Wausau area obituaries October 11, 2021


Keith J. Crooks

Keith J. Crooks, age 64, of Schofield, Wisconsin, went to be with Jesus, on Thursday, October 7, 2021. Keith was born on August 31, 1957 to the late Eugene and Carol (Kleiber) Crooks. As an infant, he was born into the family of Christ through Holy Baptism. In his youth and throughout his adult life his faith was nourished by God’s Word and sacrament.

From little on, Keith enjoyed sports. In his youth, he participated in Little League and Pony League Baseball. He was a 1975 graduate of Wausau East High School where he played varsity football for the Lumberjacks and was a member of the school’s wrestling team. Keith also played softball in a church league for many years.

After high school, Keith joined the family business, working in various roles at B&B Movers of Wausau. It was the perfect job for a man who enjoyed driving everything from straight trucks to ATVs. In more recent years, Keith worked for Able Distributing of Wausau.

On March 19, 1994, Keith was united in marriage to Marsha K. Zank. As constant companions, the two did everything together from work to recreation. As “movers” they drove cross country together. As sporting enthusiasts, they golfed together, bowled together, cheered on the Packers, Brewers, and Badgers together, and more recently hit the trails together as they four-wheeled and camped in the Northwoods with close friends.

Keith has been a longtime member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Schofield. There he expressed his gratefulness for God’s saving love by serving on various boards and committees. At one point, he took an active role in the congregation’s Lutheran Pioneer program, volunteering his time to serve as a mentor for young boys and teens. Whether at work or among friends, Keith was always happy and quick to serve others in any way that he could.

In addition to Marsha, Keith is survived by his children: Jason (Holly) Crooks (Weston), Brian Crooks (Wausau), Jessica (Michael) Straseske (Wausau), Ashley (Adam Jacobsen) Gerber (Weston), and Jamison Hollman (Schofield). Among his other survivors are his brother, Steve (Jean) Crooks, Wausau; his sister, Pat (Ed) Kordus (Antigo); his brother, Allan (Jean) Crooks, Wausau; and his brother-in-law, Joel (Cindy) Zank (Appleton); He is further survived by his ten grandchildren, by loving aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins and other extended family members and dear friends.

Keith was preceded in death by his parents, Gene and Carol (Kleiber) Crooks and his parents-in-law, Marlan and Sharon (Grob) Zank.

A memorial service for Keith will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, October 14, 2021, at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, Schofield. The Rev. Jeff Mahnke officiating. Visitation will take place at the church on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and again on Thursday morning from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at brainardfuneral.com.

Keith will be missed by his family and friends and most especially by his bride, Marsha. But even in our sadness, we are finding comfort and strength in Keith’s conviction that the crucified and risen Jesus has done everything that needs to be done to win eternal life in heaven for Keith and for all who believe the Lord’s promise: “Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19)


June M. Corporaal

June M Corporaal, passed away on October 7, 2021 in Wausau, WI.  June was born on February 15, 1926 to Jonas and Mildred (Johnson) Halverson in the Town of Elderon.   

June worked for Employers Mutual from 1944 to 1952 when she married Gerrit Corporaal on July 12, 1952 and they moved to Minneapolis for 5 years.  In 1957 they moved to the Town of Weston and purchased a farm.  June worked for the Town of Weston until she retired in 1988.  She and Gerrit moved to Wausau in 2014.  June was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church of Rib Mountain and was a member of the Women’s Missionary Society.  She enjoyed traveling with Gerrit, cross stitch, puzzles and reading.       

June is survived by her husband, Gerrit Corporaal; sister-in-law Carol Halverson; 3 nieces and one nephew.  She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Roy Halverson and one nephew. 

Funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at Brainard Funeral Home, 522 Adams St., Wausau.  Visitation will be held from 1:00 pm until the time of service at the funeral home on Thursday. 

Online condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com 


Ron Zahrt

Ron Zahrt passed away unexpectedly on the evening of October 7, 2021 at his home in Wausau. 

Ron was a devout Christian and proud and life–long Wausau resident. He was born on June 27, 1945 to George and Mary Zahrt. He was happiest when fishing with Mike, watching baseball, exploring new places with Lois, and seeing his kids and grandkids do all the activities that they love. He spent most of his career in Wausau real estate helping his customers find their perfect home and helping colleagues reach their full potential. He enjoyed representing and advocating for the Wausau area on state and regional real estate boards. After a bout with cancer over 20 years ago he became an advocate for cancer screening and in retirement spent time each week volunteering at the Aspirus Cancer Center. 

Ron is survived by Lois, his wife of 50 years; children, Mike Zahrt, Linda (Cavin) Thiery, grandchildren Zac and Julia Thiery, and sister Nancy Zahrt.

A celebration of life will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 501 Stewart Ave Wausau on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. A gathering of family and friends will be held at the church from 1:30 p.m. until the time of service. Burial will be held at Stettin Christian Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Trinity Lutheran Church or the Aspirus Foundation. 


Nancy C. Hassel

Nancy Carol Hassel was finally reunited with the love of her life on October 7, 2021 after a long fight with Lewy body dementia. She was born in Wausau, WI to the late Peter and Leone (Onie) Johnson on October 19, 1937. On June 2, 1962 she married her beloved husband, Donald (Don) Hassel in Wausau where they lived for 35 years until his passing February 20, 1998.

Survivors include her daughter Shelley (Rich)Anderson of Rhinelander; grandsons Matthew of Madison and Michael of Birmingham, AL; sister-in-law Cecilia Johnson, Edgar; nieces Roxie (Denny) Page, Wausau, Linda Barttelt, Wausau; nephews Fred (Joann) Reissmann, Mosinee, Jon Prott, Wausau, Peter (Ava) Johnson, Edgar, cousins Jean (Jim) Rockwood, Wisconsin Rapids, Deanna (Jim) Adams Wisconsin Rapids and many dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her brothers; Gordon Johnson, William (Bill) Johnson, sisters Betty Reissmann and Joyce Prott and brothers- in-law Al Reissmann, and Robert (Bob) Prott.

After high school, Nancy worked at Wausau Papers where she met Don. Upon becoming a family, Nancy embraced the role of homemaker. She loved the sun and she and Don spent winters in Florida until Don’s passing. They would often take the motorhome out for a drive, just to get away. If they weren’t traveling, they were spending time at the cottage on Big Bear Skin Lake. One of Nancy’s most memorable trips was a Carnival Cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman with her cousin Jean and aunt Ruth. She loved going to the casino and playing card games, especially sheenshead. Even COVID couldn’t keep her from wanting to play cards with her friend Lydia. She was a Packer fan and as a season ticket holder attended many games (unless they were losing in which case, she would sell her tickets). When she football season was over, she became a staunch Brewer supporter. She was always proud of her Swedish heritage.

Visitation for Nancy will be held on Thursday, October 14th from 9:00 – 11:00 am, with funeral services following at 11:00 am, all at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau. Pastor Timothy Smith will officiate. Entombment will be in Restlawn Mausoleum, Wausau at a later date.

The family wishes to send a special thank you to Dr. Vicki Baker for her advice and support and to Nancy’s special angels at Azura Memory Care for their loving care and kindness.

Friends wishing to honor Nancy are invited to make a donation in her name to their local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation.


Jerome T. Clarkowski

Jerome (Jerry) T. Clarkowski, 73, of Wausau died on Thursday, October 7, 2021 surrounded by his loving family at Marshfield Clinic Medical Center.

Her was born on February 3, 1948 in Wausau, the son of the late Arnold and Adeline (Lapinski) Clarkowski.  He graduated from Wausau High School in 1966 and attended North Central Technical College.

Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Cheri Buss on October 5, 1968 at St. Anne’s Catholic Church.  They enjoyed 53 years of marriage.  They were blessed with two children, Brain Clarkowski and Krista Hillstead, and he was the proud grandpa of 6 grandchildren, Sophie, Nora, Joe, Robbie Jaydon and Sawyer.

In 2011, Jerry retired from Brokaw Paper Mill after 40 years of service as a rewinder operator.  He was very involved in the union and held various positions and always wanted to help his co-workers.  He enjoyed card playing with his friends at the Mill.

He loved spending time in nature fishing, hunting, and picking berries.  He especially liked going Upnorth and spending time with his family and his fishing partner (father-in-law), Don Buss.  He found great pleasure in traveling with his wife to destinations that were close to the water: Dorr County, Duluth, the North Shore of Minnesota and the Southern Coast.  He also appreciated spending time with his relatives in Georgia.

Jerry always had a story or a joke to tell and was the life of the conversation; his laugh was unforgettable as well as his fun loving personality.

Jerry had many supportive friends who he liked to celebrate with by going out for a fish fry or a good meal; their times were full of laughs, jokes and funny stories.  During the pandemic, he looked forward to weekly dinners with his wife, Cheri and their best friends, Ken and Sue.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Adeline Clarkowski; his stepmother, Caroline Clarkowski; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Donald and Florence Buss; and his friends Harry and Schmidty.

Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Cheri; his son, Brian Clarkowski, Edina, MN; his daughter, Krista (Dan) Hillstead, Verona, WI; his grandchildren; Sophie, Nora, Joe and Robbie Clarkowski; Jaydon and Sawyer Hillstead; his brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Janet Clarkowski, Eau Claire, WI; sister-in-law, Jeanne Pescitelli, George and many special nieces and nephews.

Per Jerry’s wishes: no funeral services will be held at this time.  A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

The family would like to thank the staff at Marshfield Clinic Medical Center and Benedictine Living-Community-Wausau for their care and support.


Roger F. Sowinski

Roger F Sowinski, 72 of Kronenwetter, left this life to be in the loving arms of our Lord Thursday, October 7th, 2021. Roger passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at Marshfield Medical Center, Weston.

Born June 2nd, 1949 to the late Chester (Chet) Sr and Leona (Letarski) Sowinski. Roger married Mary Beth Schulz on July 8th, 1972. They celebrated 49 years together. Roger had a love for the outdoors, and a great love and passion for bow hunting. But no greater love, then that for his family. He spent many years supporting and enjoying his kids in all their sports and activities. Watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren grow was his pride and joy. The love they have for their Bumpa and Grandpa is like no other. The last few years, Roger loved spending time with his dog Doofus, and out by his brother John’s house in the country.  He is so loved and will be missed by so many.

He is survived by his loving wife Mary Beth (Schulz) Sowinski. His children, Mike (Laura) Sowinski of Waunakee, Laurie Sowinski (Bruce) of Kronenwetter, Shane (Julie) Sowinski of Tomahawk, and Calla (Janet) Sowinski, Merrill.  His siblings: Chet Sowinski Jr’s wife Joann of Wausau, Dianne (Rick) Schmitt of Corpus Christi, TX, Karen (J.T.) Turzinski of Wausau, Marie (Jerry) Nowak of Wausau, Jerome Sowinski of Wausau, John (Amy) Sowinski of Birnamwood.  His 11 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren. His loving in-laws and many nieces and nephews.

Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother Chet Sowinski Jr, and sister Barbara Sowinski.

A Memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm  Monday, October 18 at Mount Calvary Church, 503 Schmidt Ave, Rothschild, with visitation from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the church. Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family. 

“I’ll hold you in my heart, until I once again hold you in my arms”


Dolores L. Zimmerman

Dolores Lucille (Plotz) Zimmerman departed this life October 7, 2021 at the age of 85 years, 5 months and 16 days at Stoney River Assisted Living of Marshfield, WI.

Daughter of Herman and Lucille (Sitter) Plotz, she was born April 21, 1936 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Dolores married Earl P. Zimmerman, June 15, 1957 at Peace Lutheran Church in Oshkosh.

She attended Oshkosh Elementary schools and graduated from Oshkosh Senior High School on June 10, 1954. Dolores then attended the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Platteville, and Stevens Point graduating May 17, 1972 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. She was a teacher at the Rothschild Elementary School for 19 years. Dolores was very active in the church, having taught Sunday School, Confirmation and sang in the choir.

Dolores and Earl had five children, Deborah (Peter) Shuda of Stevens Point, David (Sue) Zimmerman of Woodbury, MN, Sheila (Steven) Cleveland of Black River Falls, Daniel (Peggy) Zimmerman of Loyal, and Dean (Susie) Zimmerman of DePere. They also had two foster sons Lee Reeds and Del Reeds and were foster parents to three infants.

Others who mourn her death are her 14 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and sister, Beverly Calder.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Earl; brother-in-law, Gerald Calder.

We want to thank Mom’s caregivers at Stoney River Assisted Living and Heartland Hospice for their care.

Visitation will be Friday, October 15 from 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Wausau, A private family funeral will be held after. Burial will be in the Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery of Wausau. 


Darlene R. Madden

Darlene Ruth Madden, formerly of Weston, Wisconsin, left this earth to be with her Lord and Savior on October 8, 2021 at the age of 86.  Darlene was born in Merrill, Wisconsin on July 30, 1935 to Olaf H. and Min (Welk) Skare.  Her family moved to Wausau in 1944. She graduated from Wausau Senior High School in 1953 and married Wallace James Madden on February 16, 1957 at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, later becoming St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Wausau, Wisconsin. They were married for almost 35 years until his death in 1991. 

Darlene worked in the office of Winkelman’s Department Store from 1953 to 1957 and then began a career in banking beginning with First American National Bank in Wausau and then for many years at Intercity State Bank in Schofield, retiring in 1995. 

She was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ from 1944 until her death.  Darlene was confirmed and married at St. Paul’s, taught Sunday School in the Advanced Primary Department for 10 years, was a member of the church’s Mother’s Club, and served as Treasurer on the Church Audit Committee for a two-year term. 

Darlene was an intelligent, artistic woman.  She loved crafting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlework, reading, and gardening, having many indoor and outdoor plants and vegetable gardens through the years.  Animals were another passion and, along with her daughter, crocheted and donated thousands of cat toys to humane societies in Wisconsin. 

Darlene is survived by her daughter Tammy (David) Marone of Kronenwetter, grandsons Adam of Kronenwetter, Eric (Brittany) Marone and great grandchildren Ava and Elias of Weston.  She is also survived by nieces Donna Winker of Merrill, Deanna (Rick) Day of Wausau, Wendy (Forest) Black of Harshaw, and Lori Schultz of Colorado. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and sisters Joyce Osness and Joan Schultz and their husbands Don and Jim, and niece Lynn Schultz. 

Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Court, Weston with Chaplain Mark Lewis presiding. Visitation will be from 10:00 AM until the time of service at the funeral home on Wednesday. 

A very special thank you to Oak Heights Assisted Living in Kronenwetter whose past and present administrators and caring staff gave her kind, compassionate care and made her stay there very comfortable.  Thank you also to the great staff of Compassus Hospice who provided additional care.  It was much appreciated. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Humane Society of Marathon County, 7001 Packer Drive, Wausau, WI 54401 or the Lincoln County  Humane Society, 310 N. Memorial Drive, Merrill, WI 54452 


Schron R. Schael

Schron R. Schael passed away peacefully on Thursday October 7, 2021 at age 79, surrounded by her loving family. 

Schron was born on December 26th, 1941 to Victor and Dorothy Maltbey in Wausau, Wisconsin. She grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin, and graduated from Wausau East High School in 1960.

Schron married Marvin Schael on November 18, 1961, at Wesley Methodist Church, Wausau. The two of them met while working at Kroger grocery store.

Growing up, she enjoyed listening to Elvis Presley and dancing in the kitchen with her two sisters. Schron loved flowers and spending time in her many gardens. She found joy in decorating her home, while always adding special touches throughout the day. Schron loved to try new recipes, which she came across paging through magazines. Her yellow Labrador Retriever, Snow was always thought of as part of the family.

Schron was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She loved spending time with her family and cooking special meals, especially during the holidays keeping traditions alive.

Schron is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Marvin Schael; her two daughters: Lynn (Jay) Kufahl of Wausau; Lori (John) Jacob of Minneapolis; five grandchildren: Cassandra Kufahl, Melissa (Brent) Obernberger, and Shane Kufahl; Michelle (Nicholas) Bullerman, and Jessica (Nicholas) Rathke; four great-grandchildren Aaron Modrzejewski; Brennan Obernberger and Rowan Obernberger; and Oakley Bullerman. Siblings, Sandra (Robert) McCabe of Wausau, Vicky Pingel of Wausau, Tim (Wendy) Maltbey of Ringle and Tom (Sharon) Maltbey of Kronenwetter; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce St, Wausau, WI 54401. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 a.m., followed by a committal service at Restlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum, 235962 N Troy St, Wausau, WI 54403.


Robert E. Krueger Jr.

Robert E. “Rob” Krueger Jr., 70, Wausau, died Friday October 8, 2021, at home under the care of his family and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

He was born August 10, 1951, in Wausau, son of the late Robert E. Krueger Sr. and Shirley (Johnson) Krueger.  On May 23, 1987, he married Susan Gau in Virginia.  She survives.

Rob was a graduate of UW Madison with a degree Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  He had been employed with IBM in Virginia for 12 years before returning to Wausau.  While here, he had been employed with Wausau Financial and later with County Materials Corporation.

Among his favorite pastimes, he enjoyed model railroading, old motorcycles and was a member of the American Motorcycle Association.  Rob enjoyed the outdoors, was an accomplished woodworker, creative and was always there to lend a hand when needed.

Survivors include his wife, Susan; two sons, Isaac Krueger and Ethan Krueger; three sisters, Kathy (Roger) Sheppard, Rome, Georgia, Mary (Tony) Borchardt, Wausau and Nancy (Ron Grabko) Krueger, Wausau.

Memorial services will be 11:00 a.m. Friday October 15, 2021 at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau.  Rev Joy Nelson-Jeffers will officiate.  Visitation will be on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services at the Sixth Street funeral home.  In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established.


Shirley A. Chandler

Shirley Chandler, 75 of Wausau, WI, entered eternal life on October 9, 2021, at House of Dove Hospice in Marshfield, WI.  Shirley was born on November 25, 1945, in Wausau, WI, to Arnold and Rose (Anderle) Chellberg.  She graduated Newman High School in 1963 and graduated St. Mary’s School of Nursing in 1966.  She married Gerald Chandler on April 21, 1968. He preceded her in death on August 3, 2020. 

Shirley was proud to give 46 years of skillful and compassionate care as a Registered Nurse.  Faith and family always came first.  She was a devout Christian, the most loving mother, and sweet doting grandmother.  Her favorite times were family gatherings, sharing a meal, playing games, endless laughter. Mom and Dad were present for all scouting events, cheering at games, track meets, music concerts, piano recitals, anywhere they could watch their kids and grandkids do what they love. Over their 52-year marriage, she and Jerry traveled the country and were particularly fond of their trips to the Southwest.  Mom loved doing jigsaw puzzles, especially with her beloved daughter Jessica.  She was a true a puzzle aficionado and avid Springbok collector.  She would never pass up an afternoon card game around the poker table with family and friends, her favorite music playlist on, often with a Sam’s or Angelo’s pizza break!  She enjoyed a trip to the casino and watching game shows, never missing an episode of Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune.

Shirley is greatly missed by her four loving children, sons Jon (Carrie) Chandler, Jason Chandler, Joel (Jennifer) Chandler, and daughter Jessica (Bradford) Putrus, six grandchildren who brightened the twinkle in her beautiful blue eyes, Caitlyn and Madison Chandler, Nicholas and Charles Handrick, and Myles and Julius Putrus, her sister Sharon (Hugh) Magnin, and brother Randy (Lynnette) Chellberg.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and brothers Gene and Gary Chellberg. 

Our family wishes to thank Doctors Rezazadeh, Peterson, and Platta at Aspirus Cancer Center, and special thanks to all hospice staff for their tender care during Mom’s final weeks.  A great nurse recognizes a great nurse, and Mom met many through her life’s journey. 

The funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at St. Anne Catholic Church, Wausau, WI.  Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Kronenwetter, WI.  Visitation will be held on Monday, October 18, 2021, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau, WI, and at St. Anne Catholic Church on Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until time of services.  Please feel free to join our family by wearing something pink to honor Mom’s valiant 12-year battle with metastatic breast cancer.  Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth Street, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements.  Memorials may be directed to the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com


Richard “Rich” Papa

Richard “Rich” Papa, 77, Wausau, died Friday, September 24, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital due to the COVID Delta virus.  

He was born April 12, 1944, in Wausau, the son of Steve and Helen (nee Dawiedczyk) Papa. He graduated from Wausau High School in 1963 and trained on computers with NCR, working and maintaining the mainframe computer at Johnson & Johnson in Racine. He served in the National Guard, obtaining the designation of Sharp Shooter.  He returned to Wausau, making his home in Rib Mountain, working for area businesses including Award Floor, Fiskars, and others.

On June 30, 1984, he married Lois LaFontaine and the two spent their years together working on their gardens and home, enjoying the dogs and cats they loved dearly, and spending time with family and friends. Rich particularly loved flying ultra-light airplanes with his buddies and spent many years as a local musician, playing guitar.  Rich was a tinkerer of electronic devices of all kinds, taking them apart and sometimes putting them back together.  He often had a project in progress on the coffee table, where the animals would come to inspect his work.  

Survivors include his wife Lois, Wausau; Mother Helen, Wausau; daughter Shay Helie of New Hampshire; and son Jason Papa Richie of California; stepdaughter Holly (Chris) Voll of Kronenwetter; stepson Jeff (Jodi) Hirsch of Appleton; grandchildren Christopher and Hayley Hirsch; and Jessica and Heather Voll; stepdaughter Kim Evans of Arizona; his sister Mary Jean ‘Jeannie’ Butalla of Marathon, and brother Stephan Papa of Denver, Colorado; and nieces, nephews and other family members. 

He was preceded in death by his father Steve Papa, brother-in-law Bob Butalla, and sister-in-law Patty Prevost-Papa.

Cremation services are provided by John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society of Schofield.  There will be no funeral during this sad time of the Covid global pandemic.  Burial will be at the Sacred Heart cemetery in Stetsonville, Wisconsin, at a later date. 




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