Wausau area obituaries January 4, 2023

 Obituaries are a community service courtesy of Helke and Brainard Funeral Homes.

James J. Ryan

James Joseph Ryan passed away peacefully on Friday, December 30, 2022, at Rennes Hospice in Weston. 

Jim was born April 16, 1928 in Weston, WI, Son of the late John and Frieda Ryan. He married Sandra Woodward on May 5th, 1956 in Pine Valley Minnesota.

Jim served in the Army and was stationed in Germany. He retired from Weyerhauser in 1990. In his younger years he was a successful stock car driver. He raised beef cattle and cut pulp and firewood. Jim was an avid vegetable gardener. He enjoyed taking care of his yard and watching his grandson race and spending time with all his grandchildren. 

Jim is survived by; sons, Barry (Linda Maly) Ryan, Forrest Ryan; and daughter Kelly (Nick) Erickson. He is further survived by grandchildren, Lee (Terri) Ryan, Nickolas (Fiance Nichole Sullivan) Erickson, Jr., and Jennifer (Matthew) Folz; five great-grandchildren, and two great great-grandchildren. 
He was preceded in death by his wife Sandra, Brothers: John, Lawrence, Arthur, and Clarence Ryan and Sisters: Mary Mortenson, Betty Wolfe and Elly Ryan, and his beloved dog Buffy. 

A Funeral Service will held on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 11:30 am at Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel. Visitation will be held on Monday January 9, 2023 from 10:00 AM until the hour of Service at the Funeral Home. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Humane Society or New Life Pet Adoption Center.

Taylor Sarazen

Taylor Sarazen, 29, passed away Saturday, December 31, 2022 after a brief illness.

She was born June 15, 1993 in Wausau, daughter of David and Lori (Pachmayer) Mariani.  On July 15, 2017 she married Sean Sarazen at First United Methodist Church, Wausau.  It was special that they shared their wedding anniversary with Taylor’s grandparents, Karl and Carol.

In 2011, Taylor graduated from Wausau West High School where she was currently employed as a Business Education Teacher.  In 2015, she graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. 

Taylor loved to shop, read, downhill ski and travel.  Some of her favorite trips included visiting Maui with Sean and London with her mom.  Time spent with her dad involved cheering on their favorite Minnesota teams and every Saturday was spent with her sister and best friend, Madison.

Taylor and Sean’s 10 years together were the best of her life, they loved to travel, host family and friends at their home and just spend time with each other.

Loved ones include her soulmate, Sean Sarazen; loving parents, David and Lori Mariani; adoring sister, Madison Mariani; father and mother-in-law, Jeff and Cherri Sarazen; sister-in-law, Marni Sarazen; grandparents, Karl and Carol Pachmayer; aunt and godmother and uncle, Lisa and Stewart Plumley; cousin, Becket Plumley and grandma-in-law, June Sarazen.

Funeral services will be 12:00 Noon Saturday, January 7, 2023 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Ave., Wausau.  Rev. Rebecca Voss will officiate.  Visitation will be Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the Stewart Avenue funeral home.

Doris R. Kubitz

Doris R. Kubitz, 91, passed peacefully to her eternal life on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 under the excellent care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Hospice House, Wausau.

Doris was born February 16, 1931 in Fenwood, Wisconsin, daughter of the late Henry and Inga (Johnsrud) Halvorson.  She was the sixth, truly the middle child, of their eleven children.  On October 14, 1950 she married Glen Kubitz.  They built a house and raised their family together.  It was her great sorrow that he preceded her in death on July 11, 1994.

Doris loved dancing to polka music and thoroughly enjoyed a good party.  She enjoyed bringing family and friends together, including hosting special events like wedding showers and baby showers.  For many years Doris hosted a New Year’s Day party at her home that was the highlight of the holiday for her extended family.  Playing cards, collecting fancy tea cups and coins, a fine sense of style and wearing high heels – these are some of the things we remember her for.  She loved to sing and was a choir member at Trinity Lutheran Church for a number of years.

Survivors include her children, Deb (Lloyd) Klein, Jon (Karen) Kubitz;  grandchildren Nathan (Abbie) Franke, Stephanie Larson and Brandon Kubitz; 5 great-grandchildren, Owen Franke, Eli Franke, Tate Franke, Braxton Larson and Michael Martinson; her long-time partner, Charles Peterlik; her sisters, Betty Pliskie, Elaine Langhoff, Christine Hager and Joann Swanson; brother-in-law, Arlon Hopperdietzel and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents and husband, Glen, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Arnold Halvorson, Melvin Halvorson, Helen Patton, Irving Halvorson, Orvis Halvorson, Florence/Laurie Halvorson; brothers-in-law, Richard Pliskie and Steven Swanson; niece, Julie Newmann and nephew, Robert Halvorson; Glen’s parents, brother-in-law Roger Kubitz, sister-in-law, Marlene Kubitz.  Doris’ sister-in-law, Jean Hopperdietzel, followed her into eternal rest a few hours after Doris’ passing.

Funeral services will be held January 12, 2023 at Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau.  Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM, service will begin at 11:30 AM.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to Doris’ memorial to Aspirus Hospice House Foundation.  The family would like to thank all the staff and volunteers at Aspirus Hospice House for all the kindness and care they provided for Doris, and for her family.  You are special and wonderful people!  

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Ross E. Zahn

Ross E. Zahn, age 85, of Mattoon, died on Monday, January 2, 2023 at Rose Mary Manor in Mattoon.

Ross was born on August 12, 1937 in Mattoon, the son of L. Walter and Laverne (Robbins) Zahn.

On June 17, 1961, Ross was united in marriage to Virginia Beyer in Mattoon.

Ross was a United States Army veteran serving from 1955 to 1959. He worked for the Mattoon Veneer Mill and retired from Wick Homes after many years of employment. Ross always kept busy and enjoyed woodworking. He was an active member of St. John’s Lutheran church in Mattoon and served as past Elder and Trustee. Family was important to Ross and he enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s events.

Ross is survived by his wife Virginia; two children, Joanne (Doug) Littlejohn and Randy (Kathy) Zahn; five grandchildren, Cassie (Steve Schlenner) Littlejohn, William (fiancé Megan) Littlejohn, Matthew Littlejohn, Abigail (significant other Dakota Maker) Littlejohn and Danielle Mertens; three great-grandchildren, A.J. Garcia and Greta and Benjamin Schlenner and siblings, Anita Grosz, Linda Zahn and Dale Zahn.

Ross was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, David and Joseph in infancy and Karen Erickson.

A funeral service will be held at 11AM on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Mattoon. Rev. Steve Pockat will officiate. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, town of Hutchins. Visitation will be on Saturday from 9AM until the time of service at the church.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at schmidtschulta.com

The family would like to thank all the staff at Rose Mary Manor especially Ashley, Amanda, Misty and Billie for loving dad as their own.

Joanne C. Ashenbrenner

Joanne C. Ashenbrenner, 84 of Wittenberg, died on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at Marshfield Medical Center, Weston.

Joanne was born on a farm, in the town of Morris, on November 17, 1938, the daughter of Alton and Bessie (Hull) Curtis. At the age of six, Joanne got a Shetland. At the age of nine, Joanne got her favorite horse, Major. Joanne would round up cows and drive them into the barn, in the summer, to be milked. If her father worked late, she would start milking them and sometimes get them all milked because she wanted to help.

On September 28, 1957, Joanne was united in marriage to Ronald Ashenbrenner at Holy Family Catholic Church, Wittenberg.

Joanne was an outdoors person. She shot many deer. She pitched 20 years of women’s softball. Joanne planted flowers, trimmed hedges, cut grass, had a garden, picked raspberries, blue berries, made sauerkraut and canned and froze many vegetables. She also enjoyed making wine.

Joanne loved sewing and upholstery and even sewed some wedding dresses. She enjoyed outdoor picnics, often times doing a lot of her own cooking. Her winter hobby was puzzles, playing inside games and just socializing Thursday nights, at Corner Bar on County Hwy M, where she had many friends.

Joanne is survived by her husband, Ronald; three children, Dennis Ashenbrenner, Terri (Steve) Krueger and Barbara (Bradley) Love; six grandchildren, Joshua (Lindsey) Krueger, Kacie (Andrew) Tiller, Kylie (Erik) Heinz, Jessalyn (Gunner) Kopitzke, Brandon Hable and Eric (fiancée Jenny) Hable; 14 great grandchildren; a brother, Howard (Joan) Curtis and many other relatives and friends. Joanne was preceded in death by her parents.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at Holy Family – St. William Catholic Church, Wittenberg. Father Matthew Settle will preside. Burial will take place in Holy Family Catholic Cemetery in Wittenberg. Visitation will be held from 9am until the time of Mass at the church.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home of Wittenberg is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and messages of support may be shared at schmidtschulta.com.

 Peter J. Harvey

Peter J. (Pete) Harvey, age 88, died in Wausau with his wife and children at his side after a brief bout with bone cancer. Pete was born in Rhinelander, WI on September 3, 1934 to the late William and Catherine (Charrey) Harvey, the youngest of nine children. He attended Rhinelander High School as well as Nicolet Technical College. After high school, Pete enlisted in the United States Air Force and received his honorable discharge in 1959. During his enlistment, he served in Okinawa as well as in the states. After returning home, he went on to serve for many years in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. In 1961, Pete married Carolyn Clure and they enjoyed over 61 of marriage together.

Pete worked for many years for the Rhinelander Paper Company. Upon retirement, Pete and his wife bought a home in Sun City, AZ and they lived there for over 20 years enjoying the sunshine and the golf; his game improving steadily from daily play. Pete and Carolyn enjoyed the numerous family visits and spent countless days traveling and exploring many sites all over the Southwest. In 2021 they moved back to Wisconsin to be near family and settled in Wausau. 

Pete’s faith in the Lord was his rock, and he leaned hard on his faith during his medical battles. He always knew that God was by his side, guiding him through his life journey. The family is thankful for the many pastors and church associates that were such a huge part of Pete’s life. Additionally, the entire family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to the Aspirus Hospice Care team for their outstanding attention and care that they provided during Pete’s illness. 

Pete was preceded in death by his parents as well as his brothers William, Owen, Edward, Douglas, and Thomas, and his sisters Catherine, Sister Mary Ann, and Sister Mary Peter.

In addition to Carolyn, Pete is survived by his son Greg (Karen) Harvey, daughter Rita (Ken) Fanning, grandchildren Jennifer Pittsley, Brad (Kaylee) Harvey, Drew Colborn, and Kevin (Alyssa) Colborn. He is furthered survived by the lights of his life, his great-grandchildren Brayden, Alexis, Evan, Cadence, Camilla, and Jaxx. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren did no wrong, and he played with them and invented silly, made-up games for them to play. Pete firmly believed that all children should be loved and cherished. 

A Celebration of Life gathering will be held on January 13th at The Pines Event Center, 5840 Forest Lane, Rhinelander, WI beginning with visitation at 11:00 AM, a brief service at noon, with a luncheon to follow.

Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family at this time. Online condolences can be expressed at mwcs.ws. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Rhinelander High School Class of 1980 Scholarship Fund; checks must be made out to “The Class of 1980” and mailed (or via online banking) to BMO Harris Bank, PO BOX 280, Rhinelander, WI 54501. Checks may also be personally delivered at the Celebration of Life gathering.