LaVern F. Elson

LaVern Fred Elson, 85, Wausau, died June 23, 2021 at his home.

LaVern was born August 31, 1935 in Wausau to the late Harold and Theo (Golla) Elson.  He faithfully served in the US Navy.  He has lived in Wausau for the past 2 decades and enjoyed spending time on his own.  LaVern enjoyed shopping at Walmart, watching movies and drawing in his younger years. 

LaVern is survived by his children, Kirk Pelot and Sherry Nillissen; siblings, Henrietta Schultz and Russell Elson; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.  He is preceded in death by his sisters, Myra Schuster, Delores Jonas, Phyllis Corda and infant sister, Mary.

There will be a graveside committal at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 30 at Restlawn Memorial Park.  Following the committal, military rites will be performed by VFW Burns Post #388 and personal from the US Navy.

Sincere appreciation goes to all of the residents of LaVern’s apartment complex and all of the friends he met at Walmart over the years.

Virgil A. Beck

Virgil “Virg” Beck, 66, of Stevens Point, passed away on July 23rd, while at Marshfield Medical Center after battling cancer for several years.

Virgil was born on August 21, 1954, to the late Delos and Myrtle (Traska) Beck, the oldest of their two sons.

Virg attended the University of Wisconsin and held both his BA of Fine Arts and Natural Resources. After graduating from the University, Walt Disney Productions hired him to assist in the design of the EPCOT Center in Florida. After leaving his work for Walt Disney, Virg went out and did freelance work full-time. His painting “Wisconsin Muskellunge,” is the official painting of the State Fish and hangs in the State Capitol in Madison. His No. 1 print of the “Mepps 50th Anniversary Rainbow Trout” and a Beck original English Springer Spaniel hung in the White House during George H. W. Bush’s presidency. Virg had more than 60 outdoor publication covers to his credit. He won the 2008 and 2012 Wisconsin Inland Trout Stamp, the 1999/2000 Wisconsin Inland Trout Stamp, the 2002 Wisconsin Great Lakes Trout and Salmon Stamp, the 1996 Wisconsin Great Lakes Trout, and Salmon Stamp, the 1991 Delaware Trout Stamp, and the 1987 Wisconsin Wild Turkey Stamp contests. He also painted 13 stamps for the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C, he painted the cover for the International Game Fish Association’s “World Record Game Fishes” book in 1987 and was the American Fisheries Society’s “Artist of the Year” in 1990. Virg had a passion for realism in his art and often created paintings for family and friends that have been treasured throughout the years. While art was his passion, Virgil also had a love for conservation, donating paintings to help raise money for organizations such as Trout Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited. While Virgil’s family and his friends are saddened by their loss, they take comfort in knowing that his artwork will stand the test of time; keeping his memory alive in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

Virgil is survived by his brother Ed (Judy) Beck of Norfolk, MA, as well as several cousins, a niece, and two nephews.

A visitation will take place from 12:00 Noon until 2:00 PM on Monday, August 2, 2021, at the Helke Chapel, 302 Spruce Street, Wausau. Burial will follow at Restlawn Memorial Park. Family and friends are asked to go to to leave words of remembrance.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.

Betty J. Szuminski

Betty Jane Szuminski, 94, of Wausau, formerly of the Town of Texas, passed away peacefully at Our House on July 26, 2021.

Betty was born in Wausau on April 5, 1927 to the late Otto and Inah (Wendorf) Behnke. She attended a one-room schoolhouse in Butternut Grove through 8th grade. She ran her family dairy farm in the Town of Texas and after retiring from the farming life, she babysat for various families. Betty was a lifelong member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in the Town of Wausau, where she was actively involved in Ladies Aid, Altar Guild, Cradle Roll, and Vacation Bible School. She played in a family polka band called “The Family Trio” with her sister and nephew for many years. She also entertained at local nursing homes on her button accordion along with her sister, Doris on guitar. She enjoyed doing embroidery and loved to play cards- especially Sheepshead.

Betty had a wonderful long life that was filled with the love of farming, family and deep faith. Betty was loved by all who touched her life.

Betty is survived by daughters Renee (Mark) Peterson and Marcia (Scott) Friedrich- both of Wausau; grandchildren Heather (Keith) Frenzel, Brad (Julie) Bublitz, Nicholas Friedrich; step-grandchildren Jesse (Heather) Peterson, Nicholas Peterson, Kristian (Andrea) Peterson; 7 great-grandchildren; 6 step great-grandchildren; 4 step great great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Jalenta Jagodzinski; and nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by parents; son Dwight; grandson Blake Bublitz; and sister Doris Borchardt.

A funeral service will be held Sunday, August 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm at St. Peters Lutheran Church, 238537 Del Rio Road, Wausau, WI 54403 with visitation beginning at 3:00 pm. Burial in the church cemetery will follow. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established for the church.

Our appreciation goes to the wonderful staff at Hospice, Wausau Manor and to those at Our House. In her words…“Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

George Apfel

George Apfel, 64, of Rothschild, passed away July 25, 2021 due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

He was born January 17, 1957 in Rhinelander to the late George and Shirley (Hazelquist) Apfel. He attended Rhinelander Public Schools and then joined the Army. He proudly, and honorably achieved Airborne Ranger Status. He met his wife, Cindy Johnson and they married August 4, 1979. Together they raised their only daughter Jennifer. George was employed at Crestline and SNE Enterprises, and later at Walmart. He also worked for many years as an independent private investigator. More than anything, he enjoyed riding his motorcycle and spending time with his grandkids. George will be deeply missed by his family, friends and neighbors.

George is survived by his wife Cindy Apfel; daughter Jennifer (Jason) Housley; siblings Bill (Teresa) Apfel, Bob (Claudia) Apfel, Lloyd Apfel, Linda (Ken) Kudick, Tina (Bob) Smith, John (Sandy) Apfel, Kelly Apfel, and Casey (Vanessa) Apfel; and many extended family members.

A funeral service will be held Friday, July 30, 2021 at 6:00 PM at Brainard Funeral Home- Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until the time of service. Brainard Funeral Home- Everest Chapel is assisting the family.

Jerome Kell

Jerome Kell, 85, of Weston passed away peacefully on July 26, 2021, surrounded by his family.

Jerome was born on March 15, 1936 to Alvin and Marcella (Ninneman) Kell in Wausau. He attended school in Wausau and married Marlys Lamphier on October 7, 1961 in Wausau. Jerome worked at Marathon Mill, Rothschild Paper Mill, Gas Company, and Heating Design throughout his working career after serving his country in the Army National Guard from 1954-1961 and was called to serve during the Berlin Wall crisis.

Jerome enjoyed wood-working, golfing, bowling, fishing, and watching football and baseball games, including those of his grandsons. He joined his children in many of their activities, including Boy Scouts and Youth Group. Jerome was well known in the family for his sense of humor and ability to talk to anyone, as he was always able to find a familiar face at any Friday fish fry. His stubborn nature made him a tough poker player at family game nights, and also served him well as he worked to hold off saying goodbye to his family as long as he could.

He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Marlys; four children, Karla (Steve) Neumann [grandchildren Aaron (Hannah) Neumann, Lauryn Neumann], of Kronenwetter, Kristi (Roger) Liss [grandchild Kylie Liss] of Hatley; Kevin (Mary Jo) Kell of Wausau; Ken (Elizabeth) Kell [grandchildren Aimee (Alex) Burazin, Caleb Kell, Alex Kell, Ryan (Megan Schroeder) Kell] of Weston; his two sisters, Julaine Raduechel of Wausau and Janeel (Gary) Westberg of Weston. Jerome is also survived by his three great-grandchildren, William and Ava Burazin & Hunter Neumann.

Jerome was preceded in death by his parents; and one granddaughter, DyLana Neumann.

Funeral Service will be 3:00 pm Friday, July 30  at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1901 Kowalski Rd, Kronenwetter WI with visitation two hours prior to the service. Burial will be at a later date.

In Lieu of flowers, please direct all donations to Compassus Hospice.

The family would like to especially thank the entire staff of Compassus Hospice for the care they gave to Jerome these past few days.

Delores Buttke

Delores Buttke died July 22, 2021, peacefully at her apartment at the age of 96.

She was born on May 14, 1925, in Wabeno, WI., the daughter of Fred and Dora (Ziegel) Hinzmann. She was baptized on May 31, 1925, in Salem Ev. Lutheran Church in Hamburg, WI. She spent the first 11 years of her life in Wabeno. In 1936, her parents moved to the Ziegel farm in the Town of Hamburg, where she confirmed her faith on April 2, 1939, in St. John’s Lutheran Church, a sister church to Salem. She attended Athens High School for one year and then moved with her parents to Wausau in 1940. She attended Wausau Senior High School and graduated in 1943. She worked at Marathon Battery until June 1, 1946.  During summers in high school, she worked as a farm hand for Bennie and Margaret Buttke, where she met Clifford Buttke, whose family’s farm was across the road.  She married Clifford Buttke on June 15, 1946, in Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in Wausau. She joined Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in the Town of Stettin right after her marriage. She joined the Ladies Aid of Trinity in March 1948, and was a member for 56 years, serving as an officer for many of those years. Delores helped organize the Sunday School Program at Trinity-Stettin and continued to teach into the 1980’s. She was one of the first women at Trinity to sit with their husbands in church, breaking a long-standing tradition of men and women sitting on opposite sides of the church.

Delores and Clifford farmed on the Buttke Family Farm in Stettin for 41 years, until they retired and moved to Wausau in September 1987. She and Clifford were charter members of The Pommerscher Verein of Central Wisconsin. In retirement, Delores enjoyed her very early morning walks in Marathon Park for many years. She enjoyed sewing and did a great deal for family and friends over the years. She was an avid reader and loved music. Her other hobbies included working jig-saw puzzles, counted cross-stitch, flower gardening and playing cards. She looked forward to Thursday afternoons at the Senior Center and Friday afternoons at the Schofield City Hall, where she played sheephead with many wonderful senior friends. She especially enjoyed going to Miller Park to watch and cheer for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Clifford and Delores celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in June 1996, and Clifford passed away just two months later, on August 18, 1996.

Their marriage was blessed with three children, Melanie (Tim) Steller, Leanne (Bill Hauser) Buttke, and Timothy (Kay Gruling) Buttke. She had four grandchildren, Kraig Helmke, Kevin Helmke, Calla Buttke, and Isaac (Morgan) Buttke. Other survivors include several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, sister Elaine Knief, brother Elwood Hintzman, and two nephews, David Hintzman and Christopher Knief.

A celebration of life will be held at 11:30 AM on Monday, August 2, 2021, at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, 232220 N 120th Ave, Town of Stettin. Rev. Will Ostrem will officiate. Visitation will take place from 10:00 am until the time of services at the church. Burial will take place at the Stettin Christian Cemetery. Family and friends may go to to leave words of remembrance and to view the services being livestreamed.

Donald D. Behr

Donald “Don” D. Behr, age 76, of Rothschild passed away Saturday, July 24, 2021 at Marshfield Medical Center, Weston.  He was born May 16, 1945 in Wausau to the late Henry and Rosella (Baranowski) Behr.  Don married Mary Guilday on March 5, 1971 in Iowa, a union that would last over 50 years.

In his earlier years, Don worked at Loed in Wausau and went onto work at Wausau Window Wall where he retired from after more than 30 years of work. 

Some of Don’s favorite pastimes include racing on local tracks, being a baseball and softball coach for his children, and as he got older he became an amazing craftsman where he learned the art of creating detailed wood working.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Behr, Rothschild; Four children, Jeremy (Leea) Behr, Merrill; Cherie (Todd) Zunker, Wausau; Deanna Behr (Eric Parkman), Mosinee; Bob (Beth) Behr, Merrill; eight grandchildren, Ashley (Aaron) , Zach (Courtney), Sierra, Alex (Faith),  Kori, Kylee (Charles), Amiya, Carter; two great-grandchildren, Kayleigh, Addison; one sister Patty (Ron) Petrowski, Wausau.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Rosella Behr; brother, John Behr.

A Memorial visitation for Don will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2021, from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau, WI 54403. Online condolences may be expressed at

Gloria J. Webb

Gloria J. Webb passed away at home on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in the loving presence of her family. Gloria was born in Nekoosa, WI, to Henry and Anastasia (Kinsman) Mlsna on July 24, 1941. On July 23, 1960, she married David C. Webb.

Gloria enjoyed drinking coffee, word puzzles, and playing games and cards with family and friends. She and Dave spent many hours on the motorcycle travelling across the country camping and creating fabulous memories. In retirement she and Dave spent winters in Texas for 11 years, where she enjoyed watching the Senior Softball League games, volunteering at park events, dancing and listening to live music with other Winter Texan friends. During the summer, she enjoyed fishing and spending time with her many friends in northern Wisconsin. She was a wonderful, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, who always had a smile to share.

Gloria is survived by her husband of 61 years, Dave; son Randy (Kathy) Webb, Kellner; daughters Rhonda (Cappy) Moore, Richmond, IN, Roxanne (Brad) Best, Appleton, WI, Roseann (Howard) McKinney, Prior Lake, MN, and Rachelle (Keith) Ricke, Savage, MN. She is further survived by her sisters Sandy (Art) Hill, Nekoosa, WI, and Patricia (Fred) Nishizaki, Modesto, CA; brother Richard Mlsna, New London, WI; sisters-in-law Carol Schilling, Elaine (Ron) Bablitch, and Shelley Webb; brother-in-law Wally (Sandy) Schoenick; grandchildren Desire’ and David Moore, Christine and Carmen Webb, MaCayla Best, Stasia and Greyson McKinney, and great-grandchildren Layne Webb, and Lauryn and Landyn Villeneuve.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Marilyn Boettcher, brothers-in-law Rod Schilling, Larry Webb and Frank Boettcher, and sister-in-law Kathy Schoenick.

A memorial service will be held upon internment of her ashes at Pioneer Cemetery, in the Town of Saratoga, at a later date.

The family would like to thank the Heartland Hospice staff for their kind attention to their needs and the love and care they provided to Gloria.

In lieu of flower please say a prayer.

Jean A. Kesselring

Jean A. Kesselring, Rothschild, entered into eternal life Friday, July 23rd, 2021, at Aspirus Hospice house, with her daughter by her side and under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services. She was 73 years old.

She was born on April 18, 1948 in Milwaukee, a daughter of the late Anthony and Lucille (Kieckbusch) Malkiewicz.

On Oct. 6, 1973 she married Daniel Kesselring in Iron Mountain, Mich.

Mrs. Kesselring attended Brown Deer High school. She was employed in her early years at Arlens.

In 1989 she moved to Antigo, and worked for Wausau Insurance, where she retired in 2011.

Survivors include 2 daughters, Jennifer Nurse, Weston, and Amanda Kesselring, Weston; a son, T.J. Kesselring, Green Bay; 2 grandchildren, Nicholle (Troy) Modrzejewski, Athens, Jayden Kesselring, Weston; 2 Great grandchildren, Leeum and Levi Modrzejewski both of Athens; a sister Carol (Robert) Sudik, Milwaukee, and a brother Thomas (Jill) Malkiewicz, Germantown; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and best friend Susie Doleschy, Wautoma.

Mrs. Kesselring was proceeded in death by her husband, her parents, a son, Eric Thomas Kesselring, and her mother and father-in-law.

Visitation will be August 13, 2021 from 4 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. at St. James Episcopal church in Mosinee.

A private funeral Service will follow, Rev. Amma Amanda Sampey will officiate.

Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting family at this time. Online condolences may be expressed at

Bernice M. Sickler

Bernice M. Sickler, 90, of Wittenberg, died unexpectedly on Monday, July 26, 2021 at her home.

Bernice was born on March 18, 1931 in Manitowoc, the daughter of Elmer and Hazel (Buck) Brunner.

On August 13, 1949, Bernice was united in marriage to Gordon Sickler. He preceded her in death on February 12, 2010.

Bernice held various jobs throughout her life and was a homemaker. She enjoyed traveling, especially to casino destinations. Bernice enjoyed gardening, playing cards and fishing on Pickerel Lake.

Survivors include three children, Lee (Karen) Sickler and Lori (Gary) Whitewing all of Wittenberg and Keith (Valli) Sickler of DePere; four grandchildren, Jeremy, Erik (Kendy), Skylar and Samantha; a great-grandchild, Jhonna and sisters-in-law, Pat Sickler and Vernabelle Fleck.

Bernice was preceded in death by her husband, parents and one brother, Glenn Brunner.

A private family graveside service will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Cemetery, Wittenberg.

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

Memories and messages of support may be shared at

Jessica Clay

Jessica Clay, advocate, attorney, artist, and overall amazing human passed away on Monday, July 12th, 2021 after a heroic battle with brain cancer. Jessica was born on June 14th, 1977 in St. Cloud , MN to DeWell “Butch” Clay and Cynthia Cooper Clay. On October 25, 2003 Jessica married Andrew Urbanski at St.Paul’s United Church of Christ. 

Growing up, Jessica was an avid swimmer and member of the Green Dolphins Swim Club. The family spent many hours and weekends traveling to meets around the state and made lifelong friends. Jessica also had a passion for dancing and joined Terry’s Dance Studio at the age of 4 and continued through high school. She thrived on the stage and loved being the center of attention. Jessica was a great athlete and loved being a part of the Wausau East swim team, cross country, and track team. “Gunny Beatle” was a great leader as well as a social butterfly.

Jessica had a life-long love affair with food. She planned many aspects of her life around the best restaurants, recipes, and cooking shows. In high school she started making sophisticated dinners and in college she would help her sister with questions like, ‘how do I cut a pepper?’  She is probably putting together a list of the best restaurants in heaven to share with everyone when we meet her there. 

Jessica was a brilliant academic. At Wausau East High School, she completed the full international baccalaureate program. She was involved in student council, SADD, Youth in Government, Spanish club, and forensics. She was a member of the national honor society and graduated in the top 5% of her class in 1995. Jessica attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During her three and a half years there, she double majored in English and Women’s Studies. She was a member of Violence Prevention Advocates and organized, “Take Back the Night”, a rally to fight against rape and sexual assault. Jessica wrote for the Badger Herald, the UW Madison student newspaper. Her favorite part of college was studying abroad in London, England her junior year.

Jessica attended law school at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. This was her happy place. She was awarded the Royal Stone Scholarship in honor of students who show strong academic potential as well as a commitment to public law and community service. She interned at the Housing Discrimination Law Project of the Legal Aid Society of Minnesota. Jessica was on the winning team of the civil rights moot court and participated in the civil practice clinic as a student attorney. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001. In her professional life, Jessica was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Franklin L. Noel and the Honorable Susan Richard Nelson of the United States District Court, as well as the Honorable Steven E. Rau of the U.S. district court for Minnesota. She was also an employment law attorney for Nichols Kaster & Anderson. 

In 2012, Jessica was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor. Always beating the odds, she fought like a warrior for the next 9 years. When she was no longer able to work as an attorney, Jessica channeled her creativity into the arts, making jewelry from precious metal clay. She developed her own business called “Clay by Clay” where she sold her work on Etsy and art festivals. She spent her final years doting on her beloved niece and nephew, Marco and Vivienne.

Andrew, Jessica’s amazing husband, stood by her and lovingly took care of her every minute of every day. We all know that the cancer didn’t beat her, she just ran out of time.

Jessica was preceded in death by her great grandmother Alma Cooper; (maternal grandparents, William Gary Cooper and Patricia Cooper Prescher; paternal grandparents, Robert and Genevieve Clay; uncles, Chris Cooper and DeVere Clay; 

Survivors include her husband Andrew Urbanski and cats, Fiona and Hope; sister Melissa Clay Reissmann (Josh), parents Cynthia and DeWell Clay, In-laws Joan and Bill Urbanski, as well as many nieces and nephews. 

A celebration of Jessica’s life will be held on Saturday, August 7th at 11am. Visitation will begin at 9 and lunch will be served following the service in the church basement. According to Jessica’s wishes, we ask that anyone not vaccinated to wear a face mask.

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ

426 Washington St

Wausau, WI 54403

A fund has been set up in her honor to contribute to the issues that were her passion in life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jessica Clay Social Justice & Equality Fund.

Online donations can be made at

or mailed to the North Central Community Foundation

500 1st St #2600, Wausau, WI 54403

Donations may also be made to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Wausau.