Donna Lynn Dorn


Donna Lynn Dorn, 52, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family on Friday, May 19, 2023, in Appleton after fighting a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Donna was born in Chilton on June 9, 1970, daughter of Marian (Fisch) Dorn and the late Dennis Dorn. Donna spent her early years in St. John followed by several years in Algonquin, Illinois (where she developed her love for the Chicago Bears), and then a final move to Shawano where she graduated from Gillett High School with the class of 1991.

Donna was a ray of sunshine with a contagious smile for everyone she met. She had a never-ending enthusiasm for the people and the places of Shawano. She was the number one fan in the stands cheering on nearly every sporting event in the community. Over the years, Donna has worked at Lakeland Industries, worked for several Shawano restaurants and, most recently, worked at Charlie’s County Market.

On Saturday evenings in the summer, you could always find Donna sitting amongst friends, supporting the racers at the Shawano Speedway. Donna had her favorite drivers and would sport different hats in the same night; sometimes even helping in the pits. Donna’s other passions included bowling, Special Olympics volleyball, track and swimming, Red River Riders, and an unwavering belief that the Bears would always beat the Packers. She was a dedicated member of Life Church where she was spiritually and emotionally nurtured.

Donna had a heart of gold and made every day count. She was always quick to lend a helping hand to others and never forgot a birthday. Donna was truly a great and inspirational woman whose impact will be forever felt by her family and friends. Donna’s passing left an unfillable gap in the hearts of all that knew and loved her.

Donna is survived by her mother, Marian; siblings, David (Cindy Rudnac), of Surprise, Arizona, Daniel, of Atlanta, Georgia, Denise (Ted) Knutson, of Onalaska, Diane (Bill Dowell), of Ringwood, Illinois, Duane (Shari), of Middleton, Dominic (Uma), of Salt Lake City, and Deborah (Carl) Runck of Chaska, Minnesota; sister-in-law, Laura, of Chicago, Illinois; and godson, Zachary (Ashlynne) Knutson, of Onalaska. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Donna was preceded in death by her father, Dennis, and a brother, Douglas.

A funeral service for Donna will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at Swedberg Funeral Home in Shawano, with Pastor Michael McKinnies officiating. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, from 4-8 p.m., and then again on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Shawano Special Olympics, Red River Rides or Life Church.

Donna’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the compassionate staff at Cherry Meadows in Appleton. In addition, the family would like to thank all the amazing friends that supported and cared for Donna over the years, especially Heather Frederick, Toni Hacker, Pastor Michael McKinnies and Christine McKinnies.