site image
phone local_florist

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.

Cortney Drake-Heck

Cortney Drake-Heck

Funeral Director, Certified Crematory Operator

“I grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin and have spent my entire life here. In the past six years I have completed my apprenticeship, graduated from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service and became a Licensed Funeral Director.

I am honored and excited to become a member of the Helke Funeral Home Team and I look forward to continuing to serve the families in my hometown. I know that each death is difficult, and each life is unique. I believe special relationships are to be honored and I look forward to helping each family celebrate their memories, while honoring their life with a personalized service that is as unique as their loved one.”

Email: 


Shannon Dunn

Shannon Dunn

Funeral Director

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

Email: 


Jeff Krcil

Jeff Krcil

Funeral Director, Certified Crematory Operator

"I joined Helke Funeral Home in 2007 after working in Minnesota.  I am a graduate of the Carl Sandburg College Mortuary Science program and also have a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Northern Iowa.  In 2016, I earned my Certified Crematory Operator certification and completed training to become a Certified Celebrant.

I entered funeral service with the desire to help families through some of the most difficult days that they will ever have.  My view of funeral service is being attentive to their needs and offering options to best suit those needs.  With that, I am interested in the technological innovations that can assist us in funeral service;  utilizing DVD creation programs for making memorial DVDs, offering webcasting services and the expanded use of internet services to connect and communicate with family that is spread across the world."

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: 


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

Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Lisa moved to Wausau in 2002. She graduated from of the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in business. Before joining Helke, Lisa worked in commercial real estate management, consultive sales, marketing, and business for more than thirty years.

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


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."


Dick Knudson

Dick Knudson

Funeral Assistant

“I am a Wausau native who left Wausau in 1961 to wear my country’s uniform, first at West Point and then the Army, until I retired in 1990. I then eventually returned to Wausau and worked at the Marathon County Chapter of The American Red Cross until 2003. In 2004, I joined my long time Kiwanis friend, John DeLaporte at Helke Funeral Home as an assistant. It is a job that involves a wide variety of tasks, which I enjoy. Additionally I get to work with a great group of people.”

Dick has been married to Marianne since 1968, and they have a son and a daughter who have blessed them with six wonderful grandsons.


Sue Hilgemann

Sue Hilgemann

Funeral Assistant

I have found life to be meaningful providing healthcare to patients and their families in the Wausau area for 35 years. I truly understand how difficult the passing of a loved one can be, and as a funeral assistant, my goal is to offer support in a variety of roles to make the funeral service run smoothly. I find it rewarding to assist families at their time of loss by providing compassion and understanding.

 

As an active member of Saint Anne's Catholic Church, I chair the annual golf outing, lector, and work at the fish fries. I enjoy playing pickleball, mahjong, golfing, and assembling puzzles. Spending time and traveling with family gives me the most pleasure.


In Loving Memory of Patrick Mayo

In Loving Memory of Patrick Mayo

Funeral Director

Patrick Jason Mayo, a fisherman, age 46 of Stevens Point, left this world too soon on Monday, September 23, 2019, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital surrounded by family and lots of love. 


Patrick was a funeral director for over 20 years and served families honorably and with great passion. His warm smile and caring heart are missed greatly.  


The tales you told about each catch
Its stature and its girth
Will live in memories unmatched
As days pass here on earth
Until we meet again, one day
Upon God’s golden sand
We’ll picture you, no other way
Than with a pole in hand.



In Loving Memory of Paul Bruss

In Loving Memory of Paul Bruss

Funeral Assistant

Paul passed away on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at his home surrounded by his family.  He was in retail management for Fleet Farm and Petco before retiring.  In 2016, Paul joined the staff at Helke in helping to assist the funeral directors and the families we serve. 

We are going to miss his enthusiasm, bright smile, positive work ethic and spirited discussions on how the Packers and Badgers were doing. 


In this section

About Us

Our History

Our Staff

Facilities

Testimonials

Contact Us

Privacy Policy

© 2021 Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy