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Obituaries
Burton L. Olson, 67, died January 21st, 2015
Burton L. Olson, 67, of Humbird, WI, passed away Wednesday, January 21, 2015, at Pine View Care Center, Black River Falls, WI.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, February 1, 2015, 2:00 p.m., at Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home, Hixton, WI.
Reverend Terry Marg will be officiating. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Pole Grove Cemetery, Hixton.

Family and friends are invited for visitation Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., at Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home, Hixton.

Family and friends are also invited for visitation Sunday, February 1, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home.

Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home of Hixton is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences are available www.jensenmodjeskifuneralhome.com.
William C. Anderson Jr., 75, died January 21st, 2015
William “Billy” Charles Anderson Jr, age 75, went to play his music for the angels on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 in Neillsville, WI.

William Charles Anderson Jr. was born in Waterloo, Iowa on March 19, 1939. From a very young age Billy knew he loved music and began playing the organ at a bar where his dad cleaned. As he grew up he took private music lessons and eventually studied classical music at the University of Northern Iowa. Billy was drafted into the United States Army on January 2, 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis but even that did not stop him from playing his music. After his honorable discharge, on December 4, 1963, he performed in many states across the Midwest and was currently a regular in Wisconsin Dells, WI and was well known for playing at Fannies Supper Club in Neillsville, WI. He also recorded and released 2 CD’s.

Billy also enjoyed bird watching and bicycling and took part in the Ragbrai, a bicycle trip across Iowa.

Billy will be greatly missed by his significant other, Sarah Poertner of Neillsville, WI and many friend and family members from Waterloo, Iowa.

The Gesche Funeral Home of Neillsville, WI is assisting Billy’s family.
John H. Ringstad, 89, died January 20th, 2015
John Ringstad, age 89, of Neillsville, WI died Tuesday, January 20, 2015 surrounded by his loving family, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, WI.

John Hunter Ringstad was born on January 11, 1926 in Mount Pleasant, MI the son of Alfred and Margaret (Anderson) Ringstad. When John was about six years old, he and his family moved to his grandfather’s farm near Eland, WI. He attended grade school in Norrie, WI and graduated from Wittenberg High School in 1944. He enlisted into the United States Marine Corps on June 28, 1944 and served in the South Pacific, Pearl Harbor, during World War II. He was discharged from the USMC on August 6, 1946. He attended River Falls State Teacher’s College School of Agriculture, where he met his wife-to-be, Marilyn Jones. John and Marilyn united in marriage on December 28, 1949 at the Cylon Methodist Church. John was a member of the Marine Corps Reserve and was called to active duty during the Korean Conflict. In 1951, he graduated from River Falls with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and Science. He took his first job out of college in August of 1952 as the Veterans on Farm Trainer in Oconto Falls, WI. In December of 1952 received an appointment as the Assistant Co. Supervisor with Farmer’s Home Administration, USDA in Viroqua, WI. They lived there until July 15, 1956, when he accepted the position as County Supervisor in Neillsville. In August of 1963 he was appointed to the 3rd Ward Alderman in the City of Neillsville. John was promoted to Rural Housing Specialist headquartered in Stevens Point, WI and assumed duties as the Multi-Family Housing Coordinator. On January 28, 1985, he was reassigned to the district offices in Eau Claire as the acting District Director and later that year as the District Director at Black River Falls, WI. On December 28, 1989, John, retired from Government Services after 40 years of service. In retirement, he formed his own business, Key Consulting as a housing specialist. He worked with communities to provide affordable housing to low income individuals and two apartment buildings were named in his honor in Marshfield, WI and Madison, WI.

John was a member of the United Church of Christ in Neillsville and was a member of the Wilson-Heintz VFW Post 2241 in Neillsville and served on the Military Honors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and ice fishing, woodworking, reading and golfing. He was a social person who enjoyed people and enjoyed life. He always said ”I’m a lucky man!”

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, three children, Paula (Bernie) Levitt of Houston, TX, Jill Comte of Oakland, CA and Tom Ringstad of Stoughton, WI, seven grandchildren, Jason Comte, Lauren (Nick) Floyd, Nicole (Matt) Thibodaux, John Ringstad, Jeremy Comte, Adam Ringstad and Michael Ringstad.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, James.

Funeral Services for John will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the United Church of Christ in Neillsville.
Pastor Jacoba Koppert will officiate. Interment will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Norrie, WI with Military Honors conducted by the Wittenberg Bloecher-Johnson American Legion Post #502.

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville and from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Saturday at the Church.

Casket Bearers are: Jason Comte, Jeremy Comte, John Ringstad, Adam Ringstad and Michael Ringstad.

Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting John’s family with Funeral arrangements.
Gene A. Gurney, 74, died January 18th, 2015
Gene Gurney, age 74, of Neillsville, WI died Sunday, January 18, 2015 in the Palliative Care Unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, WI.

Eugene Allen Gurney was born on April 11, 1940 in Curtiss, WI the son of William “George” and Elma (Kauffman) Gurney. He attended Neillsville High School and then served in the United States National Guard from August 10, 1957 to December 15, 1975. He worked construction for Gaier’s and Tesmer’s and was united in marriage to Sue Eddy on October 18, 1980 in Neillsville. They lived in Hayward, WI for a short time, where Gene owned Gurney Block and Concrete Construction. There he built the buildings surrounding the World Fishing Hall of Fame. When they returned to Neillsville, he worked at the Nelson Muffler Factory and for 15 years drove semi-truck for Roehl Transport in Marshfield. He retired in 2002.

He is a member of the United Church of Christ in Neillsville and a member of the American Cribbage Congress. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, watching the Green Bay Packers, playing cards and woodworking. He made his family cabinets, night stands and a gun cabinet. Most of all though, Gene, loved spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Sue, five children, Chris (Dave) Kugel of Winona, MN, Jim (significant other, Deb) Gurney of Neillsville, WI, Mary Jo (significant other, Joe) Warren of Loyal, WI, Jeff (Stephanie) Gurney of Neillsville, WI and Nickie (Bill) Miller of Loyal, WI, 12 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, six siblings, Charles (Laura) Gurney of Sarasota, FL, Louie (Diane) Gurney of Neillsville, WI, Barbara (Steve) Roberts of Neillsville, WI, William Gurney of Neillsville, WI, Galen Gurney of Marshfield, WI and Nancy (Arthur) Hosking of Sheboygan, WI. Gene is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Jerry and a sister, Lucille.

Funeral Services for Gene will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January 22, 2015 at the United Church of Christ in Neillsville. Pastor Jacoba Koppert will officiate. Interment will be in the Neillsville City Cemetery with Military Honors conducted by the Neillsville Veteran’s Council.

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday at the Gesche Funeral Home and from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Thursday at the United Church of Christ.

Honorary Casket Bearers are: Joe Holman, Randy Rendmeister and Brody Miller. Casket Bearers are: Adam Rendmeister, Nicholas Rendmeister, Tony Holman, Shawn Warren Jr., Brian Eddy and Alex Slenczka.

Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Gene’s family with Funeral arrangements.
Elma M. Gurney, 97, died January 15th, 2015
Elma Gurney, age 97, of Neillsville, WI died Thursday, January 15, 2015 at the Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation Center.

Elma Mae Gurney was born on November 5, 1917 in Withee, WI the daughter of Wesley and Hattie (nee Fosnow) Kauffman. She grew up in Abbostsford, WI and graduated from Abbotsford High School in 1935 as valedictorian. She married William “George” Gurney on April 29, 1937 in Janesville, WI. She has been a resident of Neillsville since 1950.

Her favorite hobbies were fishing, gardening, playing cards and going to the casino.

She is survived by her children, Charles (Laura) Gurney of Sarasota, FL, Louie (Diane) Gurney of Neillsville, WI, Eugene (Sue) Gurney of Neillsville, WI , Barbara (Steve) Roberts of Neillsville, WI, William Gurney of Neillsville, WI, Galen Gurney of Marshfield, WI and Nancy (Arthur) Hosking of Sheboygan, WI, Ronald (Linda) Gurney, a grandchild they raised. She is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, a daughter-in-law, Carol Gurney of Waukesha, WI, a son-in-law, Wayne “Bill” Oldham of Neillsville, WI and a grandson-in-law, Donald Finck.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, William “George”, her son, Jerome Gurney, her daughter, Lucille Oldham, a granddaughter, Theresa Finck and a grandson, Adam Oldham.

Funeral Services for Elma will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 19, 2015 at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville.
Pastor Jacoba Koppert will officiate. Interment will be in the North Pine Valley Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., Monday at the Gesche Funeral Home.

Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Elma’s family with Funeral arrangements.
Daniel G. Schwark, 71, died January 13th, 2015
Daniel Schwark, age 71, of Willard, WI died Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, WI.

Daniel Gustave Schwark was born on December 13, 1943 in Neenah, WI the son of Gustave John and Margaret Louise (Kohrt) Schwark. He grew up in Green Lake, WI and at the age of 15 he and his family moved to Willard. They farmed in Hendren Township and eventually Daniel took over ownership of the farm. On July 18, 1970 he was united in marriage to Susan J. Grap at the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Globe, WI. They dairy farmed until their barn fire on March 28, 2006 destroyed most everything. They rebuilt after the fire, and farmed beef cattle until his health forced him to retire in 2013.

Dan was a member of the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Globe. He served as the church’s financial secretary, the congregational secretary and he was a member of the church’s dartball team. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing cards.

He is survived by his wife, Susan J. Schwark, four children, Scot A. Schwark of Rochester, MN, Todd J. (Katie) Schwark of Janesville, WI, Kim D. (Terra) Schwark of Loyal, WI and Lisa K. (Andrew) Esselman of Nekoosa, WI, eight grandchildren, Britany Schwark, Hannah Schwark, Noah Schwark, Nathan Esselman, Damian Schwark, Ashley Schwark, Ava Schwark and Natalie Esselman. Dan is further survived by three siblings, David (Phyllis) Schwark of Waupun, WI, Wayne (Doris) Schwark of Waupun, WI and Donna Scheier of Dalton, WI.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral Services for Dan will be held at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Globe.
Pastor John Warmuth will officiate. Interment will be in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday at the Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Daniel’s family with Funeral arrangements.
Chester P. Stillman, 94, died January 10th, 2015
Chester Stillman, age 94, of Granton, WI died Saturday, January 10, 2015 at the Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation Center.

Chester Paul Stillman was born on October 28, 1920 in Medford, WI the son of Paul and Jenny Stillman. He was drafted into the United States Army and served with the Horse Calvary during World War II. On May 13, 1942 he was united in marriage to Betty Zimmerman. As a young man, he drove truck, hauling beer out of Milwaukee. He hauled the first canned beer out of the brewery. He also worked with his Dad logging and hauling lumber out of Montana. He and his father started Stillman Lumber Co. in Granton, WI. He went on to own Chet’s Towing Service, towing semis. He was known as the “Rescue Angel” and he ran that business for 20 years. He worked from his shop and built and sold trucking equipment for many trucking companies until 2012.

He loved going to his cabin and spending time with his family, fishing and he liked to go the restaurant every day and have breakfast with the guys.

He is survived by his children Beverly (Kenneth) Vine of Granton, WI, Joanie (Bruce) Cliver of Bloomer, WI and Linda (Kenny) Coyle of Medford, WI, a daughter-in-law, Debbie Stillman of Granton, WI, 8 Grandchildren, Louann (Allan) Hanson of Owen, WI, Lisa (Al) O’Neil of Rosholt, WI, Pat (Janice) Cliver of Marathon, WI, Tony Cliver of Bloomer, WI, Zena (Ted) Pelletier of San Antonio, TX, Scotty Stillman of Germany, Travis (Mandy) Coyle of Medford, WI and Rusty (Chis) Coyle of Oconomowoc, WI, 12 Great Grandchildren, 4 Great Great Grandchildren and two nephews, Allan (Carol) Zimmerman and Leslie Zimmerman

He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Stillman, a son, Jerry Stillman and a sister, Wilma Jane.

Funeral Services for Chester will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville. Pastor Allan Zimmerman will officiate. Interment will be in the Windfall Cemetery in Granton, WI, with Military Honors conducted by the Neillsville Veteran’s Council. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Tuesday at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville.

Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Chester’s family with Funeral arrangements.
Sylvia B. Luchterhand, 89, died January 10th, 2015
Sylvia Luchterhand, age 89, of Neillsville, WI died Saturday, January 10, 2015 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, WI.

Sylvia Bernice Johnson was born on May 13, 1925 in Webster, SD the daughter of Jacob and Anna (McCarlson) Johnson. She attended country schools in the area and then graduated from Roslyn High School in Roslyn, SD. After graduation, she attended Teacher’s College and then taught in Roslyn for 5 years. On November 14, 1948 she was united in marriage to Earl E. Luchterhand at the Tabor Church in Webster, SD. After their wedding, they moved to Neillsville and rented a farm 1 ½ miles north of Christie, WI. They then purchased their farm in the Town of York and farmed there until their son, Glen and his wife, Virginia purchased it from them in 1977. Sylvia also worked part-time in the deli at the IGA in Neillsville for eight years.

She was a member of the Zion American Evangelical Lutheran Church in Granton and a member of the Good Neighbors Homemakers Club. In retirement she enjoyed painting, rosemaling, gardening and tending to her flower beds. She was also very musically inclined, teaching herself to play the piano and accordion. In her younger years, she and her sister were known for the singing ability. Sylvia enjoyed her trips back to South Dakota and her fishing trips to Canada with her family and friends. She loved spending time with her family especially her grand children and great grand children.

She is survived by her husband, Earl, seven children, Eileen Schreindl of Neillsville, WI, Armon (Mary) Luchterhand of Neillsville, WI, Jeffrey (Angie) Luchterhand of Alma Center, WI, Charlene (Dean) Haggerty of Merrill, WI, Dennis (Deb) Luchterhand of Edgerton, WI, Glen (Virginia) Luchterhand of Neillsville, WI and Terry (Diane) Luchterhand of Spencer, WI, 20 Grandchildren, 32 Great Grandchildren and 1 Great Great Grandchild. Sylvia is also survived by three sisters, her twin sister, Carola Davidson of Webster, SD, Marilyn Hemmingson of Bradley, SD and Lillian Pies of Webster, SD.

She was preceded in death by a son, Howard in 1969, her parents, three brothers, James, Sherman and Julian Johnson and three brothers-in-law, Earl Davidson, Al Hemmingson and Eddie Pies.

A Memorial Service for Sylvia will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 16, 2015 at the Zion American Evangelical Lutheran Church, W2840 Hill Rd, Granton, WI. Pastor Jay Welshonse will officiate. Music will be provided by Marjorie Dahl, organist. Interment will be the Zion American Church Cemetery at a later date.

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., with a 7:30 p.m., Prayer Service, Thursday at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville and from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Friday at the Church.

Honorary casket bearers will be all of Sylvia’s grandchildren.

Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.
PHILIP O. MATTES, 73, died January 8th, 2015
PHILIP O. "FIBBER" MATTES, age 73, of Thorp, WI, passed away at Our Lady of Victory Hospital, in Stanley, WI, on Thursday, January 8, 2015.

A visitation will be held at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Thorp, WI, on Saturday, January 17, 2015, from 9:30 - 11:30am.

A memorial service will follow with Rev. Paul Bittner officiating.
A burial will take place in Sylvan Cemetery, in the Township of Reseburg at a later date. WEAR YOUR COWBOY BOOTS!

Philip Orlin Mattes was born on November 7, 1941 in the Town of Reseburg, rural Thorp, to Philip C. and Elmira M. (Kuester) Mattes. Philip graduated from Thorp High School in 1960 and then attended the UW-Whitewater. He was united in marriage to Diane J. Wuethrich on August 6, 1966 in Greenwood. Fibber farmed in the Town of Reseburg, and later bought Mattes Livestock.

Fibber enjoyed going to cattle auctions, playing cards, the beaches of Mexico, and telling stories about his business ventures.

He was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and the Wisconsin Livestock Dealer's Association.

Fibber was an organ donor, allowing more people in need to live.

He is survived by his wife: Diane, of Thorp; his daughter: Laura (Thomas) Schleicher of Oconomowoc, WI; sister: Jean (Dr. Daniel) Winger of Surprise, AZ; niece: Michele (Richard) Price of Stanley, WI, and their children: Victoria (Jeff) Flashinski and their son, Bradley of Thorp, WI, Alexandra Price of Eagan, MN, Nathan Price and his daughter, Azylia, of Stanley, WI; nephew: Paul Winger of Chippewa Falls, WI. His family also included: Dallas (Lois) Wuethrich and their children: Tayt (Jennifer) Wuethrich and Trevor (Tonia) Wuethrich, all of Greenwood, WI; Dawn (Keith) Stump of Maricopa, AZ, and their children: Jay (Lona) Stump of Greenwood, WI, Jill Stump of DePere, WI, and Janet (Daniel) Stensgard of Maricopa, AZ.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son: Philip Jon Frederick Mattes; two brothers: Donald and Marlyn Mattes; and his favorite Beagle, Bentley.

We would like to thank Dr. Kinkaid of the Mayo Clinic, his faithful right-hand men: Pat Benzschawel, Zack Bauer, and Pat Bauer, and the Thorp EMT's for their heroic response.

Memorials may be directed to the Philip Mattes Memorial Fund.

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

Thorp Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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