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

Martha Napstad

Martha Napstad, age 92 of Wausau, passed away on January 26, 2023. Martha was born on March 12, 1930, in Milwaukee to Lloyd (Glenn) and Ellen Dunbar Walter. She graduated from Viola High School in 1948.  She loved her years growing up in the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin with her three siblings.

Martha married Forrest Napstad on May 12, 1951, in Madison, WI. They welcomed two daughters, Sheila and Lori while living in Madison and the family moved to Wausau in 1972. Martha and Forrest enjoyed spending time with their beloved granddaughters. They also loved bowling, and brought home several trophies. Friday nights were spent sharing fish fries with friends, while they also cherished time spent with Martha’s siblings and their spouses in Richland Center, playing cards while the guys told  jokes, and making the girls laugh until they cried.

After Forrest’s passing in 1980, Martha met John Ringle in 1983, and they spent 25 years together, traveling to New Zealand several times to visit his daughter and family, as well as trips to Bora Bora and Fiji. They spent a lot of time at John’s home on Simon Lake in Harshaw, taking walks and working in the yard, feeding the wildlife, taking boat rides on the lake and going on overnight trips. They loved having company, always making sure there was a happy hour before dinner, and they were famous for their Halloween parties.  

She enjoyed her week-long visits to Sheila and Dennis’ home in Platteville, where they took her antiquing and thrifting, and went on little road trips, including a visit to John Wayne’s home. Lori lived close by and the two spent time together almost every Saturday, eating out for breakfast and shopping. Many evenings were spent together eating takeout dinners and watching westerns on Netflix – and for Martha, the more action, the better! Martha adored her son-in-law, Dennis, who always shared a laugh with her and took care of all her odd jobs around her treasured home.  She looked forward to her weekly Sunday Scrabble games with her dear friend, Naomi Kletzin, followed by a good Packer game.

Martha loved being a homemaker and raising her daughters, decorating her house, working in her flower garden and hosting family gatherings for all of her extended family and friends in Madison, Wausau and Harshaw.  She loved her annual girl’s weekend with her daughters and granddaughters, playing cards together, exploring the shops, sharing coffee and lots and lots of laughter. She collected clocks, gnomes, cat and cardinal figurines. She enjoyed the challenge of crossword puzzles, and loved reading, bird watching, and eating popcorn. She was very particular about her appearance, never wanting to dress, look or act “old,” and had a knack for making any new acquaintance feel immediately like a good friend. Her family and friends will miss her spunky and fun-loving personality. She could always make people smile and laugh, and everyone who knew her, loved her.

She is survived by her two daughters, Sheila (Dennis Stephenson) and Lori (Dave Skola); her three granddaughters, Stephanie Foster, Jill (Dave) von Falkenstein, and Tara (Jeremy) Rentmeester; and 6 great grandchildren: Connor, Eli, Emma, Sully, Sawyer and Adalyn. She was also survived by her New Zealand family: Marcia, Guy, Emily-Kate, Andrew and Lydia Ringle-Harris.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Forrest, her partner John Ringle, her siblings Naomi, Mark and Leroy and her beloved kitty, Vito.

A visitation will be held Saturday, February 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home in Wausau. A 2 p.m. service will follow with Reverend Ilene Hill officiating. 

A graveside burial service will take place in her hometown of Viola, WI, in the spring.  

Marian E. Gregory

Marian Elizabeth (Bongiovanni) Gregory passed away peacefully at Valley VNA Senior Care in Neenah, WI on Thursday, January 26, 2023.

Marian was born January 29, 1928 in Wakefield, MI. Daughter of the late John and Marian (Savitski) Bongiovanni. She attended St. Sebastian School and A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer, MI. Prior to her marriage she was employed at the Ironwood Clinic.

She married William J. “Bill” Gregory on May 16, 1959 in St. Sebastian Church, Bessemer. After their marriage they moved to Wausau and Marian was employed at Wausau Insurance Company for 21 years.  Bill preceded her in death on December 8, 2015.

She was also preceded in death by her parents, four brothers: William (Helen), Eugene (Barbara), Joseph (Hazel) and Alvin.

She is survived by her son Joseph (Virag) and daughter Pamela (Mark) Seidl, four grandchildren: Nicole (Greg) Cook, Tyler (Kelly) Gregory, Benjamin Seidl, and Laura Seidl, and many nieces and nephews.  She is further survived by one brother, John (Darlene) Bongiovanni, and one sister, Joanne Paris.

The “lights of her life” were her children and grandchildren. She was an avid reader. Loved to crochet and cross stitch, work crossword puzzles and play cards with dear friends. After retirement, she enjoyed traveling. At the top of her list were trips to the Boston area to visit son Joe and family and many trips to her beloved Door County with daughter Pam and family.

The family would like to thank the caregivers at Valley VNA in Neenah, WI for their dedicated and compassionate care of Marian the last four years of her life.

Please check back soon for service information

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to: Valley VNA Senior Care, 1535 Lyon Dr., Neenah, WI 54956.

Alice M. Steckling

Alice Mae Steckling 86, Wausau, passed away on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at Aspirus Hospice House.

Alice was born August 8, 1936 in Wausau to the late Ervin and Bertha (Peters) Poeske. She married Arnold Steckling May 16, 1959 at St. Therese Catholic Church, Rothschild, WI.

Alice and Arnold started their family on the farm located in the Town of Maine, WI before finding their “Forever Home” on the East side of Wausau. She was a caring mother for her children and a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts. She enjoyed working with the kids! Alice was a homemaker when us boys were young. Once we were older, she worked at HC Phillips Co and then First American Bank / M&I Bank in the bookkeeping department for years until retiring. Working the family ginseng farm for several years was also in the mix. She loved spending time with her family and friends. Going camping was a big part of her summers. Dad and us kids convinced her to go snowmobiling during the winter! Alice and Arnold loved going out to eat, attending Polka dances and getting together with their friends. They also enjoyed traveling, especially to Branson, MO during their later years. Going to lunch with her work friends, spending time with her children and grandchildren was big on Alice’s list as well as reading romance books and playing card games. She liked to volunteer. She visited the terminally ill at their homes and at The Hospice House offering comfort. Alice served meals at The Salvation Army and enjoyed serving St. Michael’s Fish Fries during lent. She was a faithful member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and when the churches realigned, she became a member of St. Michael’s / Church of the Resurrection Catholic Church. She loved to sing during mass and was a member of the St. Mary’s choir with her sisters for years. After moving to Renaissance Assisted Living, she loved making friends, playing bingo, crafting, happy hour, card games, and took part in all the activities that they had to offer.

Survivors include her 3 sons, Scott (Tammy) Steckling, Michael (Dena) Steckling, and Craig (Moriah) Steckling all of Wausau; family member, Angie Wanta; Eight grandchildren, Kurt (Heather) Steckling, Sara Steckling, Melissa (Austin) Carter, Kylie (Josh) Persson, Nicole Steckling, Sam Wanta, Tony Wanta, and Juliea Wanta; Six great grandchildren Cameron, Henry, Gavin, Chloe, Finley, and Zoey; One sister Lucille (Wally) Sonnentag, one sister-in-law, Doris Dahlke.

She was proceeded in death by her husband, Arnold, her son Jeffery, her two sisters Grace Poeske and Nancy Poeske, and brother-in-law, Harold Dahlke.

Funeral Service will be at 11am Monday, February, 6, 2023 at St. Michaels Church, Wausau. Visitation will be held at the church from 9:30am until the time of service. Burial will be at a later date.

The family would like to thank all the wonderful staff members that cared for Alice including those at Renaissance Assisted Living, Aspirus Hospital, Aspirus Palliative Care, and Aspirus Hospice House. From providing mom with above and beyond assistance at The Renaissance, visits at the hospital by Renaissance staff members, to the Aspirus Palliative care staff offering a “Spa Day “ which included letting her watch an episode of Reba on their phone! We’d also like to extend a special thank you to Karen with TLC, mom so appreciated your patient loving care!

We will forever miss mom’s warm gentle heart! We find comfort knowing she’s now in heaven with dad and Jeff.

Barbara A. Jozik

Barbara A. Jozik, 72, died Wednesday, January 25, 2023, under the care of Compassus Hospice at the House of Dove, Marshfield.

She was born March 15, 1950 in Marshfield, daughter of the late Sylvester “Pinky” and Caroline (Thistle) Rock.  On October 6, 1989 she married Thomas Jozik in Wausau.

Barbara graduated from Stratford High School before attending UW Stevens Point, where she met her first husband, Gary Digman. The two married and settled in Wausau, Wisconsin where they welcomed four boys, Jon, Micah, Jor-El and Kendall. After a divorce, Barb met Tom Jozik and the two were wed on October 6, 1989 in Wausau. They expanded their new family with the addition of a daughter, Natalie. 

Barbara was a dedicated mother as well as a business minded woman. Her first job was in Wausau, with Wausau Employees Mutual. In 1985 she started out on her own and opened North country art and framing. After a successful 10 years, she took some time at home to raise her kids. When only Natalie was left at home, she took a position with Sam’s club where she made great friends and enjoyed time with her colleagues. More recently she worked alongside her siblings and family at Rock Oil in Stratford.

When not working, Barb enjoyed several ways to spend time and unwind. She loved to spoil her grandkids and keep up with their changing interests. She collected an impressive library of murder-mystery novels that paired well with her enjoyment of “Murder She Wrote”. Her kids fondly remember days of gardening and secret missions with her, discussing politics and world events and looking forward to holiday cheesy potatoes. Lately, her and Tom have been enjoying trips out west, and recently purchased a cowhorse to show with their daughter. They also enjoyed going to Polka Dances and antique shopping.

Survivors include her husband, Thomas Jozik; children, Jon (Amy) Digman, Micah (Ann Vogel) Digman, Jor-El (Carolyn) Digman, Kendall (Nichole) Digman and Natalie (Jack Jewison) Jozik; grandchildren, Emma, Piper, Tyler, Henry, Wyatt, Declyn, Sawyer, Chloe and Lyra Digman; siblings, Alan (Linda) Rock, Lorna (Dave) Feemster, Peter (Barb) Rock and Michael(Karen) Rock.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Gary Digman.

Memorial services will be 6:00 p.m. Friday, February 3, 2023, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau.  Visitation will be Friday from 4:00 p.m. until the time of services all at the Sixth St. funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established in Barbara’s name.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Sandra A. Hass

Sandra A. “Sandy” Hass, 63, Wausau passed away peacefully on Friday, January 27, 2023 while under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at her home.

She was born July 21, 1959 in Wausau, daughter of Florence (Mijal) Ziegel, Wausau and the late Gerald “Jerry” Ziegel who recently passed on January 4, 2023.  On August 1, 1997 she married Todd Hass in Wausau.  A year later, they were blessed with twins, Megan and Matthew.  Sandy and Todd were able to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this past summer in Bayfield.

For 45 years, Sandy worked in administration for Wausau Insurance Company, now known as UMR until her retirement.  She was a proud member of the Spina Bifida Northern Wisconsin Support Group.  Among her favorite pastimes, she enjoyed photography, scrapbooking, was an avid Wisconsin sports fan and enjoyed trips to Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. 

Survivors include her husband, Todd Hass, Wausau, her children, Megan and Matthew, Wausau, her mother, Florence Ziegel, Wausau, her siblings, Jim (Dawn) Ziegel, Merrill, Jeff (Lori) Ziegel, Wausau, Donna (Jon) Martin, DePere, her brothers-in-law, Jerry (Jen) Hass, Madison and Rick (Kerry) Hass, Merrill, her sister-in-law, Nancy Hass, Merrill, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Besides her father, she was preceded in death by her grandparents, Ervin and Norma Ziegel Sr. and Walter and Julia Mijal, her Godparents, Jean Pierzchalski and Walter Niewolny, her mother and father-in-law, Clifford and Barbara Hass and her sister-in-law, Sherry Alderton.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, February 4, 2023 at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Wausau.  The Rev. Samuel Martin will preside.  Burial will be at a later date in Maple Grove Cemetery, Village of Maine.  Visitation will be held on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services all at the church. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Marathon County Humane Society.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com 

Rosemary Bauer

Rosemary Bauer, 95, passed away Friday, January 27, 2023 under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Our House Senior Living, Wausau. Rosemary, or Rosie, as many of us knew her, was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.  Rosie (Mom) and her twin sister MaryJane were born on December 8, 1927 in the middle of a snowstorm. The doctor carried the nurse three blocks to their grandparent’s home on 1st Avenue in Wausau for the delivery. 

Mom grew up in Wausau, attended St. Mary’s and graduated from Wausau Senior High School in 1946.  Rosie married John Bauer, “the love of her life”, on January 20, 1951 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Wausau.  They raised five children, Susan (Tracy Brown), Charles (Carol), Joseph (Sherry), Mary (Paul) Hackel and Lisa (Keith) Wise. Rosie had nine grandchildren, Elizabeth (Steven Collatz) Brown, Vanessa (Matthew) Venskus, Miranda and Marissa Bauer, Sarah (Josh) Luedtke, Taylor and Marshall Hackel, Afton and Johnathan Wise and 7 great grandchildren, Breanna, Jayden and Blake Luedtke, Tamsin and Trevor Collatz and Adalind and Sebastian Venskus.

Mom worked outside the home after graduation for H. Philips. Later she did the accounting for Dad’s business which became John Bauer and Sons, Inc.

Mom and Dad were long-time members of St. Matthew Catholic Church. Mom spent many hours in adoration and volunteered for the school in the kitchen and on the playground.  She helped with funeral dinners and was in the funeral choir.  She loved to sing!  Mom was an avid gardener and especially loved her gladiolas, roses and African violets.  She was a lifetime member of Girl Scouts USA.  She spent many years volunteering as a Girl Scout troop leader and camp director earning the Distinguished Service Award in 1995.  Mom was an avid bowler, earning the WIBC league champion award nearly every year from 1968-1983.  For many years Mom served as the secretary for Catholic Financial Life Branch 33. She was an active member of many organizations and clubs including The Red Hats, Catholic Daughters of America and St. Matthew’s Ladies Council.  After participating in senior water exercise for several years at the Marathon Area Swim Association, she decided to take swim lessons and began lap swimming in her 70’s.

As active as she was outside the home, she always had time for her family.  In their retirement Mom and Dad traveled the United States and Europe.  There are many memories of time spent camping with family at Solberg Lake in Phillips and at their camper in Surewood Forest on Lake Alice in Tomahawk. We all enjoyed her homemade strawberry jam spread on warm fresh baked bread.  Friends and family were always welcome in her home.

Besides her children and grandchildren, she is survived by two sisters, MaryJane Mykleby and Patricia Lohrey, one brother, Thomas Schneck, and many nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her husband John, her parents Edward and Margaret (Feldmeier) Schneck, two sisters, Lorraine McGinnis, Virginia Schmitz, one brother Gerald Schneck and one granddaughter, Melissa Bauer. 

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:00 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023 at St. Matthew Catholic Church, Wausau.  The Rev. Robert Thorn will preside.  Entombment will be in the Garden of Eternal Rest Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Friends may call on Thursday from 11:00 am until the time of the service at church.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Matthew Catholic Church in her memory.

Mom, we miss you but know you are singing with the angels!  Give Dad hugs and kisses from us.  With all our love .

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

Elizabeth A Jahns

Elizabeth (Betty) Jahns 94

Passed on January 19th at Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill.

Oldest daughter of Erwin and Esther Kniess. Longtime resident of Gleason. She met her husband Ed Jahns roller skating. They were married April 17th, 1948. They were married 57 years. Betty worked at Fromm Fur Farm, Weinbrenner Shoes, and Dave’s Country Market. After retirement they sold produce at area farmers markets and flea markets. Betty was known for her sewing crafts and embroidery of dish towels.

Betty had three girls Donna (Phillip) Fecteau of Washington, Pat (Dale) Brown of Gleason, Chris (Kevin) LaBlane of Washington). Grandchildren (James (Chery) Fecteau, Jamie Grund of Merrill, Jennifer Brown (Chris Harder) of Gleason, Stephanie Brown (Rodney Ohlmann) of Merrill. Great Grandchildren Christian Lee (Jaydin Eternicka) of Gleason, Kallie and Tanner Lee of Gleason, Julian and Devin Fecteau of Michigan.

She was preceded in death by her husband Ed (Buddy) and her parents Erwin & Esther Kniess, Sister LaBelle Klug, 

Granddaughter Michelle Brown, In-laws Alvin & Arlette Gruetzmacher.

She was member of the Luther Memorial Lutheran Church of Gleason.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Gleason Lions Park on Bradley Street. The family would like to say a big THANK YOU to Pine Crest Rehab Unit and any others involved in her care. 

Thanks to Dr. Shackford you were all wonderful!

Thank you too Paster Greg Laska

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

David A. Gourd

David Alexander Gourd, Taneenunk-ka, 42 of Oklahoma, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at home.

David was born on December 1, 1980, the son of Alexander Gourd and Catherine Gourd. He was a Veteran Army Scout where he was stationed in Ft. Collins, CO and was always proud about his service.

David enjoyed watching football, especially the Chicago Bears. He also liked playing pool and shooting darts, but more than anything, he wanted everyone around him to have a good time. David had an interest in playing board games with his family and was annoyingly good at them. You could always find him ready to go fishing anywhere he went. When it came to Powwow’s, he took a strong interest in getting better at his traditional dancing. Most of all, David loved being Tega Dave to his nieces and nephews, DJ, Frankie, Daisy, Keanna, JR, Liam and Lala.

David is survived by his father, Alex Gourd of Lawton, OK; mother, Cat Gourd of Silverdale, WA; brothers, Jeremy Gourd of Vancouver, BC and Christopher Gourd of Madison, WI; sisters, Jicelynn Gourd of Hilo, HI and Lila Gourd of Seattle, WA and his cousin, Jake Leonard of Sugar Grove, IL, who he always thought of as a brother.

David was preceded in death by his Coka Harold Brown, Gaga Theresa Gourd and aunt Julia Davis.

A visitation for family and friends will be on Sunday, January 29, 2023 from 3-5 PM. A Meal will follow at 5 PM. The NAC Funeral Meeting will take place on Sunday starting at 8 PM. Commitment services will start on Monday, January 30, 2023 at 12 NOON. Burial will follow services, where we will take David’s remains to his final resting place at the John Stacy NAC Cemetery. Kelly LaMere will be officiating. Services for both days will be held at the Siga Funmaker Community Center in Wittenberg.

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

Travis A. Tuskowski

Travis A. Tuskowski, 46, of Hatley, passed away on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer.

Travis was born on June 23, 1976, in Wausau. The son of Arlen and Suzette (Dombrowski) Tuskowski.

Travis graduated from Wittenberg Birnamwood High School in 1994. He worked on the assembly line at Greenheck for 22 years. Travis was very knowledgeable about the outdoors and enjoyed being around wildlife. He spent time planting trees and food plots and loved gun and bow hunting.

Travis is survived by his parents, Arlen and Suzette of Hatley; two brothers, Troy (Kimberly) Tuskowski of Mosinee and Justin (Erin) Tuskowski of Birnamwood; nephew, Logan and nieces, Kaitlin and Emma; good friends, Allen and Trista Wanta; family dog, Harley and many aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Travis was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM on Friday, February 3, 2023, at St. Ladislaus Catholic Church in Bevent. Rev. Greg Bohren will officiate. Visitation will be on Friday, from 9 AM until the time of service at the church, with a Rosary being recited at 10 AM.

The family would like to thank the Aspirus Palliative Care Unit for their care given to Travis the past few weeks. A special thanks to Travis’ family and friends for their visits and prayers. Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and messages may be shared at schmidtschulta.com.

Ellen Tress

On Saturday January 28, 2023, a very dear friend Ellen Tress passed away and into the arms of Jesus. Ellen was 82 years old.

She was born in Glasgow, Scotland on October 15, 1940, to Allan Rooney and Ellen (Dunn) Rooney.

As a young adult Ellen moved to London under the watchful eye of her brother John and gained employment as a Dictaphone typist. During this period, she met her first husband Gary Gehrke a general’s aide in the US army which eventually moved her across the ocean to Washington DC. Ellen came to live with Gary’s family in Wisconsin while he went to serve in the war in Vietnam where he was killed by hostile fire. She then moved to Wausau and met and married Bradley Tress and became mom to his two children Wanda and Kurt whom all have preceded her in death along with her infant daughter from her previous marriage.

Ellen was a worker. She enjoyed work and appreciated a job well done. She worked at Marathon Electric for 25 years and retired from there. She worked at various other places before and after Marathon Electric, JC Penny’s, the hospital, and Fiskars’s just to name a few.

Ellen’s life was not an easy one but because of her faith in Jesus she was strong. God gave her a sense of humor and an awesome smile. Even through the heartbreak and physical pain she would give you that smile and make you feel all was good even sometimes misleadingly. She loved her travels, especially later in life to Laughlin. She was a very private person, loyal to those she loved and generous in life.

As one of the doctors so rightfully put it, “She was a smart independent woman.”

We should remind ourselves that while this is the end of Ellen’s physical life on Earth, it’s the beginning of an eternal and beautiful journey for her where she joins her departed family in Heaven. She is survived by many friends.

Services will be held at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 600 Stevens Dr., Wausau, on Thursday, February 2, 2023, with visitation from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at 11:00 and then taken to her final rest place at Restlawn Cemetery.

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good blessed is the man who take refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

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