Taylor & Stine
Funeral Home

“To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

Erika Grace Nelson Liebert, age 33, won her battle with breast cancer and met her Maker on the morning of Saturday, October 11, 2014.  She passed away peacefully at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, WI, surrounded by her husband and family.

Erika was born on January 7th, 1981, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  She attended St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School in Waukesha, and then moved to Merrill with her family where she attended St. Francis Catholic Grade School followed by Merrill High School.  During her high school years, she was first chair clarinet for the marching band, an accomplished pianist, president of the National Honor Society, and a member of the art club. 

After graduating from Merrill High, Erika started to pursue her dream of becoming a pharmacist.  She was accepted to UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, but after finishing one year, switched her major to psychology and moved back to Waukesha where she attended Carroll College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  Pharmacy, however, always remained in her heart.  In 2010, after much hard work and dedication, she was once again accepted to UW-Madison School of Pharmacy.  

In February of 2013, Erika was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.  She endured the recommended treatments while continuing to attend school, and even made the honor roll during this time.  After all treatments were complete, she was told there were no more signs of cancer and that she could move on with her life.

She married her true love, Bill Liebert on October 4th, 2013.  It was a lovely, intimate ceremony at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Milwaukee.  Erika continued to attend pharmacy school and was starting to plan out her life with her new husband.

By late March of 2014, the cancer had returned.  Erika began chemotherapy treatment again.  She decided to take a break from school this time around, but kept working as a pharmacy intern.  In May of 2014, Erika was able to walk with her graduating pharmacy class and received an honorary Doctorate of Pharmacy.  She had completed all coursework and had just two clinical rotations remaining.

Erika forever remains a fighter.  She fought so hard to live, to give, and to teach others.  Her strength and grace will never be forgotten.  She touched so many people through her CaringBridge journal and ‘Erika’s Grace’ videos.  She will always be remembered as a loving wife, an amazing sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, and friend.  She showed us how to live, and how to win in life.  Erika loved to knit, especially sweaters and hats for her nieces, nephews, and friends’ babies.  She was also an avid gardener and loved spending time outdoors.  Her beautiful smile will shine on in our hearts forever.

Erika is survived by her husband, Bill Liebert; parents, David and Dawn (Ehli) Nelson; siblings, Kirsten (Derek) DeGroot, Robert (Stephanie), Becky (Mat Rowen), Bobby Hoffman; nieces, Lauren, Kara, Abby, and Josie; nephews, Wesley and Arthur; several aunts and uncles, maternal grandparents and great-grandmother; her husband’s family, and many friends.  Erika was preceded in death by her dear sister Kathryn and by her paternal grandparents.

The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Duane and Kevin, the dear friends that opened up their home to Erika while she was receiving treatments at UW Health this past year.  Your unconditional love of Erika will not be forgotten.  The family would also like to thank the oncology staff at UW Carbone Cancer Clinic, especially Dr. Lee Wilke, Dr. Mark Burkard, Kayla, and Meredith.  As well, the family is very grateful to the staff at Agrace Hospice, especially Dr. Kinsley and Dr. Berger, for the outstanding compassionate care they gave to Erika.

Erika, you win, and we all win for being able to share in your journey. 

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 A.M. Saturday, October 18, 2014, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Merrill. The Rev. Michael McLain will preside. Visitation will be from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Friday, Oct. 17th at the Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill.

Online condolences may be made at http://www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com/

Hattie Emma (Lange) Parobek, age 92, of Merrill, was called to her heavenly home on Saturday, October 11, 2014. Hattie was a resident of Woodland Court, Merrill, for the past several years, where she passed away peacefully under the care Woodland’s staff and hospice care.

Hattie was born August 12, 1922, in Merrill, daughter of the late Bryan and Eleanora (Meyer) Lange. Hattie was married to Vincent Smith in 1941, and he preceded her in death. She then married John Parobek on November 6, 1965, in St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill. Hattie and John spent 22 wonderful years together traveling, rock hounding, and enjoying family. The marriage ended with his death in February of 1988.
Hattie was the head cook at St. John Lutheran School, Merrill, for many years, and former students still mention her great meals. She also cooked at the former Hinz’ Cork & Dyne, Merrill, and had also cooked meals at Camp Luther. It was at Camp Luther that she met husband John. Hattie was a life member of St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill, was a former member of the Ladies Aid, and was a former member of the Mission Circle.

Hattie was a member of one of the first ‘Red Hatters Club’ in Merrill. She was a member of the Merrill Central Homemakers, and enjoyed belonging to several card clubs. One of Hattie’s favorite pastimes was reading, a hobby that she continued to the end. Hattie was proud of her family and enjoyed spending time with them, especially visits from grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Survivors include four sons, Gerald (Barb) Smith, Plymouth, WI, and Robert (Patricia) Smith, David (Susan) Smith, and Dennis Smith, all of Merrill; eight grandchildren, Peter (Susan) Smith, Pewaukee, Alison Smith, Plymouth, Matthew (Julie) Smith, Grand Rapids, Michigan, David (Christine) Smith, Merrill, Todd Smith, Kerry (Scott) O’Connell, and Debbie (Daryl) Merkel, all of Merrill, and Deanna (Steve) Smith, Oak Creek; and thirteen great grandchildren; one sister, Trudy (Norman) Kriewald, Merrill; and many nieces and nephews. Besides her parents and loving husband, John, Hattie is preceded in death by her daughter in law, Dawn Smith; two sisters, Ethel Tranetzke and infant Marion Lange; and a brother, Richard Lange.

Hattie will be deeply missed by her family and friends.

The funeral will be at 1:00 P.M. on Thursday, October 16, 2014, at St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill. The Rev. Nathan Kramer will officiate. Burial will follow in Snow Hill Cemetery, Town of Scott. Visitation will be from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. Wednesday at the Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill, and after 11:00 A.M. Thursday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill, Camp Luther, Trinity Lutheran Church, Merrill-Radio Ministry, or the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made at http://www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com/

Leroy Arnold Fisher, formerly of the Milwaukee area, found peace Saturday Oct. 4th 2014 at age 68.

Dear father of Steven, Daniel and Aaron.  Loving Grandfather of Amanda, Brandi, Nathan, Robby, Jordan and Ian.  Great-grandfather of Mya, Mariah, Jaynaise, Cora and Roman.  Preceded in death by wife Jacqueline and brothers Jim and Hank.  Survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Former employee of Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee.

Memorial visitation from 2:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M. Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill.

Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com.


Susan J. Conant, age 56, of Wisconsin Rapids, formerly of Merrill and Woodruff, found peace on October 17, 2014, from her courageous battle with Huntington’s Chorea.

Susan was the daughter of Della (Myers) Conant and the late George Conant.  She graduated from Lakeland Union High School, Minocqua and Nicolet College, Rhinelander.  Susan enjoyed visiting with friends and family, traveling, camping, hiking, and spending time with her niece and nephews. 

Susan was preceded in death by her father, George Conant, who also had Huntington’s Chorea.  She is survived by her mother, Della (Myers) Conant, of Woodruff; two sisters, Judy Boze, of Minocqua, and Joyce (Kurt) Helmstadter, of Merrill; one niece, Katie Helmstadter, of Cincinnati, Ohio; and two nephews, Ryan Boze, of Minocqua, and Kyle Helmstadter, of Watford City, North Dakota.

Per Susan’s wishes, there will be no funeral service.  The Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com

Sharon A. Krueger, age 61, of Merrill, died Sunday, October 19, 2014, at Pine Crest Nursing Home, Merrill.

Sharon was born October 15, 1953, in Lincoln County, daughter of the late Walter and Lauretta (Schroeder) Karpenske.  Sharon had worked at the former Merrill Medical Clinic as an administrative assistant.  She enjoyed taking sign language classes, playing cards, watching NASCAR and working on word search books and puzzle books. 

Survivors include her son, Casey Krueger, of Wausau; one sister, Deborah (Elmer) Engel, of Merrill; and two brothers, Duane (Juanita) Karpenske, of Sun City, California, and Wayne (Ruth) Karpenske, of Merrill.  Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Lauretta Karpenske; an infant daughter, Heidi Jo Schult; and one brother, James Karpenske.

A private graveside service will be held at a later date.  The Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences may be made at http://www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com/

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