Meet the Staff of Brainard Funeral Home
Each of our employees is hired based on their integrity, compassion, willingness to serve, competence, and professionalism. The quality of the individuals on our staff is second to none. Each of them takes great pride in being a member of the Brainard Funeral Home “Family.” Daily they exhibit enthusiasm and pride in serving families to the best of their abilities. Regularly our Funeral Home receives positive feedback in the form of comments and letters, highlighting instances of exemplary service and personal concern. Their commitment to the community and genuine compassion toward families are but a few of the characteristics that make them outstanding in their field. The professionalism and personal commitment provide for premier service we have to offer. We are proud to have each one of them on our team.
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 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 as a member 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. He also is a member of the Worship Band at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Weston. 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.
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 four beautiful grandchildren. An avid traveler, Debbie loves to fill her passport with new stamps by exploring new places and learning different cultures and traditions.
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 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 8 years after school before moving back to her hometown of Wausau. Ryley spends her free time with her friends, family and cats. 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!
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 Covenant Community Presbyterian Church. Cheryl and her husband Greg have three adult sons and five grandchildren.
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 four daughters, four grand daughters, and one grandson. 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.