Miscellaneous Eau Claire County, Wisconsin Obituaries

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Joyce Artac
FAIRCHILD -- Joyce Artac, 67, of W14795 Hwy 10, died Thursday, April 19, 2001, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.
She was born August 13, 1933, in Milwaukee, the daughter of Prosper and Hester (Rooney) Ceranske. She married Norman Artac on Dec. 17, 1951 in Milwaukee. The couple lived in New Berlin, moving to Osseo in 1970 and to Fairchild in 1973.
She is survived by her husband, Norman of Fairchild; two sons, Gary of Fairchild and Brian of Merrill; three grandchildren, Christina Artac of Eau Claire, Charles and Chad Artac of Altoona; brother Vern Ceranske of Greendale; sister-in-law and brothers-in-law, Angie (Norman) Drinkwater of Milwaukee, Chuck Artac of Elroy.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at the Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta, with burial in the North Branch Cemetery, rural Fairchild. Friends may call from 3 p.m. on Sunday and until time of services at the funeral home.

Larry Czerniak
INDEPENDENCE -- Larry Czerniak, 54, of Independence, died Friday, April 20, 2001 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse.
He was born February 10, 1947, in Chicago to Harry and Genevieve (Bobek) Czerniak Sr. He married Florence Konopka in Chicago. She died May 14, 1997. Larry married Shirley Battcher Warnecke on Oct. 14, 1997 in Las Vegas, Nev. Larry has been employed at Ashley Industries in Arcadia the past 13 years. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley of Independence; four step-children, Nancy (Joe) Moskal of Edgerton, Wally (Cindy) Wodzien of Eau Claire, Robin (Chris) Essick of Menomonie, and Robert Warnecke Jr. of Dallas, Wis.; a brother, Harry (Judy) Czerniak Jr. of Las Vegas; mother-in-law, Annamae Battcher of Chippewa Falls; four step-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; other relatives and friends.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and first wife, Flo.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Edison Funeral Home, Independence, with Rev. Lowell Bolstad officiating.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday and one hour prior to services Monday at the funeral home.
Larry was full of life, loved the outdoors and enjoyed bowling with friends. He was very family oriented. He will be missed by his family, his faithful dog Daisy and cat Cassie.

Josephine Gunderson
WHITEHALL -- Josephine A. Gunderson, age 93, of Blair, died on Thursday, April 19, 2001, in the Grand View Care Center in Blair.
Josephine was born on March 25, 1908 in Independence, Wis., to Ole and Anna (Nelson) Bryn. She graduated from high school and took nurse's training in Madison. Josephine was employed as a licensed practical nurse in the Sacred Heart Hospital in Green Bay for 15 years, retiring to care for her parents.
Josephine married Milan T. Gunderson on May 11, 1928, in Whitehall. Milan and Josephine farmed in Trempealeau and Jackson counties. Milan preceded Josephine in death on October 5, 1997.
Mrs. Gunderson has been a resident of the Grand View Care center since December of 1996.
Josephine is survived by a son, Donald (Evelyn) Gunderson of Wild Rose, Wis.; a son-in-law, Duane Halverson of Whitehall; three grandchildren, Keith Halverson of Trempealeau, Sherri (Pat) Warner of Whitehall and Lin (Karen) Gunderson of Spring Green; four great-grandchildren, Nikke and Tracy Warner and Travis and Cody Gunderson.
In addition to her parents and husband, Josephine was preceded in death by three sisters, Mabel, Olga and Palma; and four brothers, John, Melvin, Olaf and Sigvald.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, April 23, 2001, at 1 p.m. in the Jack Funeral Home in Whitehall with burial in the Old Whitehall Cemetery in rural Whitehall. Rev. Richard Kelling will officiate.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the services.

Irene Mathiasen
Irene M. Rassbach Mathiasen, age 91, of Menomonie, died April 19, 2001, at the Dunn County Health Care Center in Menomonie.
The former Irene Mabel Rasmusson was born April 9, 1910, in Barnesville, Minn., to Edgar and Clara (Petrick) Rasmusson. She was raised in the Little Elk Creek area and lived in Menomonie most of her life.
Irene married Rudolph Rassbach in 1928, and after his death in 1964 she later married James Mathiasen in 1967. He also preceded her in death in 1992.
Irene worked part-time at Snowflake Foods. She was a longtime member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church and also was a member of Our Savior's Ladies Aid and the Myrtle Werth Hospital Auxiliary. Her favorite pastime was baking wonderful desserts.
Irene is survived by a daughter, Bonnie Flick of Eagle, Colo.; a son, Richard (Shirley) Rassbach of Eau Claire; five grandsons, Bruce Score of Sherburn, Minn., Richard (Judy) Rassbach of Prairie Farm, William (Karin) Rassbach of Eau Claire, James Rassbach of Seattle, Wash., and Robert (Sara) Rassbach of Punta Gorda, Fla.; three granddaughters, Ricky (Al) Keegan of Hill City, Minn., Dorinda Drury of Eagly, Colo., and Vicki (Chris) Rahn of Medina, Minn.; 13 great-grandchildren; and 19 great-great-grandchildren; three sisters, Helen Kuester, Lillian (Marvin) Smith, and Ruth Lehmann, all of Menomonie; four brothers, Ralph (Tina) Rasmusson of Eau Claire, George (Elizabeth) Rasmusson of Commerce City, Colo., Bert (Inez) Rasmusson of Menomonie, and Gayle Rasmusson of Spring Valley; many nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands; three sisters; and one brother.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, April 23, 2001, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Menomonie with Rev. Ron Burke officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Menomonie. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Olson Funeral Home in Menomonie and one hour prior to service Monday at the church.

Arnold Sumstad
Arnold Sumstad, 79, of Colfax, died Friday, April 20, 2001 at his home in Colfax.
Arnold was born July 29, 1921 in Carryville, Wis., to Kornelius and Mary (Lindholm) Sumstad. He served his country in the Navy on a P.T. Boat during WWII in both the Pacific and Mediterranean Seas. On November 12, 1955 he married Patricia Prince. Arnold was employed with Northern States Power as a hydroelectric operator for 25 years. He was a member of the American Legion and the Colfax Catholic Community.
Survivors include his wife Patricia of Colfax; one son James (Shari Anderson) of Mound, Minn.; one brother John of San Antonio, Texas.
He is preceded in death by his parents, two sisters and one brother.
Funeral services for Arnold Sumstad will be Monday, April 23, at 11 a.m. from the United Methodist Church-Colfax Catholic Community. Father Hoerburger will officiate with burial in The Evergreen Cemetery in Colfax. Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Sampson Funeral Chapel. There will be a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Friends also may call one hour prior to services at the church on Monday. 

 Kathryn Breiter
MONDOVI -- Kathryn Simonson Kopp Robert Breiter, 66, of Mondovi passed away Wednesday, October 17, 2001, at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Kathryn was born April 6, 1935, in Dunn County to Wallace and Francis (Cowell) Simonson. She lived in the Rock Falls area most of her life and attended school in Rock Falls. Kathryn married Edward D. Kopp then later married Frances Robert and then later married Raymond Breiter.
Survivors include her children, Kames Kopp of Tomah, Sharon Mercer of Mondovi, Melody Tafel of Eau Claire, Debora Nelson of Tomah and John Robert of Two Rivers; fifteen brothers and sisters; twelve grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Wallace and Francis Simonson; a daughter, Barbara Kopp; Edward Kopp; and Raymond Breiter.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, October 22, 2001, at Smith Funeral Chapel. Reverend Howard Fehr will officiate. Interment will be in Rock Falls Cemetery.
Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Smith Funeral Chapel and one hour prior to the services.

Martha Hanson
Martha T. Hanson, 77, 2858 11th St., Eau Claire, died Thursday, October 18, 2001, at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Martha was born June 2, 1924, in Strickland, Wis., to Frank and Caroline (Cebula) Novak. She graduated from Weyerhaeuser High School. She married Norman Hanson July 1, 1950, in Strickland, Wis. She worked as a custodian at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for many years, retiring in 1989. She was a member of the St. James Rosary Confraternity.
She is survived by her husband, Norman; one daughter, Karen (Ed) Lund of Eau Claire; two sons, Thomas (Debra) Hanson of Eau Claire and Kenneth (Kathy) Hanson of La Crosse, Wis.; seven grandchildren, Daniel, Rebecca, Wade, Paul and Michael Hanson and Edward and Kristina Lund; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Roman and Joe; two sisters, Frances and Mary.
Mass of Christian burial will be Monday, October 22, 2001, at 11:30 a.m. at St. James the Greater Catholic Church, with Rev. John Schultz officiating. Interment will be in Lakeview Cemetery.
Friends may call Sunday, October 21, 2001, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Golden Funeral Home, 1405 N. Clairemont Ave., where there will be a 6 p.m. public prayer service, and Monday one-half hour prior to the service at the church.
Golden Funeral Home is serving the family.

Alton Karlstad
Alton H. Karlstad, 83, of Eau Claire passed away Thursday, October 18, 2001, at Clairemont Nursing & Rehabilitation.
Alton was born September 1, 1918, in Whitehall, Wisconsin, to Hans and Ada (Anderson) Karlstad. Alton lived in Hale and attended North Branch School. He worked at the paper mill for thirty-eight years, until retirement. He married Agnes Anderson on October 30, 1943, in Osseo at Osseo Lutheran Church.
Alton was a WWII United States Army Veteran. He was a charter member of the American Legion Post 550. He enjoyed music, hunting, fishing and traveling.
Survivors include his wife, Agnes Karlstad of Eau Claire; twin brother, Alvin (Joyce) Karlstad of Ellsworth; brothers-in-law, Ernest Anderson and Bill Germann, both of Eau Claire; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Robert and Bonnie Anderson of Brackett, Donald and Ann Ausman and Robert and Shirley Johnson, all of Eau Claire; several nieces and nephews; grandnieces and nephews; great-grandnieces and nephews; and many friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Hans and Ada Karlstad; one brother, Harold Karlstad; and one sister, Gladys Brown.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 23, 2001, at Hope Lutheran Church, with Pastor Mark Olson officiating. Interment will be in Rest Haven Cemetery.
Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Smith Funeral Chapel and one hour prior to the services at the church.

Fred Mattson
ELMWOOD -- Fred "Pat" Mattson, 91, of Elmwood, died peacefully on Thursday, October 18, 2001, at the Heritage of Elmwood Nursing Home in Elmwood, following a short hospitalization.
Pat was born October 20, 1909, in Hammond but was raised in Clayton. Pat was the son of Swan and Emily (Palmquist) Mattson. Pat graduated from Clayton High School and attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he was an outstanding athlete. Pat was co-captain of the University of River Falls basketball team. Pat also was a member of the baseball team where his .426 batting average is still the school's record. He was inducted into the UW-River Falls Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.
Pat also served in the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marines during WWII.
Pat married Betty Bentley May 13, 1951, in LaPorte, Ind. In 1952, they moved to Elmwood. Pat was Vice-President of Baldwin Mfg. Co. for twelve years before his retirement in 1980. Pat obtained five U.S. Patents on products related to environmental protection.
Pat studied at the McPhail School of Music in St. Paul, Minn., and became an accomplished pianist. He was an organist at Spring Lake Lutheran Church for many years.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; a son, Jeffrey of Menomonie; a daughter, Debi McMahon of Eau Galle; and two grandchildren, Adam and Cassie McMahon.
Pat is preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Myrtle Rhiel.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, October 22, 2001, at Spring Lake Lutheran Church, rural Spring Valley, with Rev. Keith Holste officiating. Burial will be in the Spring Lake Cemetery, rural Spring Valley, with Military Honors provided by the Crain-Ottman American Legion Post 207 of Elmwood.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Rhiel Funeral Home in Elmwood and one hour prior to services at the church on Monday.

Robert Stearns
Robert D. Stearns, 67, 1215 2nd Ave., Eau Claire, died Friday, October 19, 2001, at the Oakwood Villa Nursing Home in Altoona.
Robert was born April 3, 1934, in Eau Claire to Laurence and Edith (Severson) Stearns. He graduated from Regis High School. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956-58. He worked in the shipping department at Pope and Talbot Paper Company for 41 years, retiring in 1994. He was a member of the United Paper Workers International Local 42 and the Wisconsin Right To Life.
Robert took care of his mother, father and invalid sister his whole life.
He is survived by four sisters, Mary Lund of Altoona, Margaret (Dennis) Pichler, Betty (Gil) Nelson, both of Eau Claire and Edith Marie Stearns of Menomonie; one brother, Theodore (Barbara) Stearns of Menomonie; 19 nieces and nephews, James and Michael Lund, Linda Mason, Terri Klingbeil, Dan and Tony Pichler, Kathy Weiler, Timothy Nelson, Tamara Miller, Tanya Walters, Steven, Allen, Brian and David Risler, Colleen Smith, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John Stearns; 25 great-nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Annette Stearns and Janet Risler; one brother, Larry; one nephew, Kurt Lund.
Mass of Christian burial will be Tuesday, October 23, 2001, at 12:00 noon at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, with Rev. Janusz Kowalski officiating. Interment will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery, with full military rites conducted by the VFW Post #305.
Friends may call Monday, October 22, 2001, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Golden Funeral Home, 1405 N. Clairemont Ave., where there will be a 7:00 p.m. public prayer service, and Tuesday one hour prior to the service at the church.
"O Lord, you have created us from your Self. And our hearts will remain restless until they rest in you." St. Augustine
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be directed to Saint Bede Monastery.
Golden Funeral Home is serving the family.

Ruth Basacker
Ruth N. Basacker, 84, of Eau Claire passed away at her home Wednesday, December 12, 2001.
Ruth was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on September 24, 1917, to James and Anna (Wendt) Dennis. She lived in Eau Claire all of her life and attended Eau Claire High School. Ruth worked for many years at Barstow Street Cafe, as a waitress. She loved to do crossword puzzles, sew, visit casinos and dance. She especially loved her family.
Ruth is survived by two sons, Robert (Mary) Basacker Sr. and Theodore (Margaret) Basacker Sr.; two daughters, Janice (friend, Bob) Peterson and Ruth Ann Basacker; one sister, Elizabeth (Antone) Christianson; 16 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; three brothers-in-law; special friend, Gerald Peterson; the Kapbardhi family; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Marshall "Peter"; parents; five sisters; and two brothers.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, December 17, 2001, at Smith Funeral Chapel, with Pastor Jeff Schlesinger officiating. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery.
Friends may visit Sunday, December 6, 2001, from 4 to 7 p.m. and one hour prior to services Monday at Smith Funeral Chapel.

Winnifred Bruden
CRYSTAL, Minn. -- Winnifred C. Bruden, 93, of Crystal, Minn., formerly of Eau Claire and Kenosha, Wis., died December 8, 2001.
She was a teacher in Mondovi and later Kenosha, until her retirement.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Charlotte Bruden; two sisters; and four brothers.
She will be deeply missed by her sister, Gloria Bruden Newman and many nieces and nephews, and their families.
A memorial service will be held in the spring of 2002.
The Cremation Society of Minnesota is handling arrangements.

Betty Custer
SUMNER, Wash. -- Betty Ann Custer, 80, died Thursday, November 29, 2001, at Puyallup Hospital.
Betty was born in the town of Union on November 7, 1921, to Joseph and Jennie Shermock.
Betty graduated from Eau Claire High School in 1939. She married Victor Custer on October 15, 1941, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. The family moved to Washington in 1953. She was a long time member of the Sumner Presbyterian Church and volunteered at the Sumner Senior Center. She loved sewing, crafts, gardening, fishing and her family and was a Christian of deep faith.
She is survived by her son, Richard (Mary) Custer of Marysville, Wash.; daughters, Carolyn Goad of Ellensburg, Wash., and Patricia (Jerry) Damey of Kent, Wash.; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Eau Claire survivors include her sister, Madeline Wright; oldest niece, Meredith (Donald) Brill and family; and grandchildren, Vicki (Thomas) Ruscin and family and David and Rachelle Custer. Many loving in-laws of the Custer family also live in the Chippewa and Bloomer areas.
She was preceded in death by her husband; two brothers, Leonard and Robert Shermock; a sister, Lucille Reas and their spouses.
A memorial service was held on December 6, 2001, at Sumner Presbyterian Church in Sumner, Wash.
Her friends and all the family will miss her dearly, for Betty was a radiant and loving, enthusiastic family member who will live on in our hearts forever.

Verna Lawler
Verna D. Lawler, 72, of Eau Claire died Thursday, December 13, 2001, at Sacred Heart Hospital.
She was born May 23, 1929, to Samuel and Evelyn (Thompson) Farrington in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota. Verna lived in Red Lake Falls until age 15, when she moved to Eau Claire. She married Edward W. Lawler on August 6, 1953, in Stillwater, Minn. She loved to dance, beginning with barn dances and evolving into many forms of partner dancing. She also loved to cook and spend time with her children and grandchildren.
Verna worked in the kitchen of Stafne's Sunset Inn for twelve years and later at The Clairemont for almost twenty years, until her retirement.
Survivors include her two sons and their families, Terry (Geri) of Minneapolis, Minn., and his two sons, Daniel of Eau Claire and Kevin of Spring Valley, Wis., and Tim (Lisa), and their children, Kelly and Garrett, all of Waukesha, Wis.; a brother, Laverne (Audrey) Farrington of Stacy, Minn.; a sister, Violet Bendickson of Thief River Falls, Minn.; a sister-in-law, Eva Farrington of Columbia Falls, Wis.; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward in 1972; her parents; two daughters, Cheryl Gibbs-Hoople and Sharon Lynn Lawler; stepson, Laverne Lawler on December 1, 2001; three sisters, Myrtle Hatleli, Lillian Johnson and Daisy Radack; two brothers, Richard and Leo Farrington; and her special friend, Melvin Schreck.
Memorial services will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday, December 17, 2001, at Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral Home. Burial will be at Lakeview Cemetery.
Friends may call from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Ben Polhamus
WOODBURY, Minn. -- Ben Polhamus, 28, of Woodbury, Minn., died much too soon December 10, 2001.
He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Harry Polhamus.
He is survived by his mom, Kathy; dad and step mom, Jim and Lorri; sisters, Marnie and Jill; brother, James; grandparents, Jean Quale, Cal Quale and Violet Polhamus; cat, Tinker; three special roommates; many loving friends and relatives.
A very special thanks to Ben's care providers, Jessa and Paul Nelson and the extraordinary staff at Fox Run Bay for the exceptional care Ben received.
A memorial service to honor Ben's life will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, December 18, 2001, at WOODBURY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 7465 Steepleview Road, Woodbury (651-738-0305). Immediately following the services (5 to 8 p.m.), there will be a gathering for relatives and friends of Ben and his family at his home in Woodbury, 10302 Fox Run Bay (651-436-4612).
Memorials are preferred or donations to the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation.
Ben, you touched so very many lives with that special spark and spunk that is uniquely "Ben," and showed us what true courage is all about. In our sadness, we must remember that God takes only the very best. We love you.
Wulff Family Services, 2195 Woodlane Dr., Woodbury, Minn., is handling arrangements.


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