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Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

Shannon Dunn

Shannon Dunn

Funeral Director

Shannon served her apprenticeship at Brainard Funeral Home in 2003. 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 be in her hometown to help families arrange personalized services tailored to their loved one.

Email: 


Sarah Zuelke

Sarah Zuelke

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 somewhere else.  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, and what a pleasure it has been.  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.

Email: 


Carrie Hartleben

Carrie Hartleben

Funeral Director

Carrie graduated from Arkansas State University with her degree in Mortuary Science in 1998.  She then returned to Wisconsin 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 serve the Wausau area communities.

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.

Email: 


Patti Hildebrandt

Patti Hildebrandt

Funeral Director

Patti is a kind, friendly, and compassionate funeral director who loves spending time with her family and friends. Originally from Marshfield, WI, Patti holds degrees in both computer science and mortuary science and has built her career serving families in central Wisconsin. She has always been interested in making a difference in people’s lives so the funeral profession was a natural fit for her.

Patti‘s family includes her fiancé, John; her children, Brandi, Britni, Bayli, Brianna, and Aaron; her grandchildren, Anna and Silas; her Yorkie Poo, Ava. She loves to laugh and enjoys spending her spare time with family and friends. Camping and the ocean are two of her favorite things.


Amanda Duncan

Amanda Duncan

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.

Email: 


Dean Welker

Dean Welker

Funeral Director Emeritus

"In 1961, I graduated from the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science in Milwaukee.  The first funeral home I worked at was Ritter and Deutsch Funeral Home in Wausau. In 1963, I began my career at Helke Funeral Home.  One of my primary responsibilities was making sure that the preparation, cosmetics and casketing of each decedent was absolutely perfect, every time.  The last viewing of the deceased is a very important part of the grieving process.

I have made more friends, shared more stories and become part of the lives of more families than I could have ever imagined in my 57 years as a funeral director.  Even though I am "retired", I am honored when families ask if I can help with their loved one's funeral. I still always try to be there for them."


Lisa Lanier

Lisa Lanier

Advance Funeral Planner

Licensed Life Insurance Agent & Wisconsin Certified Agent for Burial Agreements

Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Lisa moved to Wausau in 2002. As a passionate and dedicated Preplanning Specialist, she educates families about the importance of preplanning funeral services ahead of time. She enjoys working closely with families to ensure their emotional and financial needs are met while creating a personalized and meaningful life celebration. 

She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in business and public relations and continued her studies at the University of Iowa. Before joining Helke, Lisa worked in commercial real estate management, consultive sales, marketing, and business for more than thirty years. She has served on the boards of The Neighbors' Place, Wausau Festival of Arts, and Center for the Visual Arts. 

In her free time, Lisa enjoys genealogy, art, spending time with family, and volunteering with a number of non-profit groups and organizations.

Telephone: 1-715-842-3993

Email: 


Christine Jones

Christine Jones

Grief Care Coordinator

What began as an appointment to preplan her own end-of-life services became the beginning of Christine’s journey to join our team. She brings a wide variety of life experiences to her role and has a unique and blessed view of life; she draws on this to help others live with grief in healthy ways and to normalize communication involving loss.

Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and has worked as a behavioral health and substance abuse counselor with the Georgia Department of Corrections. She has also worked with at-risk youth as a wilderness counselor and teacher.

Christine shares life with her significant other, Marc, her daughter, Kathryn, and her granddaughter, Lori. She is looking forward to the birth of another grandchild soon. She loves all animals and enjoys crafting, puzzles, walks along the river in Wausau and Skee-Ball at the arcade. 


Le-Ann Albee

Le-Ann Albee

Office Manager

Le-Ann would describe herself as compassionate, humble, and harmonious. With a great deal of experience supporting others who have gone through loss, Le-Ann is especially empathetic and wants to be there for those grieving. In her free time, Le-Ann enjoys being active in the community and spending time with her family, friends, and animals. She is most likely the voice you will hear when you call Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Service.

Email: 


Steve Jeske

Steve Jeske

Cremation Technician

Steve was born in Fond du Lac, WI, and moved to Merrill when he was three months old. He grew up there with his mom and five brothers. Following his graduation from Merrill Senior High in 1975, Steve joined the Army and went on to serve the Wisconsin National Guards as an Armor Crewman (Tank). He attended Northland Baptist Bible College and earned a degree in biblical studies. While in college, Steve met his wife, and they were married on August 2, 1980.

Later, Steve went to North Central Technical College for nursing assistant training and then to Globe University, earning an associate degree as a Certified Medical Assistant. He spent five years working in Outpatient Psychiatry at North Central Health Care. Steve and his wife have two children, Caitlin and Jonathan, and four grandchildren.


Ed Jensen

Ed Jensen

Funeral Assistant

"I was a barber in Wausau for 45 years.  I served in the Army Reserves and am currently a commissioner on the Rib Mountain Sanitary Board.  I am a member of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church.  My wife, Martha and I have been married 53 years and have three children and one grandson.  For relaxation, I enjoy woodworking, reading and taking long walks.  At Helkes, I like working with the families and the variety of the job."


Michelle Hartle

Michelle Hartle

Funeral Assistant

Michelle has joined Helke 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. 


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.


Kristine Ouellette

Kristine Ouellette

Funeral Assistant

Having only lived in Wausau a few short years not only has it been inviting and a beautiful place to live, I have found my passion in becoming a Funeral Assistant.  It's a direct view on life helping families in a very emotional time.  I receive much satisfaction in being able to assist a family in their time of need.


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