Tony) and Delphine (Esker) Morien. She was a 1952 graduate of Wittenburg High School where she was an active member in many clubs and president of Future Homemakers Association (FHA) her senior year. After high school she completed her certification at Carthage College and Marquette University for Legal Secretaries’. She worked at Trembath Law Office in her earlier years, and was later a loan officer at Tower Credit Union.
On May 25, 1968, she married Dennis Lewandowski at St. Florian Catholic Church in Hatley, WI. He preceded her in death January 29, 2021.
Anita enjoyed numerous activities with travel throughout the United States as one of her favorites, along with live concerts, polka music, and Milwaukee Brewers games. Anita was devoted to her family and grandchildren. She loved a good laugh, dancing, gardening, and golfing. Her quick wit and sense of humor was with her right until the end. She taught Bible School, was a Girl Scout Leader, a member of Catholic Women’s Society, volunteered for the Festival of Trees, and was a member of St. Michael Catholic Church for over 50 years, serving as an Eucharistic Minister.
Survivors include her children, Renee (Carl) Makuch, Verona, Randal (Stephanie) Lewandowski, Wausau, Rodney (Jennifer) Lewandowski, Verona, Ryan (Michelle) Lewandowski, Eden Prairie, MN; grandchildren, Maxwell, Ariana, Declan, Brendan (Sarah), Steven, Molly, Leora, Natalie, Avery, Ella; a brother, Ken (Joan) Morien, Schofield.
Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her siblings, LaVerne, Elroy, and Mary Ellen.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Saturday April 24, 2021 at St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau. Rev. Joseph Richards will preside. Visitation will be on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church. A private burial for both Dennis and Anita to be laid to rest together, will be held at a later date in the parish cemetery. Social distancing protocols will be observed, and masks will be required for all in attendance. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a luncheon will not be served after the mass.
The funeral service will be livestreamed on the Peterson/Kraemer Facebook page and a recorded version will be available to watch on the website later.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Randal Lewandowski 153718 Larkspur Ln Wausau WI 54401. Commemorative gifts for both Dennis and Anita are being established to celebrate their lives.
Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com
Elizabeth ‘Elsie’ Zynda
Elizabeth ‘Elsie’ Zynda, 98 of the town of Franzen, died on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Benedictine Living Community, Wausau.
Elsie was born on August 5, 1922 in Bevent, the daughter of Stanley and Mary (Lewandowski) Kluck.
On June 28, 1947, Elsie was united in marriage to Edwin Zynda in Bevent. He preceded her in death on May 24, 2002.
The couple owned the former Zynda Grocery Store in Galloway and farmed for many years with her family. E
lsie was an active member of St. Ladislaus Catholic Church, Bevent and it’s Rosary Society. She waited tables for many weddings and funerals and sang in the church choir. Elsie was a charter member of the Elderon Memorial Post 8068 Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.
She enjoyed polka music, dancing, her flowers and gardening. Elsie was proud of the few albums she recorded with the St. Ladislaus Choir. She was an excellent cook and she made sure you were never hungry.
Elsie had lots of love for everyone.
Elsie is survived by two sons, Norbert (Donna) Zynda and Myron (Bernadette) Zynda all of the town of Franzen; son-in-law, Walter Carlson of Plainfield; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Elsie was preceded in death by her husband; parents; a daughter, Virginia Carlson; six brothers including, Henry, Sylvester, Harry, Lawrence and Norbert and six sisters including, Delphine Gorski, Mame Kluck, Irene Langenecker and Loretta Eick.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11AM on Thursday April 22, 2021 at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church, Bevent. Fr. Augustine Bentil will preside.
Burial will be in the Parish cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday from 9AM until the time of Mass at the church. There will be a Rosary recited at 10AM.
Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and messages of support may be shared at schmidtschulta.com
The family would like to thank the staff at Benedictine for the loving and compassionate care given to Elsie.
Cards of condolences may be mailed to 176861 County Road C, Wittenberg, WI 54499.