ESCANABA - Donna Faye Hardwick Balenger, Katazmaquay, 76, formerly of Gladstone, passed away peacefully early Monday morning, Jan. 6, 2014, at her home in Escanaba with her family by her side.
She was born May 25, 1937, in St. Jacques, the daughter of John and Mary (Cadreau) Hardwick. She was raised in St. Jacques, had attended the Harbor Springs Boarding School and completed her education at Gladstone High School.
Donna married Lowell Balenger on May 18, 1970, and he passed away in 2002. She was a very hard worker throughout her whole life, and worked at Harnischfeger for 10 years and then worked and retired from Mead Paper Mill in Escanaba.
Donna Faye Hardwick Balenger Katazmaquay
She was a member of All Saints Church in Gladstone, Al-anon, and was very active with the Elder's Committee of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Her hobbies included ceramics, rummage sales, gardening, painting, dining out, doing puzzles, watching Packers games, traveling to the "big city" of Milwaukee and enjoyed watching birds at her birdfeeders. She loved and adored her grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them as well as her lady friends.
Survivors include: two daughters, Brenda Kinnart of Milwaukee, Wis., and Robin Kinnart of New Berlin, Wis.,; two sons, Duane (Carol) Kinnart of Gladstone and Charles Kinnart of Escanaba; eight grandchildren, Derik LaFave of Green Bay, Wis., Aaron (Caitlin) Kinnart of Burlington, Vt., Lacey Kinnart of Milwaukee, Wis., Elizabeth (Christopher) Kinnart of Marquette, Morgan Paradis of Elk Rapids, Mich., Rachel Kinnart of Corbin, Ky., Jacob Kinnart of Corbin, Ky., and Jared Stern of New Berlin, Wis.; three great-grandchildren, Stella Chase (Elizabeth) of Marquette, and Derik LaFave's daughter and one on the way (Aaron).
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by son, Matthew Balenger in 1970; four brothers, Roy, Clyde, Raymond, and John Hardwick; and four sisters, Evelyn Beaudry, Leona Hardwick, Louella Nedeau and Shirley Bizeau.
Donna "Gram" was a very loving and cherished woman, was one-of-a-kind and had an amazing sense of humor. She kept those around her laughing and smiling up until the very end, which is what she would like to be remembered by.
Donna's family will receive friends on Friday from 12 to 5:30 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services to celebrate the life of Donna Balenger will follow visiting hours, at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone with Rev. Fr. Jamie Ziminski of the All Saints Church officiating. Burial will be in Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone next to her husband. Luncheon gathering will follow at the Dale Thomas Center in Rapid River. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting Donna's family with arrangements. Messages of condolence may be offered online at the website www.skradskifuneralhomes.com