helke/brainard

Richard “Ric” Mohelnitzky

Ric John Mohelnitzky

Richard “Ric” John Mohelnitzky passed away on Nov. 19, 2021 in Wausau, Wisconsin at age 67. Ric was born on August 25, 1954 in Wausau to George F. and Beatrice O. Mohelnitzky. He grew up in and around the Wausau area and graduated from Newman Catholic High School.

Ric recently retired as the City of Wausau Department of Public Works Superintendent after 37 years of service. He told current Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg that “he started working for Wausau in the ’80s and thought it would be temporary, but he built a meaningful career. He said the most important focus of his tenure was on safety and keeping the city going.”

Ric spent many hours, creative energy, and skill building his hobby farm over the past 20 years. He was an avid fisherman who loved to take his family out with him. Ric also loved woodworking in his spare time, building an array of practical and whimsical items for his friends and family. He was a caring and generous man who always shared his farm and creativity with the community.

Ric is survived by his wife, Deborah A. Mohelnitzky; son Luke (Hannah) Mohelnitzky; daughters Tera Valiska, Chezarae (Emily Mills) Dickson, and Allondra (Scott) Carman; foster daughter Angel (Hanna) Fremming; grandchildren Louie Mohelnitzky, Sylas and Oliver Carman, Mack and Corbin Valiska, Stanley Fremming; siblings Janet Mohelnitzky, Bob (Kathy) Mohelnitzky, and Tom (Sherrie) Mohelnitzky; and many nieces and nephews. Ric was preceded in death by his parents.

A celebration of Ric’s life will be held in 2022, details forthcoming.

Brian D. Olshanski

Brian D. Olshanski, age 69, of Wausau passed away December 2, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

He was born on August 26, 1952.  On October 25, 2001 he married Carol Radke.  Brian enjoyed working for the Salvation Army. He loved his Harley and collecting Harley memorabilia, doing yard work, flowers and horses.  Most of all he loved spending time with the grandchildren. 

Brian is survived by his wife Carol (Radke) Olshanski; step children Eldon Kurth and Nichole (Kendall) Digman; grandchildren Wyatt, Declyn, Sawyer and Lyra Digman; brothers David (Anita) Olshanski, Roger Olshanski, Dale Olshanski; sister Bonnie (Brian) Roberts; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Edmund and Lenora “Lee” Olshanski and his brother Gerald Olshanski.

Memorial service will be held at 4:00 pm on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church – Stettin,  232220 N. 120th Ave., Wausau.  The Rev. William Ostrem will officiate.  Visitation will take place from 2:00 pm until the time of service at the church on Saturday


John E. Wadinski

John E. Wadinski a.k.a “Sam”, passed away at the age of 103, on Saturday, November 27, 2021, at Renaissance Assisted Living in Weston under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care & Hospice Services.  He was born on April 22, 1918, to the late John and Myrtle (King) Wadinski in Merrill, WI.  Sam attended and graduated from high school before joining the United States Army Air Force on October 15, 1940.  He proudly and bravely served his country during WWI and was honorably discharged on October 4, 1945. 

Sam worked as a truck driver and eventually retired from Marathon County Oil at the age of 55.  After retirement, Sam looked forward to trips to the cabin on Grey Lake.  You could always find him sitting around a campfire there, enjoying time with friends and family.  Sam had a passion for hunting and fishing and passed that down to his children and grandchildren.  He looked forward to deer hunting, and his grandchildren remember him as a great teacher and storyteller.  Sam was also the original GPS, he was the best navigator.  He was an all-around fun guy to be around and would make everyone feel welcomed.  He was a past commander of the DAV in Wausau.  He will be sadly missed, but has left so many lasting memories.

Sam is survived by his sons: Terry (Nancy) Wadinski of Mosinee and Michael (Cherrie) Wadinski of South Carolina, 9 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife: Lorraine, daughter: Judith Voigt and son: Mark Wadinski.

A private inurnment will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum in Wausau, with a Celebration of Life for Sam at a later date.

Brainard Funeral Home, Everest Chapel, Weston, is assisting the family with arrangements.  To share condolences and memories with the family, please visit www.brainardfuneral.com.


David Radke

David Radke, 51, passed away on Thursday, December 2, 2021, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau.

David was born on May 24, 1970 in Wausau to Leroy and Arlene (Graveen) Radke. He loved to watch wrestling, he would always take over the TV to make sure he got to watch it. He enjoyed cheering for the Badgers and the Packers. He looked forward to going to camp every year. He liked reciting the Lord’s Prayer and liked going bowling. 

He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Merlin Radke.

David is survived by his siblings, Susan Stazak of Wausau, Steve Radke of Eau Claire, Cindy Franklin of Weston, and Randy (Lisa) Radke of Wausau along with many nieces and nephews.

The funeral service for David will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 9, 2021, at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce Street, Wausau. A visitation will be held on Thursday evening from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with entombment at Restlawn on a later date. 


Nila A. Koeller

Nila Arlene Koeller, 88, died Thursday, December 2, 2021 under the care of Compassus Hospice at the House of Dove, Marshfield.

She was born December 30, 1932 daughter of the late Edward and Esther (Weise) Hoge.  She was raised on the family farm outside of Athens, attended Trinity Lutheran School all 8 grades and then Athens High School.  Nila was baptized, confirmed and married all at Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens.  On June 30, 1951 she married Frank Koeller and he preceded her in death on December 20, 2020.

Nila’s first job was at Athens Drug Store until marriage and after having 4 children she worked for 2 years at Hansen Glove Factory and then at the Athens Co-Op for 38 years.  She was a member of the Athens Old Timers Band, Trinity choir, the VFW Auxiliary, Red Hatters and a bowling league.  She bowled 53 years in the pin busters.  Nila also enjoyed making quilts, crafts and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her children, Gerald, Karen (Joe) Weiler, Dale (Lynnette) Koeller and Sandra Koeller; special friend of the family Helen, 7 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, sisters, Violet (Roland) Golz and Luann Thurs.  

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister and brother-in-law, Norma and Sylvester Heier, and brother-in-law, Gordon Thurs.

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 10, 2021 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens.  Rev. Mark Schwalenberg will officiate.  Burial will be in Salem Lutheran Cemetery, town of Hamburg.  Visitation will be Friday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services all at Trinity Lutheran Church, Athens.


Jane F. Heil

Jane F. Heil, 56, Tomahawk, formerly of Edgar, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at her home while under the care of Compassus of Northern Wisconsin.

She was born July 16, 1965, in Wausau, daughter of Karen Weber Rotta, Weston, and the late Francis Weber. Jane married Paul Smith of Eau Claire. They had one child together. After divorcing, Jane married Joe Heil of Edgar where her other three children came into her life. They later divorced but remained close friends.

Jane was a compassionate and loving woman who always put others before herself. After graduating from Antigo High School, she started her young career in the restaurant industry to follow her passion for cooking. Eventually, Jane made her way to Aspirus, working in their IT department. While she was there for 20+ years, she made lifelong friends with coworkers. In the last few years of her life, Jane worked for the city council IT department, again making lifelong friends, and leaving her lasting impact.

Jane made sure to always keep active. Whether it was participating in a weekly volleyball league, biking her favorite 20-mile route, snowmobiling the many winter trails of Wisconsin, traveling to the windy and beautiful Aruba, or baking yet another delicious dessert. She always made time for the things and people she loved. Later in her life, after meeting Cory, Jane grew a love for hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors. This newfound passion inspired her to take her children along on a hunting trip to Wyoming, a memory to be cherished forever.

What made Jane so special was her unique unselfishness. No matter her circumstances, it was always her goal to make others happy. Jane could always be counted on for her bright, contagious smile.

Thirteen years ago, Jane was first diagnosed with breast cancer. Even this did not put a damper on her spirit. Jane lived cancer-free for nearly 10 years before a recurrence of her breast cancer. Again, she battled for over two years, never wavering from her selfless ways, and always enjoying life to its fullest.

Survivors include her mother, Karen Weber, her children, Nevin (Cassandra Ligman) Smith, Lexy (Colten Duvall) Belter, Colton Heil, Ethan Heil, her fiancé Cory Reif, sister, Christina (Joe Thomas) Weber, Minnesota, brother, Andrew Weber, Arizona, nephew Josh (Nicole) Anderson, Kaukauna, and many friends and co-workers.

Jane was preceded in death by her father and a sister, Diane Anderson.

Jane touched the lives of everyone that had the privilege of knowing her. Her strength, perseverance, and love for her family and friends will always be remembered.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 10, 2021, at St. John Catholic Church, Edgar.  The Rev. Alan Wierzba will preside.  Burial will be in the parish cemetery.  Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 and again on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church.  In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Jane’s name.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Edgar, is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com


Pearl E. Williamson

Pearl E. Williamson, 81, Wausau, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, December 3, 2021 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

 She was born September 23, 1940 in Wausau, daughter of the late Fred and Adeline (Jaecks) Kositzke.  On June 23, 1962, she married Wallace “Wally” O. Williamson at Our Savior’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Wausau.  He survives.

Pearl was a member of the VFW Auxiliary Post No. 388, Wausau and a lifetime member of Our Savior’s Ev. Lutheran Church.  Among her favorite pastimes, she loved to play bingo and play the card game quarters and always won.  She was an avid Green Bay Packers fan.   Most of all, she loved to spend time with her family, especially her grandchildren.  Pearl will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. 

Survivors include her loving husband of 59 years, Wally; her two children, Wallace “Wally” T. (fiancée Janet Modrzejewski) Williamson, Wausau and Laurie (Rodney) Seehafer, Marathon; two grandchildren, Justin and Trevor Janikowski; her step grandchildren, Gage, Mason and Dylan Seehafer; one brother, William Kositzke, Wausau; brothers and sisters-in-law, Lavonne Conklin, Edgar, Burton Williamson, Kronenwetter, Lavern (Kathy) Williamson, Mosinee and Cindy (Bob) Krueger, Phelps; her two granddogs, “Ryker” and “Ozzy”; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 10, 2021 at Our Savior’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Wausau.  Rev. Joel Suckow will officiate.  Visitation will be on Thursday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau and again on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until time of services at the church.  There will be a service conducted by the VFW Auxiliary Post No. 388 at 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com


Rachael M. Sonntag

Rachael Marie (Showers) Sonntag, age 46, died on Sunday, November 28, 2021, at her home in Wausau, after a lengthy illness. Rachael was born on August 28, 1975, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Norman and Marie (Szczepansski) Showers. She was a graduate of Sun Prairie High School. Rachael earned an Associate Degree and planned to continue her education to obtain a degree in substance abuse counseling. She had worked as a CNA at North Central Health Care where she enjoyed working with elderly patients. Rachael loved camping, canoeing, gardening and crafting. She would make clay and craft gifts that are cherished by her family, former patients, and friends. Her greatest joy was being a grandmother.

Rachael is survived by her loving husband Derek Sonntag. She and Derek were high school friends who reunited later in life, fell in love, and married on January 21, 2010. Rachael is also survived by her parents Norman and Marie Showers; two children Trent (Ashley) Friedli, step- grandson Theo; and her daughter Taylor Friedli, granddaughter Kalani Sonntag; brothers Richard (Rachel) Showers, and Randolph (Dana) Schauer; in-laws Terry and Cathy Sonntag, brother-in- law Brett Sonntag, numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents Charles and LaRue Showers and her grandmother Irmgard Hall, and her Aunt Janice (Hall) Moedt.

Rachael’s family thanks Heartland Hospice Care for all of their understanding and support. This organization was fantastic in the help and comfort they provided Rachael and Derek.

There will be a visitation at 10:00 a.m. at the John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 948 Grand Avenue, Schofield WI 54476. Funeral service will be held at 11:30, immediately after the visitation.