Donna Mae (Kempf) Gustafson

October 21, 1947 ~ December 5, 2020 (age 73)


On December 5, 2020 the world lost an angel.  Donna Mae Gustafson made the news and the next morning started her day with a Diet Coke and Christmas movies before her final journey to heaven.  Always one to live life with laughter and smiles, she left this world as the sun rose to remind us of her favorite song, “You Are My Sunshine”.  During her last few days on earth, her “Crazy Sweethearts” camped outside her window in an icehouse.  She let them know she could feel their presence even when she only saw the big blue tent. 

Donna was born on October 21, 1947 in New York City, NY to Bertha W Kempf and Conrad E. Kempf.  Donna graduated from Two Harbors High School in 1965.  Following her natural tendencies to care for others before herself, she became an LPN.  She married her soulmate, William Gustafson, on December 26, 1970 and together they raised two daughters.  After struggling with mental illness for several years, Donna retired early to finally put herself first.  She wasn’t shy to share her struggles with mental illness and hoped it would help others.  She was a fighter with a tender heart and will be remembered for her strength, courage, and compassion.  

Donna Mae always found the bright side of any situation and brought her joy to others with her infectious laugh.  She loved Diet Coke, crafts, and singing.  Most of all, she loved her daughters and six grandchildren.  Donna enjoyed stories about her grandchildren sports and accomplishments and found humor in her daughters’ stories about motherhood.

Donna is preceded in death by her parents.

Donna Mae will be greatly missed by her crazy sweethearts, Jill (Bruce) Coleman and Amy (David) Pocrnich and six grandchildren, Bruce, Dean, William, Isaac, Gunnar, and Louise.  Donna is also survived by her sister Carol Kempf, niece Nicole Young- Mattson and nephew Nicholas Young.  She will be missed by her cousins, Jodi (Peter) Ray, Tina (Jim) Carlson-Bjortomt, Darik (Lorry) Carlson, Patrick Carlson and her best friend of 41 years, Judy Kelley.  Donna will be missed by William Gustafson because divorce never stopped them from caring for each other. 

A special thank you to Diamond Willow Assisted Living for their excellent care over the past eight years, Benedictine Adult Day Services for great memories and outings, and to Essentia Health Hospice for making her comfortable in her final days.

Services will be held on December 12 at St. Rose Catholic Church in Proctor, MN.  Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM followed by an 11:00 AM Celebration of Life.  Burial will be at 2:00 PM at Lakeview Cemetery in Two Harbors.

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