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Donna J. Eskelinen

March 26, 1946 - February 4, 2024
Livonia, MI



Sunday, February 11, 2024
12:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 525-9020

*Rosary 6PM

Driving Directions

Funeral Mass

Monday, February 12, 2024
11:00 AM EST
St. Edith Catholic Church
15089 Newburgh
Livonia, MI 48154

*Instate 10:30AM

Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

St. Jude Children's Hospital
Web Site

Solanus Casey Center
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Donna was born in the small coal-mining town of Mentcle, Pennsylvania to John Buckshaw and Madeline Buckshaw (nee Pecaric) on March 26, 1946. She moved to Detroit with her parents and 3 older brothers in 1952. A few years later, Donna’s prayers were answered when her baby sister was born. She graduated from Chadsey High School in Detroit at 17 years old and furthered her education at Wayne State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in education. In May of 1975 Donna married the love of her life, Gerald (Jerry) Eskelinen and they welcomed their only child, Karen, into the world in December of 1976.

Throughout her career, Donna wore many hats including that of a teacher, graphic designer, waitress and casino games dealer. She worked for over 20 years as a waitress at the Detroit Race Course and cherished the time she spent working there alongside her mother, Madeline. She was most proud of her last job as a blackjack and roulette dealer at MGM Grand Casino and was honored to have been chosen to appear on a Billboard advertisement for them. Seeing her “winning” smile high above I-94 brought joy to all who passed by.

Donna was a devoted wife and mother and was so proud of her grandchildren. She loved to share stories about them whenever she had the chance. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh and be silly. She was incredibly creative and artistic, and reminisced often about her love of art class back in high school. She had the most beautiful and sincere smile and loved to strike up conversations with people by asking them “When’s your birthday?”. During these conversations she would always share her faith and love for Jesus and had a positive impact on everyone she met.

Donna was preceded in death by her parents, John and Madeline Buckshaw, her brothers John and Richard Buckshaw, and her nephew Scott Buckshaw. She is survived by her husband of nearly 49 years, Jerry, their daughter Karen (Mike) Gartrell, and their grandchildren Maiya and Jacob. In addition, she is survived by her brother Jack (Vonda) Buckshaw, Dennis (Terri) Buckshaw, and her sister Mary (David) Buckshaw-Konkel, her Goddaughter Casey, her nephews Richard Jr., David, Ryan, Matthew, and Andrew and her nieces Lori, Dawn, Melissa, Jill and Madeline. She is also survived by 22 great nieces and nephews, a host of cousins, and many dear friends. Visitation Sunday, February 11, 2024 from 12-6 pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd., Livonia, Michigan 48154. Instate Monday, February 12, 2024 at 10:30 am until time of Mass at 11 am at St. Edith Church, 15089 Newburgh Rd, Livonia, MI 48154.