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WKEB Obituaries Blog


  Vangel Delores “Birdie” Hartwig, 91, from the Town of Spirit, passed to eternal salvation March 29, 2018 at Aspirus Care & Rehab, Medford where she had resided for the past 15 months.

  Services to celebrate her life will be at 11 AM on Thursday, April 5 at Zion Lutheran Church, Town of Spirit with Pastor James Langebartels officiating. Burial will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery, Town of Spirit.      Visitation will be held from 4-7 PM on Wednesday, April 4 at Hemer Funeral Home, Rib Lake and from 10 AM until the time of services at the church in Spirit. Pallbearers will be: Ron, Steve & Scott Komarek, Randy Weinke, Robert Olwell and Mark Blasel.
  Vangel was born August 25, 1926 in the Town of Johnson, Marathon County. She attended Silverleaf Elementary School in the Town of Johnson. She was a hard-working woman, who traveled to Milwaukee to work in her earlier years. She was also a long term dedicated employee at the shoe factory in Rib Lake.
  Birdie, as she is known by her loved ones, married Earl Hartwig on November 4, 1944 at Zion Lutheran Church, Spirit. They built their home and family on a farmstead they called the “Silver Spur Ranch.”   They, with their only child Karen, bred, raised and trained some of the finest of horses, acquiring many honors, awards and worldwide attention.
  Birdie had many passions and talents. She was trained in lapidary skills and was a member of the National Rockhound Society and Zion Lutheran Church, Spirit. She attended Lawrence University in Appleton and acquired a certificate in China mending. Birdie painted, traveled, created professional costumes and stained glass. She loved to ride her horses in parades, at shows, and at fairs. She was a past member of the Taylor County Rough Riders Club. She found great joy in entertaining/cooking for relatives and had a heart filled with love for her family and friends.

  She is survived by her beloved husband, Earl Hartwig of Spirit and in-laws: Betty Komarek of Shawano, LaVon Komarek of Spirit and Harry Blasel of Spirit. Birdie had endured the pain and loss of her beautiful daughter, Karen, and precious grandson, Jody Campbell. She was the last survivor of the 8 children of Frank and Lucia (Veitenhans) Komarek. Her siblings and deceased in-laws were Arleen (Alfred) Weinke, Orval (Ann) Komarek, Laurel Komarek, Almira (George) Olwell, Franklin (Freda) Komarek, Eugene Komarek and Mirella Blasel.
  Birdie will be missed greatly by those who loved her. Her energy for life has been inspirational and her life has left the world a better place.
  Hemer Funeral Service of Rib Lake and Medford serving the family. For online condolences, please visit

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