TOMAH - Donna Faye Kelley, 87, passed away peacefully blanketed with love and surrounded by her family on Wednesday, February 7th, 2024, at Liberty Village in Tomah, WI.
Donna was born in Tomah, WI on Saturday, August 29, 1936, to Frederick “Fritz” and Pearl (Fisher) Kelley. She was welcomed home by her 10-month older brother, Donnie and was so small they held her in a shoe box. In grade school, her parents split up and Donna Faye spent the rest of her childhood living with her Fisher grandparents on the farm in Wyeville and finally her father and new stepmother Helen (Kenyon) Kelley who became her best friend and gifted her a little brother Mike and a baby sister Jean. After graduating from Tomah High School in 1954, Donna married Vernon “Whitie” Evans at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. They owned and operated the Sportsman’s Bar and for a time The Tomah Café. After Donna and Whitie were divorced, Donna worked at several different cocktail lounges in Tomah. She took great pride in her presentation skills and was a favorite bartender to many patrons. After going on a vacation with a friend to Las Vegas, she decided to move there for a few years and then spent several years in the Chicago area before eventually coming back to settle in Tomah where she worked in Admissions at the Tomah VA until her retirement.
Family was everything to Donna and she was devoted to her children Greg Evans (Donna) and Kelley Stiles (John). Her grandchildren were the light of her life. After her retirement, she spent every winter in Yuma, Arizona. This meant Christmas was celebrated earlier and earlier. Donna loved to shop for Christmas presents for her family all year round. Most times, the gifts were non-returnable treasures from her adventures to Arizona and Mexico. Even though her and Whitie were no longer married, they were together when it came to holidays and family. It may not have looked normal, but they celebrated together and showed their family what love really looks like. She surrounded herself with beautiful things she loved and liked to entertain in her home. She loved playing cards and socializing with her many friends and looked forward to her card club with the girls each month.
Donna Faye is survived by and will be missed by her children Greg Evans (Donna) of Tomah, Wisconsin and Kelley Stiles (John) of Shorewood, Illinois; her brother Mike Kelley (Sally) of Tomah, sister Jean Kelley of Marshfield; grandchildren Nick Evans (Tiffany) of Germantown, WI; Jenna Moser (Oakley) of Tomah, WI; Kane Stiles (Anesa) of Chicago, IL; Rhiannon Stiles, Shorewood, IL; and Landon Stiles, Morris, IL; and great-grandchildren Braxston Evans and Taron Evans of Germantown, WI; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; infant brother Charles Kelley and brother Donald Kelley.
A Memorial Mass of Chrisitan Burial will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2024, 11:00 AM at Queen of the Apostles Parish, 303 W. Monroe Street, Tomah. Father Matthew Bowe will officiate. Burial will be in the Wyeville Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited for a time of visitation on Thursday at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of the service. Sonnenburg Family Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences can be offered by visiting www.sonnenburgfamilyfh.com.
Sonnenburg Family Funeral Home