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Jean “Jeanie” M. Gelhaus


Jean “Jeanie” M. Gelhaus, 66, Ladysmith, a former area resident died on Thursday, Aug. 20 at her residence, an adult family care home near Ladysmith.

There was a graveside committal service for Jean at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery, Medford with Father Frederick P. Brost officiating. Due to the pandemic it was limited to immediate family only.

Jean was born on April 26, 1954 at Medford to Aaron and Josephine (Schumacher) Gelhaus. She had cerebral palsy from birth and has resided at The Parker House in Ladysmith for the past 16 years. The family is very grateful to Ronda Parker, her family, and staff, for the care, compassion, and love they have shown Jean during this time. Ronda will attest that Jean was a determined woman. Although she could not speak, she knew what she liked and didn’t like and how to express it! Jean was happiest with family gatherings, especially her birthday celebrations and at Christmas. She found great joy in opening her gifts... perhaps more joy in the actual opening of the presents, and the laughter surrounding the event, than the present itself.

She found happiness in the simple things in life. Watching the snowflakes fall in the winter, the deer crossing the Parker’s lawn, and even an occasional bear that brought on additional joy. There was a moment in spring while sitting outside that a butterfly landed on her arm. Ronda spoke of how Jean was mesmerized by this. When the butterfly flew away Jean screamed with happiness. Butterflies then became a big part of her gifts and room decorations.

Surviving Jean are her siblings, William “Bill” (Judy) Gelhaus of Arizona, Dorothy (Alan) Rhyner of Prentice and Paul (Mary Sonaglia) Gelhaus of Cable, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; twin sister, Virginia in 1954; sister, Mary in 1989; and brother, James in 2016.

Hemer Funeral Service of Medford and Rib Lake is serving the family. For online condolences, please visit

Paid Obituary 93841