American Patriotic 10

Wayne C. Kroeger

January 14, 1947 ~ January 20, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Wayne Kroeger Obituary

Wayne Charles Kroeger, 77, of Wausau, Wisconsin, passed away Saturday, January 20th, 2024 on the palliative care unit at Aspirus Wausau Hospital after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Wayne was born January 14th, 1947 in Mauston, WI to James and Mary (Berendes) Kroeger, the youngest of six children. They lived on a dairy farm near Hustler, Wisconsin. When he was four, tragedy struck. His father was killed in a car accident. Wayne, three of his siblings, and their mother moved to an ancestral farm on Summit Ridge, near Sparta. Soon after, they moved into the city of Sparta, where the family lived until each reached adulthood.

Wayne graduated from Sparta High School in 1965, where he enjoyed playing multiple sports, including baseball, football and tennis. During the summers, he would help on his cousin’s farm.

In 1966, Wayne entered the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi. On May 4th, 1968, Wayne married Julie Pfaff at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Sparta, Wisconsin. He was sent to Vietnam early in 1969. Wayne and Julie enjoyed an R&R reunion in Hawaii which they remembered their whole lives.

While Wayne was in Vietnam, Julie finished her education degree at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. When Wayne was discharged from the service, he entered the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he graduated in 1974 with a degree in therapeutic recreation. A baby boy, Bryan, was born to them during this time.

Wayne found a job in therapeutic recreation at the North Central Health Care Facilities in Wausau, Wisconsin, so he and his family moved there in 1975. Shortly after arriving in Wausau, a son, Dan, was born. Wayne worked for North Central Health Care Facilities for over 39 years. 

Wayne had a special group of softball friends, who then became poker friends, lasting for life. Besides softball and poker/cards, Wayne also enjoyed golf, and was an avid fan of college football, the Green Bay Packers, and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Wayne was a member of St. Michael Catholic Church, where he served as an usher for many years.

Survivors include Julie, his wife of 55 years; two sons, Bryan, Wausau, and Dan (Jen), Wausau; two granddaughters, Hannah and Chloe, Wausau; one brother, John (Renate), San Jose, California; two sisters, Lorraine Dwyer, Altoona, Wisconsin; Caroline (Dave) Wagner, Middleton, Wisconsin; sister-in-law Donna Kroeger, Janesville, Wisconsin; former sister-in-law Diane June, Sparta, Wisconsin; sister-in-law Kathy McVicker, Jump River, WI; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Conrad and Eugene; a nephew, Matthew Kroeger; two brothers-in-law, Mark Pfaff and Tom Dwyer; and a niece Kara Pfaff.

The Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00am on Friday January 26th, 2024 at St. Michael Catholic Church, 611 Stark Street, Wausau, with Father Tom Lindner presiding. Visitation will be at the church from 9:30am until the time of the service. Burial with military honors will occur at a later date. 

Wayne was a quiet, unassuming man - loved his family and watching sports. He was a good friend to so many.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.

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January 26, 2024

9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Michael Catholic Church (Stark Street, Wausau, Restlawn Memorial Park)

Funeral Mass
January 26, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Michael Catholic Church
611 Stark Street
Wausau, WI 54403


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