Donald J. LaFreniere, 89, of Clark St., Negaunee, passed away Sunday morning, September 1, 2019 at UP Health System Marquette of pneumonia, due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease.
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Donald was born January 21, 1930 in Ishpeming to Leo and Lena (Bucco) LaFreniere and attended Ishpeming Schools. He was a self-made entrepreneur, being the owner and operator of Don’s Corner Party Store in Negaunee prior to taking over LaFreniere’s Furniture from his father.
Don was a true family man and cherished his time with them both at home and at the family camp on Wolf Lake. He was a jack-of-all-trades who was proud to help his family with any projects they had. Even more, he loved passing on his knowledge to his grandchildren. Don loved hosting the family gathering on Christmas Day, taking joy in fitting a family of 57 into his home. In his spare time, he also enjoyed gardening, hunting, playing cards, pitching horseshoes, snowmobiling and 4 wheeling.
Surviving are his eight children: Fay (Robert, Sr.) Hollinshead of Ishpeming, Lee (Janis) LaFreniere of Ishpeming, Sue (Scott) Young of Marquette, Mary Anne Chadwick of Farmington Hills, Pam (Randy Frost) Ihamaki of Sidnaw, Kathy (Stuart) Sarasin of Marquette, Mark (Shannon) LaFreniere of Marquette and Paul (Toni Penglase) LaFreniere of Ishpeming; 14 grandchildren: Robert (Charlette) Hollinshead, Jr., Lisa (Adam) Seelen, Wade (Lana) LaFreniere, Lori (Steven) Oelhafen, Cristyn Chadwick and her husband, Matt Cave, Whitney Chadwick, Nathan (Amanda) Ihamaki, Heather (Allen Brown) Ihamaki, Michele (Carl) Black, Kyle (Jessica) Sarasin, Sydney (Jazlyn) Sarasin, Courtney LaFreniere, Brittney (Kent) Hay and Berkley (Zachary) French; eight great-grandchildren: Dalton, Addison, Brady, Taylor, Ethan, Payton, Madelyn and Winifred; four great-great grandchildren: Aly, Jaxon, Waylon and Bella; a sister, Rita (Duane) Palomaki of Ishpeming; niece, Joy (David) Oslund and her family; and nephew, Matthew (Angela) Palomaki and his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary in 2018; and a son, Kenneth Dale LaFreniere in 1952.
Honoring Donald’s wishes, a private celebration of life will be held at a later date. Interment will be in the Negaunee Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed in Donald’s memory to the Eastwood Nursing Center Activity Fund.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of UP Health System Marquette Intensive Care Unit, as well as the loving and devoted care provided from the Eastwood Nursing Center, where he resided over the past five years.
Don’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com.