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Obituaries
“Niomani” / “Xawico” Howard Levi Swallow , 68, died February 3rd, 2016
Howard Levi Swallow, 68, of Neillsville, WI died on Wednesday, February 03, 2016, at his home.

Howard Levi Swallow was born to Imogene Swallow Winneshiek and Henry Greengrass on September 25, 1947. He attended and graduated from Neillsville public schools. He attended the Madison Area Technical School. On July 15, 1970, he joined the United States Marine Corp and served in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged on July 15, 1973. He worked for Lunda Construction, for the Ho Chunk Nation as a safety inspector and numerous other jobs. Howard enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, hunting and riding his Harley. He also enjoyed playing bingo and Pokeeno, loved gardening and traveling.

He is survived by a daughter, Delaine Marrietta, a son, Christopher Swallow, a step-daughter, Lisa Flick, grandchildren, Shannon Baldwin, Lalanya Marrietta, Leelee, Usher, Ayla and Katie Swallow and great grandchildren, Zadrian and Nymiah. He is further survived by numerous brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Funeral services for Howard will be held at 12:00 p.m., Friday, February 5, 2016, at the Dells Dam Community Center. Dennis Funmaker will officiate.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Friday morning prior to the service at the Dells Dam Community Center. Interment will be in the Dells Dam Family Cemetery. The Andrew Blackhawk Post #129 will provide Military Honors.

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

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Howard’s family with Funeral arrangements.
GEORGE J. GRABARA, JR, 84, died January 31st, 2016
GEORGE J. GRABARA, JR., age 84, of Greenwood, died on Sunday, January 31, 2016 at the Clark County Rehab & Living Center in Owen, WI.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church, in Greenwood, WI, at 12pm on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Rev. Steve Brice will officiate and cremainal burial will follow in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery. Military rites will be conducted by the Greenwood American Legion Post #238.

Visitation will be held at the church, on Saturday, from 11am until time of service.

George Joseph Grabara, Jr. was born on January 30, 1932 in Kenosha, WI, the son of George J. and Mary (Higarth) Grabara, Sr. He was raised and received his education in Kenosha and Milwaukee area schools until moving with his family to Greenwood in 1948. George entered the U.S. Army on January 23, 1951 and served until his discharge on January 18, 1954. He was united in marriage to Gaile M. Hukari on March 2, 1954 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Greenwood. They lived in Greenwood and George worked with his father in the family bakery. After his father's death in 1970, George took over the operation of the bakery until retiring in 1998. He continued to reside in Greenwood until entering Clark County Rehab & Living Center in August of 2014.

He was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, and the Greenwood American Legion Post #238. George had many interests, but especially enjoyed target shooting, reloading ammo, playing cribbage and bowling in his younger years. George was named the Greenwood Citizen of the Year in 2005.

He is survived by his children: Mandy Murphy (Howie Rosenlof) of Greenwood, Tony Grabara (April Barrick) of Bosque Farms, NM, Max (Olga) Grabara of Eau Claire, Fred (Hannah) Grabara of Madison, Joan (Terry) Barton of Bothell, WA; nine grandchildren: Sam and Molly Murphy, Brittany and Ashley Olson, Jacob and Hailey Grabara, Racheal Thompson, Georgia Mae Grabara, Garrett Barton; one great grandson: Jaxon Dix; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

George was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Gaile, on April 14, 2010; and two sister: Elsie Sowieja and Mary Weiss.

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

Cuddie Funeral Home, of Greenwood, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Marion H. Rayburn, 98, died January 29th, 2016
Marion Rayburn, age 98, of Neillsville, WI died Friday, January 29, 2016 at the Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation Center.

Marion Helena Riley was born on November 17, 1917 in Toronto, Canada the daughter of Arthur C. and Iva Jean (Blackhall) Riley. She attended Bradley University in Peoria, IL and was united in marriage to Fred C. Rayburn on August 4, 1937 in Peoria by her father Rev. Arthur C. Riley. Marion and Fred were married for 75 years.

She was a member of the Living Hope Evangelical Free Church in Neillsville.

She is survived by 3 sons, Fred (Donna) Rayburn of Glenview, IL, Charles (Joann) Rayburn of Onalaska, WI and Daniel Rayburn of Pittsville, WI, a daughter, Kathleen Claybaugh of Watauga, TX, 13 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, 4 great great grandchildren, a brother, Rev. Donald Riley of Alton, IL and two sisters, Dorothy Fuller of Wisconsin Rapids, WI and Frances Bierly of Peoria, IL.

Marion was preceded in death by her husband, Fred C. Rayburn, a daughter, Barbara Rugg, a son-in-law, George Rugg, a daughter-in-law, Joy Rayburn, her parents, a brother, Arthur Riley, a sister, Muriel Zaderaka and three brothers-in-law, Fred Zaderaka, Rodney Fuller and Richard Bierly.

A Memorial Service for Marion will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 1, 2016 at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville. David Skiff will officiate the service.

Visitation time will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Monday the Gesche Funeral Home.

The family of Marion Rayburn would like to thank the staff of the Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation Center, who lovingly cared for our mother.

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

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Marion’s family with Funeral arrangements.
Geraldine E. "Gerrie" Florence, 89, died January 27th, 2016
GERALDINE E. "GERRIE" FLORENCE, age 89, of Abbotsford, formerly of Loyal, passed away on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at Golden Living Center - Continental Manor, in Abbotsford. Funeral services will be held at 11am on Monday, February 1, 2016 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Loyal. Rev. Daniel Zimmerman will officiate and burial will follow at the Sherwood Cemetery, in the Town of Sherwood. Visitation will be held at the church, on Monday, from 10am until time of service.

Geraldine Elaine Gehrke was born on May 4, 1926 in Clintonville, WI, to Alfred and Esther (Schwantes) Gehrke. She attended parochial elementary school in Clintonville and two years at Clintonville High School. Her family moved to Marshfield in 1942, where she graduated from Marshfield High School in 1944. After high school, Gerrie worked in Washington DC during WWII, and then returned to Marshfield and was employed at Roddis Manufacturing. She was united in marriage to Charles B. "Charlie" Florence on August 6, 1949 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Marshfield. They bought a farm in the Town of Sherwood, where they farmed until buying a farm near Loyal. They farmed in Loyal until 1970, at which time they sold the farm and moved into Loyal. Gerrie also worked at PCA, the TRG, and Gorsegner Law Office in Loyal.

She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, loved her dogs and enjoyed traveling.

Gerrie is survived by her son: Ken C. Bennett of Dallas, TX; one sister-in-law: Betty Dimler of Fremont; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charlie, on April 11, 2008; and two sisters: Dorothy Buttke and Gloria Florence.

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

Cuddie Funeral Home, of Loyal, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Margaret H. A. Schrader, 87, died January 26th, 2016
MARGARET H. A. SCHRADER, age 87, of Loyal, WI, passed away at Country Terrace Assisted Living in Abbotsford, WI on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. A private family burial will be held at a later date.

Margaret Hannah Adella Poppy was born on January 5, 1929 in the Town of Richfield, Wood County, WI, the daughter of Johann Ferdinand and Elsie Amelia Sophia (Karsten) Poppy. She was raised on the family farm and received her education in the Town of Richfield. Margaret was united in marriage to Marvin John Schrader on September 27, 1947 in the Town of Day, Marathon County, WI. In 1955, the family relocated to Sturgis, St. Joseph County, MI. She raised her family and was employed at several companies in the Sturgis area, including, Trans-O-Gram Toys and Paramount Furniture Company. Her husband, Marvin, died on November 11, 1985, in Sturgis MI. She later met Warren Sweet and moved with him to Riplinger, Clark County, WI, in 1987. They lived in Riplinger until Warren's death on October 6, 1995. Margaret then moved to Loyal, Clark County, WI and resided there until entering Country Terrace Assisted Living in Abbotsford. She had many interests, but especially enjoyed dancing, traveling, growing flowers, crossword puzzles and Elvis Presley, “You Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog”.

Margaret is survived by two daughters: Carol Margaret Steiner of Weidman, MI, Marie Ann Frohriep-Grams of Sparta, MI; two sons: Marv Schrader of McFarland, WI; Michael John Schrader of Thorp, WI; 11 grandchildren: Abi (Jeremy) Flora and Kristi (Chad) Nettrouer, both of Bremen, IN, Dane Schrader of Oregon, WI, Jordan (Angela) Schrader of Bellevue, WI, Brian Mobley of Chicago, IL, Jennifer Mobley of Ontario, IN, Christina Mobley, previously of LaGrange, IN, Allen Frohriep of Sturgis, MI, Jennifer (Bill) Klein of Weidman, MI, Jonathon (Brooke) Steiner of Mecosta, MI, and Jason Steiner of Iron, MI; 20 great grandchildren; one son-in-law: Jeff Mobley of Ontario, IN; one sister: Irene Peterson of Owen, WI; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Marvin; one daughter, Barbara Jean Mobley; one grandson, Scotty Frohriep; her close companion, Warren Sweet; two sisters, Elnora Schroeder and Doris Resler; and one brother, John Poppy.

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

Cuddie Funeral Home, of Loyal, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Susan A. (nee Crawley) Lowry, 66, died January 25th, 2016
Susan Lowry, age 66, of Neillsville, WI died Monday, January 25, 2016 at her home.

Susan Athelene Frye was born on October 11, 1949 in Beloit, WI the daughter of Kenneth and Florence (Schwartz) Frye. She attended Beloit Memorial High School. She owned the Hitchin’ Post Saloon in Beloit, moved to Neillsville in 1986, where she owned J & G Graphics and she also worked at the 4-in-1 in Hatfield, WI. She was united in marriage to Dewey Lowry 16 years ago. After retiring, she enjoyed staying at home.

In her leisure time, Susan enjoyed old children’s movies, musicals, Jane Austen books, antiques and rummage sales. She is survived by her husband, Dewey, three children, Amy (Michael) Hermanson of Afton, WI, David (Christine) Crawley of Beloit, WI and Rebecca (Gene) Stenulson of Granton, WI, 11 grandchildren, Cody, Caleb, Austin, Ethan, Nick, Isabella, Lyda, Jeremy, Gene, Chloe and Tatyor. Susan is also survived by four siblings, Judy Stather of Beloit, WI, Margaret (Sam) Francis of Beloit, WI, Jerilynn (Ron) Bright of Milton, WI and Kenneth (Teresa) Frye of Beloit, WI along with many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by a step-son, Eric Lowry and her parents, Kenneth and Florence Frye.

A Memorial Service for Susan will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 29, 2016 at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville, WI. Pastor Terry Marg will officiate. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Friday at the Gesche Funeral Home.

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

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Susan’s family with Funeral arrangements.
Herman Hediger Jr., 83, died January 23rd, 2016
Herman Hediger, Jr, 83, Neillsville, passed away peacefully Saturday, January 23, 2016.

He was born May 8, 1932, in Christie, WI to Herman and Hanna (Harder) Hediger, Sr. He attended elementary school in Christie, then went to Neillsville Public Schools where he graduated in 1951. He attended the University of Wisconsin earning his short course degree as a Cheesemaker. Herman joined the Army in May 1956, and was stationed in Germany, receiving an honorable discharge in March 1958. In November 1956, he married Charlotte Buettner. They later divorced but remained very close.

He led an extraordinary life with a strong work ethic. He was a Cheesemaker for Hediger Dairy. He drove semi for and later became owner/operator of Christie Milk Transport accumulating over 3 million miles driven across the US. As President of the WI Independent Truckers Assn, he was instrumental in legislative reform in the trucking industry in the mid-70s at both the state and federal levels. He helped start the truck driver training school at District One Technical Institute (now CVTC) in Eau Claire, WI as well as serving on their advisory board for many years and mentoring many local truck drivers. He also served on the State DOT Advisory Board. He traveled extensively across the US, Europe and Australia, wrote two books, worked with wood building many things from cedar and barn boards, enjoyed music, reading, writing and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his children, Lucretia (JC) Crawford, Sheboygan, Ernst Hediger, Neillsville, Loleta "Punk" (Bill) Montgomery, Granton, Erika Kurasz, Neillsville, Clara Hediger, Granton, Heidi Hediger, Sheboygan, Crispin (Lisa) Hediger, Neillsville, and Lydia (Ron) Schumacher, Neillsville as well as his ex-wife Charlotte (David) Tetzlaff of Neillsville, siblings Hanna (Bernie) Opelt of De Pere, Meg (Art) Schroeder of Corvalis, MT, Rosie (Bob) Knoop and Fritz (Dixie) Hediger of Neillsville, 11 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and 3 step-great-grandchildren. He's predeceased by his parents, a brother, Kurt, an infant brother and a great-grandson.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016, family and friends will gather at Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville at 2 pm for visitation with a memorial service at 4 pm. Military Honors will follow the service. Herman chose to be cremated with a private interment at a later date.

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

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Herman's family with Funeral arrangements.
Josephine L. Drescher, 96, died January 21st, 2016
Josephine Drescher, age 96, of Neillsville, WI died Thursday, January 21, 2016 at the Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation Center.

Josephine Lois Slemec was born on June 16, 1919 in Willard, WI the daughter of Joseph and Francis (Fortuna) Slemec. She worked on the farm, finished the 9th grade and then moved to Chicago, IL and got a job there. On June 30, 1945 she was united in marriage to Lawrence Drescher in Chicago, after he had returned from serving in WWII. They moved back to Neillsville and had three children, Virginia and Jim of Eau Claire, WI, Tom and Debbie of Neillsville, WI and Steve and Karen of Wausau, WI. Josephine and Lawrence were members of the American Legion and he was Neillsville Chief of Police for 25 years. She cooked and helped at the Legion. They liked to go to dances and she loved to bake and was the best cook. They bought a house at 1408 Hewett Street, where she lived until she was 92 years old. She was in the Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation Center the last four years of her life. She was a great wife and mother and will be missed by everyone.

If everyone was like Josephine the world would be a better place. Heaven just got one more angel.

She has two grandchildren, Mike Drescher of Wausau, WI and Nick (Christine) Drescher of Neillsville, WI, three great grandchildren, Cody, Jacob and Aliyah Drescher, three brothers, Tony Slemec, Jim Slemec and Eddy Slemec. She is also survived by three sisters-in-law, Jeanette Watenpuhl of Neillsville, WI, Evelyn Silkey of Marshfield, WI and Mary Slemec of Neillsville, WI, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence in August of 1969, her mother and father, a sister, Olga, three brothers, Bob Slemec, Rudy Slemec and Val Slemec.

Funeral Services for Josephine will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January 28, 2016 at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville. Pastor Douglas Bjerke will officiate. Interment will be in the Neillsville City Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Thursday at the Gesche Funeral Home.

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

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Josephine’s family with Funeral arrangements.
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