Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Donna M. Brown

BESSEMER, Mich. - Donna M. Brown, 80, of Bessemer, peacefully passed away on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, at her home, with her loving family by her side. She was the only child of Samuel and Mary (Samarziya) Ulianelli of Detroit.

Donna was born on July 16, 1942, and graduated in 1960 from Cody High School in Detroit. She met her husband, her high-school sweetheart, Raymond, in Detroit. The two were married in 1964 and recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. After several years in the Detroit area, Donna and her family relocated to Bessemer in 1972.

Donna was a dedicated mother and housewife. She also held several jobs over the years, including working as a caterer, shopkeeper, bookkeeper and barista. She was a devout Catholic and faithfully attended Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood. In later years, she volunteered on the Library Board in Bessemer.

Donna was an avid quilter and produced countless quilts along with her guild over the years, including several that were donated to regional hospice and other charities on the Gogebic Range. She also enjoyed traveling and visited several tropical islands, different parts of Europe and various national parks across the U.S.

She was the cook of the family. In 2020, she took time to rewrite the family cookbook. Her children look forward to preparing her recipes in her memory. However, they know too well that she likely kept a few of the "secret ingredients" to herself in order to give them a few more puzzles to solve, another favorite pastime of hers.

Donna is survived by her husband, Raymond; two children, Michelle (Michael) Parra, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and Patrick (Anthony Campanile) Brown, Seattle; and two grandchildren, Joshua (Mary) Fix and Serena Brown.

She was preceded in death by her mother; and a son, Derrick Brown, on July 1, 2003.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 210 E. Iron St., in Bessemer, with the Rev. Dominic Agyapong, celebrant.

Rite of Committal and interment will take place at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Bessemer.

A luncheon will be served at the Elk & Hound Restaurant, 200 Country Club Road in Ironwood, following the cemetery service.

The family would like to sincerely thank Dr. Rohit Sharma and the rest of her care team at the Marshfield Clinic for giving her the gift of four extra years from her initial diagnosis of cancer in 2018, as well as the compassionate care provided by Regional Hospice in her final weeks. She reflected often about the many kind and wonderful people she had met on her journey, as well as the support of her loving friends and the local community.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to any cancer support related organization or your local hospice, whether volunteering or monetarily, would be the best way to commemorate her life.

Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, is assisting the family with their arrangements. To send online condolences please go to