WNO Gone But Not Forgotten 

Wayne H. Kuss

46
Years as a Wausau Noon Optimist

Wayne H Kuss passed away peacefully with his wife Mary Sue by his side at Aspirus Hospice House on Tuesday March 29, 2022.


Wayne was born in River Falls, WI. Wayne is a graduate of UW River Falls where he received a B.S. Economics.  Wayne was married to Kathleen Engel in 1963.  They moved to Wausau in June of 1964 after spending some time in both Eau Claire and Milwaukee. Wayne was an Insurance Adjuster.  After moving to Wausau, he began working with MSI Insurance, as a Sr. Field Claim Representative, now known as Country Financial.  Wayne enjoyed serving customers and agents working with everyone so very much.  They were blessed with the birth of their daughter Kelly Elizabeth Kuss on October 21, 1970.


In 1976, he joined the Wausau Noon Optimist and served many roles in his 46 years as an active member.  He served on the Optimist Board of Directors from 1978-1979, he was awarded the Youth Appreciation Week Chairman and his efforts to bring the Positive Contributions of Youth to the attention of the Public 1981, Optimist of the year 1981, Oratorical contest chairman 1981, Keyman award in both 1982 and 1983, Outstanding Service Membership Chair 2007-2008.


Wayne was a member of the Marathon County Agriculture Society and received an Award of Appreciation for 6 years of dedicated service as a member of the Board of Directors presented to him on 11-7-2013.  Wayne enjoyed being on the Wisconsin Valley Fair Board.  He sourced local entertainment in the exhibition building, enjoying the apple pie contest and Princess Tea with the Fairest of the Fair.   He coached 5-8th grade Boys Basketball with his good friend John Durkee at Our Saviors Lutheran Church and Girls Basketball 4-8th grade and at Trintiy Lutheran School with John Cherwinka.


Wayne’s service to his community awarded him several honors.  He was the secretary of the Antique Auto Club from 1972-1974. He also received a Certificate from the Riverview School Park for his many volunteer hours. Wayne was also a member of the Jenny Falls Wine Club, a Friends book club both in person and over zoom. He loved a good mystery novel. Wayne enjoyed throwing parties at his home for any occasion. Some of the signature yearly parties were Chili/Pie cookoffs, Talk Like a Pirate Day, Kentucky Derby Day, Mardi Gras, Holiday Tom and Jerry’s and his favorite, 4th of July.   Wayne loved his craft projects, designing and painting wooden Christmas tree ornaments, and lately making stand up porch greeters.


In December of 2003, Wayne married Mary Sue Edens and became a step father to 3 additional children and was gifted 4 grandchildren. They enjoyed spending time with them at their cabin in the Harrison Hills on Pickerel Lake where Wayne and his family participated in boat parades, great fun!  Wayne was extremely proud of all of his children, family and friends.  He has always put others needs first.

He enjoyed watching the Green Bay Packers with his niece, Kristin Kuss from Las Vegas. They would call each other when the Packers made a touchdown, and was great fun.


Wayne enjoyed attending church at the Trinity Lutheran Spiritual Life Center, where children had their special sermon and the church service was praise.


Wayne is survived by his wife, Mary Sue Edens Kuss, daughter- Kelly Kuss-Raleigh, NC, step-children, Andrew D. Bartelt Merrill, Bethany (Scott) Marcott-Marathon City, Matthew (Penny) Bartelt- Wausau, grandchildren Phillip (Lyddia) Marcott, George & Saxon Bartelt, Austin Bartelt, great-grand child Brantley, former wife Kathleen E. Kuss, brother Donald E. (Betsy) Kuss, sisters-in-law Jean Edens and Ruth Kuss, brother-in-law David (Cathy) Edens, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. Wayne was preceded in death by his mother Betty, his father Herman, his brothers Jack, Roger, Phillip, his sister Janet and his brother-in-law, James Eden.


Wayne was always a positive person and always said, “Everything is going to be ok.”


Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau.  Rev. Timothy Smith will officiate.  Visitation will be on Friday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau and again on Saturday from 12:00 p.m. (Noon) until time of services at the church.

Memorials may be directed to the Community Foundation on behalf of the Wausau Noon Optimist, PO Box 1611, Wausau, Wi 54402.

Wayne and Mary Sue both belong to the Wausau Noon Optimist, this is the Creed.


The Optimist Creed


Promise Yourself:

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

C. Duane Patterson

59
Years as a Wausau Noon Optimist

Wausau - Charles Duane Patterson (Duane), 88, passed away February 15th, 2021, at his home, with family at his side, after an extended illness. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joy; his children Elizabeth and husband Michael Hermsen (of Evanston, IL), Catherine and husband David Wood (of Houston, TX), and Thomas and partner Mark Jakusz (of Minneapolis, MN); and one grandchild, Charles Wood; and by his brothers Robert and Lewis and their families.

Duane was born in La Crosse, WI on July 16th, 1932, to Charles Robert and Jessie Grace Manser Patterson and grew up in the area around North Bend in southwestern Wisconsin. After several moves to other small towns in the area, he completed high school in Lime Ridge, WI, where he played on the basketball team and graduated as valedictorian in 1950. He went on to college at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. There he met Joy Forster, also a UW student, at Pres House, the campus Presbyterian church. After completing his BA in History and attending one semester of law school at the UW, he was called into the army as an officer. While in the service, stationed at Fort Monmouth in Red Bank, NJ, he married Joy on July 23rd, 1955. After three years, the couple returned to Madison, where Duane completed his law degree, serving as Editor of the Law Review and receiving the Order of the Coif.

Upon graduation from law school in 1959, Duane and Joy moved to Wausau, where Duane joined the firm of Smith, Puchner, Tinkham, & Smith (which by the end of his career was Patterson, Richards, and Hessert). He became a partner and engaged in an active legal career for 40 years, specializing in trusts and estates, as well as representing a number of local businesses. Soon after arriving in Wausau, he became active in local civic organizations, including the Marathon County Bar Association, Jaycees, United Way, and Noon Optimists. He was named Jaycee Young Man of the Year in 1967 and Optimist of the Year in 1974. Later, he was elected President of the Marathon County Bar Association in 1981 and President of United Way in 1985. He also served on the boards of a number of other community organizations. Even as he was busy in his career and in community organizations, he remained a strong family man. He was actively involved in the lives of his children, and he and Joy shared a strong and loving partnership.

Throughout his life, Duane was active in the church. In Wausau, he served as elder, deacon, and Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church. Duane was also an avid reader and book collector, with a passion for history, art and art history, and world travel. In his last years he was no longer able to travel, but he and Joy continued to enjoy visits from their family and friends. Duane's family would like to thank the many dedicated caregivers from TLC Home Care and the staff of Aspirus Hospice and Palliative Care who provided care and support in his last two years.

A private graveside service will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery, with the intent of a memorial service later in the year when it is safer to do so.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

John L. Durkee

29
Years as a Wausau Noon Optimist

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the loss of our friend and fellow Optimist John L. Durkee. John L. Durkee, 78, of Wausau, passed away on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at home.


He was born to the late Kanter and Enid (Roloff) Durkee in Wausau on October 10, 1942 and grew up in Mosinee.  He met his future wife, Suzanne Dey, while attending U.W. – LaCrosse.  They were married on April 14, 1962 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.


John excelled in sports, playing basketball, football, and running track in high school.  He played softball for many years in his adult life.  He enjoyed hunting in South Dakota, fishing in Canada, and camping.  He especially enjoyed the family reunions at Lake DuBay.


He was a member of the Wausau Wine Club and was very well-known for his wines.  John was involved in his church, Our Savior’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wausau.  He served as an usher, President of the Church Council, and volunteered at the school.  John also was a member of the Wausau Noon Optimist Club and was very fond of the members.


Survivors include his wife, Suzanne; three children, Mindy (Gary) Randall, Mike Durkee, and Mitch Durkee; grandchildren, Derek, Hayley (Katy), Travis, Brenden, and Allyson; great-granddaughter, Emeriee; brother, Richard (Bliss) of Rock Hill, South Carolina; and sister, Sally Pecha of Kaukauna, Wisconsin.


He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Melissa Jean; parents, Kanter and Enid Durkee; and sister, Margo Budnik.


The public visitation will be on Friday, November 6, 2020 beginning at 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams Street, Wausau.  There will be a private family service and burial on Saturday, November 7, 2020.  The service will be available for viewing on the website at a later time.


You may sign the family guestbook at www.brainardfuneral.com.

Due to current recommendations masks are required and social distancing will be observed.