Papa Bear Memorials helps people remember loved onesSubmitted: 01/12/2018
Rose McBride
Rose McBride

Papa Bear Memorials helps people remember loved ones
MERRILL - Keeping memories alive of a loved one who passed away can be difficult...especially as time goes on.

A woman in Merrill started her business after her father died to keep his memory close to her.

Now, she's been able to help people all over the U.S. and Canada hold onto those memories.

Blake and Brynn Gremminger remember the fun times they had with their grandparents. 

"Usually with our grandpa, we'd play catch or something or go out for ice cream," said 10-year-old Blake. 

Their grandpa passed away last year and their grandma passed away a year and a half before that.

Their mom Stephanie wanted to have a special memory of her parents. Something to make things easier on the hard days. 

"I had the bears made with my mom's Brewers shirt because she's a big Brewers fan," said Stephanie. 

She saw Melissa Jahnke's Papa Bear Memorials on Facebook and knew she found that special memory. 

"And it almost feels like they're here with me, a little part of them is still here," said Stephanie. 

Jahnke started her business because she had a similar experience. She lost her father in April of 2015. 

"It started with me needing a way to cope and needing a way to heal," said Jahnke. 

Christmas came around and Jahnke wanted to give her siblings something special.

"And part of me told me bears, make bears. Something that my siblings could hug and everything like that," said Jahnke. 

The boxes were opened with tears and thanks yous, and Jahnke wanted to help other people keep a little piece of their loved one with them. Since she started making bears she has heard the stories of many people.

"John Allen. He passed away and so when I made his bear that was made out of his marine uniform," said Jahnke. 

She's sent bears all over the country.

"I've had order from 21 different states," said Jahnke. 

She uses every piece of the clothing to put together a very unique creation. 

A creation that gives Blake and Brynn a little bit of comfort when they miss their grandparents.

"[We] snuggle them, maybe sleep with them too," said Blake and Brynn. 

The bears also help Stephanie keep her parents' memory with her. 

"It makes it a little bit easy on those tough days," said Stephanie.

Jahnke also makes bears for special occasions or commemorating a milestone. For more information, visit the link below. 

Related Weblinks:
Papa Bear Memorials

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Germantown police say the accident happened just after midnight on Sunday. The car was in the center lane when it hit the pedestrian, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

WISN-TV reports that shortly before the accident officers were called to a business in the area on a report of a disorderly subject. The man ran off before officers arrived.

No further details have been released.

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Regole found his way around one of the biggest obstacles of his life when he was 16.

"I was in a car accident and that's how I became a T-11 complete paraplegic," said Regole.

However, instead of feeling defeated he found new strength. Now, he and wants to share a piece of his strength with others. Regole started the SpineCore Foundation this year to give people with physical disabilities like 45 year old Pete LaPage a chance to do adaptive outdoors sports with a specialized camp.

"I don't like to be inside I need to be outside!" said LaPage.

24 years ago LaPage dropped off a 20 ft. embankment and broke his back during a three wheeler accident.

"Everyday there's a challenge you find a way to overcome make it a little adventure," said LaPage.
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Cindy Eggers is an award winning quilter and one of the original members of the guild.This year she was the honoree quilter. She's proud of the impact her quilts make.

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Bill Schoenfuss is passionate about his business.

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To keep up with demand, Kelly Keyser-Millar recently moved her 'Mortar and Pestle' shop right next door from its old location in downtown Antigo.

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She recommends digestive bitters to get your system moving naturally.

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