Obituaries are a community service courtesy of Helke and Brainard Funeral Homes.

Sandra D. Nelson

Sandra (Sandy) Nelson 80 passed away on December 12, 2022 in Wausau with her husband and daughters by her side.  Sandy was born in Wausau to the late Burton and Luella Weik.   On August 11, 1962 she married Darrell Nelson in Wausau.  He survives.  She graduated from Wausau High and attended UW-Marathon Center.  Throughout her working career she enjoyed doing accounting at Graphic Packaging for over 25 years taking a slight break when she stayed at home and raised her children until they started attending school.

Sandy’s hobbies were camping with the pickup truck camper across the US., attending many NASCAR races, watching the Badger’s Football and Basketball teams and listening to the Brewers on her little green transistor radio.  She also was the #1 Packer fan where she always loved telling the story that she was at the Ice Bowl and she always took pride in saying “I’m an owner of the Packers”.  She was also an avid reader always having a book in her hand or in her purse.

Most importantly, Sandy loved her family and going out for breakfast to get her morning coffee especially in her and Darrell’s first car, their ’48 Ford Coupe.

She always took care of everyone else first, even at the end where through her donation, someone will receive a new heart and eyes at this Christmas Season.

Survivors include her husband, Darrell Nelson; her 3 daughters, Kim (Chris) Van Vlack; Karla (Al) McGowan; Karmin (Brad) Richter; her 4 grandchildren, Taylor and Jared Van Vlack; Aspen and Colin Richter.  A brother Richard (Linda) Weik and a sister Judy (Marlyn) Masanz.  Sisters-in-law,  Beverly (Stan) Line; Sharon (Richard) States; Kathy Crossman; Debbie (Denis) Geer and many more extended family.

Services will be at Helke Funeral Home, Wausau, January 4, 2023 at 11:00; visitation will be from 9:00 am until the time of service.  Helke Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers please donate to the charity of your choice.

Kathie G. Reissman

Kathie G. Reissman, 70, town of Maine, passed away on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, while under the care of Interim Hospice at Our House Memory Care, Wausau.

She was born September 27, 1952, in Wausau, daughter of the late Hazel (Redmann) Roach.  On September 18, 1999, she married Louie Reissman at St. John Lutheran Church, town of Maine.  He survives.

Kathie was a hard worker, working for Walmart for over 20 years until retirement.  It is there where she met some of her dearest friends.  She will forever be remembered for her smile and silly way she wanted to make people happy.  Family was extremely important and her grandchildren brought her so much joy.  She and Louie would put on miles making sure they were at events, going to wrestling tournaments and visiting family. It was so important they knew how much she supported them.  A birthday would never be missed without a call from Papa and Grandma singing happy birthday.

Christmas was a special time for her and it is a blessing that she marks her passing at this time of year.  She enjoyed the Christmas tree farm and would be found greeting customers, playing music, handing out candy canes and being the Christmas cheer for all who came to buy their trees.  She was notoriously generous and thinking of others.  She rarely would come for a visit without saying the words “come out to the car.  I have something in the trunk.”   

Survivors include her husband, Louie Reissman, Merrill, her children, Shaun, Shelly (Matt), two stepchildren, Jody and Terry, two sisters, Patty and Mary Jo, one niece, Rhonda Jo, her grandchildren, Emily, Hayden, Wyatt, Savannah, Sydney and Vincent and her step grandchildren, Brayden, Stephanie, Brittany and Sam and four great grandchildren.

Besides her parents she was preceded in death by one son, Wayne Cumber and one brother, Patrick Roach.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at St. John Ev. Lutheran Church, town of Maine.  The Rev. Maggie Westaby will officiate.  Burial will be in the church cemetery at a later date.  Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com  In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Kathie’s name.

Kenneth A. Natzke

Kenneth “Kenny” A. Natzke, 80, of the town of Berlin, passed away on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at Aspirus Hospice House, Wausau.

He was born on May 29, 1942, to the late Eric and Linda (Fiedler) Natzke at the family home in the town of Hamburg.  Kenny graduated from Athens High School in the class of 1960.  On June 29, 1963 he was united in marriage to the former Paulette Marth at Zion Lutheran Church in the town of Rib Falls.

Early in Kenny’s career, he was employed by Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee, WI.  In 1972 he moved his family back home to Hamburg where, Kenny and Paulette helped his father-in-law, Milton Marth, pursue their dream starting Marth Companies.  Kenneth joined the Hamburg Fire Department in 1975 eventually becoming chief in 1987 – 2000.  During his tenure with the fire department, Kenny achieved and received the fireman of the year award in 2000.  He retired from the fire department in 2005 and later that year he retired from his work with their businesses.  After his retirement, they purchased a winter home in Florida, which he enjoyed with his family and many new friends.  They also enjoyed summer weekends at their lake home on Lake Nokomis at Tomahawk, WI.

Beyond his work, Kenny was involved with other hobbies and interests.  He was a founding member of the Hamburg Rainbow Riders Snowmobile Club. While at home Kenny especially enjoyed patrolling the yard with his golf cart.  His favorite stop was at his prize garden, where he would pick raspberries and fresh vegetables which he enjoyed sharing with family and friends.  Many knew he had great carpentry skills; he proudly taught his grandsons his crafts that will continue to be part of his legacy.  He also spent time with friends bowling, playing shuffleboard, working with his bulldozer, fishing, and traveling with Paulette.  In October of 2002 on a road trip they stopped in Kiln, MS and met Brett Favre’s sister and brother at their restaurant and Brett’s mother at her Hallmark Store.  During one of their travels in 2004, at the Houston Rodeo, Kenny and Paulette were seated near our 41st President George H.W. Bush and got an autographed picture with him.  He remembered that it was like meeting an old friend.  

Another hobby enjoyed by Kenny was maintaining a game farm for many years, where he raised various birds, whitetail, fallow, and reindeer, most recently elk.  That lead to one of his favorite family events which was getting together to make venison sausage, meat sticks, and smoked hams, which were his mother Linda’s recipes.  He learned how to cold smoke sausage from his father, Eric.  Everybody in the neighborhood knew of his smokehouse and his meat smoking skills, and they would bring over their venison sausages where he would smoke them to perfection.

Survivors include his wife, Paulette; son, Jerome (Michele) Natzke; grandchildren, Lauren (Robert) Blume, Monica (Brent) Krautkramer, Kayleigh (Craig) Frieders, Jeremy Natzke, Justin (Jamie) Natzke; great-grandchildren, Charlie Blume, Adah Blume, Baylor Blume, Lincoln Krautkramer, Marynn Krautkramer, Brynn Frieders, and Shay Frieders; daughter, Julie (Craig) Kuehn; grandchildren, Erica (Noah) Witt, Collin Kuehn, and Ethan Kuehn.

Kenny’s brothers and sisters, Erich (Cheryl) Natzke, Amaryllis (LeRoy) Bath, Muriel Zinkowich, Larry (Geraldine) Natzke, Mavis (John) Dowe, and Allen (Michelle) Natzke; sisters-in-law, Sandra Martyn and Carol (Larry) Edwards; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers-in-law, Darrell “Bozo” Zinkowich and Edward Martyn.

A funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, Marathon, with Pastor Jon Hadler officiating.  Visitation for family and friends will be on Tuesday, December 27 beginning at 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 pm at the church.  The visitation will conclude with a prayer service.  Visitation will resume on Wednesday beginning at 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., the time of service at the church.  Burial will take place in the spring in Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Town of Stettin.

Memorials are preferred to Little Lions Childcare or to Northland Lutheran High School.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.

Norma J. Kent

Norma Jean Kent, 92, passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 18, 2022 under Interim Hospice care at Wausau Manor.

She was born on April 21, 1930 to Edward and Selma (Roell) Graefe, in Iron Mountain, Mich, where Norma spent her early childhood years before attending college.

In 1954, Norma graduated from Augustana University in Rock Island, Ill. with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She would go on to have an outstanding 37-year career as a nurse. During her career, she held the title of Orthopedic Unit Nursing Director at Wausau Hospital (Aspirus). Over the course of her career, she held nursing licenses in both Illinois and Wisconsin. When she retired, Norma prided herself on keeping in touch with her nursing friends and coworkers.

She married Edward “Ed” Kent on October 3, 1953. The two were each other’s lifelong companions who enjoyed traveling. Together they had three children: Dave, Rick and Jon. They would continue to travel with many trips to Montana, throughout the mid-west and to the east coast. Their annual trip to Williamsport, Penn., to attend the Little League World Series was always one of her favorites in addition to their many casino trips. Their best trip was in 2003, where they took their entire family to Disneyland, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  

Norma was an avid gardener who enjoyed tending to her backyard flower garden on the hill and a tremendous cook who served up the best pasty pies. Norma was also a devoted sports fan. She supported her children and then her grandchildren at all events, from little league through high school athletics. In her spare time, she would then enjoy cheering on the Chicago Cubs and Green Bay Packers.

Survivors include her children, David (Pat), Rick (Lisa) and Jon; grandchildren Kelcee, Ryder (Becky), Ryan, Ricky (Tenley); great-grandchildren, Trey, Grant and Reid.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Edward, who passed away on November 23, 2015.

The family would like to thank Interim Hospice Care & Wausau Manor for their kind, compassionate care and the staff at Copperleaf Assisted Living (Schofield) for the dedicated care provided to our mother and grandmother over the past 2-1/2 years.

Memorial services will be at noon on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 at Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, any memorial donations will be added to the Norma J. Kent Nursing Scholarship Endowment that was established at NTC in 2019.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Linda L. Hart

Linda L. Hart, age 61, died Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at her home in Athens.

She was born April 25, 1961 in Wausau, the daughter of Mary Ann (Pozorski) and Gerald Schalow of Wausau. On June 29, 1990, she married Rick “Baggy” Hart.  They preceded her in death.

Linda grew up in Wausau on 17th Avenue with many extended family members also living on the block with her. She graduated from Newman Catholic High School in 1979 and attended Northcentral Technical College for further education. She had many jobs over her years of life including as a waitress at the Holiday Inn in Wausau, a bank teller in Little Chicago and Athens, a warehouse associate, nursing assistant, and then working at the Cenex in Athens until her early retirement late last year. She greatly enjoyed talking with many members of the community. 

Linda is most remembered for her creativity as she planned Halloween parties for her children, decorated her home and yard often, and had an extensive collection of Barbie Dolls. Among her favorite pastimes, she enjoyed thrift store shopping, and arts and crafts. Linda also enjoyed taking trips both long and short to places near and far from home, and spending time with her grandchildren, family and friends, and her beloved Dachshund dogs.

Linda is survived by her two children and their families: Kody Hart of Wausau, Evan (Kendra) Hart of Athens and their two children, Braelyn and Ian; two brothers: Jay (Dyna) Schalow of Coulee Dam, WA, Fred (Ranae) Schalow, Mukwonago; two brothers-in-law: Ronnie Hart of Athens, Jason Hart of Athens; two aunts: Cheri Siewert of Wausau, Debbie Adams of Marana, AZ; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins from her and her husband’s family.

Visitation will be from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 6, 2023 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens with a memorial service to follow at 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.

Shirley J. Summers

Shirley J. Summers, 68 of Schofield passed away at Rennes, surrounded by her loving family on December 21, 2022. She was born to William and Florence (Berg) Otto on May 11, 1954.

She is survived by her loving husband Mark Summers, three sons, Eric Summers, Plymouth Indiana, David Summers, Wyoming Michigan, Todd Summers, Bremen Indiana, eight grandchildren, two great grandchildren, her aunt Lois Myare, Sparta Wisconsin, and Nephew Chris (Amy) Otto, Wausau Wisconsin.

She was preceded in death by daughter-in-law Heather Summers, her brother James Otto, and her mother and father.

Shirley was married to Mark on November 18th, 2005. She worked 32 years with Liberty Mutual and loved to travel.

Services will be held at St. Peters Lutheran Church, Schofield, on Friday, December 30, 2022. Friends and family may gather at 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at 11:00 a.m.

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

Arnold F. Luechau

Arnold ‘Arnie’ Friedrich Luechau passed into eternal life on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at Marshfield Medical Center in Weston.

Arnie was born on January 22, 1939, in Hamburg, Germany. The son of Alma (Schuette) and Arnold P. Luechau.

Arnie immigrated to the USA in November of 1955, through his sister, Anita and husband, Roger Schmidt, as his sponsors.

He lived in Wittenberg for some time, prior to graduating from DC Everest High School, and moving to Wausau, WI.

He became a US citizen as soon as legally possible, December 4th of 1961, in Wausau, WI.

In 1959, he married Janet E. Krueger, who preceeded him in death on April 17th, 2014. They were united in marriage at St. John’s Lutheran Church, town of Easton. Together they had three children; Julie, Tim and Carla.

In 1960, Arnie gained employment with the P. Lorrillard Tobacco Co. where he spent the next 18 years as a factory sales representative. During that time, he became involved with the PTA, as president, he also worked with the Boy Scouts of America as cub master, and weblo leader, and little league baseball as assistant coach. In those days, he enjoyed snowmobiling with family and friends, here and at the cottage up north.

He became involved with the Schofield Lion’s Club in 1966, and served in many various capacities, including president two times. He received the Melvin Jones Award, as one of the highlights, and later was made a life member.

In 1971, after attending the Wisconsin School of Real Estate, he attained his brokers license, and started selling and investing in real estate, also becoming a landlord. In 1980, he gained employment as a sales consultant with a pharmaceutical wholesale house. His clientele included drug stores, hospitals, and nursing homes. He enjoyed his work until his retirement. During his tenure he earned the salesman of the year award, and for outstanding sales efforts received an all expense paid trip, with his wife, to the summer Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly after his retirement, the entire family traveled to various European countries for two weeks. This was then followed by a seven-day cruise a few years later.

In the late 80’s, Arnie and Jan, along with his sister Anita, and her then husband, Dewayne Wruck, traveled to Hong Kong and Red China for 10 days.

Volleyball was Arnie’s favorite sport. He played in the RSW men’s League through age 65. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, some ice skating, and swimming up north at the family cottage. He was quite active at the Wausau Elks Lodge #248, where he served as exalted ruler in the year 2000/2001 and in various other positions.

In 1986, Arnie and Carla purchased Tiffanies beauty salon, as equal partners, both having respective duties. Later they changed the name to Wausau Hair Center, and relocated to the west side.

Arnie is survived by two daughters, Julie Schepp and Carla (Bill) Staszak; eight grandchildren, Joseph (Sara) Staszak, Sarah (Brandon) Knetter, Kia (Ryan) Pflughoeft, Hannah (Chris) Bandura, Jenny (Mike) Trzebiatowski, Tara (Matthew) Christian, Andrew (Maggie) Luechau and Kelly Luechau; 13 great-grandchildren; one sister, Anita Wruck; two sisters-in-law, Helen Krueger and Betty Krueger and other relatives.

Arnie was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Janet; one son, Timothy; one son-in-law, Allen Schepp and one granddaughter, Jamie.

A funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at Wausau Elks Lodge#248. Rev. Steven Gjerde will preside. An Elks Memorial Service will follow the funeral service. Visitation will be from 9 AM until the time of service at the lodge.

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

Howard T. Yelton

Howard Thomas Yelton, “Tom” age 88, a lifelong Minocqua resident passed away Wednesday, December 7, 2022.

He was born on April 7, 1934, in Tomahawk, to Wilmer and Velma Yelton. Tom met the love of his life, Janet Zoe Birkholz while both were still in high school. Tom graduated from Minocqua High School and then went to MSOE. They were married July 31, 1954, in Minocqua and spent 56 years together.

Tom joined his brothers in the construction business and built many homes in the Northwoods area. He wore many hats as a business owner and town official. He started HT Glass and Mirror in 1973 with side ventures such as a bike shop, a fitness center and laundromat. Tom had a quick wit and truly enjoyed coffee with the guys, even though he was outnumbered by the Republicans which resulted in some lively debates.

Tom was a town supervisor for many years and did his best to promote and build Minocqua into a vibrant community. He was a member of the Minocqua Lions Club and Jaycee’s. He was an avid hunter and golfer. He also enjoyed fishing on his boat in Florida. Tom spent his coffee hour in Florida at the “Table of Knowlege” solving many of the world’s problems before 8 a.m. He and Jan were blessed to spend 30 winters in Florida surrounded by a great number of close friends from across the U.S.

Tom and Jan’s retirement years revolved around their kids and grandchildren. Every opportunity to see a concert, sporting event, play or other school/church event was never missed. Sunny summer and fall days were spent at their home in Minocqua on the lake and no one missed Christmas at Grandpa and Grandma’s. Tom was quick to provide advice to all his grandkids whether they asked for it or not and shared “questionable” life experiences that were always entertaining. Tom was always one to speak his mind regardless of who was within earshot and was usually right.

Tom was proceeded in death by his brothers Willy and Dan and his wife, Janet.

He is survived by his children: Kim (Bob) Christensen of Wausau, Hal (Gail) Yelton of Minocqua, Jackie (Paul) Duerst of Manitowish Waters, Chris (Robert) Garcia of Hazelhurst; grandchildren: Brent, Megan, Luke, Jake, Laurel, Stephen, Drew, Lauren, Logan, Nick, Nikolai, Hanna, Jack and Georgia; 13 great grandchildren; and his blond four-legged companion, Kate. Tom greatly appreciated his many neighbors and friends in Wisconsin and Florida.

Visitation was held Friday, Dec. 16, at Ascension Lutheran Church in Minocqua. Lunch will followed the service. In lieu of flowers, all monetary gifts will be distributed to local charities including Lakeland Swim Club Scholarship Fund.

Ruth A. Ott

Ruth Ann Ott, age 93, of Wausau passed away on Thursday, December 22, 2022 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. 

Ruth Ann was born on November 16, 1929.  She married William Ott on October 20, 1956.  He survives.  She is preceded in death by her parents and her daughter, Lynn Ott.

Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 29, 2022 at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams St., Wausau.  The Rev. Dr. Philip Schneider will officiate.  Visitation will take place from 11:30 AM until the time of service at the funeral home.  Burial will take place at Restlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Marathon County Humane Society  

We would like to thank the staff at Aspirus Wausau Hospital for their care and compassion.