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

Karen G. Zarada

Karen Gayle Zarada (Krause), age 80, of Wausau, Wisconsin joined her heavenly father on March 8, 2023. She passed peacefully at home with family under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services after a long battle with cancer.

Karen was born in Stanley, Wisconsin on March 16, 1942, the daughter of Alvin and Mae (Endvick) Krause. She was a graduate of Greenwood High School where she was a member of the band playing the clarinet.

Karen met the love of her life, Richard “Dick” Zarada in 1958 at a dance in Willard, Wisconsin. They married on June 15, 1960, in Greenwood. They moved to Wausau in 1964 where they raised their three children.

Karen was a gardening enthusiast with an amazing green thumb. Every summer she created a botanical paradise filling her yard and patio with vibrant colors and sweet fragrances. She loved angels and had a beautiful collection of Seraphim angel figurines.

Karen also enjoyed bird watching, baking and for many years being a “snowbird” in the winter spending time in Florida, Texas and Arizona. She cherished spending time with family and friends and loved spoiling her grandchildren.

Karen is survived by her husband, Dick; daughters Sherri (Craig) Schreiner and Sandra Zarada (Matt Connors); son Brent Zarada (Rene Rebeck); grandchildren Jeremy Schreiner, Taylor Schreiner, and Miranda Lang; brothers Larry (Nancy) Krause, Gary (Pat) Krause; and four nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and her beloved pet companion Spartacus.

Karen’s family would like to thank the physicians and staff of Aspirus Health, especially the Aspirus Cancer Center and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services. We are grateful for their compassionate care and support. 

In honor of Karen’s wishes, the family will be having a private celebration of her life. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to The Women’s Community, Inc. (Wausau) or the Marathon County Humane Society.

Thomas E. Callahan

Thomas Edward Callahan, 91, Aniwa, passed away peacefully in the early morning on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at Mount View Care Center in Wausau.  He was born June 3, 1931 in Wausau, to the late James and Marie (Tetzlaff) Callahan.

He graduated from Wausau High School and enlisted in the Navy, where he served for four years and was a Korean War veteran.

Thomas married Shirley Wandtke on July 6, 1957.  They were married for 24 years and had five children.

He worked for the Milwaukee Road for an impressive 28 years, retiring at age 59.  He spoke often of his many friends made on the railroad.

Thomas was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 388, Wausau and a member of St. Michael Catholic Church, Wausau.

He was a hardworking father who supported his cherished family.  He enjoyed all the special moments spent with his children and grandchildren.  Thomas treasured his friends and touched the lives of many people.

Thomas enjoyed many sports.  If he wasn’t fishing or deer hunting, he was watching NASCAR races, and above all, his beloved Green Bay Packers.  He enjoyed working outdoors, cutting firewood and blazing new trails on his 75 acres.  He also had a lifetime love of John Wayne movies.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Joyce (Eddie) Ross; and grandson, Kyle Callahan.

He is survived by his ex-wife, Shirley A. Callahan of Weston; three sons, Bruce M. Callahan of Wausau, Brian J. Callahan of Aniwa and Bradley T. Callahan of Tomahawk; two daughters, Brenda S. (Jeff) Plautz of Wausau and Beth C. Callahan of Oshkosh; ten grandchildren, Ethan Plautz of Wausau, Sara Plautz of Milwaukee, Andy Plautz of Dallas, TX, Krysta Kleman of Oshkosh, Devin Kleman of Oshkosh, Calvin Callahan of Tomahawk, Shannon Callahan of Wausau, Sean Callahan of Wausau, Jennifer Callahan of Plover; and one great-grandchild, Levi Kleman of Oshkosh; sisters, Joan Callahan, Jean (Joe) Lella, Jacqueline Kroll, Judy Krueger; and brothers, James and Jay Callahan.

Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2023 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau.  Visitation will be on Friday from 3:00 p.m. until time of services at the funeral home.  Military honors will be conducted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 388, Wausau.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Elaine R Rybarczyk

Elaine R Rybarczyk, age 92, passed away on March 10, 2023 at Mountain Terrace Senior Living.

 Elaine was born in Wausau, WI to Henry Glimm and Selma Glimm. Elaine married DuWayne Rybarczyk of Wausau, WI on June 24, 1950 in Wausau, WI.

Elaine is survived by: son Terry (Susan) Roberts, Green Bay, WI, daughter Karen (Tom) Erickson, Wausau, WI, Grandchildren; Matthew (Jenny), Green Bay, WI, Shannon (Quentin), Manitowoc, WI, Lauren (Brian), Waunakee, WI, and Emily (Aaron), Woodbury, MN, 7 Great-Grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. 
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband.

Elaine enjoyed volunteering at Aspirus Hospital and at the voting polls. She also enjoyed following the Green Bay Packers. Elaine was a member of St Paul’s United Church of Christ. 

Visitation will be held at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams Street, Wausau, WI on Saturday March 18 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM with a service following at 11:00 AM.

The family would like to thank Compassus Hospice and Mountain Terrace Senior Living for their kind and compassionate care of Elaine. 

Kerry L. Wilcox

Kerry Lea Wilcox (Tripping Turkey), 69, of Gilman, WI passed away on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at his home from natural causes.

He was born on August 31, 1953 in Duluth, MN the son of the late Kenneth and Pauline (Privett) Wilcox. Kerry’s family moved to Wausau, WI as a young teen, graduated from Wausau West High in 1971 and was married to his former wife, Barb (Marone) Wilcox for 36 years.

He owned Northland Wood Floors and worked as a volunteer First Responder/EMT for many years before attaining his nursing degree from NTC, all while helping raise his family on pancakes, undercooked rice dishes and a sense of humor. He worked in several facilities as a nurse, but had a special gift for working with the elderly.

After his “retirement” he moved to South Dakota and started a leather business, Double T Leather. Eventually he moved to Gilman in 2019 where he has lived since. He developed many friendships while bartending at Grand Central Station Bar & Grill – Gilman.

Kerry enjoyed fishing, kayaking and rocking on his back porch swing. He spent many years reenacting, telling stories to anyone with ears and creating a business out of anything he could craft, particularly leather and woodwork. He played the mountain dulcimer and a mean radio.

He is survived by his two daughters, Kathy (John) Hannie of Wausau and Becky (Lucas) Olli of Stratford; 6 grandchildren (Tressa, Tyler, Makayla, Summer, Marshall and Mitchell); 3 great grandchildren (Jeremy, McKenzie and Apollo); his mother, Pauline Majchrzak; his step mother, Clarine (Doug) Hollowell-Wilcox; his siblings, Keith (Wendy) Wilcox, Tim Majchrzak, Barb (Lyle) Gehrke, Diane (John) Luse, Suzanne Ching, Kenny Wilcox; his beloved dog, Mitzi as well as multiple nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his second love of 11 years, Bernadette Peterson; father; brother, Dan Majchrzak; sister, LuAnne Klemme; and nephew, Corey Wilcox. 

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Gilman Funeral Home at 2PM on March 25, 2023. Visitation will be one hour prior to services and reception to follow.

The family would like to thank all the Gilman First Responders and Grand Central Station Bar & Grill for their efforts and kindness.

Carol J. Betts

Carol J. Betts (Huber), age 73, of Wausau, Wisconsin passed away on March 10, 2023.

Carol was born on May 20, 1949 in Wausau, Wisconsin to the late Clarence and Bernadine (Wendlick) Huber. She married Edward Betts and he preceded her in death. She is also predeceased by her fiancé Patrick Gibbons on October 23, 2022.

Carol was a caregiver and supervisor for a group home on Grant Street until her retirement. She was an avid reader, enjoyed playing cribbage and the occasional trips to the casino. She was a great cook and was known for her tuna salad. She cherished spending time with family and friends. She especially enjoyed being with her great-grandchildren and spending time with her and Patrick’s family.

Carol is survived by her grandson, Jayson (Julia) Nowak; great granddaughters Eevie and Annie; sister Ginny (Tom Lange) Klimek; brothers John (Lynelle) and Richard Huber; son in law Jay Nowak and sister in law Janice Huber. Carol is preceded in death by her parents, Edward, Patrick a daughter Amy Nowak and brother Joseph Huber.

A Celebration of Carol’s Life will be held at a later date.

Helke Funeral Home of Wausau is assisting the family with arrangements.