Cover photo for Julie LaVake's Obituary
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1963 Julie 2021

Julie LaVake

August 11, 1963 — February 5, 2021


Julie Jean (Klinger) LaVake left her earthly home Friday, February 5, 2021 with her children beside her. Her spirit was fighting but the body was far to weak.   It just wore out.  Julie was born August 11, 1963 to James and Jeanne (Wendorf) Klinger.   She endured a lifelong battle with Muscular Dystrophy and its many pitfalls with strength, courage, and determination. She got her first wheelchair on her 8th birthday.  Unthought of things, like lifting a glass or spoon to our mouth, was impossible for her. This never held her back. She took on life headfirst and faced bigger challenges that we never thought possible, such as giving birth and raising 2 children. On Friday February 5, 2021 while resting, she took her last breath around 5:00 pm and was carried off by the Angel of Mercy to be at peace. We are incredibly sad with her loss and we are also relieved. She is no longer in pain, confined, or dependent. She is now free. Her spirit is running after her grandchildren and walking with the angels. She will forever be with us in spirit and in our hearts.  In her younger days Julie mastered knitting, crocheting, and many arts & crafts.  With her computer, Julie did flyers for Central Wisconsin Polka Club dances, menus for restaurants, business cards, other clever posters, etc.  She loved all the time spent at the lake with her parents and grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins and friends.  She attended Trinity and Zion Lutheran Schools and Wausau West High School.  While a student at Wausau West High School she was a student aide in the main office working at the switchboard and even doing the afternoon announcements.

On September 19, 1992 she married Michael Garrett LaVake at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  He survives.  Beside her husband and parents, she is survived by her children James (Cheyenne Lato) and Veronica LaVake.  Grandchildren Avery Autumn and Edward LeRoy (and will miss greeting Brentley Cyril entering this world in March).  Stepchildren Tammy LaVake (Randy Thayer) children Valerie & Ryan, Tony LaVake (Tiffany Donahue) children Peter, Robert & Theresa Beltz-LaVake, Tiffany (Travis) Marik children Cody, Lily and Desiree.  Brother Jeffrey Klinger. Brother-in-law LeRoy (Sandy) LaVake, sisters-in-law Geri (Jim) Mertes and Tonya LaVake.  She is preceded in death by grandparents Edward & Verona Wendorf, Melvin & Vernetta (Mitzie) Klinger, Special cousin & friend Lanette Steinagel and many, many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Visitation will be Saturday, February 20th from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams Street, Wausau, WI  54403.  A private family service will be held with a live stream beginning at 1:50 PM on Sunday, February 21.  You may watch the live stream of Julie’s service at on Julie’s obituary page.  Pastor Dan Sire will officiate.   Masks and social distancing are required.  Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at

Julie was at Mount View Vent Unit from mid January to August 10, 2020.  Special thanks to James, Veronica, Cheyenne and Terry Lewis for their loving care of Julie for the last 6 months at her home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Julie LaVake, please visit our flower store.


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