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Our Staff

Meet the Staff of Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center

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

Scott Brainard

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

Lucas Gajewski

Licensed Funeral Director, Manager

    Lucas joined Brainard Funeral Home as an apprentice in 2015, and became a licensed Funeral Director in 2017. 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 the Community Outreach Advisor on the Board of Directors for the Central Wisconsin Educational Theatre Alliance. 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.

Telephone: 1-715-551-4007

Email: lucas@brainardfuneral.com


Shannon Dunn

Shannon Dunn

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.  Shannon enjoys spending her time with her dog, Lucky and 2 cats, Zepplin and Chestnut.  Shannon spends her free time walking, kayaking, hiking, road biking and participating in various local 5K's.   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.

Email: shannon@brainardfuneral.com


Nick Ficken

Nick Ficken

Licensed Funeral Director

    Nicholas is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, who received his degree in Mortuary Science from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 2014.  After Mortuary School, Nick worked for Beste Funeral Home in Mosinee for three years as a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, he is proud to return and serve the Wausau community where he apprenticed with Brainard Funeral Home starting back in 2010.  He is currently serving as the President for the Wisconsin Valley Funeral Directors Association.  Nick, his wife Megan, and their two sons Jase and Hunter live in Nick’s hometown of Mosinee, WI.  A US Army Veteran, Nick occupies his time outside of work with his family and friends.  An avid outdoorsman and hunter, Nick also is a member of the Mosinee Sportsman’s Alliance.

Email: nick@brainardfuneral.com


Sarah Zuelke

Sarah Zuelke

Licensed Funeral Director

    Sarah grew up in Tomahawk, Wisconsin with aspirations of being an Athletic Trainer. After attending college at UW Eau Claire for Athletic Training for four years, she discovered that her heart was elsewhere. Much to her family’s surprise, she changed her major to Mortuary Science and received her degree from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 2009. Sarah has been serving families in the Wausau area since then. Being able to meet so many wonderful people and helping them at one of the most difficult times in their lives has been very fulfilling. Sarah and her husband Nathan, a police officer with the Rothschild Police Department, live in Wausau with their two kids Lianna and Will.  They are members of The Village Church in Kronenwetter.

Email: sarah@brainardfuneral.com


Carrie Hartleben

Carrie Hartleben

Licensed Funeral Director

Carrie's biography and will be published soon!

Email: carrie@brainardfuneral.com


Debbie Maly

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.

Email: debbie@brainardfuneral.com


Ryley Dunn

Ryley Dunn

Office Manager

    Ryley is the Office Manager 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.

Email: ryley@brainardfuneral.com


Michelle Hartle

Michelle Hartle

Funeral Assistant

Michelle has joined Brainard as a Funeral Assistant and is dedicated to helping families celebrate the life of someone they love during one of the toughest times in life. As the newest member of our staff, please feel free to say "hello" when you see her!


Roger Kohn

Roger Kohn

Funeral 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.


Mary Jarvis

Mary Jarvis

Funeral Assistant

    Mary is serving as a Funeral Assistant. She graduated from UW-Stout with degrees in Psychology and Counseling, along with a Master's Degree in Education from UW-Stevens Point. Mary is a retired educator from the Wausau School District after 35 years of service.

    Mary and her husband, Dick, enjoy sharing time with their two sons, one of whom lives in the Wausau area and the other in Denver, Colorado. They enjoy volunteering in the community with the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, their church-St. Andrew Lutheran Church, and various other volunteer opportunities. Their small hobby farm keeps them busy, but in Mary's spare time, she enjoys gardening and horseback riding.


In this section

Our History

Our Staff

Testimonials

Contact Us

Privacy Policy

Your feedback

We are always interested in hearing from the families that we serve.  Please take a moment to let us know how well we served you in your time of need. We very much appreciate your feedback.

I wanted to personally thank you for everything you did for our family after the passing of my mom. Although we knew with my mom's cancer that we would eventually lose her, we still were not ready! Meeting with you put our minds at ease knowing that you saw our simple vision for remembering and honoring her. Brainard staff went above and beyond with our added requests on the day of her service. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for making this difficult time just a little easier!

Julie Litzer Family
April 25, 2019

My deepest thanks and gratitude to you for doing such a heartfelt task of taking care of all our needs for Carl's passing. I was so relieved, knowing he was in great hands- thanks for all you did.

Sue Purull-Stennett and Family
April 4, 2019

Our family wanted to express our deepest gratitude for all that you did for our father and his service. Your kindness meant so much to our family. Thank you so much!
In Christ's Love,

The Family of Don McMurtrie
March 1, 2019

Friends at Brainard,
We wanted you to know how much our family appreciated everything you did for us. Your guidance and compassion made this process much easier on all of us. We could not have been more pleased with your funeral directors and the rest of the behind-the-scenes staff! From the bottom of our hearts - thank you!

Steve, Anne, Jennifer, & Maggie
February 18, 2019

One never knows what to expect when faced with a death in the family. The entire staff at Brainard were very compassionate, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. From the first call with, I knew I made the right choice! They took care of everything and were there to guide us through every step of the process. I am truly grateful that I chose them for the final celebration of my husband’s magnificent life. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Maggie Cronin
February 17, 2019

Just a quick note of thanks again for all you did to help make the celebration of my father's life so beautiful. I also extend my thanks to the rest of the staff. We are so grateful. My mom, sisters, and I watched the entire funeral video from your website one evening last week-Mom sang along heartily to all the songs and we listened intently again to the homily. It's so nice to be able to watch it. Thanks again.

Liz Chilsen (and the entire Senator Walter John Chilsen family)
February 4, 2019

Dear Brainard family,
The garden rock flower, wind chime, and the beautiful service - so much that we are grateful for. You all are a class act. Your help to get us through these sorrowful days was so appreciated. God bless you!

Beth Flory (and Joel & Family and Jill)
January 31, 2019

Thank you so much for all you did to make my mom's funeral so memorable. (You are my new hero!) From the day you came to pick her up to the viewing we had where she looked so nice and peaceful and beautiful, to the funeral itself - you did a fantastic job and we are so grateful. You made it easy for us and special to us and our guests, and it was a wonderful tribute to Mom. You are truly made for this work. God bless.

Mary Krueger & the Evelyn Peterson Family
December 28, 2018

The support this team gives families is un-explainable. My mom passed away very unexpectedly seven months ago, I was 25 and my sister was 18. We had no idea what we were doing or, where to begin. The funeral directors at the Wausau Location exceeded my expectations. We have received cards and letters the past seven months with supporting and motivational messages. Tonight I went to get our mail and, they sent us an ornament with my moms name, date of birth and date of death. What an amazing gift from a special team. Although the circumstances were obviously the worst and, my sister and I were clueless, I am so glad I chose to go with Brainard's. Thank you for all of the support from all of you. My family is forever thankful.

Katie Ulrick
December 15, 2018

I have always known that I would use you for my family. Our director did a fantastic job helping. Above and beyond satisfied. What an awesome young man. His kindness and thoughtfulness towards me and my family were second to none. During this difficult time, it is nice to know that my Dad was taken care of and that he was there for anything or question that I might have had. I knew we were all in good hands and care.

Jaymi Hughes
July 26, 2018

Thank you so much for everything you have done for us. Between our Dad's and our Mom's funerals. We could not have asked for someone better than you to help us through this. We also would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for singing at mom's funeral. You have a beautiful voice and a wonderful soul. Thanks again.

The Mortenson family (Jay, Leslie, Amy, Bill, McKayla, Missy, Jared, Tanner)
July 25, 2018

Thanks for all your help. Especially for keeping in contact with me even after the funeral was done.

Alice, Donna & Steve
June 21, 2018

Dear Staff of Brainard,
Thank you so very much or all you did for our family to take care of our needs to make our Mother's ending the blessing she deserved. Everything was handled professionally, yet in a caring, personal way. We always felt your kindness.

The Family of Inez Wheeler
June 3, 2018

Thank you especially for all the extra cards, vases, and chairs that we needed for the day of the memorial service. It all turned out lovely.
I know I speak for many other families when I say we are lucky to have the Brainard staff.

Barb Peterson
May 26, 2018

Thank you for everything. Greg's funeral was perfect and everyone was so nice. You all made a very difficult time better. I would definitely recommend your services. Thanks again.

Pat Streveler
September 2, 2017

To all the staff of Brainard's:
I know it has been an entire month since we used your services for my Mother's Memorial and burial but I did not want one more day go by without taking the time to "Thank You" from our entire family! You all went above and beyond what we ever expected. It was a very sad day for all of us but you all did such a wonderful job that we came through it with good feelings and memories. Thank you so much for the caring and professional way you handled it to the very end. The police escort was the most impressive and everyone made comments on what a wonderful job you all did. My husband and I can't thank you enough to make that day so special! God bless you all.

Judy & Tom Chrest
August 29, 2017

Thank you to everyone who had a role in my dad's funeral arrangements. The speed and efficiency combined with the gentleness of our funeral director made what we expected to be a difficult morning, a wonderful experience. Certainly, we shed some tears and had moments of indecision, but he treated us with kindness and patience and gentle guidance when we needed it. Thank you for making Dad look just like we like to remember him. You have an amazing team.

Gloria Degner
August 20, 2017

Just wanted to personally say thank you for really helping our family through a rough time. It felt good to not really worry about anything funeral related, felt confident it was placed in the best hands - your company. Our funeral director did an awesome job! He was kind, respectful, he listened, was patient, and very professional. He was simply great. Jack and I were really impressed that he showed up after midnight looking clean, fresh, and professional. He really presented and represented very well. Thanks again.

Linda & Jack Graap
June 21, 2017

Dear Brainard Funeral Home,
Thank you to everyone involved for your kindness & compassion and for the excellent service you provided. I feel I can speak for all of us when I say that we were without worries when it came to the "details" because of all of you.

The Huckbody's
March 8, 2017

l cannot say enough about Brainard Funeral Home. The people who work there are AMAZING. LeRoy's death was sudden and they went out of their way to take care of everything. Even delivered a dinner the night of his death. The candle, the memory book, and it was the compassion to my girls that I loved. We had prepaid funerals, which I would recommend to anyone. You make people's lives at the time bearable. Thank you.

Mary Kay Baker
November 2, 2016

Thank you all at Brainard for helping us through Karen's celebration. You were all flawless throughout it all..

Pat Simson & The Philipp Family
October 14, 2016
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