WKEB Obituaries Blog

Harvey B. Halverson


Harvey B. Halverson, 83, of Medford, passed away on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at The Homeplace of Dorchester, surrounded by family, under the care of Hope Hospice.


Harvey was born on May 17, 1936 to Morris and Ruth (Smital) Halverson in the Township of Holway. He graduated from Medford High School in 1954. He served in the Army from 1955 – 1957. He married Geraldine “Gerry” R. Paul on August 15, 1959; she preceded him in death on April 9, 2018.


Harvey work for Schmidt’s Clothing, Paul Brother Landscaping in Portland, OR. He farmed with his brother Richard on the family farm. He then went to work for Hurd Millwork. In retirement he worked maintenance for the Centennial Apartments in Medford.


In his spare time he enjoyed yard work, traveling, helping neighbors, volunteering at church, listening to polka music, hunting, fishing, spending time with family and taking care of Gerry. He had a great sense of humor and loved making everyone around him laugh. He was a very active member of the church and it’s cemetery association.


Harvery is survived by his children, Julie (Mark) Hoffman of Mukwonago, Donna (Vince) Hawley of Scottsdale, AZ, David (Leslie) Halverson of Medford, Paula (Tim) Stroinski of Medford, and Kristin (Dean) Remer of Woodbury, MN; grandchildren, Jessica, Alex, Mariah, Maya, and Noah; great-grandchild, Josslyn; siblings, Richard and Carol (Dave) Bovee. He is further survived by many other family and friends.


In addition to his wife and parents, Harvey is preceded in death by his sister Marjean.


A Memorial Service for Harvey will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Holway, with Pastor Amy Heinz officiating. Burial will follow at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation for Harvey will take place at Hemer Funeral Home – Medford Chapel on Wednesday, November 20, 2018 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Visitation will continue at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church on Thursday from 10:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM.


Memorial donations in Harvey’s name may be given to either Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church or Hope Hospice.


Hemer Funeral Service of Medford & Rib Lake is assisting the family with arrangements. For online condolences, please visit hemerfuneralservice.com

Myron J. Budzinski


Myron J. Budzinski, age 62, of Abbotsford, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at the Marshfield Medical Center.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Abbotsford.  Father Tim Oudenhoven will officiate. A visitation for family and friends on Friday, November 15 from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at the Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home in Abbotsford.


Myron was born on January 19, 1957, the son of Albert and Agnes (Wierzba) Budzinski in Custer.  He graduated from Rosholt High School.  Myron was an over-the-road truck driver, driving for TFE-Toro, Kraft-Pizza Division out of Medford and Abbyland Trucking of Abbotsford.


Myron was united in marriage to Kathleen Seibel on June 21, 1997, in Bloomer.  He enjoyed deer hunting, bow fishing, pan fishing, throwing darts, watching sports, particularly the Brewers, Badgers and Packers.  Myron loved driving and being independent, hanging with friends at the Corral and Bad Habits, drinking coffee, sharing his colorful language and unique sense of humor, visiting relatives at area campgrounds, and visiting dogs at area humane shelters.  Most importantly, he cherished his family.


Myron is survived by his wife, Kathleen; two children: Adam Budzinski of Green Bay and Erika Budzinski of Abbotsford; his mother, Agnes Steffanus of Stevens Point; and a brother, Thomas Budzinski of Custer.  He is further survived by four sisters-in-law: Joan (Thomas W.) Schwartz of Chippewa Falls, Donna (Rodger) Falkenberg of Bloomer, Lois (John) Petska of Bloomer and Janet (Jim) Michaud of Chippewa Falls; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, other relatives and friends.


He was preceded in death by his father, Albert; his step-father, Wilfred Steffanus; a brother, David; a brother-in-law, Paul Seibel; a sister-in-law, Heidi Budzinski; paternal grandparents:  Wallace and Anna Budzinski; maternal grandparents: Joseph Sr. and Cecelia Wierzba; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Bertram and Jeanette Seibel, and his beloved dog, Kobi.

Kenneth "Ken" C. Gilles


Kenneth “Ken” C. Gilles, 85, of Medford, passed away on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at Aspirus Hospital in Medford.


Ken was born in the town of Halsey, in Marathon County, on January 13th 1934 to Joseph and Helen (Fink) Gilles.  Ken later grew up on Hwy C where he farmed and logged with his Father, Mother, brothers and sisters.  On February 11 of 1953 he married his wife Bonita Heier; they went on to have 11 children together. Bonita preceded Ken in death on November 25, 2015. 


During Ken's career he farmed with his wife until 1972. Ken went into the logging business; Gilles Brothers' with his brother Manny and their sons.  After selling the logging business in 1990, Ken went on to be an operator engineer for Strue, Mannix, Hanz, Hoffman, Reliance, and other construction companies until his retirement. Ken was a member of the local union 139.


Ken loved the outdoors especially the woods, ask him anything about trees and he would tell you about the history of that species. Ken also loved going on daily walks.


Ken will be remembered for his amazing stories he wrote and told his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  Ken talked in great depth about his childhood memories and always stated he would not change one day of his life.  Before his death he wrote and had a note book printed called North Of North some true stories from his childhood and some fictional, all of which are great stories. In Ken's thirties he wrote two songs that were recorded and put on vinyl, Crying All Over and Dream So Blue.


Ken loved watching sports especially because he played baseball as a pitcher in his younger days.

Ken loved his family his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, his brothers and sisters who he talked about quite often. Ken was a wonderful father and will be missed and loved by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.


Ken is survived by his children Deb May, Kenny Gilles, Peggy  (Ken) Lichtl, Kelly (Mark) Schmitz, Pat (Darla) Gilles, Susan (Mark) Staab, Tami Bansemer, Todd Gilles, Amy (Bud) Hahn, and Lee Gilles; 17 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; siblings, Manny Gilles, John  (Loretta) Gilles, Aggie (Ervin) Graf, Mike (Sherry) Gilles, and Judy (Art) Pernsteiner. Ken is further survived by many other family and friends.


In addition to his wife and parents Ken was preceded in death by a son Timothy Gilles; grandchildren, Jeremy Gilles, Joshua Schmitz, and Abraham Gilles; brother, Joseph Gilles, sister, Margie Sperl.


A Funeral Mass for Ken will be held at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 11:00 AM, with Father Patrick McConnell officiating. Burial will follow at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will take place at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 9:00 AM until the time of Mass at 11:00 AM.


Hemer Funeral Service of Medford & Rib Lake is assisting the family with arrangements. For online condolences, please visit hemerfuneralservice.com.

Richard "Richie" L. Drager, Jr.


Richard "Richie" L. Drager, Jr., 60 years young, passed away at his residence in Medford on Nov. 3.

Richie was born on February 18, 1959 in Medford, WI to Richard, Sr. and Darlene (Dassow) Drager. Richie was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Stetsonville, WI.  He grew up in Medford and graduated from Medford Senior High School. While in high school, he worked at Vern's Service Station on Main and Broadway Streets. He always had a "fix-it" attitude and worked diligently on making it run right and making it look like new. After high school he moved to Eau Claire and graduated with an associate degree in small engines from Chippewa Valley Technical College and then moved back to Medford. His teachers and the students valued his opinion when working on challenging engines. Over the years he fixed many autos, rotor-tillers, lawn mowers, snowmobiles, and motorcycles at his residence. He never tired of solving engine problems for anyone. 


He worked at Weathershield and Hurd's Millwork. He enjoyed the people and the work. Richie's eye sight failed after surgery and caused him to be legally blind and forced him to leave his job at Hurd's. He tended to his dad's failing health with endless patience. After Dad passed in 1993, he cared for his mother especially in the last few years when her health failed and most recently, he was her sole caretaker 24-7. He was so patient, kind, and devoted to fixing and helping everyone else that he never took time for himself. He was a man of honesty, of humor, of practical jokes, of inventions, of long phone conversations, and a man of faith praying for our kids, family and yes, animals. Richie always bought or donated to kids selling items for a cause. He liked to buy raffle tickets to help out and rarely won anything except one time. He loved to cook and took pride in his recipes for chili, chocolate cake with a good layer of frosting, huge chocolate chip cookies, and the famous green bean casserole. When having his coffee, it was always filled to the rim. He was a lover of his dogs, Sparky and Teddy, who survive him. Richie never missed a family birthday with a card and a phone call just to hear our voices. Deer hunting times were enjoyed by all because of his laughter and the stories of the "big ones that got away for now." He loved the woods, planted flowers, harvested gardens, and rode motorcycles and snowmobiles in days past. Richie enjoyed family get togethers especially Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. His plate overflowed with favorite foods (mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, corn, and meat) as did his generosity to all during the holidays. Richie always thought there should be a Culver's in Medford and was so excited with the announcement that he immediately called family. He prayed for people and cared for his family as was evident in caring for his parents. 


He is survived by his mother, Darlene of Medford, sisters Shirley Ruesch (Kelvin) of Eau Claire, Nancy Shannon (Tim) of Colby, and brother Gary of Medford. He also is survived by nieces Alisa, Amanda, Elizabeth, Sara and nephews Jeremy, Walter, Kurtis, and Bradley. He made many friends and could talk about anything with them. It was never a good-bye but “later” to end the conversation.


 A special thank you to the Medford Police Department for assisting him when calls were made to his home or his mother's home. A huge thank you to the officer who told him to “take care of yourself, too.” His heart was full of love and caring and his time on earth was way too short. We can only imagine what the last few weeks of caring for Mom were like, but he never complained or asked for help. We were all too busy to realize you needed us more than you said. May Richie's heart be healed with relaxation time and past loved ones. He is dearly missed.


There will be a visitation on Saturday, November 16 from 2 to 5pm and a prayer and remembrance at Hemer Funeral Home at 555 W. Cedar Street in Medford, WI. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the family. As he always said, "Later."

Dorothy A. Wiegel


DOROTHY A. WIEGEL, age 99 of Medford, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on November 8, 2019 at AngelsGrace Hospice in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Dorothy was born on July 24, 1920 in the Town of Greenwood, Wisconsin to the late Joseph and Anna (Plautz) Bohte. She was preceded in death by her husband Fred Wiegel in 1989, 4 brothers, 8 sisters and son-in-law, Roy Combs. She is survived by two daughters, Dorene Combs of Fergus Falls, MN and Mary Jo (James) Gordon of Hartland, WI, 6 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 1 brother-in-law, Alex Wiegel of Citrus Heights, CA, 1 sister-in-law, Olga Wiegel of Yuma, AZ and many nieces and nephews.

Dorothy attended Rib Lake schools, married Fred Wiegel on June 14, 1941, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in the Town of Greenwood and was a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Medford. She was an employee of the Marathon Cheese Corporation for many years and also a long-time member of the Chelsea Conservation Club.

She was a wonderful wife, loving mother, caring grandmother and great-grandmother and a happy homemaker. She was a talented and gifted seamstress who possessed an exquisite attention to detail. Her hobbies included knitting, crocheting and creating artful gifts. She enjoyed baking, cooking, hosting her family and friends, and she loved and found happiness in her home, yard and patio.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, November 15 at 11:00 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church (215 S. Washington Avenue, Medford) with Father Patrick McConnell officiating. Visitation will be at the church prior to Mass from 9:30 to 11:00. Interment will take place at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery, Medford. Pallbearers will be Steven Combs, Jon Combs, Daniel Combs, James Gordon, Danny Sarnowski, Frank Bohte.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Dorothy’s name may be made to the AngelsGrace Hospice in Oconomowoc or Historic St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Town of Greenwood.

Hemer Funeral Service of Medford & Rib Lake is assisting the family with arrangements. For online condolences, please visit hemerfuneralservice.com.

Leonard G. Buchanan


Leonard Glenn Buchanan, 89, long time resident of Withee, Wisconsin passed away on November 10, 2019. Funeral services for Leonard will be held on November 17 at 12:30 p.m. at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Withee with Pastor Nancy Amacher officiating. Visitation will be held two hours prior to services at the church. Military Honors provided by Lublin American Legion Post #547, Owen American Legion Post #123 and Owen-Withee Vets Club.  The Maurina-Schilling funeral home is assisting the family with the arrangements.


Leonard was born on June 12, 1930 in the Curtiss area to Glenn and Doris Buchanan. The family moved to the Withee area several years later. Leonard attended Frenchtown School and graduated from Withee High School where he worked on farms after school.


In 1950, Leonard went into the Army where he trained at Fort Leonard wood. In 1951, he went to Japan for medical aidman school and then served the remainder of his time as a rifleman and engineer in Korea prior to his honorable discharge in 1953.


After the service Leonard worked for Chicago Omaha and North Western Railroad. Later Leonard bought a farm in rural Withee where he farmed for 18 years with his family. After Leonard sold the farm he went to work at the Clark County Health Care Center. He served as the supervisor of the farm, garden and lawns for 23 years until his retirement in 1995. One of the highlights of his career was hosting Farm Progress Days in 1983.


Leonard had a love of the land which was displayed through his farming, hunting and fishing. He deeply cared for his community and was involved in his church, supporting Veterans, and was a member of the Withee Lions Club. Leonard enjoyed spending time with family and friends, and was particularly good at making others laugh.


Leonard will be missed by his family. He leaves behind his brother, Jim (Bev) Buchanan of Cadott; son Jeffrey Buchanan of Withee; daughter Sharee (William) Smith of Chuluota, Florida; stepdaughters Penny (Carlo) Nevicosi of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Kathleen (Gary) Viets of Colby, Wisconsin, and Michelle (Gary) Klopp of Evansville, Wisconsin; and dear friend Nora Keller. Leonard also left behind several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Leonard has been reunited in heaven with his parents and his beloved sister and brother in-law Charlotte and Norman Andreasen.


The family prefers Memorials to The Highground in Neillsville in Leonard’s name to purchase a Memorial Brick in his memory.

Family and friends may express condolences online at www.maurinaschilling.com

Shirley J. Weinzatl


Shirley J. Weinzatl

February 28, 1955 ~ November 8, 2019


Shirley was born in Medford, Wisconsin on Monday, February 28, 1955, the daughter of Walter and Helen (Griffin) Ulczycki.


She has been a resident of Rib Lake her entire life. On July 19, 1974, Shirley was united in marriage to Andrew Weinzatl at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Rib Lake. Ran the family farm with her husband for seventeen years and was later employed by Phillips Plastics for thirteen years in Quality Control. She was a Purchaser and Seller of Morel Mushrooms for Hill’s Morel Mushrooms in the spring and enjoyed making and selling Christmas wreaths in the fall.


She enjoyed spending time at the cabin in Phillips, watching and listening to the loons, enjoying the sunsets and shaking dice with friends and family. Some other pastimes she enjoyed were a good cribbage game, quilting, traveling various places and fishing. But most of all, Shirley loved her family, especially her grandchildren and their many adventures. 


She will be dearly missed by her husband; Andy, children; Shawn (Kim) Weinzatl of Rib Lake, Chad Weinzatl of Merrill, Brenda Maier of Rib Lake, Brad (Kayla) Weinzatl of Unity, Wisconsin and fifteen grandchildren. Also surviving are three brothers; Dave Ulczycki of Chicago, Illinois, Larry (Dorothy) Ulczycki of Rib Lake and Charlie (Jodi) Ulczycki of Williams Bay, Wisconsin, two sisters; Nancy (Dave Yeiter) Hill of Pine Island, Florida and Karen Peche of Indianapolis, Indiana and by very dear friends; Bev Tesch, Judy Rusnak, and Janet Hemminger. Also surviving are nieces, nephews and many other relatives and friends.


She was preceded in death by her parents; Walter and Helen Ulczycki and by one brother; Tom Ulczycki.


The visitation for Shirley will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, located at 513 State Rd, 102, Rib Lake, from 9:00 a.m.until the 11:00 a.m. Memorial Mass. Fr. Hrudaya Raju Sunkara will be officiating. Immediately following the mass, there will be a procession to St. Ann’s Catholic Cemetery for the Committal Service.


Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists. 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343. You are invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, leave a photo or an online condolence at www.hildebrandrussfh.com

Zach B. Smola


Zach B. Smola   A Funeral Service for Zach will take place at 11:00 AM on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at First Baptist Church, Medford, with Reverend David Clements officiating. A visitation for Zach will take place on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at Hemer Funeral Home, Medford Chapel, from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Visitation will continue at First Baptist Church on Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 10:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM.  Pallbearers will be Derek Anderson, Jeremy Anderson, Mikel Delzer, Ben Nelson, Drew Smola, and Jason Smola.   


Zach was born on July 1, 1997 in Medford to Brian and Brenda (Shotliff) Smola. He attended Medford Area Schools and worked at Black River Golf Course, Smola Transit and Aspirus Medford Hospital kitchen during his high school years and in the summers. He attended Medford Elementary & Middle Schools, & was a 2015 graduate of Medford Sr. High School. Following high school, Zach went to UW Stevens Point, Marshfield Campus, and graduated with his Associates Degree. Following graduation, Zach took a year off and worked at Sierra Pacific in Medford. Zach was currently residing in Stevens Point and working at Menards with plans to enroll in the spring semester at UW Stevens Point. In his free time, Zach enjoyed hunting, fishing, softball, baseball, golfing, anything outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.

Left to cherish in Zach’s memory are his parents, Brian and Brenda (Shotliff) Smola of Medford, Paternal Grandparents, George and Janet Smola of Athens, Maternal Grandparents, William and Judith Shotliff of Dorchester. He is further survived by numerous Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, and his cats.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Zach’s memory can be made out to Taylor County Humane Society.  In hoping to help others in need, Zach’s wishes were to be an organ, tissue & eye donor.


Hemer Funeral Service of Medford and Rib Lake have been entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences can be left at www.hemerfuneralservice.com. 

Mark J. Czerniak

Mark James Czerniak age 55 died Nov.5th 2019 at Aspirus Hospital Wausau. Mark was born in Waukesha Wi  on August 20, 1964 to the late Jerome and Sarah Czerniak who survives. Welby as he was known by many was a woodworker and made beautiful arbors.  He is survived by a son Kyle Czerniak and a grandaughter  Brooklyn, mother Sarah Czerniak, brothers- Brad (Jean ) Czerniak of Athens, Ted (Kathy Lekie) of Medford,  Jeff Czerniak of Withee, one sister Sally (Rodney Luhmann) Czerniak of Owen.   No services will be held per Marks wishes.  Cremation Society of Wisconsin is assisting family.                                                                                                                                                                           





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