Donald Potvin

Resided in Gladstone, MI
Died March 3, 2023

Donald R. Potvin, age 75, of Gladstone, passed away on Friday, March 3, 2023 at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

He was born on October 6, 1947 in Escanaba, the son of the late Delbert and Marian Joan (LaPalm) Potvin. Don graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1966.  After high school he entered the United States Army serving in Vietnam.  Prior to going to Vietnam, he was stationed in Germany where he met the love of his life, Gerlinde Mitsch.  After his tour in Vietnam, he returned to Germany and married Gerlinde on January 23, 1970.

Don worked for Mead Paper Company as a millwright for 38 years retiring in April of 2010.  Don was instrumental in developing the mill’s rope and rescue program.  He was also part of the mill’s fire brigade.   After retirement, you could find Don wood working in his garage or playing with his tractors. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Anyone in the family and neighborhood knew they could call on Don to help them out.  He was considered a “jack of all trades”.

Don is survived by his wife of 53 years.  Four children; Sabine (Joe) Sutter of Gladstone, Michael (Lori) Mitsch of Lake Villa, Illinois, Rodney (Robyn) Potvin of Gladstone and Diana Potvin of Gladstone, 10 grandchildren; Brad (Sarah) Sutter of Marquette, Adam (fiancé Mallory Brockman) Sutter of Gladstone, Meaghan (Todd) Pemberton of Gladstone, Hayley Thurber of Escanaba, Dallas Potvin of Gladstone, Holly Thurber of Milwaukee,  Dakota Potvin of Gladstone, Jayden Potier of Gladstone, Sydney Mitsch and Shae Mitsch both of Lake Villa, Illinois, as well as 14-great grandchildren.  He is also survived by sisters Debra (Dave) Dubovsky of Wetmore MI,  Kay Maynard and Darlene Nassau both of Escanaba, brother Randall (Linda Langston) Potvin of Gladstone, sister-in-law, Rita Darby of Pickerington Ohio, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerlinde’s parents, sister Adele Potvin, In-laws Steve Darby, Richard Marenger, and Gabi and Willie Watson.

Family will receive friends on Saturday, March 18, 2023 from 1:30 PM to 3 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Following visitation, there will be a time of sharing until 3:15. Military Honors will be presented at 3:15 with funeral services to follow officiated by Rev. Fr. Jamie Ziminski.

12 Tributes for “Donald Potvin

    The list of people that I called “friend” is very short. Don was on that list. We shall miss you, my friend.

    The Greatest father and man I could ever know. He was so generous with his time. Words can’t express the sorrow and pain his passing has caused. Robyn and I love you so much Pop ❤️

    He was the most amazing grandparent and friend I could’ve asked for… his loss has left a huge hole in my heart I loved him so much and always will! I miss you Bestest

    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Don. What a wonderful man. Your family, especially Gerlinde (and Riley) are in my thoughts and prayers

    You were the best father-in-law a girl could ask for. You taught me so much from running a table saw to operating a tractor. I will for ever miss our talks! Sweetie loves you!

    You’ve been in my life for 65 years, big brother, but it wasn’t enough time. If I wished for an eternity, it still wouldn’t be enough time with you. You were an amazing big brother. I couldn’t have asked for a better one. The hardest part of loving you so dearly is the terrible pain of losing you so soon. I love you, Don, always.

    He was the best Uncle a girl could ask for. I loved spending time with him and hearing him calling me Sweetheart. I will miss you lots, give Richard a hug for me.

    Gerlinde , we would like to send our sincere sympathy to you and your family. We are still in Arizona and will not return home until May. I still remember meeting you, Don and your family when we moved into the neighborhood many years ago when our kids were just little. You were such great neighbors and we always enjoyed visiting with you and Don. We will keep you in our prayers, Rod and Kay VanBrocklin

    My dear brother, you will be so missed. You were our gentleman in all senses of that word. May you rest peacefully now in the arms of the angels. You will live on forever in the wonderful memories you made with all of the family.

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