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

Michael J. Chen

Michael Chen, age 41, went to be with the Lord on April 2, 2023. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack. 

Michael was born in Gallipolis, OH to Dr. Mel and Jane Chen but spent his childhood in Sarasota, FL. Michael married Susan (Eustace) Chen on April 24, 2005, in Humble, TX. 

Michael was a cherished son, father, brother and friend. Although he achieved many things professionally, his greatest treasures are his 6 precious children.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Frank and Polly Gering, of Wausau, WI, and paternal grandparents, CY and Annie Chen, of Annandale, VA.

He is survived by his parents, Dr. Mel and Jane Chen, of Sarasota, FL, his wife Susan (Eustace) Chen, and his children Pyrce, Hunter, Abigail, Dominic, Mila, and Carlisle. He is also survived by his brother, David Chen, of Austin, TX as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family, and friends whom he considered family.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 8, 2023, from 1 pm to 3 pm at Brainard Funeral Home, 5712 Memorial Ct, Weston, WI, 54476. 

Michael demonstrated his love for God through his generosity and compassion to others, especially children and youth. In lieu of flowers, donations in Michael’s memory can be made to http://www.samaritanspurse.org, a charity he loved and supported throughout his life.

The family has entrusted Brainard Funeral Home in their time of need. 


Marie T. Worthy

Marie T. Worthy (Weisling), age 65, of Marathon passed away on March 29, 2023, at Marshfield Hospital surrounded by her family.

Marie was born October 6, 1957, to Leonard and Victoria (Waldbauer) Weisling in Milwaukee, WI.

Marie had a unique outlook on life, and it would lead her to Leo, Indiana. She held many positions over the years, but none fulfilled her more than that of her hobby farm. It gave her the opportunity to care for the animals she so dearly loved, hone not only her gardening skills but her culinary as well. She was a trained florist, which only tapped into the creative artist that we all knew and loved. Many of her family and friends were privileged to own one of her creations in the form of intricate little fairy homes, made of gathered bits found in nature. Detailed down to the littlest tables and chairs.

In recent years, siblings were able to persuade her to come back to Wisconsin, settling in with family in Marathon. She found her creativity flow in her little studio and created a lovely path in the fields surrounding which she found pleasure walking and meditating.

Marie will be deeply missed by her family, we will miss the cheery texts of encouragement, daily reminders to choose joy and simply love life. She is survived by her siblings, Victoria (Ramesh) Kamath, Joseph (Deborah) Weisling, Christine (Charles) Schreiner. Nieces, Meera (Matthew) Schultz, Maya (Thomas) Haese, Brynn Weisling. Nephews, Vijay (Brittany Stark) Kamath, Jeremy (Jessica) Weisling. Further she is survived by five great nieces, one great nephew, family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Celebrating her life a gathering of family and friends will take place on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. With visitation from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. with a service at 12:00 p.m. at Helke Funeral Home located at 302 Spruce Street Wausau, WI 54401.


Ann M. Schanandore

Ann Marie Schanandore passed away unexpectedly at Aspirus Wausau Hospital on April 1, 2023 with her family by her side. She was only 51 years old. 

Ann Marie was born September 19, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Joseph Lamote and Margaret Waupoose. She enjoyed the outdoors- especially bike riding and camping. She loved Rock and Roll music, particularly the 80’s, and watching her TV shows. Ann had a soft spot for animals and was known for her giving heart. She was also known for her cooking and we will all miss her Indian Tacos. Ann was a loving and beautiful person and will be deeply missed by her family and friends. 

Ann is survived by her boyfriend Jeremy Merwin; siblings Shawndel Schanandore, Crystal (Scott) Whitcraft, Jane Heldt, Carrie (David) Osterman, and Bobbi Jo Hochstetler; nieces and nephews Ryan Whitcraft, Tiffany Whitcraft, Kyle Whitcraft, Desseraie Heldt, Savana Heldt, Robert Heldt, Christopher Batka, and Robert Hochstetler; friends, who were more like sisters, Elizabeth “Gypsy” Eversole and Brenda “Brat” Scheffler; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents; brother Brian Schanandore; nephew Halen Gorski; and aunt Patricia Notinokey.

A celebration of Ann Marie’s life will be held on May 20, 2023. Please check back for updates.

The family hs entrusted Helke Funeral Home in their time of need.


Mary E. Tilloson

Mary Beth E. Tilloson, 93, Wausau passed away on Sunday, April 2, 2023 while under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Stone Crest, Wausau.

She was born May 12, 1929 in Oconomowoc, daughter of the late Martin and Enid (Melang) Erdman.  On May 19, 1973 she married Henry Tilloson at Immanuel Baptist Church, Rib Mountain.  He preceded her in death on July 8, 2018.

For many years Mary Beth worked at Wausau Insurance Company as a benefit plans administrator until her retirement.  She was the organist at her church for 40 years and an active member of the Women’s Missionary Society. 

Survivors include a sister-in-law, Janet Erdman; cousin Barb (Chip) Winter; nieces and nephews, Cindy (Dan) Sparks, Rick (Scarlett) Erdman, and Sandy (Mark) Keup, and great-nephew Jay (Kerry) Sparks.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a sister, Joan Erdman and a brother, Jay Erdman.


Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 7, 2023 at Immanuel Baptist Church, Rib Mountain.  Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will be held on Friday from 10:00 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


DeAnna R. Syring

DeAnna R. Syring, 84, Wausau passed away peacefully while under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at the Hospice House, Wausau.

She was born February 15, 1939 in Wausau, daughter of the late Julius and Alice (Reetz) Mueller.  DeAnna graduated from Wausau East High School.  On June 23, 1956 she married Gary Syring Sr. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau.  He preceded her in death on April 2, 2010.

DeAnna worked as a cashier at The Village Pantry and County Market.  She also worked as a switchboard operator for over 14 years at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, prior to her retirement.  Some of her favorite pastimes included going up north, NASCAR Races, shopping and visiting with her children and grandchildren.

Survivors include her children, Kim Kluetz, Debra Freese and Vicki (Rich) Tessmer, 7 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and a sister, Donna Pflieger and many special relatives and friends.  DeAnna also enjoyed the company of many four-legged companions, especially Lacey.

DeAnna was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, her son Gary Syring Jr. and a sister, Audrey Whippler, brother-in-law, Edward Pflieger and her sons-in-law, Dennis Cronce and Daniel Kluetz.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 13, 2023 at Peace United Church of Christ, Schofield.  The Rev. Gloria Van Houten will officiate.  Entombment will be in the Garden of Eternal Rest Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau and again on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to all the staff at the Hospice House for the outstanding and compassionate care they gave DeAnna while she was under their care. 


Cleo C. Tyskiewicz

Cleo Cecilia Tyskiewicz, 90 years old, Rothschild, WI passed away peacefully on April 3, 2023, surrounded by her family.

Cleo, also known as “CooWie” by her grandchildren was born in Stratford, WI in 1932 to Charles and Celia Raugh. She was the baby of 5 children, Constance, Carmen, Calvert, Carole and Cleo.

Cleo graduated from Stratford High School in 1950 famous for her snare-drumming. She met her future husband, Tom Tyskiewicz in 1946 when she was 14 years old, and he was 16 and working at the Pea Factory in Stratford. She went home and told her mother she was going to marry Tom as he had given her her first kiss.  

Cleo reconnected with Tom after he had served 4 years in the Marine Corps.

They were married May 9, 1953, in Stratford and moved to Milwaukee where Tom was in Barber School.

They moved to Wausau in 1955 and later to Schofield, and finally Rothschild.

They had 3 children Kay Nyberg (Jesse Brown), LaCrosse, David (Kathleen) Tyskiewicz Rothschild, and Lynn (Frank) Drake, Wausau, 3 grandchildren Londa Rae Drake (Jeanne), Zachary (Lindsay) Drake and Andrew Tyskiewicz and 5 great grandchildren.

Cleo spent years as a Red Cross Volunteer at area nursing homes, Eucharistic Minister and spent countless hours knitting mitten and Afghans which she distributed throughout the community. Cleo’s loves for the casino, reading, crossword puzzles filled her days.

She is preceded in death by her parents, 4 siblings and their spouses.

Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at St. Mark Catholic Church, Rothschild, with visitation at the Church from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00a.m., followed by a funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. Internment will be held at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

Special thanks for Dr. Jerzy Sikora and the nursing staff at Marshfield Medical Center, Weston for their compassionate care during Cleo’s brief stay there.

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


Rose M. Schmidt

Rose Mary Schmidt, 53 years old of Spencer, WI passed away on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023.

Unfortunately, the past two years she was battling cancer. She passed in the comfort of her home surrounded by family and loved ones.

Rose was born May 30th, 1969 in Marshfield to her parents Richard and Christine (Jacobs) Pongratz. She attended Granton High School and afterwards she worked for Clearwaters Hotel, Nasonville Dairy and finished her career with her family’s hobby farm. On July 29, 1989 she was united in marriage to the love of her life, Bruce Schmidt.

She was always known to be upbeat, dedicated and determined. With her presence there was always laughter. She knew how to turn any gloomy day into a brighter day. Currently living in Spencer, WI where Rose enjoyed spending time with her family.

She enjoyed planting flowers and mowing the lawn, helping raise beef cattle and caring for other animals on their hobby farm, but most of all, she loved being a mom and grandma and spending time with her family.

She is survived by her husband, Bruce Schmidt and their children Joshua Schmidt and Bobbi Adam) Anderson and their children Allie and AJ.

She is further survived by her siblings Louis (Mercil), Barbara (Mike), Gerald (Samantha), William (Amy), Linda & Charles. Her mother-in-law, Betty Schmidt, eleven brothers and sisters-in-laws, and many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Christine Pongratz, brother Richard Pongratz Jr; father-in-law, Bernard Schmidt, brother-in-law, Barry, sister-in-law, Bonnie.

Celebration of Life will be held on May 27th 2023 at their family residence.

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