Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Donna Marie Finley

ALAMEDA, Calif. - Donna Marie Finley, 77, passed away in Alameda, California, on April 10, 2024. She was born Donna Marie Olson on July 8, 1946, in Ironwood, Michigan, the eldest of nine children.

Donna attended Ironwood Area Schools and graduated from St. Joseph School of Nursing in Hancock, Michigan, in 1967. It was there that she met her husband, Jimmy A. Finley, who was studying geology at Michigan Technological University. They were married in 1968 and had two children, Aidan and Gaylan.

Jimmy's military life and employment by Chevron Resources took them to many places, including Germany, California, Texas, Colorado and Perth, Western Australia. When they retired, they came full circle back to Hancock for a few years, then built their final timber frame home in the north woods of Ironwood Township.

Donna was quite the pioneer in facilitating and organizing all of these moves. At one point they lived off the grid while she was pregnant, pumping water from a hand pump and stoking fires. While building their timber frame home, they lived in a tiny trailer with bales of hay stacked around its perimeter for warmth.

Donna was a hard worker, always organized and involved in the community wherever they lived, and maintained her profession as a nurse.

Donna loved hiking and camping with Jimmy and the kids, enjoyed playing cards, was well-read and very good at Trivial Pursuit. Her parents were blessed to have Donna care for them in their later years.

When Jimmy passed, Donna moved to California to be with her daughter and family.

Donna is survived by her children, son, Aidan and his three children Jackson, Chase and Dylan; and daughter, Gaylan (Michael) and their two children Sam and Ella. There are seven siblings in the midwest, Donald (Sandy), Judy (Walt), Robert (Colleen), Susan, Cheryl (Greg), Dale (Mary Jane) and Dan (Paula); and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Jimmy; her parents, Don and Anna Olson; and sister, Marilynn Loreti.

Donna wished for no funeral or memorial service.

Please consider a donation in Donna's name to her charity of choice, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at