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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.

Anna Winningham

Anna Winningham

General Manager

Anna grew up in Cumberland, Wisconsin and graduated from Growing Lights Christian Academy in Barron, Wisconsin in 1998. She then attended Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake, Wisconsin for nursing studies. She graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, WI from the Surgical Technologist program and went on to work for the next 10 years in surgery. She was employed by the Mayo Clinic Health System for the last 5 years of that time. 

In order to pursue her desire to be a funeral director, she attended and graduated from the Arapahoe Mortuary Science program in Colorado. Anna began her career in funeral service because she feels that she can help and support others in their time of need. 

As a member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, she is committed to life-long learning and excellence in funeral service. 

Anna and her husband, Jeremy, reside in Merrill, Wisconsin. She is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. They enjoy spending time with their two wonderful daughters, Kaitlyn and Courtney. As a family, they love to go fishing, bear hunting and deer hunting.  


Shannon Dunn

Shannon Dunn

Licensed Funeral Director, Certified Crematory Operator

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.

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Carrie Hartleben

Carrie Hartleben

Licensed Funeral Director

Carrie graduated from Arkansas State University with her degree in Mortuary Science in 1998.  She then returned to Wisconsin and began her apprenticeship at Brainard Funeral Home and attained her funeral director’s license in 2001.  After working in funeral service for 20 years in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, she returned to where it all began…. Brainard Funeral Home.

Carrie feels that being in funeral service is a calling and that it is an honor to help families in difficult times.  She is a mother to one son, Grayson, and wife to Kane Niswander.  Her family resides in Wittenberg, where she attended high school.  In her free time, she enjoys camping, playing guitar, and snuggling with her dogs.

 

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Sarah Zuelke

Sarah Zuelke

Licensed Funeral Director, Certified Crematory Operator

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 three kids, Lianna, Will, and Drew.  They are members of The Village Church in Kronenwetter.

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Amanda Duncan

Amanda Duncan

Licensed Funeral Director Apprentice

Amanda began working as a Funeral Assistant and discovered a passion for funeral service, which led her to become a Licensed Funeral Director Apprentice. In pursuit of becoming a Licensed Funeral Director, she is currently enrolled at Northcentral Technical College to complete her general studies.

Amanda lives in Weston, WI, with her significant other, Brandon, her daughter, Evelyn, and her 3 dogs. She enjoys traveling and going on cruises. Her favorite place that she has visited is St. Lucia, where she recommends visiting the Pitons and the sulfur mud bath. Amanda also enjoys reading, playing softball, and crocheting blankets in her spare time.


Scott Brainard

Scott Brainard

Funeral Assistant

Scott was licensed as a Funeral Director in 1973. Today, he works alongside 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.


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.

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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.

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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.


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Testimonials

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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.

Hello Shannon…
Just dropping you a note to let you know that everything went smoothly for my mother’s funeral last Sunday. The director’s were very accommodating in making sure it was done exactly the way I needed it to be. I probably did things a bit different and out-of-the-ordinary but, they kept up. It was appreciated!

Thanks a bunch….

Renee Peterson
August 4, 2021

Shannon, just a quick note to let you know that the funeral was wonderful! I could never have imagined how well it would go. Jeff and his partner were excellent. She had quite the showing for a 97 year old. It was wonderful seeing cousins, nieces and nephews that we haven’t seen for sometime. I had many people tell me the service was beautiful, the pastor excellent and the music wonderful! I share all those thoughts!! I am grateful and thankful for all your hard work! From the bottom of my heart, I THANK YOU!

P. S.
July 19, 2021

Shannon was the best. She was kind, attentive and helpful. They were awesome!

D.D.
June 21, 2021

Hi Shannon. Thank you for everything again. It was a perfect day. You really take the stress out of the plans. And please thank the wonderful people working with you today. Thank you once again!

Christine
June 17, 2021

Thank you to you and your team. Her service was all I had planned and hoped for. Full of love.

Sarah
June 12, 2021

Sarah,
Thank you for everything. The flowers were beautiful! Just as I had imagined. So thanks again.

L.U.
May 26, 2021

Carrie,
Thank you for all your help with my brother's funeral arrangements. I never knew there was so much to consider legally. You made everything easier on the family during this sad time. Thank you again.

N.S.
May 26, 2021

Sarah and Ryley,

Thank you so very much for all you did for us during this really difficult time. Your professionalism and kindness will always be remembered with gratitude.

S.K.
April 13, 2021

Carrie,
Thank you so very much for your kindness during our recent visit. You were so helpful and thoughtful. It was a pleasure to work with you. Thank you, too, for the wonderful celebration candle. It is so meaningful. Thank you, again, for everything.

B.V.
January 13, 2021

Shannon, thanks so much for everything and your patience. And for going out of your way to be super nice and accommodating, that has meant the world to me!

Jamie Learned
August 10, 2020

Hi Shannon - I want to thank you again for helping to release the burden that laid heavily on my heart. I thank God for you guys! I can't explain my level of gratitude right now.

Angelia Lewis
August 6, 2020

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

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

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

Alice, Donna & Steve
June 21, 2018

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
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