Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Donna Marie Van Holla

DICKINSON, Mich. - Donna Marie Van Holla, 84, of Iron Mountain passed away Sunday, June 23, 2024, at Marshfield Medical Center - Dickinson.

Donna was born Sept. 9, 1939, in Ironwood, daughter of the late Wilho and Florence (Swanson) Oja. She graduated from A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer in 1957 before earning her Bachelor's of Education from the University of Wisconsin-Superior (formerly Wisconsin State University-Superior) in 1961.

Donna married Kenneth Van Holla on June 27, 1959, at Zion National Lutheran Church in Ironwood.

Her career in education started in the Crystal Falls School District. In 1966, she transferred to the Iron Mountain School District, where she spent the next 28 years teaching primarily geometry and algebra II at the high school. Throughout her career, Donna furthered her education and earned her master's degree from Northern Michigan University. She also was the debate and HI-Q coach for many years.

Donna was a member of First Lutheran Church in Iron Mountain. She loved playing bridge and earned the distinction of "Lifetime Master Bridge Player" by the American Contract Bridge League. Donna was an excellent cook and enjoyed traveling and trips to the casino. Most of all, she loved spending time with all of the family and attending her children and grandchildren's activities as often as possible.

Donna is survived by her husband of nearly 65 years, Ken; three children, Kim (Greg) Serba of Gilbert, Arizona, and Iron Mountain, Amy Hayes of Grand Rapids, and Dr. David (Julie) Van Holla of Iron Mountain; seven grandchildren, Dr. Kenny (Dr. Amanda) Hayes and their children, Franklin and Lucy; Blake (Amber) Hayes, Jaki Hayes, Khloe Hayes, Ada, Jeffrey and Donna Van Holla; a sister, Sandra "Sandy" (Ret. Col. Gerald) Felix and their children, Melanie and Ali; a sister-in-law, Harriet Hallquist and her children, Wayne Hallquist, Susan (Steven) Pachulski and Nancy (Mike) Karim; nephews, Michael (Terri) Betlewski and David (Katie) Betlewski; a niece, Rochelle "Shelly" Berwald; and many close family members who frequently visit.

Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her mother and father-in-law, Ada and Onnie Hardy; her father-in-law, Harold Van Holla; a sister-in-law, Betty (Edward) Betlewski; a brother-in-law, Roland Hallquist; nephews, Jeffrey Betlewski and Bill Berwald; and many beloved aunts, uncles and cousins.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Erickson-Rochon and Nash Funeral Home in Iron Mountain. A memorial service will follow at noon at the funeral home. Rev. Bryan Laurila will officiate. Interment will be in Dickinson County Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be established in her memory.

Condolences may be expressed to the family of Donna M. Van Holla online at

The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon and Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain with the arrangements.