CADILLAC — Donna Mae Welsh passed away peacefully in her home on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at the age of 89. She was surrounded by love from her family by her side.

  Donna was born on December 8, 1930 in Sherburn, Minnesota to parents, Herman and Josephine (Faber) Brolsma. Immigrants from Holland, the Brolsma's established "The Family Farm", where Donna was raised. The Family Farm is still family-owned and operated today.

Donna earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Mankato State University, where she met and married her late husband, Patrick Welsh. They were married just shy of 50 years, prior to his passing in 2004. Donna cherished the memories of her long-loved teaching career, beginning in Mound, Minnesota, then later to Mankato, Minnesota, and finally spending her remainder 30 years teaching at Cass and Kenwood Elementary Schools in Cadillac, Michigan. Donna was always recognized by administration, colleagues, parents and students as a skilled, positive, loving, and caring teacher. Her impact made a life-long impression on her students. She enjoyed many cards and letters of gratitude over the years from her former students.

  Donna was an active member of the United Methodist Church of Cadillac. As a member of the church, she enjoyed many responsibilities, including setting up communion, organizing greeters and ushers, serving on numerous committees and recording memorials for decades. Donna also enjoyed her nearly 20 years of voluntary service at the former Mercy Hospital in Cadillac.

She loved music, especially gospel and Neil Diamond. Donna played trumpet, piano and the harmonica, as well as having a beautiful singing voice and could also dance a mean Charleston. She had a passion and enjoyment for shopping and caring for her garden and house plants. Donna always looked forward to the spring-time, when everything was in bloom and smelled so good. Donna's favorite pastimes were visiting the casinos and enjoying her natty lights. Her heart would skip a beat when David Muir came on at 7 o'clock. She cherished the time going south with her daughter, visits with her sister, and her individual close relationships with friends, neighbors and colleagues. She adored spending time with all of her beloved children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

  Donna is survived by her sister, Charlotte Wieben of Minnesota; daughters, Mickey (Kirk) Beasley of Springfield, LA, Becky (Jules) Welsh of Laingsburg, MI, and Trish (David) Novak of Cadillac, MI; eight grandchildren, Kahl (Rachel) Smith of Cadillac, MI, Denny Smith of Springfield, LA, Kevin Smith of Mount Pleasant, MI, Jordan (Phil) Peterson of Traverse City, MI, Brittany (Jeff) Sinkel of Manton, MI, Taylor (Sean) Novak of Cadillac, MI, Hailey (Josh) Novak of Cadillac, MI and Ashley Beasley of Bali, Indonesia; nine great-grandchildren, whom she adored; numerous nieces and nephews; and many other loving family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Patrick and her parents.

There are so many in the community that she loved and held dear, but sadly so, due to COVID-19, a small service will be held for family only at the United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Hospice of Michigan or the United Methodist Church of Cadillac.

Condolences and memories may be shared online at

The family is being served by Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home.

Cadillac News


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