WKEB Obituaries Blog

Daniel C. McClusky


Daniel Charles McCluskey, age 89, of Rib Lake, WI, formerly of Rochelle, IL, died unexpectedly on May 8, 2020. Dan was born on February 20, 1931 on the same property in Rib Lake, WI, that he returned to in his retirement. Dan was united in marriage to Joan G. Roiger on June 25, 1953 at St. Ann's Church in the Township of Greenwood, she preceded him in death in 2015. In addition to his wife Dan was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Agatha McCluskey.


  Dan will be lovingly remembered by his children; Daniel (Pam) McCluskey Jr. of Sturgeon Bay, Dennis McCluskey of Medford, WI, Jeffrey (Cindy) McCluskey of Rochelle, IL, Susan (Edward) Worley of Chana, IL, and JoAnn (Danny) Martinez of Schaumburg, IL; grandchildren: Matthew McCluskey, Katie (Dustin) Long, Tawnee McCluskey, Denny (Tiffany) McCluskey, David McCluskey, Niki (Chris) Bonnell, Kristi McCluskey, Shaine McCluskey, Danielle Worley, Michael (Kristen) Worley, Benjamin (Lauren) Worley, Gabrielle Martinez, Stephanie Martinez, Danny Martinez, Jr.; eight great-grandchildren; his beloved brother Keith McCluskey; as well as several brother-in-law’s and sister-in-law’s who were all a special part of his life.


  Dan graduated from Rib Lake High School in 1948 and served proudly in the United States Navy from 1948 to 1952 with the Patrol Squadron Thirty-Four, USNAS Norfolk, VA. He started his career with Standard Oil as a truck driver in Chicago, IL. He went on to serve as the Amoco Oil Terminal Manager in Rochelle, IL and Madison, WI where he worked until his retirement in 1991.  Dan was a loving husband and father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was an avid fisherman and hunter and loved being outdoors. His greatest joy was spending time with his five children and their families. With the tip of his hat you knew he had a story to tell and it didn’t matter if he was passing along the history and knowledge of his heritage, entertaining his grandchildren, or simply trying to distract his family from day to day worries, he had a story. His memory will live on through the telling of those stories for generations to come, he will be deeply missed.


  Due to COVID-19 restrictions only immediate family will be able to say goodbye in person, but many family and friends will mourn his loss.

  A private service and burial will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Whittlesey on May 15, 2020. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

  Hemer Funeral Homes of Medford and Rib Lake assisted the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to his family to be designated at a later date in Dan’s name.

  For online condolences, please visit hemerfuneralservice.com.

James "Jim" A. Prell


James “Jim” A. Prell, 85 of Medford, died on Saturday, May 9 at Aspirus Medford Hospital, where he had been a patient for the past 1 day.

A private family only graveside service will be held at Our Saviours Lutheran Cemetery, township of Holway with Pastor Amy Heinz officiating. Grandchildren will be serving as pallbearers. A celebration of life gathering will take place and announced at some time in the future.

Jim was born on May 28, 1934 at Medford, the son of Arthur T. and Erma L. (Moore) Prell. He attended Immanuel Lutheran Day School, Medford and was a 1952 graduate of Medford High School. His marriage took place on August 29, 1953 at Curtiss to Charlotte N. Krug and she preceded him in death on September 28, 1991.

After his education, he farmed in the township of Little Black for many years. While farming, he also drove milk truck, owned his own milk route, worked at Post Mfg. in Owen and at Foremost Foods in Medford for periods of time. He also drove school and coach bus for the Krug family for many years until retirement. He was a member of Our Saviours Lutheran Church, township of Holway.

He is survived by a special friend, Virgen Thiel of Medford, children, Frederick Prell of Eau Claire, Linda (Leo “Cliff”) Dyer of Stetsonville, Janet (Jerry) Cypher of Medford, Mary (Steve) Henrichs of Medford, sons-in-law, Michael Bertsinger of Stetsonville and Mark (Tammy) Lammar of Wausau. Also survived by 22 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren, and sisters, Marilyn Krueger of Green Bay and Nancy Nelson of Medford. Surviving in-laws include – Gene (Gloria) Krug of Medford, Patty Prell of Bullhead City, AZ, Juanita Krug of Owen, Marian (Ken) Nernberger of Medford, Judy Nowak of Medford and Lavonne (Bernie) Dums of Holway.

Jim was preceded in death by his children, Judith Bertsinger in 2004 & JoEllen Lammar in 1997, along with his siblings, Dorothy Bach, Jerry Prell and Carol Krug.

Hemer Funeral Service of Medford and Rib Lake is serving the family. For online condolences, please visit hemerfuneralservice.com.

Lavern F. Rickert


Lavern F. Richert, 96, of Medford, passed away on Monday, May 4, 2020 at his home, surrounded by family, under the care of Hope Hospice.


Lavern was born on May 17, 1923 to Henry and Ida (Thies) Richert in Illinois. He married Betty Schultz on March 13, 1943 in Elgin, IL; she preceded him in death on April 24, 2014.


Lavern was a dairy and chicken farmer in Crystal Lake, IL and in the Township of Molitor. He also worked at a foundry in Crystal Lake. He was a janitor in the school system of Crystal Lake. He returned to Medford and was a janitor at the Centennial Hall Apartment Complex until his retirement.


Lavern was a member of Community United Church of Christ, in his spare time he joyed listening to Polka Music and playing cards and bingo at the senior center, where he was known as “Sparky”.


Lavern is survived by his daughter, Judy (Roy) Acker of Medford; six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.


In addition to his wife and parents, Lavern is preceded in death by two daughters, Joan Richert in infancy and Bonnie Fleming; a son Marvin Richert; a granddaughter, Paula Feaster; a great-grandson, Jacob Potocnik; and siblings, Evelyn, Norma, Harvey, and Gladys.


Cremation rites have been accorded and no services will be held.


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

Alfons "Mitch" F. Mitchell, Jr.


Alfons “Mitch” F. Mitchell, Jr., 81 of the village of Rib Lake died on Wednesday, April 29 at his residence under the loving care of his family and Hope Hospice.

A private family service will take place on Saturday, May 2 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Rib Lake with Father Hrudaya Raju Sunkara officiating. Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery, Rib Lake. Serving as pallbearers will be Barbara, Jeff & Talan Mitchell, Becky and Rick Stuczynski. A celebration of life gathering will be held and announced in the future.

Mitch was born on November 26, 1938 in Lublin to Alfons and Lillian (Prokop) Mitchell, Sr.. He attended Gilman and Berlin, WI elementary schools and was a 1957 graduate of Rib Lake High School. He then attended Taylor County Teachers College in Medford for 2 years. On November 5, 1966 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rib Lake he was married to his one and only true love, Jacqueline “Jackie” K. Hein and she survives.

Mitch was a US Army veteran having served from 1962-1963 stationed in Colorado. Later, he became employed for 31 years at Weather Shield Mfg. in Medford until retirement. In retirement, he stayed busy by helping Jackie with her daycare. Mitch thoroughly enjoyed fishing daily and he supplied many in the community and beyond with the fish he caught. He loved taking anyone and everyone fishing and Josh Probst of Rib Lake was often part of that crew and his righthand man. He also enjoyed hunting, watching sports, attending Brewer games, lawncare, bird watching, catching a good Western on TV and spending time with his family and friends. He was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church of Rib Lake, NRA and was a true avid sportsman.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years – Jackie Mitchell of Rib Lake, children – Barbara and Jeff Mitchell both of Rib Lake and Becky (Rick) Stuczynski of Amherst Junction, WI, grandchildren – Autumn & Talan Mitchell both of Medford, sisters – Phyllis Guetzloff of Poynette, La Vern Mitchell of Rib Lake and Alice (Bill) Barton of Poquoson, VA, along with many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings – Lucille Konwinski, Dolores Sikora, Jerri Gideon and Raymond Mnichowicz.

The family of Mitch would like to thank the staff at Aspirus Medford Hospital and the staff at Hope Hospice for their excellent and compassionate care during his last hours. Hemer Funeral Service of Rib Lake and Medford is serving the family. For online condolences to the family, please visit hemerfuneralservice.com.

Wayne G. Widmer

Wayne G. Widmer, 90, of Medford, passed away on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at his residence under the care of Hope Hospice, surrounded by family.

Wayne was born on July 13, 1929 to Gottlieb and Amanda (Ruesch) Widmer in Milwaukee. He attended Township of Browning School and graduated from Medford High School. He served in the US Army from 1953 – 1955 and was stationed at Camp Carson and Fort Knox. He married Betty Frischmann on June 17, 1961 at the United Church of Christ in Medford; she survives.

Wayne worked for his father at Widmer Construction. Later, he bought and operated the business with his brother, Donald “Bud” Widmer, until his retirement.

In his spare time, Wayne enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, wood crafts, reading, camping, and traveling.

In addition to his wife, Wayne is survived by his children, John (Jenni Picard) Widmer of Menomonee Falls, and Vicki (Gary) Brey of Appleton; grandchildren, Kevin Brey of Little Chute, Kelly Brey of Minneapolis, and Dylan, Nolan, and Logan Widmer, all of Menomonee Falls; sisters-in-law Joyce (Ken) Balciar of Medford and Peggy (Mike) Brehm of Marshfield, and Phyllis Widmer of Medford. Wayne is further survived by nieces, nephews, and other family and friends.

A private service will take place for Wayne and a Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.

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

Nancy Ann Kroll


Nancy Ann Kroll, age 75, of Rib Lake, passed away on April 23, 2020 at Care Partners where she had resided for the past 2 ½ years, most recently under the care of Hope Hospice and Palliative Care.


Nancy was born on August 7, 1944 to the late Stanley and Sophie (Gacek) Kroll in South Milwaukee. When Nancy was 10 years old, the family moved to Rib Lake and she graduated from Rib Lake High School. She attended college for one year. After graduation, she moved back to the Milwaukee area and worked for Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Company.  She then returned to the Rib Lake Area, where she married Dale Strobach on May 22, 1965, they were later divorced. She worked for Klinner Insurance, ran the restaurant at the Little Bohemia for a year, and then opened Dale’s Supermarket in 1967. After the divorce, she took over the operation of the store and changed the store name to Nancy’s Family Store. She also worked for Primerica Life Insurance for a period of time. After she closed Nancy’s Family Store, Nancy worked at Medford County Market in Medford and Rib River Bar and Grill. She also served as an EMT for the Rib Lake Ambulance service for a period of time, and as a trustee on the Rib Lake Village Board. She was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church.


In her free time, Nancy enjoyed going for car rides, making plastic canvas crafts, puzzles, the Brewers, and going to her grandkids’ events. She loved people, and Elvis Presley. She hated winter but would always eat a bowl of ice cream while sitting on the heater.


Cremation rites have been accorded and a Memorial Service for Nancy will be held at a later date. Honorary Pallbearers will be her grandchildren, Trevor, Tyler and Troy Komarek, Christopher and Austin Strobach, and Julia and Selena Hallstrand.


Left to cherish in Nancy’s memory is her special friend, Gene Title of Medford; her children— Carrie (Scott) Komarek of Ogema, Dale “Butch” (Darcie) Strobach of Eau Claire, and Connie (Mark Jackson) Hallstrand of Rothschild; 7 grandchildren – Trevor, Tyler, and Troy Komarek, Christopher and Austin Strobach, Julia and Selena Hallstrand, and several grandpuppies, grandkitties, and great-grandpuppies; siblings – Kathy (Darrell) Bohm of Merrill and Debbie (Dennis) Komarek of Rib Lake; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, and cousins.


Along with her parents, Nancy is preceded in death by her brother Stanley “Sonny” Kroll, and sister Carol Marschke.


In lieu of flowers, monetary donations can be made to the family for a future donation.


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

Harvey A. Mann


Harvey A. Mann, 71, of the Township of Greenwood, passed away unexpectedly at home on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

Harvey was born to Andrew Jr. and Florence (Thums) Mann in Medford. He worked most of his career as a superintendent overseeing bridge construction at Zenith Construction. He married Sandra A. Steinman on February 16, 1974 in Rib Lake; she survives.

In his spare time Harvey enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with family.

In addition to his wife, Harvey is survived by his daughters, Carry (Jeremy Gill) Jerdee and Stacey (Jon Jeske) Lea, both of Watertown, grandchildren, Alyssa (Jacob Held) Jade, Bryson Jeske, and Maceo Gill, siblings, Clifford (Tammy) Mann, Wayne (Nancy) Mann, and Donna (Dave) Lind; sister-in-law Velma Mann. Harvey is also survived by his fur baby Dottie Rose, nieces, nephews, and other family and friends.

In addition to his parents, Harvey is preceded in death by his brother, Lester, son-in-law, Kevin Jerdee, and grandson, Joseph Jerdee.

Cremation rites have been accorded and a Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.

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

Father Carroll Houle

Father Carroll Houle

1935 - 2020


Carroll Houle, age 85, of Norfolk, Virginia passed away on Easter morning under the care of Hospice.  Memorial masses will take place at a later date in Minnesota and Virginia.


Carroll was born January 26, 1935 to Loyd and Kathryn Houle at Fort Ripley, Minnesota.  He went to high school at St. Nazareth's hall, and then went to St Paul's Seminary.  He then attended Maryknoll Seminary, in New York.  After his ordination in 1962 he was assigned to Tanzania and Kenya Africa.  He spent the next 37+ years working with the poor, and for peace in these areas.


In 1999 he was assigned to the United States.  He worked for the the Maryknoll Office of Global concerns; and was the Maryknoll Representative to the United Nations.  He was also involved with helping the homeless in New York City. 


In 2009 he retired to Charlottesville,, Virginia where he again worked with the poor helping in food pantries and soup kitchens.

Because of his health in 2019 he moved to Norfolk, Virginia and lived in a home run by the Catholic workers.  Whenever he could he served breakfast to the homeless Veterans..


Carroll is survived by 4 brothers; James (Barbara) and Thomas (Mary) all of Medford, WI, Robert (Rebecca) of Brainerd, Minn, and Richard (Doreen) of Coon Rapids, Minn.  Also one sister Julie Williams of Grand Rapids Mich.  Also many nieces and  nephews, and many great nieces and nephews.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 2 brothers, David and Donald, 1 brother in law, Earl, and 1 nephew, Bradley.


Carroll considered Medford his home.  He was very grateful for the friendships and support he received for Africa through the many generous people of Medford.


Carroll will be missed by many communities world wide.


If anyone wishes to donate towards Carroll's memorial, please give to the local food pantries. 


2020-05 | 2020-04


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