Donna Lee Tonsgard

Posted: Thursday, September 04, 2003

Juneau resident Donna Lee Tonsgard, 54, died Aug. 29, 2003, in Juneau.

She was born in Juneau on Aug. 4, 1949, to Jeane (Boddy) and William "Bill" Tonsgard.

She was a descendant of the Wooshkeetaan Eagle/Shark clan and lived throughout Southeast Alaska in various logging camps from 1954 to 1966. During this time, she found her passion for berry picking, fishing, cooking, baking and canning.

After graduating from Sitka High School in 1968, she became a homemaker. She entered the professional world as the owner of several small businesses in Juneau. Although her stores kept her very busy, she found time to share and teach her various talents, skills and crafts to her friends, family and others in the community.

She also was an office clerk and handled accounts payable and receivable for Channel Corporations, Gloria Jeane Hauling and the Juneau Christian School. She founded and owned Donna's Restaurant (1984-98) and owned Donna's Dolls and Crafts.

She was the SEARHC Diabetes Program patient representative for 2003, a Goldbelt and Sealaska shareholder, member of the Women of the Moose, past member of ANS Camp 70, past Juneau Fourth of July Committee member and a past Juneau representative for the Haines State Fair.

She is survived by her sons, Gene Cheeseman, William "Billy" Cheeseman Jr. and Nicholas Hatzipetros of Juneau; daughter, Stacey (Cheeseman) Avis of Juneau; granddaughter, Brianna Avis of Juneau; and grandsons, Garret, Cole and Jacob Cheeseman and Kyle Avis of Juneau.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, at the ANB Hall. The family asks that attendees bring special stories about Donna to share.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 801 W. Fireweed Lane No. 103, Anchorage, Alaska 99508.

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