Dad remembers Brookfield soccer star as competitive, humble

CREATED Jul 5, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 7, 2014

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BROOKFIELD - Trophies, plaques and pictures of Brett Wiesner are stacked on the dining room table in his family's Brookfield home.  While there are questions about how the 31-year-old soccer star died, his dad says what’s far more important is how Wiesner lived.

“Solid person, respectful of other people,” Fran Wiesner told TODAY’S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.  “Just a passionate competitor.  He loved to compete at anything.”

The father said his faith getting him through the loss of his son.

“I’m Catholic.  I believe there is an afterlife and Brett’s already up there,” Fran Wiesner said.  “I said a prayer with everybody out at the house once we found out he had not made it.”

A memorial service is planned for Monday, July 14 at Becker Ritter Funeral Home in Brookfield, according to the online obituary posted Monday.

The Waukesha County Medical Examiner completed an autopsy Monday.  A Department of Natural Resources investigator said Brett Wiesner drowned in Oconomowoc Lake, with no signs of foul play.

Wiesner jumped off a pontoon boat early Saturday morning and did not return to the boat.  Authorities found a beer cooler and witnesses said there had been drinking among the eight people on board.  It is not clear what, if anything, Wiesner consumed.  It is being called a boating accident.

“This has touched all of us,” longtime Milwaukee Wave coach Keith Tozer said.  “He loved camping.  He loved the wilderness and he loved the water.  He was great with his ponytail.  He would walk in the locker room laughing and a smile on his face.”

Wiesner was a state champion with a strong academic record at Brookfield East. 

“I just always get my stuff done.  Like in school, I don’t really waste my time a lot,” Wiesner told TODAY’S TMJ4 sports reporter Jessie Garcia in a 2000 interview.  “Recruiting has been real exciting, just having colleges calling you, wanting you to visit their school.”

He played NCAA Division I soccer at the University of Washington.  Wiesner returned to Wisconsin to play for the Milwaukee Wave.

“It’s been four or five years since I played in front of family and friends,” he told TODAY’S TMJ4 at a Wave practice in 2006.  “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Wiesner recently shifted his attention to coaching and mentoring young players.

“He was too young to die,” said Herbie Dundun, the current head soccer coach at Brookfield East.  “Until now, I’m even struggling with it.  I still feel like it’s a bad dream.  I want to wake up from it.”

A toxicology report is pending.  The DNR will submit a report to the Waukesha County District Attorney’s office for possible citations or charges.