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.