WEST DES MOINES —
Virginia L. Mitchell, of West Des Moines, was born Aug. 18, 1918, above the Beers Drugstore on the northwest corner of the Centerville square. Her parents were Elizabeth Evans Russell and Bert B. Russell. Her grandfather was Albert Russell, a Union soldier in the Civil War, who was in Atlanta when it burned.
Virginia graduated from Centerville High School where she studied secretarial skills. She often used these skills in family business and in assisting her children in their school work.
John Lockhart Mitchell married Virginia on Aug. 6, 1939, in the Methodist Church in Centerville. They had two sons, J. John Mitchell and Dennis Mitchell. She had five grandchildren; Alexander T. and Kathryn in John’s family and Michael, Elynn and Bryan in Dennis’ family.
After assisting her husband in farm work north of Centerville for many years, she retired with her husband to Las Vegas but they eventually returned to Iowa to live in West Des Moines near their son, John. In their retirement, they particularly enjoyed the friendship of Cleo and Lorene Walker of Marshalltown. John Lockhart Mitchell died in 2001.
Virginia had three great-grandchildren, Brianne and Bryce Schaaf of Lewis and Alexander C. Mitchell of Milwaukee, Wis., as well as a step great-granddaughter, Czarina San Jose Lo of Milwaukee, Wis. Virginia was very fond of her grandson Alexander’s wife, Cherry San Jose Mitchell.
Virginia enjoyed cooking and baking for her family, especially cookies for her Schaaf great-grandchildren and meals for Alexander when he visited West Des Moines in the summers. She was always helpful to family members. She particularly enjoyed trading recipes with her daughter-in-law, Marcia Kidder Mitchell, wife of Dennis.
Virginia died on March 31, 2013 at Kavanagh House on 56th Street in Des Moines. At her request the body was cremated and the ashes will be buried at a later date in the Evergreen Cemetery in Lineville, where her mother’s family originated.
Brooks Funeral Care at 7975 University Ave., Clive, IA 50325 is in charge of arrangements.