Cover photo for Maralee Shanak's Obituary
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1926 Maralee 2021

Maralee Shanak

April 26, 1926 — March 1, 2021


Maralee Mae Shanak, 94, Wausau, died Monday, March 1, 2021 at Sylvan Crossing on Evergreen Senior Living Center under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

Maralee was born April 26, 1926 in the Town of Hewitt to the late George and Marie (Seymour) Beck.  Her father died when she was very young prompting her teenaged brother, Gordon, to step up to take care of the family and be a father figure to Maralee.  She attended the Pershing School in the town of Hewitt which was a one room schoolhouse.  Maralee married the love of her life, Nicholas “Nick” Shanak on April 4, 1945.  The couple was blessed with three children: Judy, Gary and Audrey.  Together, the couple ran Shanak’s Garage and Beer Bar from 1945-75 before shutting down the beer bar and Shanak’s Auto Salvage continued until 2012.  Maralee and Nick celebrated 75 wonderful years together prior to Nick’s death on March 11, 2020.

Maralee was a very quick-witted woman with a great sense of humor whose occasional temper earned her the nickname “Blister” from brother, Gordon.  She dearly loved her family and treasured her grandchildren.  Over the years she was active with the St. Paul UCC Mother’s Club and Order of the Eastern Star.  Free time often found her working in her garden (both vegetables and flowers), knitting and sewing, and creating wonderful things with her baking and cooking talents.  Her baking was so good, that she sometimes had to hide her lemon pie so that Nick and grandson, Jeff, would not finish it off before it was time to serve.

Maralee is survived by her loving children, Judy (Wesley) Manning, Gary (Kelly) Shanak and Audrey (Arlo) Schlund; grandchildren, Jeff (Julie) Manning, Brad (Ivy) Manning, Nicole (Jesse) Hoffman, Jaclyn (Nick) Hanke, Jon (Katy-Jane) Shanak, Ben (Laura) Schlund and Mike (Kara) Schlund; great-grandchildren, Lucy, Vivian, Calvin, Cedar, Harman, Lorelai, Natalie, Finley, Alice, Leo and Archer; and extended family and friends.  She is preceded in death by her siblings, Gordon, Elvern, Virginia and Delos.

The funeral service for Maralee will be at 5:00 PM on Sunday, March 7, 2021 at Brainard Funeral Home Wausau Chapel.  Pr. John Stansky will officiate.  Visitation will be from 2:00 PM until the time of service at the funeral home on Sunday.  There will be a committal at 11:00 AM on Monday at Restlawn Memorial Park Chapel.  Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at

Memorials may be directed to the Aspirus Health Foundation (Aspirus Health Foundation for Hospice Care, 425 Pine Ridge Blvd., Wausau, WI 54401).

Sincere appreciation goes to Jodi and the staff of Sylvan Crossing on Evergreen Senior Living Center, Bernie from Palliative Care and the nurses and staff of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

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


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