Marie Mitchell

E. Marie Mitchell, longtime resident of Hawkeye, IA and the Episcopal Homes in Saint Paul, MN, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on May 12, 2018.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 4, 2018, at the United Methodist Church in Hawkeye. Inurnment will be held at Bethel Cemetery which will follow the luncheon. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, June 3rd, at Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Hawkeye and for one hour preceding services at the church on Monday.

Elsa Marie Kennicott was born October 1, 1931 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN to Dallas Asa and Alice Faye (Baird) Kennicott. In 1939 they moved to Iowa, where Dallas had a variety of jobs, including custodian at Napier High School. They lived in Napier until Marie graduated high school.  During her high school years Marie was active in the choir, the girl’s softball and basketball teams and the school plays. 

Marie married Norton Olesen on March 22, 1953 in Iowa City. They had two children, Mary and Kevan. Norton died February 2, 1955 from complications related to tuberculosis. Marie and the two children moved to Norton’s home town of Hawkeye, where she found work as a nurses aide at Palmer Memorial Hospital in West Union. Marie became engaged to Vern Mitchell and they were married on October 5,1962. They had four children, Jude, Robin, James and John, and were married for over 30 years. When the children were older, she took a job at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in West Union where she worked for many years. Vern passed away on March 28, 1993.

Marie was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Hawkeye where she was a member of the choir and often sang at weddings and funerals. She was active in the Ladies Circle, taught Sunday School and Bible School. She and Vern also enjoyed the Alpha Adults group and their card group. She was also very active in the local chapter of the American Legion Auxiliary, serving in several roles, including District President. She was the local coordinator for the Hawkeye Senior Citizen’s Meal site for several years and was active with the 4-H programs in Fayette County. Marie enjoyed sewing, quilting, scrapbooking and crocheting, making gifts for her family and friends. She especially enjoyed sewing special garments for weddings and making afghans for her children and grandchildren.

Marie lived in her home in Hawkeye until declining health led to her moving to the Stoney Brook Assisted Living facility in West Union. In 2013, she relocated to Highland Chateau in Saint Paul, MN and later to the Episcopal Church Home where she lived until her death.

Marie is survived by her 6 children, Mary (Rhett Rettinger) Olesen-Rettinger of St. Paul, MN, Kevan (Janis Kaiser) Olesen of Rowayton, CT, Jude Mitchell of St. Paul, MN, Robin (Mark) Bostrom of Fayette, James (Donna) Mitchell of Fayette, and John Mitchell of St. Paul, MN, along with 9 grandchildren, Eric and Chase Rettinger of St. Paul, MN, Luke (Katie Jensen) Bostrom of Ankeny, Ali (Clay) Spear of Waterloo, Samantha (Todd) Wulfekuhle of Fayette, Andrew (Alysha) Mitchell of Independence, Greg (Gabby Palo) Mitchell of Elk Run Heights, Jordan and Lauren Mitchell of St. Paul, MN, and 2 great grandchildren, Reid and Theo Wulfekuhle of Fayette, along with cousins, nieces, nephews, many extended family members and a wide circle of friends. She is preceded in death by her first husband, Norton Olesen, her second husband, Vern Mitchell, her parents and a brother, Ray Vance.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Legion Auxiliary Post of Hawkeye, or the United Methodist Church in Hawkeye . Her family would like to express their appreciation to the staff at Stoney Brook Village, Highland Chateau, and the nurses, staff and hospice team of King House at the Episcopal Church Home for their dedication and the loving care they provided Marie over the years.


Mary Rausch on June 3, 2018 at 6:02 PM said:

Our thoughts and prayers are with you the family of Marie Mitchell. We had planned on attending the wake tonight but we had unexpected company from out of state.
Rest in Peace Marie.
Love the Rausch's
Melvin and Mary from Fort Atkinson, IA.
Diane Mohs on May 30, 2018 at 11:04 AM said:

I helped you Mom while I was working for Home Health. I enjoyed the time spent with Marie. She taught me a lot of things especially sharing info on Alzheimers which my mother had. Her family meant the world to her and she would fill me in on all the latest happenings.KYvH8A
Terry Buenzow on May 26, 2018 at 5:56 AM said:

She was one of the very first people I ever knew. I learned a lot from her. A great person to grow up with nearby
Missy (Loyd) Derifield on May 23, 2018 at 1:03 PM said:

I am very sorry about your loss. I have a lot of wonderful memories of your mom.
Bridget Loftus Jensen on May 23, 2018 at 7:58 AM said:

I am so sorry for the loss of your mom.
Wayne and Claudia Strahm on May 23, 2018 at 5:57 AM said:

We offer our sympathy to you Olesen and Mitchel children and grandchildren as you say goodbye to you mother and grandmother. She will be remembered as a positive cheerful and giving Christian woman. We feel privileged to have known her as well as each of you. Your welcome at family gatherings was much appreciated.
Carmen Alonso and Tim Snider on May 23, 2018 at 1:36 AM said:

John, Jude, and to your lovely family. We are so sorry for your lost. Didn't have the opportunity to meet your mother but we saw her reflected in her lovely daughters, sons and grandchildren. We send all our love to you.
Jon and Jane Gordon on May 22, 2018 at 7:52 PM said:

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Marie’family. She raised 6 wonderful children who loved her and cared for her.
May she be a blessing to you all.
Jon and Jane Gordon on May 22, 2018 at 7:52 PM said:

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Marie’family. She raised 6 wonderful children who loved her and cared for her.
May she be a blessing to you all.
Tom and Mary Loyd on May 22, 2018 at 5:07 PM said:

Our sympathy to Marie's family. She was a wonderful neighbor and a good friend.
Mike and Rhonda Bousks on May 22, 2018 at 2:19 PM said:

So sorry for your loss. We truely adored Marie she was a great neighbor and friend always willing to show or tell her stories to our Girl Scouts. She has been missed in the neighborhood and in Hawkeye! Great lady!
Maxine Davis & Greg Tetrault on May 22, 2018 at 10:48 AM said:

We're very sorry for your loss. As she watched over you as kids, you all took wonderful attentive care to your mom. May your memories of good times together last generations. Our thoughts are with you.
Dwane & Roni Sue Koch on May 22, 2018 at 8:11 AM said:

What a great neighbor Marie was to us for several years in Hawkeye. She loved to visit with our girls and took an interest in their 4-H and Girl Scout activities. Marie taught our daughter Stephanie to knit and she inspired our daughter Kayleigh to start a spoon collection by giving Kayleigh her first spoon. Marie had a very service driven and kind heart. Our sympathies to all of you during this time. Marie will forever be remembered in our families hearts.
Leanne Berns on May 22, 2018 at 7:37 AM said:

You are in my thoughts. I have so many fond memories of Marie. Blessings.
Don & Becky Kelly on May 22, 2018 at 7:28 AM said:

Sympathy and prayers to you all. I remember her always being involved in the community especially with Memorial Day coming up and her helping with the poppies. God take care of you through this difficult time.
Joyce White on May 22, 2018 at 4:29 AM said:

Robin and Mark, So sorry for your loss, sending prayers to all the family.
Robin Madole on May 22, 2018 at 3:53 AM said:

So sorry for your loss. I am sure she touched the heart of many and will be dearly missed.
Leon & Lois Dietzenbach on May 21, 2018 at 9:12 AM said:

What a fine lady and family. I always enjoyed her company and stories. Our sincerely sympathy to all of you.

Becker-Milnes Funeral Home

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