Chad “Cleatus” Glaze, 48, of Merrill, WI, was tragically taken from this life on Sunday, Dec. 31st, 2023, in a UTV accident.
Chad was born February 23rd, 1975 in Appleton Wisconsin to Jerry and Ila Glaze. He was their treasure. He lived in Nevada for a number of years, where his love for the western lifestyle emerged, before moving back to the Midwest.
Chad graduated college from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, with a degree in Broad Area Agriculture. Ask him to see his business card sized diploma- he carried it in his wallet for proof! He was a proud member of the rodeo team riding broncs and breaking his collarbone in the process! He and his friends founded the Boar’s Nest Country Club, spending their time making mischief and attempting to ‘avoid’ trouble.
He married Kristin Barth, the love of his life, on October 19, 2001. Together they raised two amazing kids, ran a successful business, and kept the home and farm of their dreams. They made their life together everything they’d wanted. Kids, cows, horses, llamas, land and love. What else could they want?
He was an entrepreneur at heart and started Vine Vest North and more recently 4G Family Farms and farm supply. Vine Vest was a labor of love. His customers became friends and his philosophy of always doing what’s right for them always earned him respect. Chad attended the Missouri Auction School, the Harvard of Auction Schools, after which he started working as an Auctioneer for Wausau Sales. He obtained his real estate license and was soon selling real estate at auction, which gave him a lot of satisfaction. He simply loved being at an auction.
One of his other talents was being a Rodeo Announcer. He announced the River Falls college rodeo for several years. He passed his love for rodeo onto Katy, delighted when this past year she was crowned Wi River Pro Rodeo Princess.
Chad was the past President of the Partnership for Progressive Agriculture, Past President of the Market Animal Sale Committee, board member for the NTC Agricultural Center of Excellence, 4H leader and announced the market animal sale for many years. In 2023 he ran for and was elected Chairman for the Town of Berlin. He was quickly learning many things about local government and, we believed, was destined to run for higher office. He enjoyed the challenge of improving the organizations, that thought process led him to join many different boards, often dragging Kris along with him. If he joined it, so did she.
Chad was larger than life, in so many ways. He had an unbelievable smile and a contagious laugh. He would laugh so hard, tears would leak from his bright blue eyes. When the story telling started and his eyes started to twinkle you couldn’t help but feel good and want to be in his presence. Many a night was spent telling stories in the card room, built specifically for Chad to entertain their friends.
Chad absolutely loved to hunt. Spending time at the hunting shack in Ogema or on the annual hunting trip to Montana brought so much joy to his life. The people he met along the way soon became family to all of us. Sometimes we thought he enjoyed the planning process almost as much as the trip!
Being an avid fisherman, he knew every lake in Wisconsin and exactly what fish you could catch there. He loved going to Canada to fish, he had just started an ‘annual’ trip to Bluffy Lake and was so excited to have Jase join him this year on the adventure of the year.
Being a self-proclaimed Foodie, he was always on the search for the best prime rib. Just try to go somewhere that didn’t have Prime Rib on a Saturday night and you’d be met with the ‘are you sure you want to go THERE to eat’ question. Before long you’d be headed to his favorite prime rib restaurant, and you’d be happy about it because you’d made him happy. If you named any town in Wisconsin, he could tell you not only the best place to eat, but the best thing on the menu.
His love for his family was all consuming. Chad’s family “was his everything” and he would do anything to help Kris, Jase and Katy achieve their goals. If you said you wanted to do it, he’d say, ‘make it happen’ and he’d help you do just that. He often told Kris that everything he did was for them. Everything. And he was right. One of the highlights of his year was being able to ride along with Jase in the big rig. His love for his kids was an amazing thing to witness.
For him family was the company you keep. The friends in our lives are the best. They are truly the family we got to choose. Not a day went by that Chad wasn’t talking, laughing with or planning some adventures with his friends. If you said you needed something, Chad was there to help you. If you were a friend of his, you were a friend for life. More than 25 years after leaving River Falls, he could still walk into Mel’s and someone would know him, calling out to their old friend Cleatus.
There was often talk of holding a class on his absolute favorite movie, Lonesome Dove. After all, according to Chad, everything you needed to know in life could learned from Lonesome Dove. Most of the recipients of these lessons would be the kids’ friends. He freely imparted life lessons to the young adults that were often in the house. They’d greet him with a hello Father Chad, Chadwick, Chadweiser, Papa Cleatus, and he’d beam with pride.
‘It’s been quite a party ain’t it?’
Thank you to everyone who’s stopped, called, messaged, fed us, offered and gave assistance and sent us love as we maneuver through these days without our beloved husband, father, son and friend. Our love for him and you is unending.
Preceding him in death are his mother, Ila Glaze; cousin, Ryan Ruesch; brother-in-law, Bobby Schuma; uncle, Tony Baranowski Jr.; aunt, Dian Schmidt; and maternal grandmother, Esther Kirkeide.
Chad is survived by his love, Kris Glaze; son, Jase; and daughter, Katy, all of Merrill. His father, Jerry Glaze; mother & father-in-law, Barbara & Brian Barth, of Casa Grande AZ; grandmother, Lorene Baran; aunts & uncles, Jim & Mary Lou Glaze, Rex & Barb Ruessch, Rod & Paula Ruesch, Reno & Patti Ruesch, Ray Ruesch, Larry Schmidt, and Stacy Baranowski; and many cousins, nieces & nephews.
He’d expect cowboy hats, boots and Western wear at his service. As Chad would say, “Is this Ranchy enough?”
A funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2024 at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 5304 44th Avenue, Wausau (Village of Maine), with Rev. Maggie Westaby officiating. Visitation will begin on Friday, January 5 at 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau, and continue at the church on Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m. until the time of service. Private burial will take place at a later date. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com.
Memorials may be directed to the family for a scholarship fund that will be established.