calla lily – slider

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” ~Matthew 5:4

Tulips

“Next to love, sympathy is the divinest passion of the human heart” ~Edmund Burke

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"The creatures that inhabit this earth - be they human beings or animals - are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world." ~The Dahli Lama

white flowers

“Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.” ~Victor Hugo

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“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~Thomas Campbell

Staff

Meet the Staff of Brainard Funeral Home

Each of us is dedicated to making your funeral service unique and respectful, to assisting you as you grieve and heal, and to ensure that every last detail is met to your standards.


 

 

Scott Brainard | Owner, Licensed Funeral Director

Scott has been a licensed Funeral Director since 1973. He leads a staff dedicated to helping families honor their loved ones in the most respectful and loving way possible. Scott is an active member of the Wausau area community who has served as President of numerous organizations including: Wausau Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Exchange Club of Wausau, and Big Bull Falls Lions Club. Scott has an active personal life that includes downhill skiing, scuba diving, and motorcycles. He has two sons, one daughter-in-law, and a grandson and a granddaughter.


Lucas Gajewski | Licensed Funeral Director

Lucas is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. He is a recent graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science, where he was acknowledged by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, the National Funeral Director’s Association, and the Cremation Association of North America for his dedication and commitment to mortuary studies. He received The American Institute of Embalmer’s Award and The Jack Adams Dodge Award in regards to his ranking in his class, as well as the Karlton A. Koball Award; an award presented to the student demonstrating an unwavering professional attitude and behavior, selected by his peers. He currently serves as Vice President on the Wisconsin River Valley board of the Wisconsin Funeral Director’s Association. He is also serving on the board of the Be Amazing organization. Lucas was the Class President of the D.C. Everest Class of 2013 and is a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Schofield where he serves as an Outreach Board Member. While attending UW-Eau Claire, Lucas was a member of The Singing Statesmen and is now a member of the Wausau Lyric Choir. He enjoys getting involved on stage and off with various community music and theatre groups. Lucas feels honored to return to his hometown and blessed to be using his talents to serve the families of this community.


Shannon Rhyner | Licensed Funeral Director

Shannon is pleased to return to Brainard Funeral Home, after serving her apprenticeship with us in 2000. A graduate of Milwaukee Area Technical School’s mortuary science program, Shannon has worked in funeral homes in Southern Wisconsin, Texas, and California. She is happy to return to her hometown and meet with the families we serve to help them arrange a personalized service tailored to their loved one.


Cortney Drake-Heck | Licensed Funeral Director

Cortney graduated with honors with a degree in Mortuary Science from the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services. She also has an Associates Degree in Applied Science from Northcentral Technical College, where she made the Presidents List as well as graduating with honors. Along with both of her degrees she carries a Certificate of Psychology and Communication from the Northcentral Technical College and is also a certified EMT IV Technician and Notary of Public. Before working at Brainard Funeral Home; Cortney was a State Certified Humane Officer for Marathon County as well as the Dog Kennel Manager for the Humane Society of Marathon County. Cortney lives on her hobby farm in the Town of Wausau with her husband, John; and their four sons, James, Taylor, Micah and Noah. She and her husband are both proud members of the Man of Honor Society and enjoy volunteering whenever they can. Besides spending time with her family and pets she also enjoys doing charity runs and spending as much time outdoors as possible.


Kathy Burg | Office Manager

Kathy is one of the newest members of the Brainard Funeral Home family. Her responsibilities at the funeral home include being Office Manager and that job title can vary from day to day. She provides the necessary tools and supplies for our Funeral Directors to be able to complete their arrangements and honor family requests. This includes a wide range of things, whatever she can do to help a family through a difficult time. Kathy stays in contact with all of the families that we serve after the funeral services conclude. We see to it that any aftercare needs the family may have are arranged. She is married to Dan and has 3 grown sons; Jeremy, Jacob, and Joshua. While they are her pride and joy, another little boy has stolen her heart – her grandson, Nolan.


Ryley Dunn | Administrative Assistant,

Brainard Funeral Home, Wausau Chapel

Ryley is the newest member of the Brainard Funeral Family, serving as our Administrative Assistant in our Wausau Chapel. Ryley graduated from UW – Stout with a Bachelors degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. She lived in the Menomonie, Eau Claire area for 5 years after school before moving back to her hometown of Wausau. She enjoys her interaction with the community on a daily basis and takes pride in assisting our funeral directors with the families who walk through our doors. She is most likely the voice you will hear when you call Brainard Funeral Home, so drop a line and help us welcome her!


Al Freiberg | Assistant

Al  is a Brainard Funeral Home Assistant dedicated to assisting families and helping make the funeral flow smoothly. He has directed over 50 years of community musical organizations and a life long member of the Wausau area. He and his wife Shirley enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.


Roger Kohn | Assistant

Roger retired from Emmons Business Interiors after a career that spanned almost 46 years. Roger is married to Jan, and they have 4 daughters and 4 granddaughters. Roger served 4 ½ years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Jan & Roger are members of the Elks Club Lodge #248. He loves spending time with his family, traveling and fishing. When not working Roger is involved with his church, Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Paul Missett | Assistant

Paul retired from Federal Mogul in 2011, is Chairman of the Wausau Veterans Committee, Past Commander of Wausau American Legion Post 10, Co-Commander of American Legion Honor Guard and served his country in the United States Marine Corps. Married for 39 years to Sue and they have 3 daughters, 2 grandsons, and 2 grandaughters. He enjoys spending time with family, golfing, hunting fishing and helping family and friends when they need things fixed.


Dick Ostwald | Assistant

Dick enjoyed a long career as a registered nurse, mainly in administration. He particularly enjoyed his involvement with Hospice Programs and the Bio-ethic Committee. He has served as a lay minister in Mission Evangelical Bible Church and in Camp Blessing. His many experiences have prepared him well to assist in meeting the needs of Brainard Funeral Home families.


Debbie Maly | Advance Funeral Planner

Debbie is happy to join the Brainard Funeral Home family and is committed to helping families plan for their future needs as our Advance Funeral Planner. She has two married sons and two beautiful grandchildren. An avid traveler, Debbie loves to fill her passport with new stamps by exploring new places and learning different cultures and traditions.


Cheryl Falkowski | Administrative Assistant,

Brainard Funeral Home Everest Chapel

Cheryl is the Administrative Assistant in our Weston location, who greets you as you come through the door. She is a long time member of Peace United Church of Christ. Cheryl and her husband Greg have three adult sons and five grandchildren.


Beth Flory | Administrative Assistant,

Brainard Funeral Home Everest Chapel

Beth is a part-time Administrative Assistant that works from home doing our photo books. She is retired from the D.C. Everest School District and enjoys gardening, biking, golfing and reading. Beth and husband, Turk, are members of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church. They had three children, the oldest is deceased, and two grandchildren.