Helen M. (Zdrazil) Carl
March 10, 1945 - July 22, 2022
Avid reader and devoted wife, mother, and sister Helen Carl’s love of life didn’t end with her death. Helen passed away on July 22, 2022, at the age of 77 after a courageous seven-year battle with cancer, surrounded by her family who will continue to honor her legacy by loving with their whole hearts and living life to the fullest.
Born the fifth child of Louis and Rose (Dvorak) Zdrazil, Helen was raised on a small farm in Neva, outside of Antigo, Wisconsin. Surrounded by love, along with fun-loving brothers and sisters, Helen grew up knowing the value of hard work and the importance of love and laughter. Helen graduated from Antigo High School in 1963 and moved to Wausau, where she enjoyed single life with her roommates while starting a life-long career at Wausau Insurance.
At Wausau Insurance, Helen worked in Regulatory Administration until her retirement in 1999 and then worked as an independent contractor after the transition to Liberty Mutual. Throughout her career at Wausau, Helen worked with other strong women and mothers who served as role models to females who chose to work outside of the home. After retirement, Helen worked part-time at JCPenney, one of her favorite stores in the Wausau mall.
During her early years at Wausau Insurance, Helen met the love of her life, Jim Carl. In 1968, Helen married Jim and together they raised two daughters, Tiffany (Luke) Francois of Middleton and Justine (David) Hildebrandt of Eau Claire. Throughout their long and happy 54 years together, Helen and Jim sought out adventures and lived with God at the center of their family.
The simple pleasures in life brought great joy to Helen. Baking Christmas cookies with her grandchildren, meeting her brothers and sisters for lunch, camping / traveling across the United States with her family, cruising around the world after retirement, enjoying dinners at 2510 with friends, taking long walks, and sitting with a good book and a cup of warm coffee in her favorite brown mug filled her soul. Helen liked to laugh and had a subtle sense of humor that often came as an unexpected surprise. But people always came first for Helen. Whether she was donating blood to the Red Cross or cooking Bohemian comfort food for her family, giving was Helen’s passion in life. Her devotion to family and selfless care for others centered her and is what we will carry in our hearts.
Besides her husband and daughters, Helen is survived by her siblings Louis (Helen) Zdrazil, Pat Rose, Tom (Marlys) Zdrazil, John (Rose) Zdrazil, Mary Jo Zdrazil, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cherished friends. She is also survived by the lights of her life, her five grandchildren: Kennedy (20), Lucas (17), Jacob (15), Matthew (11), and Elliana (6). She was greeted in Heaven by her parents, an older brother, Harry, who died before she was born, brother-in-law Ron Rose, an infant nephew, and countless other relatives.
A celebration of life is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Friday, July 29, 2022, at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home on 6th Street in Wausau. Reverend Joy Nelson - Jeffers will officiate. Attendees are invited to wear cheerful colors to honor the brightness of Helen’s life. The family will receive friends and family starting at 11:00 am until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Monk Botanical Gardens in Helen’s name. The family wishes to thank oncologist Dr. Onitilo and the Marshfield Medical Center - Weston Oncology nurses–she was close with all of them; the caregivers at Wausau Manor, especially Chris; and the beautiful people at Our House Assisted Living. Thank you, also, to Interim Palliative and Hospice teams, especially Tim, Bre, Monica, and Brianna for their kindness and exceptional care during Helen’s final journey.