WKEB Obituaries Blog Archives for 2023-09

Robert Cummings


Robert Cummings, 69, passed away peacefully in his home on September 17, 2023.


Bobby was born on October 28, 1953 to Edwin and Louise Cummings in Phillips, WI. He built his life in Ogema, WI where he loved hunting, farming, watching movies, listening to his music, playing video games, and hanging out in his shop with family and friends. He held many titles in life, but his favorite was being Dad and Papa to his kids and grandkids.


Bobby is survived by his wife of 37 years, Rhonda (Simek), his 3 children Angela (Rance) Lentz, Mandy Cummings, and Brandon (Joan) Cummings, 2 step children Jen Hayes and Jeremy (Traci) Wolfe, honorary son James (Teri) Byrd and 9 grandchildren Gage, Dade, Rance, Addyson, Ella, Sydney, Lilah, Devin and Treyvon.


He is also survived by his siblings Debbie (Dennis) Reichert, William Cummings, Brian (Wendy) Cummings and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Louise.


Visitation will be on Wednesday September 20th from 4-7pm at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home in Medford. Funeral services will be Thursday September 21st at 11am at First Baptist Church, 757 Cherry St, Prentice, WI 54556, with visitation beforehand from 10am until the time of service. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery in Ogema.


The family would like to thank Compassus Hospice Services for the wonderful care Bobby received.


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

Joyce A. Pokrant


Joyce Arlene Pokrant, age 87, entered her eternal home with her Lord and Savior, September 5, 2023. She was a resident of Abbotsford but the last couple of years she was a resident of the Colonial Health & Rehabilitation Center in Colby, WI.


Joyce was born to Melvin and Eleanora (Jensen) Gauerke June 22, 1936. She graduated from Abbotsford High School. She received Normal School training to be an elementary school teacher. Joyce taught in a rural Wisconsin school and also in Rockford, Il at the Rockford Christian School.


Her love for music saw her giving lessons on the piano, organ and accordion. When able Joyce enjoyed playing for church services and the last couple years she enjoyed playing keyboard in her nursing home room.


Joyce is survived by her two children: Vicki Calcagano of New York, Mark Pokrant of South Carolina; and a granddaughter, Nicole Calcagano. She is further survived by her two brothers, Eugene (Donna) Gauerke of Rockford, IL and Kenneth (Mary) Gauerke of Eau Claire, WI.


Joyce was preceded in death by her parents.


Joyce was a member of the Abbotsford Evangelical Free Church where she had many friends she enjoyed.


Joyce’s family appreciates the care given by the staff of Colonial Health & Rehabilitation Center and Heartland Hospice.


A Memorial Service will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at the Abby Free Church. Pastors Ken Gauerke and Ron Weller will officiate. Burial of the cremated remains will follow at the Abbotsford Public Cemetery. A Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. until time of service Saturday at the church. A live stream will be available for those unable to attend on the Maurina Schilling Funeral Home Facebook page or after the service anytime on Facebook or the website. 


In lieu of flowers memorials can be sent to the Abby Evangelical Free Church.


Elaine Dowden


The Lord called Elaine Dowden, 91, home on Wednesday, September, 6, 2023 after a 3 year battle with colon cancer.

A funeral service for Elaine will take place at 11:00 AM on Monday, September 11, 2023 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church with Father Patrick McConnell officiating. Burial will follow at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will take place at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Monday, September 11, 2023 from 9:00 AM until the time of service at 11:00 AM.


Elaine was born to Anton and Kunda (Schupp) Molitor on June 13, 1932 in the town of Little Black. She attended Medford Area High School. On August 7, 1954 she married the love of her life Joseph O. Dowden in Medford. They shared a total of 48 years together, before Joe’s death in 2002.


hey raised eight children and a niece on a modest mechanic’s wage. Her passions were her church, Holy Rosary Catholic Church and her ability to do so many crafts. She was an amazing seamstress and could sew anything. Her other many talents can be seen in the house, she always seemed to excel at any craft project.


Her quick wit and snarky attitude always kept her going.


Her eight children are Linda (Rusty) Dake of Stetsonville, Cheryl (David) Brandner of Medford, Joseph (Donna) Dowden of Stetsonville, Diane (Ricci) Prein of Edina, MN, David (Lori) Dowden of Medford, Gail (Kevin) Baumgartner of Westboro, Mary deceased in 1988 and Richard (Tracy) Dowden of Medford; niece, Lori Erdman of Rib Lake; 14 grandchildren, Holly (Drew) Martin, Chad (Robin) Brandner, Amy (Erich Kliewer) Meyer, Mitchell (Mary) Brandner, Melissa (Adam) Pesola, Angela (Travis) Blume, Daniel (Cassandra) Meyer, Adam (Ashley) Dake, Rachel (Ryan) Kiefer, Travis (Ellie) Dowden, Molly Dowden, Micah (Brooke) Baumgartner, Alec (Briana) Baumgartner, and Easton Dowden; 24 great-grandchildren, Avery and Bodhi Martin, Kylie, Kaden and Kiana Brandner, Marlo and Norah Kliewer, Bridget Brandner, Nolan, Keenan, and Cameron Pesola, Chandler Brandner, Braxton, Delaina, and Cadence Meyer, Rylan and Phoenix Dake, Scarlett, Cameron, and a baby due in December Dowden, Blair, Bria, and Brylee Baumgartner, and Paisley and Greyson Baumgartner; great-great-grandchild, Lorelei Heier.


Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, husband, 4 brothers and 1 sister.


In lieu of flowers or gifts, memorial donations may be given to Hope Hospice in Elaine’s name.


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

Thomas J. Marshall


Thomas James Marshall, 84, of Westboro, passed away on Monday, September 4, 2023 at Aspirus Hospital in Medford.


A memorial mass will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, September 15, 2023 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Medford with Fr. Patrick McConnell officiating. Military rites provided by the Medford Area Military Honors Team will immediately follow the service at the church.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Thursday evening, September 14 at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home in Medford and again Friday, from 12 p.m. until the time of service at 1 p.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated and may go to the VFW of your choice.


Tom was born September 30, 1938 in Kenosha to James A. and Lucille (Brockhaus) Marshall.  He graduated from high school in Kenosha in 1956.


On November 16, 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Helen Kay Johnson in Kenosha. 


Tom served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 until his honorable discharge in 1958.  Tom started his career as a lineman until becoming a licensed electrician.


Tom and Helen resided in Kenosha and in 1964, moved to Marshfield to raise their young family.  In 1977, the family moved to Medford where Tom began working as an electrician at Weather Shield, retiring from there in 2000.


In 1969, Tom and Helen purchased a cabin on North Twin Lake.  The cabin was their go to place.  They eventually built and moved into a home next to the property.  The cabin remains a place to enjoy and hang out.  They loved being a part of the North Twin community.


Tom was always fixing something, either of his own or someone else’s.  He watched over things at North Twin and would always give a hand or offer advice.  He also enjoyed playing solitaire and cribbage.


He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Helen of Medford; children, James P. (Darlene) Marshall of Dorchester, John (Kay) Marshall of Medford, Jane Emling of Neillsville, Julie (Al) Riemer of Stetsonville; 11 grandchildren, James A. Marshall, Jeremy (Jayme) Marshall, Mitchell Marshall, Elliot (Kelsey) Marshall, Lucia Marshall, Margaret (Zack) Brunsell, Elizabeth (Erik) Chapman, Chad and Lucas Emling, Brooke (Ryan) Steevens, Cassie (Luc) Friedenfels; 3 step-grandchildren, Brian Strey, Scott (Alicia) Strey, Lindsay (Ben) Sydow; 13 great-grandchildren; and 4 step-great-grandchildren.


He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Jeff in infancy; siblings, James J. and Mary; and a granddaughter, Jolene Nowak.

Dale J. Geiger

Dale J Geiger


Dale J. Geiger, age 79, of Dorchester, passed away on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at Aspirus Medford Hospital.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 8, 2023 at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Abbotsford. Father Timothy Oudenhoven will officiate. Interment to follow at Dorchester Memorial Cemetery. Family and friends are welcome from 9:00 until 11:00 a.m. on Friday at the Church. 


Dale was born on August 14, 1944, the son of Clarence and Lucy (Keller) Geiger in Dorchester. He was united in marriage to Donna Theilig on April 8, 1972 in Colby. Dale worked in construction, building barns and roads, worked at Meyer Manufacturing and Lumber before farming in the town of Mayville for many years.


Dale was a jack of all trades and could fix anything. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and spending time at the cabin he built. Most importantly, Dale loved and cherished his family.


Dale is survived by his wife of 51 years, Donna; three children: Vicki (Chris) Michaels of Colfax, Monica DeGroot of Waterford and Pete (Nycole) Geiger of Withee; nine grandchildren: Myranda (Nick) Verheyen, Willie Michaels (fiancé, Abby), Angela (Alex) Dickson, Jennifer (Brad) Kamp, Christina Michaels, David (Angel) DeGroot, Hannah DeGroot, Nathan DeGroot and Zachary Geiger (Lily German); two great-grandchildren: Greyson Geiger and Scott DeGroot and one due in November. He is further survived by his sister, Janice Schmelzer of Burlington and his brother, Rick Geiger of Spokane, WA; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.


He is preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Donald.


Darlene J. Drager


Darlene Jean Drager was the last of 12 children of Henry, Sr. and Bertha (Barkow) Dassow to enter into her Eternal Home.


Darlene was born November 14, 1934 in Medford, baptized on January 6, 1935 and confirmed October 31, 1948 at Trinity Lutheran near the Dassow homestead. She was the 11th of 12 children who grew up on the farm knowing the hard work of chores, gardening, preparing meals not only for the family but for those who came to help during planting and harvesting seasons. She left school after her eighth grade year to help on the farm. She often told stories of the long walks to school and the bull that chased them, and the lunch pails that held lard sandwiches and other farm grown foods.


On January 23, 1954, she and Richard Drager, Sr. were married. They had four children: Shirley (Kelvin) Ruesch, Eau Claire; Nancy (Tim) Shannon, Colby; Richard, Jr. (deceased 2019); and Gary, Medford. Preceding her in death were her husband, Richard, Sr, her son, Richard, Jr; her parents; her brothers: twin Donald, Hilbert, Henry Jr, Harold, Ralph, Clarence, Robert, Alvin, Arnold and her sisters Elaine Gumz and Ardella Dohrwardt along with nephews and in laws.


Darlene loved to kid, play Rummy 500, dunk cookies in coffee, bake cookies and coffee cakes, and make fry cakes. When visiting you always had to take with you some of her homemade goodies. Her biggest joy was spending time with her family. She enjoyed short trips to Bayfield, Wausau, Marshfield, Eau Claire, and Stillwater. She loved flower gardens and berry patches. Her joys included gardening and canning, putting up decorations for every holiday, hanging out sheets for the fresh air smell, and making sure the babies were totally spoiled with gentle cheek pinches and hugs.


Darlene had many hardships in her life. After a horrific car accident in 1986, she was the superb caregiver for her husband until his passing in 1993. Between 1993 and 2019, she cared for others in the family. In 2020 Darlene moved to Eau Claire to be taken care of by Shirley and Kelvin. In April, 2022 she returned to Medford and lived at Vita-Care Assisted Living until her passing September 1 under St. Croix Hospice care. She enjoyed her residential family: George, Tom, Barb, Eileen, Helen, Rosie, Mary, and Doris. When they blew kisses at her, she blew them back. Residents let her know that she took such wonderful care of her baby doll which made Mom smile.


Her grandchildren are Walter (Amie) Marzinske, Alisa Marzinske, Amanda Geiger, Jeremy Lapp, Kurtis Drager, Sara Drager, Bradley Ruesch, Elizabeth Ruesch; great grandchildren Montana, Sierrra, Chantelle, Riely, Abby, Abbie, and Mia; and great great grandchildren: Arianna, Octavia, Callie, and newly born twins Laiklynn and Oaklynn.


A special thank you to Diane Anderson, APNP, Aspirus Medford Clinic, and Dr. Kristina Schuldt, Mayo Clinic Health System, Eau Claire for their compassionate care and kindness during the years Darlene was seen by them.


Visitation will be held at Hemer Pickerign Funeral Home (Medford) on Friday, September 8 from 5-7 with a prayer service by Rev. Russow and eulogy by daughter Shirley. On September 9, visitation will be at Zion Lutheran Church (Stetsonville) an hour before the service at 11:00. Lunch to follow after the service. Committal will be at a later date.


Memorial donations can be made to the family of Darlene Drager.


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

Lillian Mae Hartzell


Lillian Mae Hartzell, 86 of Gilman, passed away peacefully in the presence of family, Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at UW Hospital Madison.


She was born on April 22, 1937 in Eau Claire to the late Art and Della (Hodge) Ingles. Lillian grew up in the Cobban area near Cornell. She married Larry Hartzell on October 18, 1958 at the Gilman Presbyterian Church.


She enjoyed riding horses, snowmobiling, motorcycling, and camping. She loved gardening, cooking, and playing Skip-Bo. Most of all, she loved the Lord and enjoyed reading and studying the Bible.


She worked at Zastrow's nursing home for many years. Also was an EMT and Ambulance Coordinator, and most recently a Pilot car driver for oversize loads.


She is survived by her children, Tammy (David) Wojcik of Hannibal, Shane (Dana) Hartzell of Gilman, Robin (Julie) Hartzell of Cadott and April (Jeff) Sauer of Thorp, 19 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and 2 brothers, Tom Ingles of Cornell and Jack (Sandy) Ingles of Stanley.


Lillian is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Larry (2021), sisters, Darlene (infancy), Margaret Lange, Nancy Miller and Vicky Ingles and brothers, Charlie and Jim Ingles.


A funeral service will be held at Noon on Monday, September 11, 2023 at the Northland Baptist Church-Hannibal with Rev. Richard Chromy officiating. Visitation will be from 10AM until time of service. Inurnment in Meadowbrook Cemetery will take place at a later date. Plombon Funeral Service is serving the family.


2023-09 | 2023-08


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