SPRING – Connor Dunlap, grounds maintenance specialist with the Sitka Public Works Department, weeds the garden near the Crescent Harbor parking lot this morning. A stretch of record warm weather has crocuses blooming and trees budding. Tuesday's record high temperature for the day was 67 degrees. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Donna A. Grota

Donna A. Grota

Wasilla resident Donna A. Grota, 58, passed away after a decade-long battle with dementia on June 2, 2017, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage.

Donna was born Nov. 21, 1958, in New Bedford, Mass., the daughter of Nancy (Porter) and Daniel Grota Sr.

She lived life to the fullest each and every day until she passed.  She was an accomplished master gardener and talented photographer, who lived the Alaskan dream, hunting, trapping and fishing, living for a time on a floathouse.

Donna loved nature, and her knowledge of gardening earned her an award from the U.S. National Parks Dept. for planting and maintaining the Russian Bishop’s House Garden in Sitka, in 2001. 

She came to Alaska in 1983, and during her years here, until moving to Wasilla in 2001, she worked at Ben Franklin and Spenard Building Supply.

She was also a ship’s cook out of Petersburg for a spell.  At one time she even worked as a medical records tech in Wasilla.

Donna was preceded in death by her father, Daniel D. Grota and her loving husband, Frank Brown.  She joins them both in eternity.

She is survived by her mother, Nancy P. Grota, of Wasilla; sister Debbi A. Smith, of Livermore, Calif.; and a brother, Daniel D. Grota, Wasilla.


A celebration of life gathering in her memory will be held noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, in the main dining room of the Mat-Su Senior Services Center, 1132 S. Church Street in Palmer.

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