Nicholas “Nick” Shanak, 98, Wausau, died Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Tender Reflections Assisted Living of Weston under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.
Nick was born December 11, 1921 in the Town of Hewitt to the late Michael and Anna (Manuszchak) Shanak Sr. Following his graduation from Wausau High School in 1939, he joined the US Army and proudly served as a motor pool sergeant during WWII in Patton’s 3rd Army. Nick met, drove and fished in the Rhine River with Gen. Patton. Nick married the love of his life, Maralee Beck, on April 4, 1945. The couple was blessed with three children; Judy, Gary and Audrey. 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.
Nick was a tough, hardworking man who had a heart of gold and always treated people fairly. He was a very loving father to his children and grandfather to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nick enjoyed hunting and fishing. Nick was also proud to be a Life Member of VFW Burns Post #388, a Master Mason 32nd Degree Eau Claire Scottish Rite and a Shriner with the Zor Temple.
Nick is survived by his loving wife of nearly 75 years, Maralee; 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 and Alice; and extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Mike, Pete, Mary, Katie and Madge.
There will be Masonic Service for Nick beginning at 5:00 PM on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at Brainard Funeral Home Everest Chapel with the funeral service immediately following. Rev. Dr. Philip Schneider will officiate the funeral service. Visitation will be from 2:00 PM until the time of service at 5:00 PM at Brainard Funeral Home Everest Chapel. There will be a committal at 11:00 AM on Monday at Restlawn Memorial Park Chapel with military rites. Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook at brainardfuneral.com.
Memorials may be directed to Shriners Hospitals for Children (Attn: Office of Development, For Minneapolis, MN Hospital, 2900 N. Rocky Point Dr. Tampa, FL 33607) or to the Aspirus Health Foundation (Aspirus Health Foundation for Hospice Care, 425 Pine Ridge Blvd. Wausau, WI 54401)
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