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

Brenda McGrath

Brenda McGrath entered into the Kingdom of Heaven on January 15, 2023 at the age of 82.

Born January 17, 1940 in Golborne, England, Brenda was the daughter of Sydney and Betty Farrell. As a child growing up during World War II, Brenda faced many challenges but always persevered. Her wartime upbringing also formed her extraordinary personality in to one of resilience, focus, and ambition. A self made woman before it was en vogue, Brenda was determined to create a life beyond her humble beginnings.

With her innate sense of style, love of fashion, and entrepreneurial spirit, Brenda’s earliest business venture was ownership of a children’s boutique in her hometown. In 1969, while on a Mediterranean cruise, Brenda met her future husband, Joseph, in Palma, Mallorca. After marrying in England and honeymooning in Paris, Brenda embarked on her American adventure
by returning with Joe to his hometown of Chicago. Brenda’s first job in the United States was at the Marshall Field’s on State Street. Following a lengthy career in retail purchasing and management, Brenda obtained her commercial real estate broker’s license in 1988. After relocating to Wausau, Brenda shifted to residential real estate, and in addition to selling, was broker owner of Re/Max Excel.

Brenda’s most exceptional role, however, was that of mother and grandmother. Her daughters were the light of her life and she was committed to giving them all the love, experiences, and opportunities that she lacked in her childhood. From Friday night fish fry’s to vacations around the world, fun was always had and many treasured memories made. Brenda delighted in being Nana to her three granddaughters and showered them with kindness, love, and affection.

A natural athlete, Brenda had an appreciation for all sports. In her youth she was an accomplished player of field hockey, darts, table tennis, and billiards. She was also an avid golfer and skilled tennis player. Brenda had a passion for politics and enjoyed volunteering on campaigns and as a chief inspector on election days. She was a voracious reader, proficient crossworder, and never met a puzzle she couldn’t complete. Brenda had unforgettable mischievous side to her personality and could always be counted on to ensure that any social gathering was fun filled and memorable. Brenda was unwavering in her faith and attended The Village Church in Kronenwetter.

Brenda is survived by her daughters Catherine (Andrew Hanz) and Diana (Jason) Erwin; granddaughters Harper, Daphne, and Valerie Erwin; sister Lynn (Tom) Hopkins; nephews Simon and Andrew Hewitt; niece Zoë Hopkins; and stepchildren Rick, Elizabeth, Nancy, and Patricia. In passing, Brenda is reunited with her two infant daughters, Christina and Victoria.

A celebration of Brenda’s life will be held Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at Brainard Funeral Home, Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams Street, Wausau, Wisconsin. Visitation will be from 4 PM – 7 PM. A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hope Pregnancy Resource Center, Aspirius Hospice House, or any charity of choice.

David A. Kulas Sr.

David A. Kulas Sr., 95, of Athens, passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at Athenian Living in Athens under the care of St. Croix Hospice.

He was born in Athens on July 22, 1927 to the late John and Rose (Hiebl) Kulas.  Later, on July 24, 1948, David was united in marriage to the former Elvera Kalepp in Athens.  He worked as a dairy farmer for many years until his retirement in 2010.  David was also well-known for showing draft horses at many of the local fairs for over 40 years.

Survivors include his wife, Elvera; children, Donna Albrecht, Dianna (Lee) Ziebell, Dave Jr (Kathy) Kulas, and Mike (Andrea) Kulas; 17 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; sister, Christine Dassow; sisters-in-law, Betty Bunkelman, Janice Houts, Karen Kalepp, and Kathleen Kulas; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Rose Kulas; brothers, Sylvester (Geraldine) Kulas, Ted (Estella) Kulas, and Ambrose Kulas; brothers and sisters-in-law, James Kalepp, Bernard (Nancy) Bunkelman, Harold Bunkelman, Russ Bunkelman, Al Houts, Ken Scheffler, and Lester Dassow; son-in-law, Tom Albrecht Sr.; father and mother-in-law, Otto and Irene Kalepp; and step-mother-in-law, Florence Kalepp.

Private family services will take place.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.

A special thank you from the family to St. Croix Hospice and Athenian Living for their tender care of our dad.

Virginia M. Opal

On Wednesday, January 18, 2023, Virginia Opal, loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister, passed away at the age of 80. 

Virginia was born September 20, 1942, in Chili, WI. She met the love of her life Howard, shortly after moving to Waukegan, IL, and they married on September 29, 1962. They moved to Wausau in 1976, where they raised five children. In Wausau, she began a career at the library and was the first woman Bookmobile Driver in Marathon County.

Virginia had a zest for life and was dedicated to her family. She loved outdoor activities such as golfing, cross country skiing, long walks and camping with her loved ones. She also enjoyed listening to music and going to concerts, cross-stitching, and baking. Most of all, she loved sharing her interests with those closest to her. She was known for her infectious laugh, warm smile, and her kind and compassionate spirit.

Virginia was preceded in death by her father (Howard), mother (Vera), brother (Gary), and sister(Bonnie). She is survived by her husband Howard, their five children, Todd (Kris) Opal, Michelle Opal (Mitch Bottomley), Madeleine, Maureen (Bob) Roux, and Tim (Lori) Opal, eight grandchildren, her sister, Cheryl, her brother Eugene, several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

The family would like to extend their gratitude to the Mount View Care Center staff for the excellent care provided. During her stay at their facility she became family to their staff.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 28, 2023, at St. Anne Catholic Church, 700 W. Bridge St., Wausau.  Rev. Tom Lindner will preside.  Visitation will be Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services all at St. Anne Catholic Church, Wausau.

Judith A. Wisneski

Judith Ann (Dietsche) Wisneski, 77, of Wausau passed away peacefully on January 16, 2023, at Care Partners Assisted Living of Weston after battling cancer. She was born to Peter and Adeline (Mantick) Dietsche on September 27, 1945.

Judy graduated from Wausau High School in 1963 and was a lifelong member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Judy spent her life in Wausau working at several accounting firms before retiring from CS Accounting. She loved lunches out with family and friends, crafting, shopping at estate sales, flea markets and garage sales always looking for that special bargain. She also enjoyed collecting and wearing many different types of jewelry. She had a green thumb, loved all flowers, feeding the birds, and all animals. She especially loved her kitties.

Judy enjoyed being a part of a large family. She was not blessed with children but loved her many nieces and nephews always remembering them on their birthdays and special events. She was always excited to plan the annual Dietsche Family Christmas which was enjoyed by all who attended.

She was a lifelong member of the Wausau Antique Car Club and attended many car shows and club events with Willie and friends.

She married Willis (Willie) Wisneski on November 7, 2009, who survives her along with her siblings Elaine Radtke, Lois (Jerry) Russ, Peter (Peggy) Dietsche, Sherrie Rondeau, Barbara Dietsche, Rodney (Carol) Dietsche, Neal (Sue) Dietsche, Cindy (Rick) Allcox, Karlan (Dana) Dietsche, and best friend Frani Landrath, nieces and nephews Tony (Julie) Radtke, Randy (Kerrie) Radtke, Lois (Charles) Sanders, Colleen (Gary) Wentzel, Chad Dietsche, Jody (Jen) Russ, Guy (Michelle) Russ, Sara ( Rene) Ruiz, Ryan (Jenni) Russ, Teri (Brian) Stibb, Joshua and Michael Dietsche, Bethany and Stephen Allcox, Kaylin and Claire Dietsche.

She is preceded in death by her parents.

The family would like to thank the staff at Care Partners Assisted Living, Aspirus Cancer Center-Wausau and Aspirus Hospice for the kindness and care they gave Judy.

Services will be held at Our Saviors Lutheran Church 703 Flieth St., Wausau on Saturday, January 28, 2023. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Northland Lutheran High School (NLHS.org) or to Marathon County Humane Society (catsndogs.org).

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

Frederick H. Redmann

Frederick (Fred, Fritz) H. Redmann, 95 years proud, raised his outstretched arms, welcoming the loving embrace of his Lord and heavenly family, on Saturday, January 14, 2023, with his wife, Germaine, daughter Deborah and niece Carol at his helm and sides.

Fritz was welcomed home by infant daughters Rebecca Jean, Prudence Rose, and infant son, Jeffrey Michael John Redmann.

Fritz is survived by his wife, Germaine (Schmitt) Redmann, daughter Deborah Olson, granddaughter, Corissa (Douglas) Seefeldt, great grandchildren, Cash Ryan, Brynnley, Briella and Cooper Seefeldt.

He is further survived by his brother, Robert (Bobby) Redmann; in-laws, Mary Ann Schmitt Scanlon, Linus (Joan Siedler) Schmitt, Timothy (Suzi Kopp) Schmitt, Delores (Schreiner) Schmitt, numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

Fritz was born in the Town of Wein, Marathon County on October 5, 1927, to the late Frederick C. Redmann and Hazel F. (England) Redmann. Besides his parents, and his infant children, he was preceded in death, by his siblings and their spouses, Annetta Redmann (Hubert) Behrendt, Betty Redmann (Norman) Jahnke, Charles Redmann, Ernest Redmann, Hazel Redmann (Robert) Roach, Frank (JoAnn Schemenauer) Redmann and his sons-in-law, James D. Osypowski and Daniel O. Olson.

He was also preceded in death by his in-laws, Rita (Lawrence) Peterson, Maude (Elmer) Kocian, Naomi (Harry) Kruse, Carmen (Lee) Fosdick, Mercedes (Leo) Lang, Blanche (Angelo) Zera, Roman Schmitt, Emery (Rita Geiger) Schmitt, Mark Schmitt, Ted Scanlon, Verjean (Lawrence) Kunze and Pamela Schmitt.

Fritz began his love affair with farming as a child, being active in 4-H, raising and showing cattle at the Wisconsin Valley fairs.

He was a founding charter member of the Future Farmers of America, Edgar Chapter. He left school after the ninth grade to work the family farm with his father.

Although Fritz regretted slighting his higher education, he was a well read, self-taught, lifelong student, absorbing farm journals, popular science and many other publications. Fritz was innovative, inventive, patented and always open to new ideas.

Fritz fell in love with poems and verse at Farrell School, a rural one room schoolhouse. His knack for rhyme, together with his passion for farming, community, family and friends intertwined throughout the years in countless poems and letters.

Fritz’s letters to the editor were frequently featured, in the “Be Our Guest” opinion section of the Wausau Daily Herald. His “community happening poems”, were also regular highlights in the local weekly record reviews. By-line quotes referenced Fritz as a “Farmer”, “Poet on a Tractor”, “Inventor”, and more.

FROM THE PEN OF A FARMER, a selection of poems, verse, letters and his personal treasury of thoughts were compiled and published for friends and family. He appreciated every comment and feedback.

AND …..‘Lest we forget, he also whiled away, many an hour, doing brain exercises with “HIS NUMBERS!”

Fritz served in the US Army, assigned to the motor pool. He had many fond memories, often retelling his army boxing bouts with contenders, before they were famous, and of driving Ike Eisenhower and other high ranking military officers in a jeep he outfitted with white sheepskin seat covers.

Fritz met his wife Germaine at a wedding dance in 1947. They continued their lifelong dance through thick and thin and were just three months shy of celebrating their 73rd wedding anniversary. They married on April 15, 1950, at St. Mary’s Church in Colby, WI.

Fritz and Germaine bought and successfully farmed his Uncle August Redmann’s homestead in the Town of Johnson. Fritz served as a town board member and held terms as an assessor. After barn buildings burnt in 1982, destroying old dreams and ways of doing things, he was resilient and rebuilt his dairy operations. Fritz’s gravity manure flow systems, and automated equipment became a focal point of farm tours in a tri state area, and they even hosted visitors from China.

Fritz loved children. He was a favored uncle, and also pied piper to neighborhood children, sharing wiener roasts, walks to the creek, snowmobile rides, skiing behind the snowmobile, dog sledding, telling tall tales and stupid jokes, showing off card tricks and using hotdogs for fishing bait. He never forgot how to play like a kid.

Fritz’s family wants to thank the whole Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services team; Chaplain Will and Father Graham for their guiding visits; family and friends for spontaneous mood lifting visits, errand running and assisting as needed. Special thanks to niece Carol Pizon, for blessing us with her hospice care giving talents, 24/7 during Fritz’s last days. It truly made this sacred experience, peaceful and calm for all.

A funeral memorial mass will be celebrated on Saturday, May 6th at St. Anthony’s Church in Athens, WI. Visitation will begin at 9:30, services at 10:30, committal at the parish cemetery and light luncheon to follow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services or a charity of your choice.

Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting family at this time.  Online condolences may be expressed at MWCS.WS