Cover photo for LaVern "Vern" Kanitz's Obituary
LaVern "Vern" Kanitz Profile Photo
1961 LaVern "Vern" 2023

LaVern "Vern" Kanitz

October 31, 1961 — December 10, 2023



LaVern “Vern” A. Kanitz Jr., age 62, of Merrill, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at his home.  He was born on October 31, 1961, to the late LaVern and Patricia (Gartman) Kanitz Sr. in Merrill.  Vern attended and graduated from Merrill High School with the class of 1980 and went on to further his education at NTCI in Wausau, by earning his degree as a radiology technician.  Vern went on to work many years as an x-ray technician until he starting working for Eastbay in Wausau later in life.  He enjoyed volunteering at the food pantry in Phelps, WI.  Vern looked forward to summertime when he could go fishing; he was an avid fisherman.  He enjoyed music, especially classic rock, and loved gardening. Vern and his brother, Jeff, would spend time together watching all of the Wisconsin sports teams, and when it was nice out, they would sit outside and watch the birds and squirrels.  He had a massive movie collection and enjoyed watching The Lord of the Rings.  Vern is remembered as a witty guy with a great sense of humor, as well as being strong-willed and determined.  He will be sadly missed, but never forgotten.

Vern is survived by his daughters: Jenna Kanitz of Conover, WI and Kelsey Kanitz of Phelps, WI, with her daughter: Payton, brothers: Jeffrey Kanitz of Merrill and Jim (Angela) Kanitz of Wausau, sister: Lori (Bill) Koepke of Merrill and many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

The Memorial Service for Vern will be held on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at 11:00am at Waid Funeral Home.  Pastor Mike Southcombe will officiate.  Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 14, 2023, from 9:00am until the time of the service, also at the funeral home. 

In lieu of flowers, family requests that donations in Vern’s name be directed to the American Diabetes Association at

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the town of Russell first responders, the Merrill EMS and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department for their efforts to assist Vern and their care and compassion.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of LaVern "Vern" Kanitz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 14, 2023

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, December 14, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Central time)

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