Donna L. (Vance) Caldwell

Died June 15, 2019


Donna Lu (Vance) Caldwell, 86, passed away Saturday afternoon, June 15, 2019, at her home near Luzerne.

Donna was born June 11, 1933, at a rural farm site, locally known as “The Wagner Place,” on Kinsey-Hunt Road in southwestern Big Creek Township, Oscoda County, a daughter of Henry Robert and Ada Phoebe (Kellogg) Vance, joining her elder siblings, June, Kenneth, Leo, Eugene and Richard.

When very young, the family moved to a farm on M-72, between Mio and Luzerne, then later to a home on Coupland Road near Luzerne. As a 1952 graduate of Mio Agricultural High School, Donna, on Dec. 6, 1952, was united in marriage to her high school classmate Norman C. Caldwell with the Rev. Helen Royce officiating at the parsonage of the Mio Methodist Church.

In their early years, Donna worked as a waitress at the restaurant operated by Ada Marsh on Eighth Street in Mio (currently the site of State Wide Real Estate) and, later, as an aide in the Mio AuSable Schools.

At this time, her spouse, Norman, was employed with the state highway department as an engineering aide and was moved to numerous locations within both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan, where he would pursue a career and, eventually, in 1966, as a licensed professional surveyor own and operate Caldwell Land Surveys, Inc., in Mio.

Eventually, the family consisted of five children, Michael Eugene (Mary Lu) Caldwell of Hemet, Calif., Catherine Sue (Darcy) Phelps of Charlevoix, James Robert (deceased), Linda Lou (Jim) Dawe of Mio and Marla Jane (Curtis) Haag of Adel, Ga.

Donna was an active collector of artifacts, and enjoyed seeking out local yard sales, particularly those of a “local” nature, both to “buy” and to “sell,” keeping only those items in which she was particularly interested, while re-gifting items to family and friends.

In 1981, blessed with that adult status of being “empty nesters” the couple decided to seek out adventure, and sought employment with a surveying and engineering firm based in Denver, Colo. With this employment, and an urge to travel, the couple visited and worked in every state west of the Mississippi during their acknowledged “seven years of paid vacation.”

In 1988, the couple returned to Michigan to manage the Owosso office of Rowe Professional Services Company, providing surveying and engineering services throughout the Great Lakes region and, finally, retirement.

Donna was preceded in death by her parents, five siblings and one son.

She is survived by her spouse, one son, three daughters, 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be Monday, June 17, 2019, from 5-9 p.m. at the Lashley Funeral Home in Mio, and on Tuesday, June 18, from 10 a.m. until the time of funeral services at 1 p.m., with Pastor Brenda Klacking officiating. Interment at Luzerne Cemetery, Luzerne.

Memorials may be made in Donna’s memory to Munson Healthcare Hospice, 324 Meadows Drive, Grayling, MI 49738, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements by Lashley Funeral Home, Mio.


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