Jeffery S. Wehrs

Jeffery Scott “Odie” Wehrs went home to Jesus on July 2, 2021 at the age of 60.

Jeff was born to Lyle and Mary Wehrs on December 2, 1960 in Rochester, Minnesota.  Jeff attended Immanuel Lutheran School and graduated from Plainview High School in 1979.  He joined the US Army and served during the Cold War stationed in Germany.  Upon returning he attended Concordia University, Saint Paul and later Northeast Metro Technical College for Orthotics.  Jeff spent many years in the Twin City’s area before moving to Merrill Wisconsin to join Marshfield Clinic for Orthotics.  Later he worked with Healthdrive as a certified Pedorthist.  Jeff retired early due to an injury.

Jeff married Jamie Luepke in 1983 and had two children, Seth Wehrs and Nina Wehrs of Wausau.  His children and granddaughter were the best part of his life, his love and pride in them was with him every day.

Jeff found the love of his life and true companion when he met and married Heather (Habeck/Fay) Wehrs December 27, 2014.  She survives.

Jeff found joy in many things.  Some of his favorites included golfing with friends at Tribute, especially his partner Dave.  Target shooting with the guys.  Bowling with family and friends in the Saturday night Church league at Les and Jim’s.  Movies at the Cosmo with Darryl “Big Dog” and the boys.  Riding, first motorcycles and later his Can Am Spyder.  Watching the Vikings and the Minnesota Twins play.  And collecting!  Jeff couldn’t pass a flea market or garage sale without wanting to stop.  Jeff and Heather shared many adventures and loved to travel together.  Disney World being a favorite place.

Jeff is survived by his wife; parents; children and granddaughter, Rivendell.   He is also survived by siblings David (Bobbi) Wehrs, Colorado, Richard (Elizabeth) Wehrs, Illinois, Ruth Lentz (James Nock), Rochester, Janet (Glenn) Timm, Millville, Jeri Wehrs, Plainview and many nieces, nephews, and great nephews. 

Jeff had such a fun and generous nature he made so many friends along his journey through life.  He will be missed by many.

Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at St John’s Lutheran Church in, 1104 East 3rd Street, Merrill, Wisconsin 54452.  Visitation starting at 9am, service at 11am with a lunch to follow.  Special thank you to Pastor David Szeto for assisting the family and being one of Jeffs good friends. 

In lieu of flowers memorials can be made in his name to St. Johns Lutheran, Merrill, Immanuel Lutheran, Plainview, or a favored Veterans Association.

Helke Funeral Home of Wausau assisted the family with arrangements.

LaVila Imm

LaVila Sodke Imm died peacefully under Minnesota Hospice Care on July 4 at Kingsley Shores Senior Living community, Lakeville, MN.

LaVila was born in Wausau, March 18, 1927, to the late Walter and Elisa Sodke.Her father built a small farm in Rib Falls, WI, where she lived the first 14 years of her life. She attended schools in Marathon, Rib Falls and Wausau. One of the happiest days of her life was the day the family moved to Wausau. She loved what city life had to offer. This included learning to dance the Foxtrot, the popular dance of the era.

On June 8, 1946 at a Veterans Homecoming Dance at Marathon Park, Milton Imm saw her dance and was smitten. LaVila and Milt married on May 7,1949, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Stewart Avenue. The couple was very active at Trinity throughout the years. They sang in the choir and also served as youth counselor’s together for 12 years. Lavila also spent many years teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.

Outside of the church she taught Child Evangelism and operated a daycare in her home. She loved to bake cakes for birthdays and anniversaries and also textile painted many dish towels for gifts. Photography was also a great love and she has filled many photo albums. During this era photo portraits were all in black and white and she set up her own little business tinting portraits with oil paint.

LaVila and Milton were married 68 years at the time of his death in March 2018. He was the love of her life. She is survived by her brother Donald (Gaye) Sodke, Lake Forest, Il., and Luean Sodke Auslund, Lakeville, MN., who has cared for her the last three years in Lakeville, MN. LaVila adored her nieces and nephews: Jonathan (Karen) Sodke, Adair (Brian) Spencer, Stephanie (Brian) Schroeder, Bruce (Julie) Hecksel, Angela (Thomas) Szanajda and Amanda (Ryan) Boe and extended family and friends.

The funeral service for LaVila will be at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 9 at Helke Funeral Home.  Pr. Dave Mahler will officiate.  Visitation will be from 10:00 AM until the time of service at the funeral home on Friday.  LaVila will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Village of Maine.  Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign out family guestbook at

Edward C. Matz Jr.

Edward C. Matz Jr., 71, Pickerel, died Sunday July 4, 2021, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

He was born May 18, 1950, in Wausau, son of the late Edward C. and Marion (Kaufmann) Matz Sr.  On September 18, 2010, he married Judy (Andreas) Landrum Pagenkopf in Wausau.  She survives.

From the age of 19 up to his retirement, Ed had been employed with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as a surveyor.  Among his favorite pastimes, Ed enjoyed hunting, fishing and sitting with his dogs, Oddie and Rainie Day and Rainie Lynn.

Survivors include his wife, Judy; four children, Jamie (Dirk) Cabanski, Green Bay, Kari Cabanski, Anchorage, Alaska, Mandy (Jared Whan) Matz, Schofield, Jared (Kristi) Matz, LaCrosse; five grandchildren, Haley and Cole Cabanski, Caden Cabanski, Morgan and Mavrik Matz; four siblings, Hope Baken, Fond du Lac, Marilyn (Terry) Fischer, Chad (Cindy) Matz, Mark (Judy) Matz, all of Birnamwood; step-children, Bruce Beadles and his children, Breanna and Kiki; Daniel Landrum and his children, Heather and Austin; one step-great granddaughter, Lilly.

Besides his parents, Ed was preceded in death by an infant son, Joseph Edward Matz.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Monday July 12, 2021, at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 6101 Zinser Street, Weston.  Rev. Greg Bohren will preside.  Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will be on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church.

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

Fred A. Kuester

Fred A. Kuester, 79, of Rhinelander, WI passed away at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau WI on July 2nd, 2021, surrounded by family.

Fred is survived by his life partner Dorothea Clough; three daughters, Jane (Dale) Paffrath, Pelican Lake, Mary (Robert) French, and Lisa (Darby) Moren, of Rhinelander WI; nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews; three sisters, Kathryn (Ken) Heidewald, Rose Smythe, and Sylvia Heidewald; five brothers, Erich, Edmund (Joan), James, Henry, and Leonard. He is proceeded in death by his parents and four brothers, David, John, Daniel, and Robert.

Fred was born on July 29, 1941 to Erich and Hazel (Zahringer) Kuester, at his childhood home in Laona, WI. He was the 7th son, in a family of 13 children.

He married Linda Gilbert of Crandon, WI in 1962, moved to Kenosha, WI, where he was employed at American Motors while working on building his own business in northern WI.

In 1971 he moved his family to Elcho WI, to work full-time in the landscaping and logging business that he built up which employed up to a 12-person crew. Fred moved his family to Rhinelander, WI in 1976, and continued to log for many more years. In semi-retirement, he started a sewing business with his long-time companion, Dottie, selling and repairing sewing & embroidery machines, and sharpening scissors for local schools and the public.

Fred was a self-taught master mechanic, and loved and supported his family and friends throughout his life. He enjoyed being in the outdoors, wildlife, gambling, and having many pets through the years, but enjoyed dogs especially. Many times he saved abandoned or injured wildlife animals and nursed them back to health, or raised them until they could survive on their own.

The family thanks Aspirus Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Associates, and John J. Buettgen Funeral Home for their help and support through this difficult time.

Private services will be held.

James L. Lepak

James “Jim” Lawrence Lepak, 76, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, July 4, 2021, after a valiant battle with lung cancer.

Jim was born July 15, 1944, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, to Lawrence and Eleanor Lepak. He was the eldest of nine children in the family. After graduating high school, he joined the United States Army Airborne where he served for four years. Jim was honorably discharged July 31, 1968. He then worked for the Whiting-Plover Paper Mill, later becoming Neenah Paper. Jim was a boiler room operator for 41 years, retiring in 2009.

Jim met the love of his life, Donna Parks, at Happy Land Bar in 1968. They married June 27, 1970, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Stevens Point. They went on to have two children, Jeff and Kelly. Jim and Donna were blessed to have 51 wonderful years together.

Jim loved being a grandpa. He cherished every moment spent with his five grandchildren: Hailey, Conner (Jeff and Michelle Lepak), Isla, Evelyn, and Jacob (Kelly and Evan Wojtalewicz). Jim was a wonderful, caring friend throughout his life, especially to Otto, Al, Marge, Tom, and Brandon. Jim enjoyed many hobbies. He was a gun enthusiast and loved to hunt, fish, and shoot trap. He was always watching or listening to his favorite teams, the Brewers and the Packers. Jim took pride in his yard work, especially his sprinklers that everyone ran over!

Jim was such a kind, loving, patient husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. While he will be dearly missed by all that knew him, he would want everyone to know that he was more than prepared and eager to meet his Savior. A private family celebration of life is planned for a later date.