March 14, 1940 — Jan. 21, 2020

Donna Flues, wife, mother, grandmother: “If we know what love is, it is because of you.”

Surrounded by her loving family and husband, Paul, Donna Flues departed for the heavenly realm Jan. 21, 2020, in Astoria, after a short but trying battle with cancer.

Born in Tillamook, Oregon, March 14, 1940, to Jack and Della Cummings, Donna lived out the majority of her life in Astoria.

Donna married Paul Flues Sr. on Feb. 7, 1958. Together they raised three remarkable children, Debra Flues Dawson of Astoria, Paul Flues II of Astoria and Melinda Flues Zschoche of Bend and Astoria.

A humble angel with piercing blue eyes and a thoughtful nature, she enjoyed holiday times with her children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A private woman of simple needs, family was her priority.

She was a true “hostess with the mostess,” never showing up empty-handed, while bemoaning, “there’s too much food!”

Eldest daughter Debra provided her with handmade creative gifts, inspiration and two beautiful daughters, Teona Dawson of Astoria and Katrina Dawson Kiosse (Jade) of King City, Oregon; and great-grandson Army Pvt. Dakota Dawson DeLoe of Fort Benning, Georgia, and great-granddaughter Bella Dawson DeLoe.

Donna unconditionally loved her son Paul, who is gay, and made it known that she believed God’s love covers all. Hosting a slew of Paul’s friends, whether from Iran or the states, her warm hospitality welcomed them. She was her son’s rock and best friend, and would often lament, “you do too much!”

She is also survived by daughter Melinda and Bob Zschoche, who shares her mother’s common sense and caretaker spirit, and her three talented grandchildren, Brittany Zschoche Smith (Kyle) of Gearhart, Mitchell Zschoche (Leigh) of Astoria and Christian Zschoche (Lena) of Astoria; and great-granddaughter Emerson Zschoche and great-grandson Grayson Zschoche.

In the early years Donna enjoyed co-leading Brownies and Girl Scouts, teaching Sunday school, gardening, canning, cooking and was an excellent baker. She also enjoyed nature and feeding the birds.

In recent times Donna and her devoted husband Paul enjoyed weekend trips, great food and a nice glass of pinot gris. Although she disliked flying, she enjoyed trips to Europe with her granddaughter T., and a post-Sept. 11 trip to New York with her son. The original Flues five trip to Yellowstone National Park was a highlight, as well.

As a seafood cannery worker, she was always eager to get to work early and never complained about the cold, hard work. In 2000, she helped start T. Paul’s Urban Café with her granddaughter, Teona, and son, Paul. With no formal training, “Gramma” quickly became a local icon known for her desserts, cookies and clam chowder.

Little did she know that 63 years after working the ticket booth at the Liberty Theatre during her high school years she would be working next door at T. Paul’s Supper Club. Gramma was affectionately known as the “kitchen witch” for her high standards and eye on quality control. With a patient and uncompromising hand, she coached dozens of young people by setting the bar high.

In 2005, Donna was instrumental in starting the annual free community Christmas Day dinner at T. Paul’s Urban Café. She understood love is a verb.

Donna is survived by brother Jim Cummings (Sandy) of Astoria; sister Darlene Langlo of Seaside; family members Curt Dawson, Steve DeLoe and numerous nieces and nephews. Brothers Alan, Jackie and Donald preceded her in death.

Visitation will be held Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. at Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary, 1165 Franklin Ave. in Astoria.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Bethany Free Lutheran Church, 451 34th St. in Astoria. A reception will follow at the church.

Graveside services will be held Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Ocean View Cemetery, 575 S.W. 18th St. in Warrenton, Oregon.

Donations can be made to Lower Columbia Hospice, Wildlife Center of the North Coast, or Bethany Free Lutheran Church.

Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. Please sign our online guest book at

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