Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center | 715-845-5525

calla lily – slider

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


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

9 bleeding heart1

"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

33 purple flowers-slider

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

Eckel, Hazel
Loved in life…Cherished in death. October 4, 2017

Hazel was a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Hazel had a true understanding of love for her family, friends and faith in the Lord. She spoke of the importance of this often.

Hazel was born to Herman and Emma (Hollinger) Kroening, and raised by Max and Louise Hollinger. Hazel grew up in Wausau and attended Wausau High School. She went on to Madison business school, and afterwards lived in Madison and worked for a construction company. She moved home to Wausau to raise her two girls, Debbie and Michele. Hazel worked at Wausau Insurance Company for 34 years, and then found her true passion and became a guardian for people in need. This was her calling in life; insuring people were treated with care and respect and always treated with kindness. Hazel was known for her amazing love of music and unmistakable, contagious laugh.

Hazel is survived by her daughter Debbie (Tim) Rice; grandson Michael (Briana) Rice, great-grandchildren, Brighem, Bridge, Gracie, Ryleigh and Sterling; granddaughter Ashley Rice (Michael Witberler). Hazel is also survived by daughter Michele (Al) Kaiser; and grandchildren, Brooke McCarthy (Josh Nickel) and great-grandkids, Zayden and Izabella; grandson Adam McCarthy; grandson Christopher (Danyelle) Kaiser and great-grandkids Annalia, Allyson, and Isaiah; grandson Ryan (Jami) Kaiser and great-grandkids Addison, Brice, and Celise; grandson Adam (Monica) Kaiser, great-grandkids Allisandra and Aiden; granddaughter Anna (Erik) Christansen, and great grandchild Jude. She is also survived by two sisters, Inga (dec Emil) Borchardt and Eileen Kroening.

Hazel was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Davis (Pat) Kroening and Eldro (Bunny) Kroening.

A memorial service will be held Monday, October 9th, 11:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 709 N 6th Street with visitation from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service.

Hazel would want you to remember she is with the Lord at peace and would want you to help others. God Bless.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent in Hazel’s name to “Help the Kids Fund”, 5407 Rib Mountain Drive, Wausau, WI 54401.

The family would like to thank the wonderful angels in Gardenside Crossing at North Central Health Care and Aspirus Hospice.

Leave Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Mr & Mrs Edwards

    10/05/2017 at 1:12 pm

    Caring thoughts are with you at this difficult time of grievance. May our comforting God be by your side during each and every day. I would like to offer my sincere condolences.
    2 Corinthians 1:3,4 for more information go to