Julia A. Gourd

Julia Ann Gourd, age 57 of Merrill, passed away on Sunday, August 29, 2021, at Marshfield Medical Center, Marshfield. 

She was born June 10, 1964 in San Francisco, daughter of the late David Durance Gourd and Theresa Katherine Buffalo.  She earned her sign language interpreter degree from NTC, Wausau.  She loved to read, doing crossword puzzles, going to the casino, and traveling.  Julia enjoyed spend time at the Community Corner Clubhouse, where she met many friends, including her special friend, Frank Thomas.  She also loved spending time with her grandchildren, listening to music and watching movies 

Survivors include her five children: Joey (Scott) Daniels of Blackwell, WI, and their children, Frankie, Daisy, and Lala; Jacob (Kimberly) Leonard of Sugar Grove, Il, and their children, Keanna, Jacob Jr., and Liam; Justin Daniels of Stevens Point, WI, and his children, Zeda, Donald, Makye, Benjamin, Sequioa, Amahday; Cassandra (James) Flowers of Merrill, WI, and their children, Aaron, Hazel, Trinity, Riley, Xayne, and Lincoln; Amanda (Adam Jameson) Levenseller, of Blackwell, WI, and their children, Alexis and Lucas; two brothers, Alex and Terry Gourd, and her sister Eileen Brown (Terry Schmidt).

She was preceded in death by her parents.

A celebration of her life will be held on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 2:00 P.M. at the Yellow Banks Park in Weston. 

Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. 

You may leave messages and condolences for the family at brainardfuneral.com.

Ruth Winkler James

Ruth Winkler James, age 106 of Wausau, passed away on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at her daughter’s home in Three Lakes, WI.

She was born on July 21, 1915 in Iowa, daughter of the late Lucas and Theresa (Fritz) Winkler.  In 1937, she married Harry James in Milwaukee, WI.  He preceded her in death in 1997.

Survivors include her daughter, Mary (Tom) Schaeffler of Wausau; one son, Tommy James of Wausau; one grandson, Andy (Cydni) Schaeffler; and two great-grandchildren, James and Ellie.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Harry, three sisters and one brother.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.  Burial will be at Wisconsin Memorial Park, Milwaukee.  

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to The Neighbor’s Place, 745 Scott St. Wausau, 54403.

Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.  You may leave messages and condolences for her family at brainardfuneral.com.  

Frances M. Magee

Frances was born Oct. 28, 1941, to Frank and Florence (Tordoff) Kelly at Waukegan Memorial Hospital, Waukegan, Illinois. France moved to Wisconsin Rapids area in 1970 and has resided in Rudolph WI. For many years raising her family. She loved her 5 children with all her heart. Frances married Robert T. Magee in 1976 and was blessed to extend her family with 4 more wonderful children making a family of; 2 parents, and 9 children, earning the title of “The Brady Bunch”, but larger.

Frances enjoyed reading and will forever be remembered for going NOWHERES without her book bag and Kleenex! Her husband Bob was always patiently waiting to carry it for her after she stuffed it full.

Throughout Frances life there were many mountains and valleys to journey through. The strength she showed to her children to keep going, loving, and forgiving will never be forgotten. She held fast to Jesus and in the end was at peace knowing she was going “home” to be in Christ’s Kingdom. The kingdom of perfectly pure love and acceptance, something we all search for in our lives.

Though the day has come for her to leave this earthly home, her children, family, and friends will never forget her love, laughter, and faith.

Frances’ surviving children, Pat (Lisa) LaBarge, Lori (Tim) Johnson-Hintz, Debra LaBarge, Michelle (Mike) Lewis, Bill (Val) Magee, Debbie Tibbets, and Tim (Susan) Magee will forever know how much she loved them and held fast to every visit and memory. Her surviving brothers Mike (Jerry) Kelly and Fred Rogerson will always hold fond childhood memories of Frances dearly in their hearts.

Frances led an incredible journey together with her husband Bob, when Bob passed away in 2012 her heart longed for him every day. We know today they are reunited together once again; along with her parents, in laws (Vi & Jack Ironside-Robert & Hattie Magee), son in laws (Dave Tibbets & Randy Johnson) and daughter in laws (Jackie Magee), brothers (Harry Rogerson & Patrick Kelly). And with great joy her two sons Andy P. LaBarge and Bobby Magee, along with many other extended family and friends. What a glorious day it is, to be “home” with Jesus.

“Though the world went silent for a moment when you left mom, the rejoicing in heaven broke through that silence! Giving to us comfort knowing today you smile, today you are complete, today you are “HOME”,

To her loving grandchildren; Chris, Jessie, Amber, Joey, Josh, Bryan, Jason, April, Jayda, Char, Cassie, Sammy, Billy, Dusty, Jake, Luke, Adam, Shane, Amanda, Noah, Andrew, Brandon, Nicolas, Chelse, Lindsey and her great grandchildren; Justin, Jordan, Devin, Zane, Christian, Bryleigh, Harley, Odin, Tucker, Ezra, Kiana, Bentley, Jameson, Cash, Heavyn, Haley, Jasmin, Mia, Parker, Rylan, Knox, Keaira, Rylan, Adde, Jackie, Jacob, Jayda, Hunter, Nala, Serena, Owen, Ronan, Nora, Brady, Maci, & Penny along with everyone of their spouses and partners…

Remember:”Grandma Love You!”

Visitation & Service for Family and friends will be held at John J Buettgen funeral home, 631 E. Grand Ave., Wis. Rapids, WI. Sept. 3, 2021 2:00p.m.-3:30p.m. Burial Service will follow at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Meadowview Dr., Rudolph, WI.

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

Catherine A. Bunke

Catherine A. Bunke, age 77, of Medford, WI, went to be with parents, Uncle Joe Schiepek, and all of the faithful dogs when she passed away suddenly on August 26, 2021 at Aspirus Hospital, Wausau.

A Mass of Christian burial for Catherine will be at 11:00, on Sept 3, 2021 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Athens, WI. The Reverend George Graham will officiate the liturgy. Visitation from 10:00 a.m. till the time of Mass.

Catherine was born to Eric and Mary (Schiepek) Bunke on May 22, 1944. She grew up on a dairy farm in the Town of Johnson, Marathon County and was active in 4-H. She was a graduate of St. Anthony School., Athens; Newman High School, Wausau, Taylor county Teacher’s College, Medford and UW-Stevens Point. She held Bachelors and Master’s degrees in elementary Education and was a licensed K-12 Administrator in the state of Wisconsin. Most of her 47 years in education were in Catholic schools. She retired from teaching in 2009 after spending two years on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning Montana. After retirement, Catherine continued to share her love of learning by substitute teaching in a number of area schools.

Catherine enjoyed traveling abroad and visiting countries like Russia, Austria, and Germany (where she had relatives). She was a lover of dogs and throughout her life had many loving and devoted furry companions. She especially enjoyed her shelties, Jasper and Bentley. Flowers and birds were also Catherine’s passion. She was avid bird watcher and through her skillful gardening, always provided a beautiful sanctuary in her backyard. Catherine loved to read and could skillfully crochet an afghan.

Catherine loved her friends and planned many get-togethers to sustain those close friendships over the years. She will be deeply missed by the people she touched in so many beautiful ways.Following the service the church, Catherine will be buried near her parents at Calvary Cemetery in Athens, WI

Memorials may be given to:

De LaSalle Blackfeet School, Browning, MTSt. Anthony School Athens WI

Mission Office, Diocese of La Crosse for Sister Carla Harrison’s work in Peru

South Wood County Human Society, Wisconsin Rapids

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

Frances L. Noll

Frances L. Noll, age 97, of Wisconsin Rapids passed away Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at Wisconsin Rapids Health Services in Wisconsin Rapids.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, September 4, 2021, at Forest Hill Cemetery, Wisconsin Rapids. Rev. Missy Miller will officiate. Burial will be at Forest Hill Cemetery Mausoleum. Visitation will be held Saturday at the cemetery from 10:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM. John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Frances was born on the farm in Portage County on October 25, 1923 to Louis and Molly (Peterson) Johnson. She was the youngest of 14 children. She married Robert A. Gibbons on October 12, 1940, which ended in divorce. Robert and Frances had two children and cared for 21 foster children. She later married Robert J. Noll in 1970.

She is survived by her 2 children Robert R. Gibbons (DeEtta) Bismarck, ND; Connie Gibbons-Cross, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, 2 Grandchildren Anjanette Gibbons-Schlafmann (Blaine) Bismarck, ND; Erik Cross (Courtney Thorsen), Wisconsin Rapids, WI; 3 Great-Grandchildren Benjamin Schlafmann, Tacoma, WA; William Schlafmann, Fargo, ND, Ginger Schlafmann, Bismarck, ND and 1 Great Great-Grandchild James Schlafmann Tacoma, WA; and many nieces and nephews.

She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, playing cards and board games, cooking, baking, canning, sewing quilts by hand, gardening, fishing, crafts, and spending time with all of her cats, dogs and birds. She loved to listen to Gene Autry and polka music.

She was preceded in death by her husbands Robert J. Noll, Robert A. Gibbons, her parents Molly and Louis Johnson. Her brothers Julius, Alvin (Ann), Ralph L. and twin Ralph C., Russell (Grace), Lloyd (Margaret), Earl and Charles (Della); and sisters Hilma Hess (Leo), Esther Johnson (Tom), Tena Bertrand (Phillip), Nora Johnson (Clarence), twins Mabel (Charlie) Johnson and Myrtle Olson (Martin).

The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Wisconsin Rapids Health Services and to the hospice staff.

John E. Damask

John E. Damask, 58 of the Town of Franzen, died on Sunday, August 29, 2021 at Marshfield Medical Center, Marshfield.

John was born on January 19, 1963 in Stevens Point, the son of Edmund and Regina (Piotrowski) Damask.

John worked construction for many years until his retirement. He was in the process of building his retirement home in the town of Franzen.

John enjoyed fishing, snowmobiling, hunting and his tractor collection. He especially enjoyed spending time with his two sons, Ryan and Troy Damask, both of Kenosha.

He is further survived by his siblings, Larry (Sue) Damask, Ralph (Helen) Damask, Kathy Groshek, Betty (Marvin) Bembenek, James (Robyn) Damask, Phyllis (Greg) Bestul and Janice (Dave) Trzebiatowski and many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

John was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Louise Cebula.

A public visitation will be held on Saturday, September 11, 2021 from 11AM until 1PM at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg.

Memories and messages of support may be shared at schmidtschulta.com

Melvin J. Opper

Melvin J. Opper, 88 of Birnamwood, died on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at Colonial Manor, Wausau.

Mel was born on February 26, 1933 in the town of Birnamwood, the son of Phillip and Mary (Lotharius) Opper.

Mel was a United States Army Veteran. He was an active member of the Darling Gunderson American Legion Post #341, Birnamwood and was Sargent at Arms for over 60 years until retiring this past Memorial Day.

Upon his many accomplishements in life, a highlight for Mel was his trip on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

On June 30, 1956, Mel was united in marriage to Patricia Meidl at St. Philomena Catholic Church, Birnamwood. She preceded him in death on January 6, 2018

In his early years, Mel was employed at Adams Coal Company and Standard Oil. In 1970, he started Mel’s Service and Repair in Birnamwood and continued to operate until 2007. Mel never really retired and continued to work on small engines until last year.

Mel was very active in the Birnamwood community and was a former member of the Birnamwood Fire Department and the Birnamwood Bowhunters. Family was important to Mel and he loved to spend time with his grandchildren.

Mel is survived by two children, Dean Opper of Port Orchard, WA and Tina (John Nelson) Jensen of Green Bay; two grandchildren, Autumn and Logan Jensen; siblings-in-law, Mary Opper of Birnamwood, Terry (Joan) Meidl and Gary Meidl, all of Florida and Shirley Wilson of Cambridge and many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

Mel was preceded in death by his wife; parents and siblings, Wallace, Edward, Vern, William, Clarence, Leonard, Norman, Agnes Krueger, Lucille Dietzen, Ann Clark, Ella Wiegman and Marie Thoms.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11AM on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at St. Philomena Catholic Church, Birnamwood. Fr. Vicente Llagas will preside.

Burial will be in the Parish Cemetery with military rites conducted by the American Legion. Visitation will be on Saturday from 9AM until the time of Mass at the church.

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