Farm Animals 10

Lorenz "Sonny" C Breitenfeldt

August 30, 1945 ~ February 7, 2024 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Lorenz "Sonny" Breitenfeldt Obituary

Lorenz “Sonny” C. Breitenfeldt, 78, Town of Wausau, passed away on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He was born August 30, 1945, in Wausau, the son of the late Lorenz A. and Linda (Voelker) Breitenfeldt. Sonny was baptized on October 7, 1945 at the family home by Pastor Bertermann.  Sonny was confirmed at Little Trinity Lutheran Church in the town of Wausau on April 10, 1960.  On April 1, 1967, he married Charlotte Gut at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau (no foolin’). They met at a polka dance at Colonial Ballroom. It was the first and last time he asked her to dance. Even so, they kept polka dancing for many years together to the music of The Jolly Kids, Music on Tap, and other bands his son played in.  Going to church on Sunday morning was always a priority even if he had to drive fast to get to church on time after morning chores.

Sonny left school early to take over the family farm after the early death of his father, but Sonny continued to learn his entire life.  He read the farm trade magazines and adapted new farming practices quickly.   His reading and curiosity drove innovation not only in farming but in racing and snowmobile trail grooming, too.  Sonny had to make a lot of decisions in his life, and “most of them were good,” which he says led to success.  Sonny shared his wisdom from the years of trials and errors with his children and grandchildren.

The Breitenfeldt family farm in the Town of Wausau was unique because of Sonny’s dedication to getting a job done quickly with less effort and less money.  He was not afraid to try new methods, such as no-till fields, a milking pipeline in the 60’s, a milking parlor in the late 90’s, and recently milking robots.  After all, he always believed the cows worked for him, he did not work for the cows. When diesel prices went up in 2000, he bought an oil extruder so he could “grow” diesel with sunflowers.  His love for working in the garage allowed him to buy other people’s mishaps or breakdowns and turn them into low-cost, fully-functioning Breitenfeldt farm equipment.  They made many modifications to the choppers to make snaplage, and he enjoyed cutting hay with the triple mower well into his 70s, often with a grandchild sitting on his knee. In addition to all that, they also cooked maple syrup for many years. Sonny had a way of making the impossible a reality on the farm, and if things didn’t go as planned, it added to the excitement of life.  He worked hard, and he played even harder. 

Sonny was instrumental in the family racing team and took great pride in watching and helping the generations of racers come through the ranks in the family. It all started as the crew chief for his good friend Lester Stankowski and a ’55 Chevy. The excitement of the racetrack often started with the hauler drive as kids sat in race tires in the back of a Suburban, and continued into the drive home thanks to the hauler.  Sometimes the hauler limped back into the farm yard, like the time they towed it home with a Volvo car.  None of that ever daunted Sonny, later becoming crew chief when his son started racing at the local short tracks. He taught his son and the many grandkids who raced that races were won at home in the garage with hard work, creative tinkering, and proper setup. 

He was also involved with the local snowmobile club and enjoyed hitting the trails when he could.  For many years, the trail groomer was parked in his yard, and he was considered the trail boss of the Nutterville trails in northeast Marathon County.  Sonny strove for well-groomed, smooth trails, and often successfully advocated for better grooming methods.  After one fun-filled failed attempt, he did accomplish the goal of riding snowmobiles 880 miles from their home to the Canadian border. 

Sonny and Charlotte bought a camper as they retired from farming.  They spent hundreds of nights and thousands of miles in the various campers over the years.  

Vacation was an opportunity to conquer, not to be wasted by sitting or relaxing. Trips were often made to deliver or pick up equipment, and if the load was questionable, he never questioned it. They made two trips to Alaska, saw the California redwoods, and even took the camper down the Las Vegas strip.  Through all of their adventures, their favorite campground was always a nice, flat Walmart parking lot.  In recent years, they took up fishing.  They started on the shore, moved to a two-person kayak, and recently bought a two-person pontoon.  He only dumped Charlotte in the lake once.

But nothing brought more joy to Sonny’s life than spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.  His seven grandchildren all held a special place in his heart, and the time he spent with them brought immense joy. Even in the last few years, he was still logging countless hours in the UTV with his special grandchild, Karlen.

Survivors include his wife, Charlotte Breitenfeldt, Town of Wausau, his children, Alan (Kathe) Breitenfeldt, Wayne (Lori) Breitenfeldt and Connie (Kent) Laessig, all of Wausau; his grandchildren Eric (Olivia) and Ella Breitenfeldt, Brett and Jenna Breitenfeldt, Connor, Karlen and Callie Laessig, and his great grandchild Owen Breitenfeldt.  Sister-in-laws Lois (Chuck) Schultz and Donna Falkowski and 5 nieces and nephews who all had many good memories of their time spent with Uncle Sonny.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his infant sister, Shirley Breitenfeldt.

Memorial Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 16, 2024, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau.  The Rev. Jim Mayland will officiate.  Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau.  Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and again on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the church.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
February 15, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Trinity Lutheran Church Wausau
501 Stewart Avenue
WI, 54401 US

Visitation
Friday
February 16, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Trinity Lutheran Church Wausau
501 Stewart Avenue
WI, 54401 US

Memorial Service
Friday
February 16, 2024

11:00 AM
Trinity Lutheran Church Wausau
501 Stewart Avenue
WI, 54401 US

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