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. 

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/18/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

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We'll tell you about a public bus service that now serves Park Falls but is expanding its service to Phillips.

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We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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She shadowed a pharmacist in Eagle River.
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The 55th World Championship Derby is this weekend.

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EAGLE RIVER - The 2012 and 2017 World Snowmobile Derby Champion and Tomahawk native plans to use his fame to give back.

Nick Van Strydonk will give away his racing helmet, jacket and pants in a raffle.

Each ticket is $5.00 and he hopes to sell enough to send three members of Tomahawk's VFW to this year's honor flight.

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THREE LAKES - A public library will do just about anything to help out its loyal patrons. But what happens when the library needs help?

The Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes needs help storing books during an upcoming renovation. Over 3,000 books need to be cleared out of the library during the construction period and library card holders will get the chance to check out up to 100 books for an entire year.

The idea of book babysitting made perfect sense to library director, Erica Brewster.

"If we could get a hundred people to check out 100 books, that would be a third of our collection that we wouldn't have to physically pickup and move and put in a new location," said Brewster. 

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