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

Elroy M. Ruechel

With heavy hearts and profound sadness, we announce the passing of Elroy Michael Ruechel, a compassionate and dedicated individual who brought joy to the lives of those around him. Elroy peacefully left this world on November 15, 2023, in his hometown of Wausau, WI, at the age of 90.

Elroy was born on May 25, 1933, in Wausau, WI, to the late Edward and Anna (Thyes) Ruechel. He attended Pleasant View School in the Town of Maine where he met his lifelong friend John Blaskowski. From a young age, Elroy displayed a strong work ethic, determination, and an unwavering commitment to his family. His journey in life was marked by selflessness, love, and devotion to those he held dear.

After graduating from high school, Elroy served in the United States Air Force from 1953 to 1957. He married Rosemary Ames on September 15, 1962 in Wausau at Salem Lutheran Church. They spent 53 years of marriage together until she passed on July 20, 2016. He embarked on a fulfilling career as an installer repairman, working diligently for GTE. After retiring he enjoyed a second career at Cardiovascular Associates of Wausau as a Maintenance Technician. He was known for his ingenuity and problem-solving skills. His dedication to perfection and his ability to find innovative solutions brought warmth and comfort to the countless lives he touched.

Elroy cherished his time spent with loved ones and his community.  He was a member of the American Legion Post 10.  He was one of many who went on the Honor Flight on October 17, 2013, which was one of his proudest moments. Elroy found solace in the great outdoors, where he could be found indulging in his passions for deer hunting and Musky fishing, connecting with nature, and cultivating lifelong friendships. Elroy also loved to camp and was known for his talent in sausage making. He was an avid Green Bay Packers fan and attended the 1997 Super-bowl in New Orleans with his good friend Herbert Yolitz. Herb also introduced Elroy to his lifelong membership with Bill’s Musky Club. 

Elroy was a man of deep faith and actively engaged in the Lutheran Pioneers and his local church community. Serving as a council member and usher, Elroy’s commitment to his church was evident in his tireless dedication as he selflessly volunteered his time to help others. Elroy was always there when needed.

However, perhaps his greatest joy in life came from his role as a caring husband, father, and grandfather. Elroy’s unwavering love and support for his family knew no bounds. He would go to any length to ensure their happiness and wellbeing, always putting their needs above his own. His legacy of selflessness and compassion will forever be imprinted on the hearts and souls of those fortunate enough to have known him.

Elroy leaves behind his children, Dianne (Joseph) Drew, Dale (Bonnie) Ruechel, Joanne Ruechel. His beloved grandchildren, Michael (Sarah) Drew, Christopher (Nicole) Drew, Cole (Hillary) Ruechel, Clay (Samantha) Ruechel and 8 great grandchildren: Ryan, Jackson, Ernest, Amelia, Harrison, Clara, Chloe, and Maximus. He also leaves a brother Berden; sisters, Lillian Ruechel, and Mabel Clemens. He is preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary; parents; and brothers, Elmer, Floyd, Fred, Adolph, and Marvin along with sisters: Vivian Ruechel and Mildred Wurster. 

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 22nd from 9 AM – 11 AM at Mountain of the Lord Evangelical Lutheran Church, 224650 Bittersweet Road, Wausau. A service celebrating Elroy’s life will follow at 11 AM. Burial will be on Friday, November 24th at 9 AM in Restlawn Memorial Park with full military honors. 

Elroy’s family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Mountain Terrace, Pastor Busckopf and the congregation of Mountain of the Lord for their support. They would also like to thank the staff of Aspirus Palliative Care for the care given to him during his final journey. 

Gerald A. Erdmann

Gerald Erdmann went to his Lord and Savior on November 13 at home. He was born August 28, 1936, on the family farm in the town of Stettin to Albert and Alice (Wendorf) Erdmann. He married Beverly Radke December 22, 1956, at Trinity Lutheran Church of Wausau, where he was an active member for 64 years. Gerald worked for Radke Trucking, Wausau Homes, Rieser Transport, and after retirement worked parttime for JX Enterprises for 15 years. He enjoyed camping, snowmobiling, hunting, traveling new roadways while sightseeing and visiting out west, and eating his daily ice cream.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Vangie Ohrmundt and Jeanette Krahn. He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Debra (Robin) Rosser and Heidi Erdmann (Kathy O’Connor); three grandchildren, Joelle Rosser (John Openshaw), Nathan (Erica) Rosser, Clint Rosser; and one great-grandson, Wyatt Rosser.

Gerald has many special nieces and nephews, Julie (Don) Raddatz, Tom (Karen) Ohrmundt, Dan (Kathy) Ohrmundt, and Dean (Dawn) Krahn. The family wants to thank niece Jamie (Terry) Kickbusch for all her help and support throughout the last five years, as well as the recent assistance of Aspirus Hospice Services.

Funeral services and visitation will be Tuesday, November 21st at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau, from 9:30 am to the start of the service at 11:00 am.

Jerome R. Volkman

Jerome “Jerry” Volkman, 85, Schofield, passed away on Monday, November 13, 2023, while under the care of Compassus Hospice at Rennes Health and Rehab Center, Weston.

He was born September 4, 1938, in Wausau, son of the late Edward and Elsie (Kittel) Volkman. On October 27, 1962, he married Norma Klatt, the love of his life, at First United Methodist Church, Wausau. He proudly served his country in the United States Army and was a lifetime member of the American Legion.

For 40 years, Jerry worked at Kraft Foods in Wausau. This is also where he made many lifelong friends. After his retirement from Kraft Foods, he worked for several years as a shuttle driver at Brickner’s. This role was well suited for him because he loved meeting new people.

Some of his favorite pastimes included fishing, golfing, watching football and NASCAR, as well as spending time up north. Jerry always enjoyed time spent with family and friends. His greatest joy was being with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Jerry lived life with grace, honor, strength, and a sense of humor. He managed his illness with the same traits. While his last few weeks were spent in the hospital, he never lost his sense of humor. He always had the ability to make others smile. These qualities will be missed by many.

Survivors include his wife, Norma Volkman, Schofield, his children, Brenda Volkman, Winneconne, Lori Oliphant, Winneconne and Lisa Fons, Wausau, his grandchildren, Amanda (Chris) O’Neal, Alisha Bachman (Noah Mattern), Jordan Fons (Christina King) and Haley (Brendan) Reynolds, his great grandchildren, Jaxon O’Neal, Lillian Bachman, and Landon Bachman, one brother, Dale (Sharon) Volkman, one niece, Nicole (Jason) Scharrer, and one nephew, Chad Volkman.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at First United Methodist Church, Wausau. Friends may call on Tuesday, at the church, from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services. Pastor Rebecca Voss will officiate. A private burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is overseeing the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com