Bio: Anderson-Ruskin, Addison - Junior Kiwanian (Nov - 2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Anderson-Ruskin

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Anderson-Ruskin, Addison, Junior Kiwanian Nov - 2023)

Addison Anderson-Ruskin has been named by the Neillsville Kiwanis Club as its Junior Kiwanian for November for her activities in Friends of Rachel Club, FFA, 4-H, BLAST, track and field, cross country, her straight A honor rolls and Summa Cum Laude standing, among other achievements. Submitted photo

At their Nov. 13 meeting, the Neillsville Kiwanis Club welcomed senior student Addison Anderson-Ruskin as its Junior Kiwanian for the month. She is the daughter of Craig and Tonia Anderson-Ruskin. Her participation in the November meetings provides an opportunity for her to observe the functions of a service club, while club members can interact with a high-achieving student from our community.

Anderson-Ruskin is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Letterman’s Club, Friends of Rachel Club, and the STEM Club. She has participated in FFA, 4-H and High Quiz Bowl, as well as band, teen leadership council, youth group activities, and Being a Leader and Standing Tall (BLAST), and was named Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen. As an example of the respect her classmates have for Anderson-Ruskin, she has served on student council all four years of high school, is currently president and has been elected as a class officer each year.

As a student-athlete, Anderson-Ruskin has competed throughout high school in track and field, as well as cross-country, where she served this year as team captain.

Academically, Anderson-Ruskin has attained straight-A honor roll in all semesters and has Summa Cum Laude standing. She received a Certificate of Merit from the Society of Women Engineers sponsored by Michigan Tech University.

Along with various club, sport and academic activities, Anderson-Ruskin has been employed as a hostess and server at Fannie’s Supper Club, assists elderly neighbors as a hired-hand and is currently a food and beverage expert at Target.

Following her graduation in the spring she will be furthering her education, with the school choice not yet decided. She hopes to pursue studies in the field of genetics.

“The Neillsville Kiwanis Club is pleased to have Ruskin-Anderson as its November Junior Kiwanian. She serves as an excellent example of a focused and motivated young adult, and one the community can take pride in,” the Kiwanis Club said.


Bio: Becker, Veronica/Jerry - Eatery Owners Retire (Nov 2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Becker, Dull

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Eatery Owners Retire After 28 Years (Becker - 2023)

Veronica and Jerry Becker have handed their A&W business, as well as Rooty, the Great Root Bear, over to new owners. Nancy Curtin/Clark County Press

By Nancy Curtin

When Neillsville residents think of A&W, they think of ice cream floats and Jerry and Veronica Becker. After 28 years of serving root beer floats and hamburgers, the Beckers retired Sept. 1 after handing over the keys to new owners.

The one A&W signature item, since the franchise opened its first tiny root beer stand in 1919, is its caffeine-free root beer, made with real cane sugar and a proprietary blend of herbs, bark, spices and berries.

Since 1950, there had only been a handful of owners prior to the Beckers purchasing the establishment in 1995. It was originally a root beer stand complete with car hops.

The Beckers relocated to Neillsville from La Crosse and purchased a home right behind the restaurant making traveling to work a short jaunt from door to door.

The restaurant had been closed for three years and needed a lot of tender love and care before opening the doors to the public after a couple months of remodeling. The Beckers replaced the booths and tables and installed new wallpaper to comply with the current A&W theme. The refrigeration and most of the other equipment also needed to be replaced.

All four of the Becker children (Gina, Nicholas, Kristi and David) began working at the restaurant at the age of 14.

“They learned some valuable skills they could carry into adulthood like responsibility [and] cash handling,” Jerry Becker said. “The kids also formed lasting friendships with the employees over the years. All four of our children went onto college and are very successful within their careers.”

After nearly 30 years of ownership, the Beckers experienced many changes as the business grew and technology advanced. The biggest challenge for them was during the pandemic of 2020 through 2021.

“Covid was an incredibly scary time for us all,” Veronica Becker said. “Being small restaurant owners, Jerry and I underwent a lot of unknowns. For several months, we closed the lobby and were doing 100% of the business through the drive-thru. Through it all, 2021 was our best year for sales.”

The Beckers both agreed they will miss the employees and customers the most.

“After being in business this many years, we’ve watched many grow up and start their own families,” Veronica Becker said. “We had many regular customers from out of town who would stop in as they traveled through.”

The next phase in life for the Beckers is to spend time with their children, grandchildren, siblings, traveling and just sitting down and relaxing. They also hope to find their dream home in the Fox Valley-area and return to their hometown to be closer to their family and enjoy some traveling.

“It’s always been a dream to travel to Texas, the coast of Maine, North Carolina, visit my sister in New Jersey, Thailand and Ireland,” Veronica Becker said. “It’d be nice to have a flight booked before the end of the year.”

After having the business listed for a few years, the Beckers found the right buyers to carry on the A&W tradition.

“Jerry and I joked that husband and wife with young kids would be perfect fit,” Veronica Becker said. “And Jason and Candace [Dull] and their beautiful family are truly it. We wish them the best of luck.”


Bio: Halopka, Jordyn (Dean’s List - 2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Halopka

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Halopka, Jordyn (Dean’s List - 2023)

Jordyn Halopka of Colby has been named to the 2023 summer trimester dean’s list at Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Main Campus in Davenport, Iowa.


Bio: Lindner, Levi – One for the Record Books (All-Conf. - 2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Lindner

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Lindner, Levi – One for the Record Books (All-Conf. - 2023)

Levi Lindner from the Greenwood High School varsity football team was named to the All-Conference honorable mention team for football in the 2023 Season.

Edward DeBois/Clark County Press


Bio: Thoma, Rick - Concluding the Ceremony (Folding the Flag - 2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Thoma, Koepp

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Thoma, Rick-Concluding the Ceremony (Folding the Flag - 2023)

One Generation to the Next…

Concluding the Nov. 10 presentation at the Neillsville High School was a flag folding ceremony by (l-r) veteran and American Legion Post 73 member Rick Thoma and his granddaughter, Abigail Koepp. During the presentation, the significance of all 13 folds of the flag were explained to the audience.

Submitted photo


Church: Neillsville - UCC Holiday Fair (2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Steiger, Ormond, Mathis, Karl, Miller, Marty, Opelt

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

UCC Holiday Fair Attracts Happy Shoppers (2023)

Ashley helps her daughter, Brinley, pour coffee for a guest at the Nov. 11 Holiday Fair lunch. June Thompson/Clark County Press

By June Thompson

For 59 years, the United Church of Christ in Neillsville has hosted the annual Holiday Fair. Organized by ladies of the Circle of Friends group, this event invited community members to buy crafts, greeting cards and baked goods Nov. 11.

Dorothy Steiger and Fran Ormond were displaying and selling repurposed greeting cards.

“People bring us their cards,” said Steiger. “We sort through them, cut them, color and glue [the verses] inside the cards.”

There were a variety of greeting cards for nearly every occasion.

“They are available anytime, year-round for $0.50 a card/envelope,” Steiger said.

She mentioned their Circle of Friends ladies group meets once a month and sends cards to people who are ill.

“It’s for a good cause,” Steiger said. “It’s something for us that we can do.”

Shoppers could not resist bakery, honey and candies.

“People love to get baked goods. I like the breads,” said Kathy Mathis.

She said they usually sell out, but if there are leftovers, they are sold at church.

Susie Karl, a member of the Circle of Friends, was greeting shoppers looking at the pies and muffins.
“Everyone (church members) donates goodies. None of it has calories because you’re in the church,” Karl said.

Even Karl has her favorites.

“Anything chocolate,” Karl said. “I have a horrible sweet tooth. But I like it all.”

When people were done shopping for sweet treats, they could spend their money on crafts. Carla Marty makes porch pots— buckets with greenery and lights. Marty and Emile Miller were organizers of the Holiday Fair.

“I like being around people,” Marty said. “and displaying my crafts.”

She anticipates retiring to do more of her crafts.

“People like lighted things, porch pots and wooden items. I get ideas from Pinterest,” Marty said. “A cardinal was placed in the porch pots for the older members we lost.”

The Holiday Fair is as much a fundraiser as it is a craft and baked sale.

“All crafts are donated. The proceeds go back to the church,” said Marty. “[The funds pay] for the new parking lot and chairs for the church.”

Although the Holiday Fair had something to interest many, Marty admitted the younger group of ladies does not sew very much.

“We need to recruit sewers,” Marty said. “I appreciate all the help and the ladies/workers who support [the Holiday Fair]. It couldn’t be done without them.”

After shopping for goodies, guests were invited to relax and enjoy lunch. Chicken salad on croissants, potato soup and brownies were served.

“The potato soup recipe was my mom’s, Betty Opelt’s,” Marty said. “It’s been tough these last few years.

“We’ve lost quite a few of our ladies who have been putting together this Holiday Fair. So, you will see we’ve put cardinals in the porch pots to symbolize [the memory] that these ladies are with us today watching over us. We love them all. And hope we are making them very proud.”


Obit: Beaver, Helen Kay “Cookie” (1944 - 2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Beaver, Sabljak, Martin, Ziolkowski, Kilty, Rose, Mechelke, Schwantes

----Source: Life Tributes Funeral Home (Spencer, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Beaver, Helen Kay “Cookie” (19 August 1944 – 18 November 2023)

Helen K. “Cookie” Beaver, 79, of Colby, passed away on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at The Waterford in Colby with hospice care provided by ProMedica Hospice.

A private graveside service will be held in Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Oak Creek, WI at a later time.

Helen was born on August 19, 1944, in Neillsville to Hugo and Anne (Sabljak) Martin. She was a graduate of Colby High School. On May 20, 1967, she was united in marriage to Ronald Beaver at Christ the King Catholic Church in Spencer. She was employed at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee working in the cafeteria providing food service for employees and patients.

She was a member of St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Milwaukee.

Helen was an accomplished crocheter making priceless creations. She enjoyed needle point and reading romance novels. She loved to bake giant chocolate chip cookies for her grandchildren and collecting porcelain dolls.

Those who will cherish her memory include her son, Scott (Dolores) Beaver of Milwaukee; her granddaughter, Jackie (Blake) Ziolkowski of Genoa City; her grandson, Randy (Lily) Beaver of Milwaukee; her great-granddaughters, Presley, Kinsley and Natalie and her great-grandson, Eli, all of Genoa City; her sisters, Mary Kilty of Athens, Berdie Rose of Spencer, Barbara (Jack) Mechelke of Loyal and Theresa (Arlie) Schwantes of Marshfield; her brother, Dan (Char) Martin of Sarona as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Hugo and Anne Martin; her husband, Ron Beaver; her son, Randy Beaver; her brother, Joseph Martin and her sister, Margie Rose.

Her family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at The Waterford of Colby for the wonderful care and companionship for their mother and grandmother.

Helen’s arrangements are under the care of Life Tributes Funeral Home-Spencer. To share a memory or offer condolences, please visit www.lifetributesfuneralhome.com


Obit: Lindner, Matthew Joseph ‘Matt’ (1967 - 2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Lindner, Balzer, Slark, Bredlau, Gotter, Craft, Bertelsen, Kolano, Kunda, Schlegel, Bendzick, Fitsum, Wolde, Kushnir

----Source: Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home (Abbotsford, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Lindner, Matthew F Joseph ‘Matt’ (8 May 1967 – 9 November 2023)

Matthew Joseph Lindner, age 56 of Loyal, passed away on November 9, 2023, at home in the arms of the love of his life, Sheri Slark and his pet cat, Betsy sitting on his lap.

Matthew (Matt) was born May 8, 1967. He was brought home and cherished by his parents James and Arlene (Balzer) Lindner. He was raised in Loyal, graduating from Greenwood High School in 1985. He attended Tech School in Eau Claire earning a degree in construction. In 1990 Matt purchased the family dairy farm from his parents. Matt always had the ability to do various jobs: ostrich farming in New Mexico, loan officer for Moneywise in Marshfield, sold advertising in Minneapolis, MN. Bid jobs and ran construction crews in St. Paul, MN and was a milk hauler and helped with some of the mechanics for Telschow Trucking. He also traded the stock market. He met the love of his life, Sheri Slark in 1994. They had an amazing relationship for the past 29 years and would both always say how Blessed they were to be together.

There were numerous things in life that brought Matt joy; taking care of all types of animals, gardening, planting trees, playing cards, motor cycle riding, fishing and hunting. Most of all, he had a real passion for being there to help others with his kind and gentle approach, knowing just the right words of encouragement. Our hearts always felt lighter with his supportive hugs and love. Matt loved with his whole heart.

He will be deeply missed by Sheri and his siblings: Steven Lindner, Patti Lindner both of Eau Claire, David (Lora) Lindner of Greenwood/Edgar, and Randy (Becky) Lindner of Wausau. Father-in-law: Richard Slark. Sister/Brothers-in-Law: Debbie (Brian) Bredlau, Mike (Lisa) Slark, Vicki Gotter, Rick Slark. Nieces/Nephews: Samantha Craft, Anna Bertelsen, Jacob, Alyson, Alyssa Kolano, Anthony Lindner, Nolyn, Brecklyn, Graesyn Lindner, Megan Bredlau, Brittany (Chad) Allen, Brandon (Madeleine Kunda) Bredlau, Sheena (Jake) Schlegel, Cody (Michelle) Slark, Cortnie (Alex) Bendzick, Tasha (Fitsum) Wolde, Derek (Brianna) Gotter, Jered Gotter, Bailey, Skyler, Isaac (Val Kushnir) Slark and 10 great nieces and nephews, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Jessica Lindner; mother-in-law, Mary Slark; and many aunts and uncles.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church basement in Loyal with visitation at 11:00 am and a 12:30 luncheon. Please bring along your memories to share.


School: Greenwood-Loyal – One Act Performed at State (2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Elmer

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Greenwood-Loyal One-Act Performed at State (2023)

By L.B., reporter

The Greenwood-Loyal One-Act actors left for their state-level performance after a send-off. The cast performed “Social Pariahs” by Jared Mallard, a story about first love and loving life.

The cast traveled to Green Bay the day before their performance and watched the UW-Green Bay students perform “Measure by Measure,” written by Shakespeare.

The next day, the cast got up early to prepare for their performance. After unloading the props and set pieces from the bus, the group warmed up, a Greenwood One-Act tradition that the Loyal actors were welcomed into.

The performance of “Social Pariahs” went well, and the group won a state-level plaque and a technical award for their hard work on moving the set efficiently.

“I’m proud of all the hard work [the cast] has done,” Jo Elmer, director of the Greenwood-Loyal One-Act said. “Next year, I want to win the Critic’s Choice Award. I’m looking forward to it.”

The rest of the cast’s time at UW-Green Bay was spent attending acting workshops and other school’s plays. The cast was satisfied with their performance and are happy the season ended in success.


School: NHS - Crystal Apples Presented in Neillsville (2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: O’Leary, Friemoth

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

NHS - Crystal Apples Presented in Neillsville (2023)

Nov. 13, the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) presented Neillsville educators (above, right) JoAnn O’Leary and (below, right) Kendra Friemoth the Teachers of Distinction and Crystal Apple Awards. The award recipients are selected by their peers. The Chamber will host a banquet to recognize the area-wide Teachers of Distinction and will pick four to be named the 2023-24 Crystal Apple Award Winners. Submitted photos


School: Neillsville - FFA. Alumni Served Annual Breakfast (2023)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
E-mail: dolores@wiclarkcountyhistory.org 

Surnames: Roehl, Byrne

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 11/22/2023

Neillsville FFA Alumni Served Annual Breakfast (2023)

FFA members serve breakfast Sunday, Nov. 12, in the Neillsville High School cafeteria. June Thompson/Clark County Press

By June Thompson

Every year in November, the Neillsville Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Alumni have made and served breakfast to the community. This year’s breakfast was held Nov. 12 at the Neillsville High School Cafeteria.

“This is the 49th year for the FFA Alumni Breakfast,” said Rex Roehl.

Roehl, the clerk-treasurer for the city of Neillsville, has been an Alumni since 1980.

“[The FFA] was started in 1929,” Roehl said. “The FFA Alumni Breakfast was started in 1975. Alumni are the adult supporters of FFA. [Any adult] can be an Alumni to support the FFA.

“Kids start participating in seventh grade and through high school. A current project is FFA members play Bingo with the residents of the Neillsville Retirement Community [assisted living facility] one Saturday a month.”

Carla Byrne, a former Neillsville student, is currently an agriculture teacher and the Neillsville FFA advisor.

“There are about 70 kids involved with the FFA, mainly girls,” Byrne said.

She began helping when she was in the seventh grade. She enjoys being back in the school she graduated from.

“I want to make sure the students have good experiences,” Byrne said.

One of her goals for her FFA students is to encourage strong involvement in speaking contests.

“It did a lot for me,” Byrne said.

There are several categories: quiz bowl, FFA Creed, job interview, preparation and parliamentary procedure.

FFA students served blueberry and potato pancakes, sausage, cheese curds and apple sauce. There was a free-will donation.

“Proceeds go the FFA Alumni scholarship fund,” said Roehl and Byrne.

The proceeds also partly pay for the first FFA jacket.

“If [students] take an ag class, they can be in FFA for free,” said Byrne “Yearly dues are $12.”

This annual FFA Alumni breakfast is not the only event the FFA supports. According to Roehl, the FFA and Alumni help with the Chamber Dairy Breakfast in June.





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