Donna Jean ‘DJ’ Elliott

BRAMPTON, Mich. — Donna Jean “DJ” Elliott, 91. On Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, heaven gained an angel when Donna unexpectedly passed away surrounded by family at Upper Peninsula Health System-Marquette following complications of a heart attack.

Donna Jean Alexander was born on May 21, 1926, to Paul and Blonde (Gregg) Alexander in Evart, Mich. Donna was united in marriage to Elwin “Dick” Elliott in 1947 and they made their first home in Bay City, Mich. Prior to moving to the U.P., they had four children together. They then made their home in Brampton and added another daughter to their family.

Donna was tiny in stature, standing at only 4 feet, 11 inches, but she was strong — serving as the pillar of her growing family. Her door was always open, greeting every guest with her bright smile and an offering of freshly-baked sweets and a warm cappuccino. Many memories were made around her kitchen table, where family often gathered to visit, eat, and play Scrabble. As the matriarch of her family, she loved nothing more than having all of them together.

Donna was a former member of the Gladstone Yacht Club and she enjoyed going to the Gladstone Senior Center to play card games. She loved to travel the world, having visited 48/50 states in the U.S. and many places beyond. She was well-versed in geography, and would pull out an atlas to show you all the places she’d been.

She was like a ray of sunshine when she walked into a room, and brought so much light into the lives of those who were lucky enough to know her. She had a genuine concern for each and every person she’s ever come into contact with. If she had a mantra in life, it would likely have been “never stop moving.” She was rarely seen sitting, and was always helping others. She’s the epitome of what we all hope to be when we “grow up.”

In addition to her husband of nearly 71 years, Dick, survivors include: sons, Michael (Julie) Elliott and William (Kathy) Elliott, both of Gladstone; daughters, Patricia (Dale) Gibson, Kathy (Steve) Sheedlo and Marcey (John) Skwor, all of Gladstone; brother, Wayne (Maxine) Alexander of Evart, Mich.; eight grandchildren, Tina (Jim) Brassick of Gladstone, David (Barb) Elliott of Petoskey, Mich., Christina (Joe) Hellberg of Gladstone, Carrie (Christopher) Saari of Gladstone, Brad (Kayla) Elliott of Brampton, Greg (Chelsea) Elliott of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Ryan (Evelyn) Thompson of El Paso, Texas, and Kelsie (Michael) Dewar of Marquette, Mich.; nine great-grandchildren, plus one expectant great-grandchild, and many nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to her parents, her sister, Helen Reedy preceded Donna in death.

Donna’s family will receive friends on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services celebrating the life of Donna Jean Elliott will follow at 6:30 p.m. with Pastor Diane Srutowski.

Luncheon will follow at the Gladstone Yacht Club. Burial will be in the Gardens of Rest Cemetery in Wells Township. Please visit skradskifuneralhomes.com where you can express your sympathy to the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to the local Salvation Army. Food was central in her life, and she was always concerned about people having enough to eat.