Ellyn L. Peters Gesel

Ellyn Lynn Peters Gesell, 70, died peacefully of natural causes on March 22nd, 2022.  She was born May 25, 1951.  She will be dearly missed by her sister Priscilla Rogn.  Her four children; Melissa (Scott) Springer, Nathanial (Kathy) Peters, Rebecca (Matt) Peters and Jessica (Mark) Wimmer.  Ellyn had four grandchildren that she adored: Rachael (Dan) Fritz, Ryan (Alyssa) Springer, Nicholas Peters (Becca), and Ariana Peters and two great granddaughters Morgan Fritz and Everly Springer.  Ellyn was preceded in death by her mother Vivian Rogn & her life partner Willie Higgins.

Before retirement, Ellyn was a successful commercial real-estate broker in Wausau WI.

Ellyn had many passions in life.  She was deeply spiritual. She loved the fine arts, including music; it was always playing, adored ballet and dancing, loved nature and gardening; tending and talking to her plants and had an appreciation for beautiful paintings & pictures.  She loved animals and enjoyed taking walks with her dog Chloe.  Ellyn loved literature and loved to write, she was fascinated by many topics and enjoyed researching, learning and never missed an opportunity to engage in a lively debate.  Not a day went by that Ellyn didn’t read and journal.

Ellyn will be missed for her kind heart and helpful spirit. She could talk to anyone, and many friends and family were touched by her energetic and colorful personality.  Her home always had an open door. She was known to make a strong pot of coffee and talk with her close friends for hours. She had a love for music and remarkable knack to pick just the right song for any situation or mood.

The visitation and Memorial Service will be held at Hildebrand Funeral Home, 24 E. Davenport St., Rhinelander, WI 54501 on Saturday April 16, 2022. The visitation will take place from 12:00 pm until 2:00 pm. Memorial Service from 2:00 pm until 2:30 pm., with a social gathering including refreshments to follow the service.

In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Ellyn may be given to the Oneida County Humane Society, 1852 N. Stevens St., Rhinelander, WI 54501.    www.ochspets.org/adoptions/dogs/

Thomas N. Driscoll

Deep in the world tonight, our hearts beat safe and sound.
I’ll hold you so close, just let yourself go down.

Thomas Neal Driscoll entered the Great Unknown on April 8, 2022, in Schofield, WI.  He cannot be defined by his untimely death and only just barely by the story of his life.

Thomas was born on October 19, 1945, in Wausau, WI, and was granted his movie-star good looks from Cornelius and Rosalie (Braatz) Driscoll, an unusually attractive couple.  He was the first of ten children, followed by Larry, Bonnie, John, Patty, Leanne, Janet, Tim, Daryl, and Connie.  He married Sally Sowinski on October 9, 1971; they celebrated their 50th anniversary last year.

After graduating in 1963 from D.C. Everest Senior High School, Thomas enlisted as a communications center specialist in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1964 and was stationed in Germany.  After an honorable discharge from active duty in 1967, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves, worked briefly as a local news station cameraman, and started his career as a machinist at Federal Mogul (then Wausau Motor Parts), retiring in 2000.

A noted raconteur, Thomas had a flair for dramatic storytelling.  How exactly did a man know so much?  If you asked him, he would simply say that he knew “a little about a lot.” He was passionate about archaeology, genealogy, outer space, petrology, music, culinary arts, and Wisconsin history.  He had knowledge and he was determined to drop it on you, which would sometimes force you to find a graceful reason to escape or he would keep on talking for hours.

Thomas loved fly-fishing on trout streams, but he either used catch-and-release techniques or was just lousy at fishing because he rarely brought any fish home.  He was a self-taught master of tying flies, and collected endless amounts of feathers, fuzz, and shiny and sparkly things to use.  It was not uncommon for his family to open the freezer and see the wing feathers of a particularly beautiful bird in a bag, preserved alongside the frozen vegetables.

When he wasn’t tying flies or fishing, Thomas could often be found on one of his touring motorcycles and was known for making particularly long journeys to visit his brother, to go to the Florida Keys, or to see his daughter graduate from USAF basic training.  He traveled every back road in Marathon County on his motorcycle, and he loved the curvy serpentine ones the best.  Now that he can’t get in trouble with his wife for it, we can freely admit that he once reached 135 mph on his motorcycle with one of his children riding as his passenger.

We know this much is true:  Thomas was a wonderful husband and father, and an endlessly patient instructor in the arts of street frisbee, backyard fly casting, canoe paddling, and cribbage.   It couldn’t have been easy to take three toddlers hiking so often on Rib Mountain, but Tom and Sally made it seem effortless.  To his children and grandchildren, he could make anything into an adventure.  Canoe trips on the Rib River were transformed into adventures on the beaches of “Little Tahiti,” and when the canoe floated out of sight downstream, our dashing hero exhausted himself swimming to bring it back so we wouldn’t be marooned forever.  At times, he had odd tastes in family field trips, unless it’s totally normal to take your kids on a special trip to a historic grain mill.  While we will admit that the House on the Rock and Little House in the Big Woods trips were great, we really didn’t need to see Birds in Art that many times.  And did we mention the food?  Thomas was the family chef de cuisine, and his alter ego, “Mama Papalito” created the best homemade pizza in town.   

We’re not so sure this is true (but it makes a good story): Thomas told his children that as a teenager, he ran errands for members of the Chicago mafia that were sent to Wausau to cool off when the heat was on.  

Thomas is survived by his wife, Sally, his three children: Jim (Shelly) Driscoll, Mosinee, Erin (Austin) Henderson, Wausau, and Dana (Jeff) Jones, Seaside, Oregon; grandchildren: Zachary (Rayne), Austin (Sarah), Ian, and Sophie Driscoll, Felix Henderson, and Bailey and Sam Jones; one great-grandchild:  Toby Driscoll; eight brothers and sisters; numerous nephews and nieces; and his 101-year-old mother-in-law, Betty Sowinski.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Larry, and his talented grandson Randy Driscoll.

At this time, no funeral services are planned.  A private family celebration of life will be held at a later date.

His cup runneth over. 

Helke Funeral Home, Wausau is assisting the family with arrangements.  You may leave messages and condolences for his family at helke.com.

Lorraine V. Rusch

Lorraine V. Rusch, 96, peacefully went to her eternal home on Friday, April 8th, 2022, at Aspirus Hospice House, with family by her side. Lorraine was born in Wausau on October 31,1925, to Arnold and Herta (Plisch) Voigt, of Hamburg, WI. She graduated from Wausau High School in 1944 and worked at the Rationing Board until the end of World War II.

On September 10, 1947, she married LeRoy Rusch at St. Peters Lutheran Church in the town of Hamburg. They built their life and home in the town of Stettin and lovingly raised five children. They were also blessed to celebrate 70 years of marriage. Lorraine enjoyed working side by side with LeRoy as Town of Stettin Deputy Clerk and she also was elected and served two terms as Marathon County Treasurer. She was a dedicated homemaker all of her life and her family was continually amazed by her unique ability to creatively problem solve. Lorraine was a talented seamstress who devotedly made ‘one-of-a-kind’ handmade quilts for each grandchild. She cherished her time with her grandchildren and special moments with great-grandchildren.

Lorraine is survived by her five children: David (Laura), Culver City, CA; LeAnn Salassa, Wausau; Dan (Nancy), Minneapolis, MN; Nolan (Karen), Wausau; Amy (Dave) Thunder, Wausau. Lorraine was blessed with 17 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother, Carl Voigt and sister Lola Schmidt.

She was preceded in death by three brothers, Earl, Donald and Edward Voigt; and five sisters, Delores Scheu, Doris Staus, Marion Heahlke, Mae Mathwich and Lois Achterberg.

Lorraine’s Christian faith guided her throughout her life and was a faithful example to her family. Lorraine will be dearly missed by her loved ones who celebrate the fact that she is now in the presence of Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. We thank God for the Love and Faithfulness Mom showed to her family and friends throughout her lifetime. Her funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, at Christ Lutheran Church, 1300 Townline Road, Wausau, with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. The Rev. David Wetmore will officiate. Entombment will be at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.

Arrangements are being made by Helke Funeral Home and on-line condolences can be sent to our family guest book at helke.com. Memorial gifts received will be given to Christ Lutheran Church.

The family would especially like to thank Interim Health Home Care staff and Aspirus Hospice House staff for the excellent, compassionate care they provided for our Mom.

Bruce L. Knieriem

Bruce L. Knieriem, 77, Wausau, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 7, 2022 at his home, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

He was born November 7, 1944 in Elmore, Ohio, son of the late Verle and Bernice (Walters) Knieriem. 

For many years, Bruce worked as a mechanical engineer for Greenheck Corp. until his retirement.  Among his favorite pastimes, he enjoyed crossword puzzles, woodworking, reading, baking, home renovations, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Survivors include, two daughters, Lori (Dennis) Peck and Mindy (Jovid) Schuette, both of Wausau; four grandchildren, Hannah and Megan Peck and Lucas and Benjamin Schuette; and three siblings, Lowell Knieriem, Canada, Beverly (Allen) Harder, Ohio and his twin brother, Keith (Maria) Knieriem, Michigan.

Memorial services will be held in Ohio at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, 520 N. 32nd Avenue, Wausau, WI 54401.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Margaret A. Zielke

Margaret A. Zielke, 94, Wausau, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at her home.

She was born September 8, 1927 in Austin, MN, daughter of the late Leo and Anne Marie (Janssen) Poels.  On March 18, 1950, she was united in marriage to Rudolph Zielke in Faribault, MN.  He preceded her in death on January 7, 2004.

For many years, Margaret enjoyed working as a Librarian for the Wausau West High School.  She also traveled throughout the United States as a market researcher for various companies.  She kept busy working for the voting polls, wrote surveys for the Iowa Poll and worked for Governor Robert D. Ray in Iowa for many years.  Margaret also found time to volunteer for fundraisers whenever she could and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. 

Among her favorite pastimes, she liked to go fishing in Minocqua at the Beacons, enjoyed playing contract bridge, was very talented at many different types of needlepoint and making lace and loved gardening.

She was a capable, fiercely independent, giving, loving, civic minded woman and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Survivors include, four children, Brian (Cindy) Zielke, Waukesha, Gary Zielke, Inver Grove Heights, MN, Mary (James) Dean, Annapolis, MD and Rudolph Zielke, Wausau; six grandchildren, Brian (Katie) Zielke, Kaeleigh, Jon and Stefanie Zielke, Elizabeth (Ron) Dykstra and AJ Jordan; three great-grandchildren, Rebekah, Ezra and Nolan; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents and husband, Rudolph, she was preceded in death by an infant son, Robert; her daughter-in-law, Jane Zielke; and seven siblings.

Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 22, 2022 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau.  Visitation will be on Friday from 12:00 p.m. (Noon) until time of services at the funeral home.  Burial will be at 3:00 p.m. at the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in King, WI.

Memorials may be directed to the charity of the donor’s choice in Margaret’s memory.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Douglas Seidl

Douglas (Doug) Seidl, died peacefully on April 3, 2022, at Agrace Hospice. He was 54. After his diagnosis in March 2021, Doug endured rigorous testing; however, the source remained unknown. Just like in life, Doug fought cancer his way, seeking multiple treatment options and giving it his all. When his body no longer responded to treatment, Doug spent his last days exchanging goodbyes and enjoying a day of music.

Born April 16, 1967, in Milwaukee, Doug’s family moved to Wausau when he was in elementary school. He graduated from Wausau East High School in 1985. Doug’s love for basketball began as a lumberjack and continued throughout his life. He attended college at UW Extension after receiving an art scholarship. After two years, he transferred to UW-Madison but maintained some of his best learning happened at the “stench.” Doug was a life-long Badger–occasionally extending himself to be a Boilermaker when his oldest daughter swam for Purdue. Proudly, his youngest daughter followed in her parents’ footsteps and revived his Badger spirit!

Doug hosted a Halloween party in 1988 and kissed his future wife, Mary, for the first time. Their romance was one of a roller coaster, but they made it work–each bringing their gifts to the table, making a strong bond from which their family thrived. Their ride began in marriage May 16, 1992, on an evening filled with lightning and flash floods. Doug’s family was always his first priority. He was the rock upon which they leaned and the source of humor that they relied upon. Doug made life fun!

Professionally, Doug worked as an artist after receiving his 1989 bachelor’s degree, designing apparel for various businesses. In 2000, Doug moved with his family to Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, and shortly after, started his own business that combined his artistic love with his passion for old homes, The Arts and Crafts Workshop. Doug’s perfectionist ways, problem-solving tenacity, and eye for detail contributed to his success. He was authentic–what you saw is what you got with Doug, which was one of the things so many loved most about him.

Owning his own business allowed Doug flexibility to care for his family. He walked his girls to and from school, made time for “Daddy Days,” and never missed a Saturday Moho gator swim meet. Doug was always there to support his girls. When they both left for college, Doug and Mary purchased a country home. He worked tirelessly to update his new nest and appreciated the peace and quiet.

Doug was a genuine friend and neighbor. He never passed up an opportunity to share a few minutes and catch up with anyone – be it conversations about antique cars like his own corvairs, the latest bucks game or his snowmobile rides on the old Rupp. Doug loved a party – his brew fest adventures and the margarita after parties were legendary. No one could rock vintage vinyl from a second-hand store on the third floor better than Doug or enjoy a fine beverage like Fosters. As he said in his last days, Doug did the inviting and Mary made the taco salad – a true team.

Doug is survived by his wife, Mary (Eckardt) Seidl; his daughters: Maizie and Cleo; his mother, Vicki; his sister, Fay Iosso and her children Francesco and Giovanna; and his sister and brother in law, Billy and Sally Gau, and their family Maggie Gau and Liz (Ted & Will) Link. He was preceded in death by his dad, Roland – a parent he called his best friend.

Doug requested a private burial. There will be a celebration of his life on May 14th from 11 to 3 at the Old School House, 110 N. Second Street, Mount Horeb. There will be “Douggie” dogs, corvairs, beer and 80s rock with lots and lots of stories.

In lieu of flowers, donations for education expenses for Doug’s girls may be sent to the family (1766 Bringold Drive, Verona, WI, 53593). We thank UW Carbone Cancer Center, Agrace Hospice, and friends and family for ongoing love and support during this battle. Every act of kindness, however big or small, mattered to Doug and his family. The roller coaster ride is over, my sweet love, rest well and peace out.