Donna J. John


Donna Jean John, of Port Washington, formerly of Milwaukee and Shawano, passed away at her residence at Lincoln Village on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, at the age of 89.

Donna was born in Milwaukee on Jan. 19, 1932, daughter of John Bigelow and Lucille Fellenz Bigelow. She grew up in Milwaukee, where she was active in her church choir. She graduated from Milwaukee North Division High School with the class of 1950. On Dec. 30, 1950, she married Kenneth John at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

After raising her family, Donna returned to college and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from UW-Milwaukee. She worked for the Jewish Vocational Center, and Goodwill Industries as a social worker for many years. After her husband retired from the Milwaukee Police Department, the couple retired to their lake home on Shawano Lake. Donna was active on the Shawano Library Board where she served as secretary, and the Shawano Historical Society, where she helped give tours. She also enjoyed bird watching, painting, going to auctions and collecting antiques with her husband Ken.

Donna was an incredibly joyful and pleasant. People enjoyed being around her. She loved her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren and attended as many activities as she could.

Donna is survived by her daughter, Valerie (Tom) Miller, of Port Washington; daughter-in-law, Susan (Michael) John, of Wauwatosa; three grandchildren, Jennifer (Joel) Bublitz, of Cedarburg, Brian (Jamie) Miller, of Dallas, Texas, and Diana (Joey) Berwyn of Frederick, Colorado. She is further survived by six great-grandchildren, Ty, Ethan, Beckett, Lansing, Jackson, and Benjamin; her brother, Jerry (Carol) Bigelow; brother-in-law, Harley Kagerbauer; sister-in-law, Gerry Schwantz, brother-in-law, Ed (Mary) John; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; her son, Michael; her parents, John and Lucy; and her sister, Joanne Kagerbauer.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. at the Eernisse Funeral Home, 1600 W. Grand Ave., Port Washington. Pastor John Klieve will officiate. Visitation will precede the service at the funeral home from 1-3 p.m. She will be laid to rest next to her husband in Pinelawn Cemetery in Milwaukee.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Eernisse Funeral Home in Port Washington is honored to serve the family. Online condolences may be left at