WKEB Obituaries Blog

Mildred R. Heier


Mildred R. Heier, 81, of Medford, passed away on Friday, May 10, 2024 at Aspirus Medford Hospital.

A memorial service for Mildred will take place at 2:00 PM on Friday, May 24, 2024 at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home, with Father Patrick McConnell officiating. Visitation will take place at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home on Friday, May 24, 2024 from 12:00 PM until the time of service at 2:00 PM.


Mildred was born on October 26, 1942 to Floyd and Crystal (Redwine) Anderson in the township of Grover. She married William “Bill” Heier on August 13, 1960 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Medford. They resided in Medford and Mildred worked at Tombstone Pizza and later Wadal Plastics, until her retirement.


Mildred enjoyed bowling, her coffee, and crafting, especially making May baskets. She also enjoyed trips to Hawaii with her husband. 


Mildred is survived by her four children, Tammy Heier (Mike Floyd), Chelle (Brian) Dyrcz, Dawn (Brian) Frome, all of Medford, William “Bill” (Rose) Heier of Wausau; grandchildren, Nick (Provi) Searer, Sean (Abby) Lewandowski, Evan Lewandowski, Ben Heier, Amber Heier, Jay Dyrcz (Rachel Osness), Amanda (Jesse) Clark; great-grandchildren, Lilah Heier, Jaden and Tianna Searer, Reggie Lewandowski, and Juno Clark; bonus grandchildren, Amber (Aaron) Zimmer and Brock (Hallie Ross) Frome; bonus great-grandchildren, Emerson, Huck, and Judd Zimmer; sister-in-law, Cathy Anderson; brother-in-law Rich Frahmann, and many nieces and nephews.


Mildred was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Bill, and siblings, Marion Frahmann and Jerry Anderson.

Jean M. Romang


Jean M. Romang, 100, of Medford, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at Aspirus Care and Rehab, while under the care of Hope Hospice.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 1, 2024 at Medford United Methodist Church with Rev. John Hazen officiating.  Burial will follow at Dorchester Memorial Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until the time of service at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1 at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated and may go to Hope Hospice of Medford.


Jean Marie Hennlich Edwards Romang was born December 5, 1923, in Curtiss, WI, to Anton (Tony) and Ina Hennlich.


She graduated from Owen High School and then married George H. Edwards in April 1944. Together they had four children: Gaylin (Kathy) Edwards, Georgia (Jim) Edwards-Horst, Judy (Randy) Boehm and Jill (Sonny) Pickreign.


Jean’s goal has always been to get to be 100.   She wore many hats on her quest.   She was a hard worker, wife, mother, homemaker, foreman for Weather Shield in Medford, a very active member of the Stetsonville Boxrucker Berry American Legion Post #519 Women’s Auxiliary, where she served as an officer receiving many state and national volunteer awards.  She also worked at County Market in Medford as a Sampler, as a cook for the Stetsonville Centennial Hall, and as a church volunteer.  Girl Scouts USA awarded her a special “Dreams Can Come True” badge after she donated her original Girl Scout Guide and Song Books to GS USA. Many of her dreams came true as she pursued reading, carving, painting, embroidering, woodworking, traveling, collecting rocking chairs and Santas, playing the organ, singing in the church choir, quilting, recording family genealogy, and then attempting to navigate the digital world in her 80s. Because she viewed doing her civic duty very seriously, she voted well into her 90’s.  Certain politicians got under her skin and caused her to grumble pretty loudly at times. 


She loved her Green Bay Packers and was heard to yell at the TV when the games weren’t going the way she though they should.  Her personality bigger than life will be missed by many.


After her first husband, George, died in 1990, she married Don Romang in Athens, on March 5, 1995. He brought with him a “New Family” of adult children: Sue (Bob) Heckendorf, Bob (Sandy) Romang, Scott (Vicki) Romang and RaNae (Mike) Marasco.  Jean welcomed Don’s children into her life and greatly enriched their lives as well as his with her resilience and love of life. When faced with something that displeased her, she would often remark, “In a hundred years, who is going to care?”


She has left a large legacy in the 100 years she has lived and has touched the lives of many family members, friends, and acquaintances who care deeply about her.


She is preceded in death by her parents; husbands; sons Gaylin Edwards and Bob Romang; son-in law, Sonny Pickreign; grandsons, Alex and Anthony Edwards.


She is survived by her daughters, Georgia (Jim), Judy (Randy) and Jill; daughter-in-law, Cathy Edwards; the “new family”, Sue (Bob), Sandy, Scott (Vicki), and RaNae (Mike);.


She is further survived by: grandchildren, Laura Oppitz, Jeffrey (Molly) Horst, Felecia Wisniewski, Michael Horst, Amy (Rafael) Bonilla, Kristine (Paul) Arens, Melinda (David) Robinson and Brad (DeAnna) Heckendorf, Melanie (Brian) Pierzchalski, Heather Romang, Nicole (Jack) Smith, Ashley (Nathaniel) LeNoble,  Bobbie Prechel, Moses (Anna) Marasco, Justin Boehm, Brad Boehm, Greg Boehm, and Megan Turner; great-grandchildren: Paige, Taylor and Griffin Radke, Alex and Emily Bonilla, Abigail, Alex and Paul Ahrens, Astrid Kjesbo, Suzi (Mike) Pine, Andrew and Alex Heckendorf,  Allison Pierzchalski, Lydia, Ellie, Nathaniel Jr. and Evelyn LeNoble, Jared and Jonathon Garske, and Liam and Finn Smith, Jackson and Caleb Boehm, Clement Boehm, and Abigail Arens; one great-great-granddaughter, Harper Pine; nephew, Elmer (Chris) Romang; niece, Donna Mae Copeland Hill (Jack DeNormandie); special friends, Joyce and Jerry Ferguson.


Special thanks to Staff at Aspirus Country Gardens, Aspirus Senior Care and Rehab and Hope Hospice and Palliative Care for caring so much.

Leila M. Halpin


LEILA M. HALPIN, age 88, of Loyal, WI, passed away on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at her home. 


  Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Loyal.  Rev. Emmanuel Famiyeh will officiate, and burial will follow in the parish cemetery.  Pallbearers will be: Eric Halpin, Ben Vechinski, Cody Halpin, Jake Halpin, Nick Halpin, Ryan Ritchie, Mark Harm & Nate Harm.  Visitation will be held at the church on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, from 4pm to 8pm and again on Thursday from 9:30 am until time of service.


   Leila Mae Banks was born on April 17, 1936, in Rib Lake, WI, the daughter of Clarence H. and Mary E. (Ehrenreich) Banks.  She grew up and received her education in Rib Lake, graduating from Rib Lake High School in 1954.  Leila received a full three-year scholarship to  St. Joseph's School of Nursing in Marshfield, WI, and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1957.  During her junior year she met the love of her life Dennis R. Halpin.  They married on May 24, 1958, at St. John Catholic Church in Rib Lake. They established their home on a farm Northeast of Loyal and raised eight children.  Leila worked at St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield as a registered nurse until her fourth child was born in 1964.  She then focused her efforts on family and farm life.


   In 1991, she began working at Norwood Health Center in Marshfield and enjoyed her time there as a psychiatric nurse.  Dennis was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1988 and fought valiantly until he was welcomed into eternal rest in 1999.  Leila retired from Norwood in November of 2008.  She continued to live on the farm where she loved gardening, flowers, bird watching and working side by side with Dennis.  Her continued perseverance and help from her family allowed her to stay at home.


   She was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church and its P.C.C.W.  She had many interests and especially loved spending time with her family and friends.  Leila was an avid reader and loved to share books with June, her very dear friend.  She also enjoyed cooking and baking, both her favorite recipes and new ones.  In addition, she loved to embroider, sew, and even taught herself to knit.  She spent many summer days on Lake Namakagon.  Leila loved her Green Bay Packers, listening to music, watching car and horse racing, and basketball games, and was an immense supporter of Mission Myeloma, Inc., and many other nonprofit interests.


    Leila will be dearly missed by her 8 children: Steve (Julie Vavrosky) of Bloomington, MN, Terry (Mike) Vechinski of Wausau, Pat (Jenny) of Greenwood, Mike (Kim) of Loyal, Danny (Lisa) of Loyal, Sue (Tom) Ritchie of Menomonie, Becky (Ken) Harm of Spencer, and Mary (Craig) Voss of Kimberly; 21 grandchildren: Tara (Paul) Harycki, Chelsie (Jackson) McMahon, Krystal (Jay) Groninger, Zach (Annie) Halpin, Eric Halpin, Evan Halpin, Ben (Noor) Vechinski, Tanya (Cliff) Parker, Terra Schwark, Lee Hoffman, Cody (Sara) Halpin, Jake Halpin, Justin Halpin, Nick (Mallory) Halpin, Ryan (Peyton) Ritchie, Luke Ritchie, Mark (Morgan) Harm, Nathan Harm (fiancé Alyssa Stoiber), Alaina Voss, Ellie Voss, and Sidney Voss; 16 great-grandchildren: Jada, Sam, Abe, Eli, Aleah, Quinn, Nora, Ivy, Leila, Kassidy, Damien, Damian, Ashley, Brittany, Finley, Camden and great-grandbaby #17 due in September.


    She will also be dearly missed by her sister Nancy (Norm) Hahn of Eau Claire, her life-long friend June Hoeser, along with nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many special friends.


    She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Dennis, on October 9, 1999, one sister, Barbara Scheller, and brother, Ronnie Banks.


   In lieu of flowers, Leila's family asks that donations be given to Mission Myeloma, Inc. in support for Denny’s battle with multiple myeloma and all others who struggle with this cancer; www.missionmyeloma.org.  Mission Myeloma, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) was co-founded by Dennis and Leila’s daughter, Mary, to support patients and their families affected by multiple myeloma and to fund research for a cure.


   The family would like to thank Compassus Home Health for their support.


     Online condolences may be expressed at www.cuddiefh.com.

     Cuddie Funeral Home of Loyal, WI is assisting the family with arrangements.

Harry Sweda


Harry Sweda, 91, formerly of Lublin, WI passed away peacefully at the Solvay Hospice House in Duluth, MN.


He was born on December 29, 1932, to the late Matthew and Anna (Paraschak) Sweda. Harry grew up near Lublin, graduating from Gilman High School in 1951. Harry attended the Medford Normal School and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from UW Eau Claire and a Master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.


Most of his career was spent teaching in the Gilman School District. He served as Elementary Principal for a period, returned to classroom teaching, and retired in 1990. After retirement, he served on the Gilman School Board for 15 years and drove school bus.


Harry married Mary Ann Smugala on July 5, 1969 at Holy Assumption Orthodox Church-Lublin. The couple lived next to and were very active in the Church the rest of their lives.


Harry loved his community. He volunteered for the Lublin Fire Department, Lublin Park and Pavilion Committee, Gilman Lions, Taylor County United Way, Holy Assumption Orthodox Church, 4-H, and other organizations.


Harry gave much of his time, talents, and treasures to others. He enjoyed hunting deer, bear, coyote, and fox. He spent decades as a DNR instructor for Hunter, Snowmobile, and ATV Safety courses. Harry played baseball and softball in his younger days. He was a WIAA official for high school softball and baseball. One of his favorite places was behind home plate as an umpire on summer weekends at countless area softball tournaments. He danced waltzes and polkas until he could no longer.


He loved his family and friends and spending time with them. He is survived by his children, Matthew, Harry Jr., James (Jen), Johanna Kirk, and John (Jamie); his grandchildren, Matthew, Trista, James Jr., Donald, Teresa, Ryan, and Luke; his brother, Donald; and sisters, Kathryn Bluemel, Nettie (Jim) Kowalczyk and Pauline Lewan.


Harry is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Mary Ann (2002), brothers, Andrew, Frank, William, Joseph, Steven, John and sisters, Helen Janetzke, Mary Terlecki, Ella Kaye, Julia Roback, and his daughter-in-law Anne (Matthew).


A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at the Holy Assumption Orthodox Church-Lublin with Father Thaddeus Wojcik officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Gilman Funeral Home with a Panikhida service at 7:00. Visitation will continue Wednesday morning at the church one hour prior to the service.

Mary J. Kraemer


Mary J. Kraemer, 66, of Medford, passed away surrounded by family on Monday, May 13, 2024, while under the care of Compassus Hospice.

A memorial mass celebrating Mary's vibrant life will be held at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Stetsonville. Following the service, a burial will take place at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Stetsonville.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 12 p.m. on Wednesday at the church.


Mary was born on January 8, 1958, in Medford, to Thomas and Dorothy (Voit) Mayer. She grew up in Stetsonville and graduated from Medford High School, class of 1976.


In 1976, she joyfully married her high school sweetheart, Greg Kraemer, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Stetsonville. Together, they built a life filled with love and laughter on their farm in the town of Little Black.


While raising their children and tending to the farm, Mary also found fulfillment in various pursuits beyond the home. She dedicated her time at Nicolet Staffing and brought joy to many as a bartender at venues including the Black River Villa, now The Bailiwick.


Mary's zest for life was infectious. She found joy in the simple pleasures—a warm cup of coffee, the laughter of friends, and the thrill of a competitive game of cribbage. Her Thanksgiving feasts were legendary, and her Halloween costumes always brought a smile to everyone's face.


Each morning, Mary greeted the day watching her beloved hummingbirds flit around the feeder. She took pride in her family, especially her adored husband, Greg. Her conversations often sparkled with stories of his handiwork around the house and property. Even in her final days, Mary's admiration for Greg never wavered.


Mary cherished time spent with her family, particularly her grandchildren, who were the light of her life.


She leaves behind a legacy of love and joy, deeply missed by her husband of 47 years, Greg of Medford; four devoted children, Tom (Amanda), Ryan (Janice), Stacy (Todd) Olson, all of Medford, and Jeremy (Chelsea) of Stevens Point; her siblings, Jeff (Bev) Mayer of Stetsonville, Dan (Kathy) Mayer of Medford, Greg (Kathy) Mayer of Florida, Kris (Brad) Justice of Stetsonville; 17 cherished grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, with one more eagerly anticipated in July; and numerous nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by her parents and a daughter, Amy Jo, in infancy.

Dennis C. Lind


Dennis Carl Lind, age 75, passed away peacefully on May 11, 2024, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, WI, surrounded by his family.

A visitation for Dennis will take place on Friday, May 17, 2024 at Woodland Community Church in Westboro from 9am-11am prior to the 11am Funeral Service officiated by nephew, Pastor Trevor Lind.  Military honors will be held immediately following the service at the church and will be provided by the Spirit American Legion Post 452 and the U.S. Army Funeral Honors Team.  He will be laid to rest at Hillcrest Cemetery in Spirit, WI.

Pallbearers are Russ Bullis, Hal Swenson, Ryan Scheithauer, Noah Weinke, Talon Scheithauer, and Slade Scheithauer

Honorary Pallbearers are Gracie Weinke, Tahlia Scheithauer, Gage Lind, and Emmitt Weinke.


Dennis was born in Tomahawk, WI on August 10, 1948; the fourth of seven children to Roy and Agnes (Zellinger) Lind. He grew up on a farm in the town of Spirit, WI and was a 1966 graduate of Rib Lake High School. He was drafted into the United States Army on September 12, 1968; served in Vietnam from February 3, 1969 to August 23, 1969. He was wounded in combat and was awarded the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged June 11, 1970.


On his first day home from Vietnam, he met the love of his life, Debby Plude, at Pic-a-Dilly Resort. They married on March 4, 1972 — their 52 years of marriage were a true testament that, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”


Dennis attended Barber school at CVTC, but was unable to pursue this career due to the wounds obtained in combat. He then worked several jobs, in logging, carpentry, and at Weather Shield, throughout his life until he was deemed 100% disabled by the VA. He was a long-time member of the Rib Lake United Methodist Church and the Spirit American Legion Post 452. 


Dennis has always had a love for sports. He played basketball in high school and was high scorer in many games (even without the 3-point line). He played fast pitch softball, coached the Wonder Bar basketball team in city league, umpired many Dairyland baseball games, specifically for the Spirit Twins. He loved to watch all Wisconsin sports - Brewers, Packers, Badgers - but nothing brought him more joy than the Rib Lake Redmen and anything his grandkids were involved in… from t-ball to state baseball, youth basketball to high school regionals, from volleyball to football. It didn’t matter who was playing or which sports season it was, we could count on seeing him in the stands or next to the dugout in his chair, and always saluting for the National Anthem. He will be greatly missed in the seasons ahead. 


He is survived by his wife, Debby Lind of Rib Lake; three children, Melissa Lind of Medford, Josh Lind of Rib Lake, and Shanna (Ryan) Scheithauer of Rib Lake; three brothers, Darrel (Luann) Lind, Duane (Joyce) Lind, and Dave (Donna) Lind and two sisters, Donna Stolhammer and Diane Kruit; father-in-law, Larry Plude; four sisters-in-law Jeanie Lind, Diana Deboth, Dawn (Hal) Swenson, and Darcy Johnson; grandchildren, Noah (Cassy) Weinke, Gracie Weinke, Talon, Tahlia, & Slade Scheithauer, and Gage Lind; great-grandson Emmitt Weinke; and many nieces and nephews.


Dennis was preceded in death by his parents; a special aunt and uncle, Carl & Vera Lind; in-laws, Sid & Eleanor Maki; brother, Danny Lind; three brothers-in-law Luke Harubin, Greg Deboth, and Don Stolhammer; sister-in-law, Denise Harubin; and grandson, Maddox Scheithauer.


The family would like to thank Dennis’s medical team at Madison VA for their care over the years, and the Aspirus Wausau team who cared for him in his final days.


A special thanks to the Rib Lake United Methodist Church, family, friends, and community members who prayed and supported Dennis and his family throughout his challenging journey on earth.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family for a later designation. 

Nancy W. Potter


Nancy W. Potter, 93 of Medford, passed away on Monday, May 13, 2024 at Stoney River Assisted Living and Memory Care in Marshfield, WI, surrounded by her four children, under the care of Heartland Hospice.

A celebration of life luncheon will take place at Marilyn's, 148 S Whelen Ave. Medford, WI, on Friday, May 17th from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM.


Nancy was born on July 27, 1930 to Frank and Gladys (Lowry) Waggett in Highland Park, IL. She attended Sullins College in Virginia. She married Paul A. Potter Jr. on January 5, 1957 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Highland Park, IL. Together they raised their four children in Wheaton, IL for 35 years, before moving to Medford, WI in 1989. Nancy was a homemaker and caregiver to her grandchild and later to her husband.


“Fancy Nancy”, as she was affectionately known, was an active member of the community and a social butterfly. She was a member of Friends of the Library, The Red Hat Society, the Performing Art Center, and volunteered at Aspirus and Country Gardens. She loved rooting for her Chicago professional sports teams, tending to her flowers in the garden, collecting teddy bears, and spending time with her family.


Nancy is survived by her children, Mary (Dave) Zimmerman of Medford, WI, Gary Potter of Marshfield, WI, Scott (Eileen) Potter of LaGrange Park, IL, and Mark (Lisa) Potter of Bluffton, SC; grandchildren, Sarah (Chris) Falk, Sinead (Tim Glavin) Potter, Kevin Potter, Ciara Potter, Caroline Potter, and Will Potter; great-grandchildren, Nolan and Lydia Falk. Nancy is further survived by other family and friends.


Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Paul, and brother Warren (Eleanor) Waggett.


In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Nancy’s name may be given to Frances L Simek Memorial Library Medford, WI.

Helen A. Hobl


Helen A. Hobl, 82, of Rib Lake, passed away on Tuesday, May 8, 2024 at her home, surrounded by family, under the care of Hope Hospice.

A funeral mass for Helen will take place at 11:00 AM on Monday, May 20, 2024 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, with Father Patrick McConnell officiating. Burial will follow at the Historic St. Ann’s Cemetery. Visitation will take place at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home on Sunday, May 19, 2024 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Visitation will continue at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Monday, May 20, 2024 from 10:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM.


Helen was born on June 7, 1941 to William Jr. and Clara (Schoenfeldt) Lammar in Medford. She attended Medford area schools and graduated from Medford High School in 1959. She then attended cosmetology school. She married Richard J. Hobl on April 23, 1960 in Iowa. They resided in the Medford Area and raised hogs, later began a mink ranch. They took over the family dairy farm in 1973, until retirement in 1999. They then built a retirement home on  the lake in Rib Lake.


Helen enjoyed the outdoors and loved animals. She also enjoyed gardening, quilting, singing, fishing, volunteering, playing sheepshead, and attending her grandchildren’s events. She will be remembered as a treasured mom, grandma, great-grandma and friend.


Over the years, Helen was an active member of 4H, Farmers Union Jrs, and the Taylor County Fair Board. She also served as  treasurer of the Historic St. Ann’s Church Cemetery. She was a proud member of the Holy Rosary, Good Shepherd, and Community choirs.


Helen is survived by her children, Thomas (Trudy) Hobl of Medford, LuAnn (Timothy) Porosky of Hartland, JoAnn (David) Schirmer of Rib Lake, SuAnn (Michael) Schroeder of Dorchester, and Timothy (Mary) Hobl of Medford; grandchildren, David, Crystal, Adam, Katrina, Eric, Erin, Kyle, Nicholas, Cody, Alex, Nicole, and Corinne; great-grandchildren, Kiarra, Noah, Luke, Kimberly, Samuel, Abigail, Payton, and Owen; sister-in-law, Marjean Lammar. Helen is further survived by other family and friends.


Helen was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Richard, and siblings, Jean Marsh, Theodore Lammar, Frank Lammar, Harry Lammar, Ruth Ann Holmgren. and In-laws, Marganne Lammar, Wendell Marsh, and Blaine Holmgren, great grandson, Casey Kuker.

Edward A. Pitkanen


Edward A. Pitkanen, 89, of Ogema, passed away on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at Vita Care, in Medford, under the care of St. Croix Hospice.

A memorial service for Edward will take place at 1:00 PM on Sunday, May 19, 2024, with Pastor Jeff Ahonen officiating; burial will follow at Leavitt Creek Cemetery. Visitation will take place at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home on Sunday, May 19, from 12:00 PM until the time of service at 1:00 PM.


Edward was born on August 8, 1934 to Andrew and Anna (Linden) Pitkanen in the Town of Hill. He attended Westboro schools. He enlisted in the Army in 1955 and served until 1958. He then went to work for Honeywell in Minnesota, California, and Australia. He moved back to the Ogema area in 1972 and worked for Ram Rod Hydraulics until his retirement. He married Jean Herrand and she preceded him in death.


Edward is survived by his sister, Aileen Erdman of Medford and many niece and nephews.


Edward was preceded in death by his wife, Jean; brothers, Carl, Herman, and Wilho Pitkanen; sisters, Lydia Nowkki, Lorraine Klomsten, Kathryn Stensloff, and Hilma Griffin.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Koch


Elizabeth “Betsy” Koch, 86, passed away peacefully on May 10th, 2024, holding hands with the love of her life, Jerald “Jerry” Koch. 

A prayer service will be held on Thursday, May 16th at 11 a.m. at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Rib Lake, Wisconsin.  Visitation will be prior to service starting at 9 a.m. 


Betsy was born on January 3, 1938, in Medford, Wisconsin to Fred and Elizabeth Fleischmann.  She graduated from Medford High School.  She worked as a key punch operator and accountant before marriage. Betsy married Jerry in 1961 and they raised four daughters together.


When her girls were older, she worked at the Rib Lake Shoe Factory.  She also served as the treasurer for the township of Westboro and was librarian at the Westboro Public Library. She was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church and was a lady of strong faith. Betsy was active in the local community by volunteering for various organizations including the Westboro Conservation Club, St. Theresa Catholic Church, Shepherd Knitters, and the Westboro Senior Meals. 


She created crafts of all sorts and was a very talented seamstress, knitter, and crocheter.  She enjoyed making prayer shawls for church and Christmas afghans for all of her grandchildren. She looked forward to her monthly breakfast clubs and dining out at the Rail Trail Cafe.  Above all, she felt truly blessed to spend time with her family and friends and took great pride in her children and grandchildren. 


She is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Jerry, Westboro; daughters Susan (Jim) Maes, Las Cruces, NM, Julie (Dennis) Bach, Dorchester, Brenda (Stan) Malinowski, Woodbury, MN, and Sheila (Brian) Roush, Phillips; grandchildren Ashley (Sebastian) Gomez, Carissa Maes, Sam Bach, Madeline (fiancé Jared Way) Bach, Courtney Peper, Will Malinowski, Kate Malinowski, Allison (Ron) Juedes, and Jessica Roush; sister Bernice Tlusty; in-laws Gene Kalmon, Bernice Koch, Bonnie Fischer, Dennis (Carole) Koch, and Janice “Sis” VanDuser.


She was preceded in death by her parents; one son, Paul; sisters Mary Lou, Margaret, Frances, Ethel, and Janet; brothers Alfred, Walter, and Edward.


The family wishes to express sincere thanks to Country Gardens, Rib Lake Health Care Center, Rib Lake Ambulance Service, and Hope Hospice Palliative Care for their care and compassion during her illness.


Memorials may be made in her name to Good Shepard Catholic Church or Westboro Public Library.

Richard M. "Dick" Olson


Richard M. “Dick” Olson, 78, of Rib Lake, passed away on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at Rib Lake Health Services while under the care of Hope Hospice.


A celebration of life with military honors conducted by the Spirit American Legion Post 452 will be held in June at Zondlo’s in Rib Lake. More information will be announced soon and will be in the Star News and on the funeral home website & Facebook page.


Dick was born February 18, 1946 in Wausau to Marvin and Margaret (Strasser) Olson. 


He served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam from 1965 until his honorable discharge in 1967.


In 1973, Dick married Sharon Ellis.  They resided in Rib Lake and Dick worked in the plating department at Briggs and Stratton for over 30 years.  He enjoyed hunting, fishing, watching and feeding the birds.  He was a member of the Spirit American Legion Post 452.


He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sharon Olson of Rib Lake; three children, Scott (Laura) Bischoff, Sandi (Kurt) Jore, all of Florida, Randy (Amy) Bischoff of Merrill; a brother, Danny Olson of Rib Lake; two sisters-in-law; a brother-in-law; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; his best buddy, Ben Kauer of Rib Lake; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws; a brother, Duane Olson; a brother-in-law; and a sister-in-law.


Memorials may go to Hope Hospice in appreciation of the excellent care and kindness shown to Dick and his family.

Marlene Joan Kaehne (Goodrich) Zimmerman

 Marlene Joan Kaehne (Goodrich) Zimmerman, 81, of Westboro passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at her home surrounded by her loving family and friends.


Marlene was born in Chelsea on July 9, 1942 to Leo William Kaehne and Mary Medora (Strumm) Kaehne.  She attended Rib Lake Ward School and High School.  She was married to Conrad Emil Goodrich on October 14, 1964 who passed away.  Then married Russell Lewis Zimmerman on September 10, 1982.


She helped in farming, hauling milk and logging.  She worked 8 years at the Rib Lake Golden Age Nursing Home and then retired on January 14, 2014 from Marathon Cheese Corporation in Medford after 37 years.


Marlene is survived by her three sons, Ted Goodrich of Rib Lake, Randy (Becky) Goodrich of Tomahawk and Rodney "Goody" (Ann) Goodrich of Stetsonville.  


Grandchildren: Jennifer (Josh) Writz of Colorado, Ashlee Goodrich of Westboro, Samantha (Brent) Reese of Winter, Sheyenne Smugala & Devin of Abbotsford, Katelyn Ruppel of Eau Claire, Colten Ruppel of Stetsonville, Zoei Goodrich & Kylee Goodrich of Rib Lake.


Great Grandchildren:  Arianna, Cody, Katelyn, Paige, Wyatt, Whitnei, Ashton, Grant, Gavin, Liam and another on the way.


Sister: Elaine Ward of North Carolina, Nieces: Julie Thomas of Virginia, JoAnn Harris of North Carolina, Mary Kaehne, Susan Alsteen, Nancy Swenson all of Rhinelander.    Nephews: Ronald Kaehne of Rhinelander, Billy Kaehne of Merrill.


Marlene was preceded in death by her parents, husband: Russell L. Zimmerman, son: Conrad R. Goodrich, sisters: Rita Turner, Bonita & Evonne Kaehne, brothers: Lester, Raymond and Ronald Kaehne and brother-in-laws: Jim Ward and Charles Turner.


Marlene will be remembered by her family and friends by her kind words, bright smile and her big heart and will be sadly missed by all that knew her.


A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2024 from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at the Centennial Community Center on Stetsonville.


The family would like to extend sincere appreciation to Hope Hospice for their tremendous care and support.


The family will be honoring Marlene and Russ Zimmerman in a private burial at a later date.

Gerald Gene (Jerry) Willner


Gerald Gene (Jerry) Willner, age 88.5, of Medford, slipped away quietly on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at the Marshfield Medical Center with his wife Dorothy at his side.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 25, 2024 at Immanuel Lutheran Church with Rev. Daniel Iwinski officiating.  Military honors conducted by the Medford Area Military Honors Team will follow the service at the church.  Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery II in Medford.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. at the church.


Jerry was born October 15, 1935 on the Willner homestead near Whittlesey to Albert W (Bert) Willner and Marie T (Gebauer) Willner. He attended Whittlesey Grade School aka Whittlesey University and was a 1954 graduate of Medford High School.


Jerry served in the US Army from May 1958 to May 1960.  He trained in Colorado Springs, CO and had truck driving training at Fort Eustis, VA before being deployed to Germany for 18 months.  He was stationed in Wurzburg/Bamberg, Germany as part of the 100th Transportation Company 49th Battalion as a truck driver.  He loved telling of his time in Germany.


On February 26, 1977, he married his soulmate and life companion, Dorothy Marie Franz at St. John’s Lutheran in Rib Lake.  They frequently traveled to visit family in Illinois, Minnesota, Washington State and Wisconsin.  More than anything he liked being home.


For most of his adult working life he was employed by James Peterson Sons, Inc. Where he spent 38 seasons driving gravel truck in a multitude of locations in Wisconsin and occasionally in the UP and Minnesota. He retired from driving truck in October 1996.  He could tell some good stories about places he worked.


Jerry bowled for many years on many different teams at both the Rib Lake and Medford bowling alleys.  He enjoyed the camaraderie of the team members.  He played baseball in his younger years. Come November deer hunting was on his agenda, it was said he was a good shot and had a good collection of guns.


He enjoyed mowing lawn and took great joy in keeping a neat and tidy yard.  Even when he was no longer physically able to mow lawn, he took great pleasure in watching Mark mow the lawn.  Many hours were spent working in his garage aka shop.  He had a well-equipped shop including an overflowing tool chest since new tools and gadgets always interested him.  He took immaculate care of his vehicles, lawn mower and snow blower.  He was always on Dorothy’s case for taking her car on unpaved roads and getting it dirty.      


His family was most important to Jerry.  He dearly loved his grandchildren and great granddaughters and was so proud and pleased with all of their accomplishments.  Each one was very special to him.


Jerry is survived his wife of 47 years, Dorothy; daughter, Lisa (Brian) Noland; son, Mark (Lori) Willner; grandchildren, Amber (Matt) Neumueller, Timothy (Shannon Hemmer) Noland, Heidi (Eric) Stark, Alyssa Willner and Hailey (Alec Shear) Willner; great granddaughters, Livia and Harper Neumueller and Kylie Noland; sisters, Norita M Kath and her children Rachel (Paul) Dvorak, Jonathan Kath and Kristina Kath, and Diann J Davies and her children Greg (Cheryl) Davies, Todd (Dawn) Davies and Tracy Foss; and sister-in-law Ruth Franz.


Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Marie Willner; infant brother, Duane Willner; brothers in law, Rev. Harvey G. Kath, Richard E. Davies, Reuben R. Franz, Marlen E. (Charlotte) Franz, Elmer H. Franz and George R. Franz.


Memorials are appreciated and may go to Immanuel Lutheran church in Jerry’s honor.

Carolyn R. Schilling


Carolyn R. Schilling, 95, of Dorchester, formerly of the town of Greenwood, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at the Home Place in Dorchester while under the care of Hope Hospice.

A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2024 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Whittlesey with Fr. Patrick McConnell officiating.  Burial will follow at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery in Medford.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the church.

Memorials are appreciated and may go to one of the following places dear to Carolyn: OLPH Catholic Church, Home Place in Dorchester, or Hope Hospice.


Carolyn was born August 25, 1928 in Taylor County to Andrew and Frances (Monheim) Scheuer.  She grew up in the town of Greenwood.


On June 2, 1948, she married William H. “Bill” Schilling at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in the town of Greenwood.  Carolyn worked alongside her husband Bill on their farm in the town of Greenwood, where they also raised their three children.    


Once the children were in school, Carolyn worked at Foremost/Maple Island, then at Phillips Plastics and finally retired from Weather Shield.  She enjoyed quilting (which was all by hand), leather crafting, flower and vegetable gardening, and making Barbie clothing and furniture.  She also enjoyed attending and selling her homemade items at craft shows.  She was a member of the Homemakers Club and 4-H. 


A devoted woman to her lifelong catholic faith, she was a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, then OLPH Catholic Church where she was active in the Ladies Aide and the Quilting Group there.


She is survived by three children, Howard (Pat) Schilling, Russell (Ruth) Schilling, all of Medford, Louise Gengler of Stetsonville; a sister, Elaine Mravik of Dorchester; grandchildren, Becky (Aaron) Malchow, Andrew (Melanie) Schilling, all of Medford, Krista (Shane) Elliott of Black Creek, Nicholas (Lena) Schilling of Rib Mountain, Steven (Arlette) Schilling of Chicago, IL, Amy (Paul) Kinsey of Summerville, NC; great-grandchildren, Ava, Mia and Lera Schilling of Rib Mountain, Estelle Schilling of Chicago; and many nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bill on Sept. 22, 2006; siblings, Lucille Dallenbach, Marian Peche, Betty Wisnewski, Norman Scheuer; and son-in-law, Larry Gengler.

Alfred "Al" A. DeBuhr


Alfred “Al” A. DeBuhr, 89, of Medford, passed away on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at home, into the loving arms of Jesus, under the care of Compassus Hospice, surrounded by his family.

A celebration of life will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the First Baptist Church in Medford, with Pastor Tim Becker officiating. Visitation will take place at the First Baptist Church on Saturday, May 18, 2024 from 9:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM.


Al was born on March 21, 1935 to Robert and Dorothy (Detjens) DeBuhr in Milwaukee. He graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in agriculture, where he met his loving wife, Cynthia “Cindy” Sims and they married on March 24, 1956 in Milwaukee. They moved to Barrington, IL, where he was the Head Herdsman for Quaker Oats. He continued his education at Harper College in Palatine, IL and earned a degree in accounting and computer. He then became the purchasing manager for Quaker Oats, Research and Development Facility, until his retirement.


In his retirement he worked as his churches’ treasurer and at Camp Forest Springs. He and Cindy enjoyed missions in Puerto Rico. He enjoyed fishing, camping, gardening, woodworking, and water skiing into his 70’s.


Al is survived by his wife of 68 years, Cindy; children, Jeanette (LeRoy) Dassow, Linda DeBuhr-Boettcher, Matt (Sherry) DeBuhr, Joy (Shawn) McMerty, and Natalya (Mark) Ortiz; grandchildren, Nathan (Jenna) Dassow, Ryan (Allyssa) Dassow, Richard (Lauren) Boettcher, Bob (Michelle) Boettcher, Andrea DeBuhr, Scarlett (Brenden) Burvis, Patrick McMerty, Cynthia McMerty, Elias Ortiz, and Elicia Ortiz; great-grandchildren, Ava, Noelle, Titus, Daniel, Emily, Rayna, River, Laikynn, Rowan, Greyson, and Conrad; siblings, Don (Marlene) DeBuhr, Barb Barker, Dave (Pat) DeBuhr, Dale (Carol) DeBuhr and Doreen (Doug) Dierking. Al is further survived by other family and friends.


Al was preceded in death by his parents, and brother-in-law, John Barker.


Hemer-Pickerign Funeral & Cremation Services of Medford is serving the family. Please visit www.hemerfuneralservice.com to share condolences online.

Florence J. Hein


Florence J. Hein, 96, of Medford passed away on Monday, April 22, 2024 at her residence, under the care of Hope Hospice and her family.

A celebration of life will take place at 11:00 AM on Friday, May 17, 2024 at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home, with Pastor Eric Jackson officiating. Visitation will take place at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home on Friday, May 17, 2024 from 9:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM.


Florence was born on January 14, 1928 to Sherman and Beulah (Donaldson) Higgins in the township of Molitor. She attended Medford area schools. She married Calvin R. Hein on November 29, 1947 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rib Lake; he preceded her in death in 1977. She worked at Memorial Hospital as a nurse’s aide and caretaker until her retirement.


Florence always had a story to share and was willing to help everyone. She could see the beauty in the simple things and could describe them in great detail. She had a love for gardening, canning, baking, fishing, and berry picking. She loved her kids dearly and having them all together brought her so much joy.


Florence is survived by her children, Cynthia (Mitch) Bormann of De Pere, Colleen Hass of Unity, Candace Hein of Venice, FL, Robert (Mary) Hein of Medford, and Judith Hein-Schunke of Green Bay; 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren; brother, Roger Higgins. Florence is further survived by many other family and friends.


Florence was preceded in death by her parents, husband; sisters, Genivive Gengler, Lorraine Gengler, Caroline Butler, and Marie Nelson; brothers, Glen and Richard Higgins; son-in-law, Larry Haas.


The family would like to thank Hope Hospice for their tremendous care and support.


In lieu of flowers, a tree may be planted in Florence’s name.


Hemer-Pickerign Funeral & Cremation Services of Medford is serving the family. Please visit www.hemerfuneralservice.com to share condolences online.

Wade Knight

We were informed of the Death of 58 year old Wade Knight of Phoenix, Arizona, a former Medford resident, who died Sunday, April 21st 2024 at Yuma, Arizona. 


Survivors Include his wife of 35 years….Joan Pavur Knight.  His children Aaron, Christina and Roger.  Wade is further survived by his mother Carol Knight.  His uncle William Knight.  His brother Rocky (Bonnie) Knight and their children Katie (Tommy) Weaver, Courtney (Kevin) Zelms and Justin.  He is further survived by nieces and nephews… Ava, Kevin Jr and Kinslee Zelms.  Angle, Sabreena and Remington Weaver.  Wade loved his dog, cars and family. 


A Celebration of life for Wade Knight will be held at a later date.  He also has a gofundme set up to help with expenses to help bring him back to Wisconsin.

Kenneth E. Balciar


Kenneth E. Balciar, 89, of Medford passed away Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at Aspirus Care and Rehab while under the care of Hope Hospice.

A memorial service for Kenneth will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home, with Brian Rodman officiating. Burial will follow at Medford Evergreen Cemetery 2. Visitation will take place at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home on Saturday, May 11, 2024 from 9:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM. Following the service Military rites will be performed by the Medford Area Military Honors Team.


Kenneth E. Balciar, born October 10, 1934 to Adella P. (Valent) and John Balciar Jr. His marriage to Joyce A. Frischman took place on November 3, 1962 in Medford.


At the age of 19 he joined the Air Force where he served in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1956 after serving 4 years. He was fortunate to travel to Washington DC with fellow veterans on the Honor Flight on April 18, 2016.


In his early years he worked on his family farm, stocked shelves at the Medford Co-op, and was also a mechanic.


After he returned from the military he bought a Chevrolet dump truck and went on the road as a self-employed contractor all over Wisconsin. When he returned he purchased the Skelley gas station and renamed it Ken’s Repair and sold Chaparral snowmobiles. He also raced Polaris and Chaparral snowmobiles all over Wisconsin. He worked for Armin Buehler for a period of time before starting his own business, Balciar Bulldozing, where he started out with a 350 Dozer and later adding Balciar Concrete.


Ken and his wife, Joyce, purchased a beautiful property on Lake Holcombe where they enjoyed weekends for over 30 years. In their retirement they fell in love with UTVing and went on many travels with friends and the Gator Girls. Ken’s favorite pastime was feeding the deer on his property out West of town and then stopping in for a beer and a shot while shaking dice with his buddies at Cindy’s Bar.


Ken had a love for dogs. He had a number of Doberman Pinchers and in his later years he hunted in Iowa, South Dakota, and the local area with his brittany spaniels, Bo, Ty, Cheetah, and Jessie.


Ken is survived by his children, children, Scott Balciar, Shelley (Brad) Hutchinson, and Shawn (Dana) Balciar, all of Medford; grandchildren, Brett Hutchinson of Milwaukee, Gabe Hutchinson of Medford, and Devin Balciar of Marshfield Two sisters-in-law, Betty Widmer of Medford and Peggy Brehm of Marshfield and many nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce, who passed away on August 5, 2022; brothers, Walter (Margaret), Emil (Pearl), Richard (Delores), and sister, Irene(Ray); brothers-in-law Wayne Widmer and Mike Brehm.

Malinda M. Kathrein


Malinda M. Kathrein, 82, lifelong resident of Rib Lake, passed away on Monday, April 29, 2024 at Rib Lake Health services while under the care of Hope Hospice.

A memorial mass will be held 11 a.m., Friday, May 10 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Rib Lake with Fr. Patrick McConnell officiating.  Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery, Rib Lake.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m., Friday at the church.

Memorials are appreciated and may go to Good Shepherd Catholic Church of Rib Lake or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Malinda was born May 28, 1941 in Rib Lake to Southwell and Lucile (Lehman) Rosenfeldt.  She grew up in Rib Lake and graduated from Rib Lake High School in 1959.


On December 2, 1961, she married Joseph A. Kathrein at St. John’s Catholic Church in Rib Lake.  They resided in Rib Lake where Malinda worked as a supervisor at Gem Products.  She was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Rib Lake; Christian Mothers Club; and was past president and former officer of the Rib Lake Community Club.


She enjoyed flower gardening, baking and decorating cakes and cookies, sewing, cooking, and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


She is survived by three children, Brian Kathrein of Wausau, Diane (Jim) Seng of Owen, Brenda (Rodney) Fallos of Rib Lake; daughter-in-law, Jannis Kathrein; a sister, Joan Wanek; brother, James (Cheryl) Rosenfeldt of Rib Lake; grandchildren, Christy (Luke) Peterson, Cassy (Matt) Ulrich, Sadie (Chee) Xiong, Paula Peterson, Brian (Sara) Peterson, Jena (Dylan) Klimpke, Cody (Gao Khang) Seng, Heather (Paul) Rachu, Bradley (Kasie) Fallos and Joe Fallos, Anthony Kathrein; 19 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, John Rosenfeldt; a son, David Kathrein in 2013; and her husband, Joseph on January 24, 2021.


Hemer-Pickerign Funeral & Cremation Services of Medford is serving the family.  Please visit www.hemerfuneralservice.com to share condolences online.




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