Kevin L. Jari

Kevin Lee Jari, 56, passed away on August 15, 2021 at home surrounded by family due to pancreatic cancer.

He was born on December 14, 1964 to Joseph Jr. and Lou Ann (Ruesch) Jari and grew up in Medford Wisconsin, eventually making his way to Wausau.

Kevin worked for many years at Midwest Amusement where he truly felt like he was working with family. He also was proud of his children he shared with his former wife, Sandra (Busse) Hattlestad.

 Loud music and motorcycles pretty much sum up Kevin to all who knew and loved him. He was even proud to enjoy his dreamboat before his health deteriorated.  He had a deep care for others, and a big heart for his family and close friends. His sense of humor and his sparkle of happiness being around his goldens, Spencer and Marley, will be missed by many.

He is survived by his children, Kendra Row of Osseo and Kalen Jari of Weston; grandchildren, Meadow Row and Dexter Row; brother, Bernard L. Jari; favorite golden retrievers, Spencer and Marley, and many beloved friends and extended family.

Kevin was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter, Leela Row.

 An open house is scheduled from 4:00pm – 7:00pm Friday, August 27 at the Brainard Funeral Home, Weston Location, 5712 Memorial Ct.

Arlene Hofmann

Arlene (Merz) Hofmann, 76, passed away unexpectedly on August 18, 2021 at the Wausau Manor.

She was born June 9, 1945 to Gordon and Marguerite (Viets) Merz in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and proudly graduated from Rufus King High School in 1963.

Arlene attended the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and received her degree in speech therapy.

In the early 1980’s she met Donald Hofmann and in June of 1986 they were married.

She worked many years in speech therapy, banking and retired in the claims department from Boller Group.

Arlene enjoyed attending the state fair, stock car races, going out with Don and watching the Badgers or Packers. Reading was something she did throughout her entire life, Arlene loved to read. She was a loving spouse and grandma. She valued her family very much and will be remembered for her hugs and generosity she shared to many.

She is survived by her husband, Don; children, Robert Hofmann, Robin Jamgochian; grandchildren, Marcus and Virginia Jamgochian; brother, Gordy (Karen) Merz; nieces, Kelly (Mike) Volin and Jody (Jim) Sedlachek.

Arlene was preceded in death by her parents.

Funeral Service will be 11:00 am Wednesday, August 25 at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St. Wausau WI, with visitation beginning at 10:00am. Burial will be in the Pine Grove Cemetery. Helke Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Viola P. Solberg

Viola Pearl Solberg, 98, formerly of the Town of Easton, passed away peacefully August 19, 2021, at Peabody Manor care facility in Appleton, WI.

Viola was born August 30, 1922, on the family farm in the Town of Easton to Hans and Eliza (Thorpe) Nelson, and was a graduate of Wausau East High School, Lutheran Bible Institute, and Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN.  During World War II she worked making rubber raincoats for the war effort and later worked as a bank teller, parish worker and social worker.

She married Oliver Solberg on August 30, 1948, at Bethany Lutheran Church in the Town of Easton.  Following Oliver’s ordination in 1952, the couple served Lutheran parishes in and near Crystal Lake, Iowa, Mt. Horeb, WI, La Crosse, WI, Racine, WI, Mondovi, WI, and Harlan, IA, as well as other Wausau area churches during retirement.  In retirement, Viola rejoined the congregation of her youth, Bethany Lutheran Church.

Mrs. Solberg was a devout Christian, gifted with hospitality, delicious cooking, and quiet service, welcoming others with a simple cup of coffee with sweets, a dinner table presented with festive color, or a fine Christmas spread, complete with Norwegian baked treats.

Surviving are three daughters: Sharon (Jeffrey) Morgan of Appleton, WI, Sandra (Michael) Hoversten of Champlin, MN, and Susan (Rod) Resheske of Oconomowoc, WI; and one son, Steve Solberg of Ishpeming, MI; 10 grandchildren: Heather Morgan, Christa (Jonathan) Neff, Elias (Nicole) Hoversten, Joseph Hoversten, Noah (Jessica) Hoversten, Nicholas (Mari) Resheske, Jonathan (Jessica) Resheske, Natasha (Christopher) Kostrewa, Anna Solberg, and Sara Solberg; nine great-grandchildren; one sister, Joyce Simonson; one brother-in-law, Art Solberg; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her son, Steven James; her great-grandson, Tyson Kestrewa; her daughter-in-law, Marcia Solberg; her siblings George Nelson, Ruth Grade, Esther Haug, Chester Nelson, Carl Nelson, Grace Hanson, Stanley Nelson, June Radtke, Kenneth Nelson, and Eleanora Berg; and other loved ones.

Viola’s family extends a special thank you to the staff at Peabody Manor and ThedaCare Hospice for their wonderful and compassionate care provided over the past years.

Memorial contributions may be directed in her memory to Bethany Lutheran Church.

Funeral Service will be 1:00pm Sunday, August 29 at Bethany Lutheran Church of Easton. Visitation will begin at 12:00 noon. Interment will be in the Bethany Lutheran Church Cemetery. 

William J. Franklin Sr.

William J. Franklin Sr, age 66, died on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at Ascension St Claire’s Hospital.

He was born November 16, 1954 in, Wausau Wisconsin, the son of the late James and Jean(McCabe) Franklin. He married Sarah Baumann on May 30, 1998 in Wausau, Wisconsin.

William worked for Metro Ride for 35 years up until his retirement 2012. He also drove for Badger State Tours until 2016.

He is survived by his wife Sarah of 23 years; one daughter Divine(Jeremy) Buck;. Wausau, 4 sons, William(Tara) Franklin Jr, Rothschild, Travis(Tiffany) Franklin, Chippewa, Jordan Franklin, Rothschild, and Jonathan Franklin, Schofield; 10 grandchildren, Hunter Buck, Kyleigh Buck, Alexis Buck, Zackary Franklin, MacKenzie Franklin, Madelyn Franklin, Maleyah Franklin, Bailey Schroeder, Kayleb Vickery, and Baby Franklin on the way. William is further survived by his siblings, Mark(Laura) Franklin, Fort Myers, Florida, Cheryl Steder, Wausau, Sister-in-law Diane Franklin Wausau. And many nephews, nieces, and cousins.

William was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Alan Franklin.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 am on Friday, August 27, 2021 at John J Buettgen Funeral Home in Schofield with visitation from 9am – 11 am. John J Buettgen Funeral Home assisted the family.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting family at this time. Online condolences may be expressed at

Virginia “Ginny” Klosterman

Our sweet and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Virginia “Ginny” Klosterman fell asleep in Jesus on August 18, 2021 at the home of her daughter in Tomahawk, WI under the care of Compassus Hospice.

Ginny was born on January 4, 1931 in Glidden, WI to the late Frank and Lenor (Omholdt) Bonney. She graduated from Glidden High School in 1949. She enjoyed playing the flute in the marching band and being a drum majorette. Her home town always held a special place in her heart.

After graduating from beauty school in Madison she moved to Wausau in 1950 and worked as a beautician. She met her future husband Ormie on a blind date and they married on May 22, 1954 in Wausau. They moved to Rothschild in 1962. Ormie preceded Ginny in death on October 15, 2009.

Ginny was employed by J.C. Penney starting in the 1960’s until her retirement in 1993. She developed many cherished friendships with her coworkers over the years.

Ginny and Ormie moved to Arbor Vitae, WI after retirement. They enjoyed being “snowbirds” at their winter home in Sebring, Florida. Ginny eventually moved back to Rothschild. She enjoyed gardening, knitting, shopping and spending time at “Ginny’s Place” on squaw lake. She was an excellent cook and baker. Her numerous Christmas cookies were a family treat. Her christian faith remained strong throughout her life. She was our “rock.” Being with her family was her greatest joy.

She was preceded in death by her father, mother and husband.

She is survived by her daughters Bonney (Larry) Novitzke of Ringle and Jyl (Stan) Gustafson of Tomahawk; grandchildren Jason (Emina) Novitzke of Holiday Florida; Heath (Jessica) Novitzke of Marshfield; Maxine Gustafson of Minneapolis and Dr. Allison Gustafson (fiance Eric Smet) of St. Louis, MO.; great-grandchildren Wesley, Wyatt, Rylie and Reanna of Marshfield: her sister Cleo Bonney of Weston and nieces and nephews.

Ginny’s family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the special Compassus staff for their kindness, compassion and support over the past 9 months. Nurses Amanda, Sam and Todd. Caregivers Sara, Nicky, Crystal, April and Lorina and social worker Theresa. It was a joy having you in our lives.

A private celebration of life for Ginny will be held.

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisiting family at this time. Online condolences may be expressed at

Joyce Traska

Joyce Traska was a caring wife, mother, nana, sister and friend. She left this world suddenly on August 18, 2021 at the age of 71.

She was born to Arnold and Christine Streeter on October 27, 1949. Joyce met and fell in love with Tom in 1969 and after 3 days they were engaged. Her soon to be groom returned after 6 weeks of Navy training when they married and began their military life of adventures taking them to Iceland, Florida, Japan and California. They have 3 children together, Shannon, Heather and Tina.

Joyce was a loving homemaker and also spent 22 years working at Northcentral Healthcare Center where she retired from medical records in 2014. Joyce loved spending time in her garden and growing peonies, Irish bells and all kinds of vegetables. Her latest pride and joy was her tomato plant that grew to 3′ x 3′ feet big. She also enjoyed walking her dog and meeting new people on those walks. Many considered her family because she was always there to listen, offer advice and put a smile on their face. She loved volunteering as a teacher’s aide, helping at church and spending time at the senior Talent Shop. She enjoyed time with her family, friends and grandchildren, but most of all enjoyed every moment with the love of her life Tom of 51 years.

She is survived by her husband Tom Traska, son Shannon (Carey) Traska, daughters Heather (Matt) Sann, and Tina (Eric) Kollmansberger and 9 grandchildren, sister Jill (John) Schlueter and brother Thad Streeter. She is preceded in death by her parents Arnold and Christine (Manitzki) Streeter, sister Joann Streeter, brothers Bill and Jack Streeter.

A funeral service is scheduled for 11:00am on Thursday, August 26th at Trinity Lutheran Church at 501 Stewart Avenue in Wausau. Visitation will be from 9:00am-11:00am

John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting family at this time. Online condolences may be expressed at

Kay Brooks

Kay Odele Brooks, 87, went to her Heavenly home, peacefully wrapped in God’s loving arms and surrounded by her family, on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021, as a result of end stage Alzheimer’s.

She was born September 26th, 1933, in Wauwatosa, to Harold Sr and Evelyn (Slater) Diestler, the oldest of 8 children. She met, what would be the forever love of her life, Marlin, at a drive-in movie and married him on November 15th, 1952.

Throughout their 68 years together they were inseparable; even holding hands the moment she went to her eternal home. They had one son together, Roger Sr, that she loved unconditionally and was always willing to do anything for but would also chase him with a fly swatter when he had it coming.

She was employed at Marathon Electric in the factory for 44 years and also grew ginseng on the family land with Marlin and Roger Sr. Kay was blessed with three grandchildren who were her pride and joy. She taught them many important life skills from how to be an upstanding citizen to their faith in God. She always made sure they were taken care of before herself. You could always count on her to be goofing around with them by scarring them with her loud funny noises or waiting till it was quiet and slamming her hand down on a table and yelling at the same time. She laughed pretty hard every time she made them jump. She and Marlin enjoyed taking their grandkids to the Ice Capades in Green Bay and card games that went late into the night. Some of her favorite games to play as a family were King’s Corners, 7UP and Uno.

Kay was devoted to her religion and faith in God so Sundays were for church, Sunday School, Chet and Emil’s delicious chicken dinner and leisurely rides looking at the scenery. She rarely drove but when she did she managed to always scare the daylights out of her passengers. She had a kind sole and helped anyone in need – even complete strangers. When someone was down on their luck she would help them by buying groceries or giving them money and never once expected anything in return.

She was a friend to so many, a caregiver to her beloved mother-in-law and also her great-grandchildren. Kay liked to go to the casino occasionally to play the slots and attended many shows there with her husband, son and grandchildren. She saw many country music artists there and loved to see Da Yoopers whom she always laughed so hard at. Taking trips to Upper Michigan with Marlin to see her family was one of her favorite pastimes. She also enjoyed taking her grandchildren with to Michigan to spend time with their great-grandma and other family members. She loved having Marlin take them all around the beautiful area her family calls home.

Kay was an avid collector of glass birds from The Bradford Exchange. She loved all kinds of beautiful birds with the cardinal being her favorite. If there was a bird that was a little bit more expensive she would ask Marlin if it was alright to get it; to which he always said yes, seeing her happy was always his main priority. The bird collection grew and grew over the years, so they finally had to purchase a large curio cabinet which became known as “the bird cage” and is still referenced as just that to this day.

Once Marlin and Kay stopped growing ginseng they cleared a small area of the land, added water and electricity, seeded it and made it a mini paradise for the family to use as what looks like a mini campground. While camping out there, a new tradition was created of “10 o’clock ham sandwiches” which consisted of potato rolls, ham and butter – she made the best! Sitting around the huge firepit, talking, laughing, enjoying a beverage, and listening to music always seemed to be a family favorite. Kay also enjoyed going to her family’s land that was coined “The 40”. Many great times were had there as well.

On the home front, Kay was arguably the best cook this family has ever been blessed with. Nothing has ever tasted better than “grandma’s cooking”. A few of her most requested dishes were her chili, chicken noodle soup, cheesecakes, fruit/pistachio salads, fried potato and steak mix and her jelly that she made with the crabapples from the trees in her yard. Even the neighbors, who were called to be informed of her passing, spoke of their favorite desserts she made for them. She loved her neighbors and enjoyed baking for them. Need something sewn? Kay was the person to go to. She would whip out her sewing machine and take care of whatever it was you needed sewn. It was always funny to see Marlin’s pants patched so many times, even she would laugh about it.

Kay was the leader of the family, the rock, the glue that held everything together. While her passing was expected it most certainly hasn’t been easy losing such an influential part of the family. We want to thank the ladies at Care Partners in Weston for taking care of our wonderful wife/mom/grandmother; especially Kianna and Julie who sat with her until the family was able to get there, just in case, so she wasn’t alone.

Thank you to Tina and Kari of Aspirus Hospice for helping us in this difficult time. Even though Kay was on hospice for only a short time, your professional, caring and comforting actions and words were more than we could have asked for. No more pain, no more suffering, we miss you our perfect angel!

Kay is survived by her husband, Marlin; son, Roger Sr.; three grandchildren, Tricia (Mark) Anklam, Waylon (Renee) Brooks, Roger Jr (Sarah) Brooks; seven great-grandchildren, Madison, Hailey, Carson, Clayton, Roger III, Rosaline and Ryan; five step great-grandchildren, Montana, Collin, Aubrey, Trista and Markus; three sisters, Bonnie Butterworth, Rose Olilla and Sharon (Clyde) Olilla; two brothers, Harold “Butch” Jr (Diane) Diestler and Bernard “Bernie” (Marilyn) Diestler and two sisters-in-law Suzanne Diestler and Doris Boline along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Kay was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Louis ‘Louie’ Diestler; a sister, Wyonne Roth; four brothers-in-law, Norman Roth, Gerald Olilla, Forest ‘Woody’ Brooks and Raymond Brooks and mother and father-in-law, Benjamin and Stella Brooks.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, August 28th, 2021, at First Congregational Church in Birnamwood. Rev. Dave Legge will officiate.

Burial will be held in Forest Cemetery, Birnamwood.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, at the church, from 10am until the time service.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home of Birnamwood is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and messages of support may be shared at