Ella Mae Mitchell Bonner Springs
Ella Mae Rudell Mitchell, of Bonner Springs, KS lived a full 94 years filled with family, faith, and friends, passed away peacefully June 5, 2013 at the Sweet Life of Shawnee Nursing Home. Funeral Services were at 1:00pm, Saturday, June 8, 2013 at the First Christian Church in Bonner Springs, KS with burial following in the Bonner Springs Cemetery. Visitation was from 6:00 to 8:00pm, Friday evening, June 7, at the Alden-Harrington Funeral Home in Bonner Springs, KS. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Bonner Springs First Christian Church.
Ella Mae was absolutely devoted to her husband, Wilfred, and their five children: Tim, Kathy, Jon, Patricia, and Paul, 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. If one asked Ella what her greatest love was, her instant answer would always be “my family.” She was there with a hug, kind, encouraging words, and assistance with everything from school projects to difficult life experiences. Wilfred Clyde Mitchell and Ella Mae Rudell wed December 29, 1941, following Pearl Harbor and the outbreak of World War II. This strong union continued for 63 years, when Wilfred passed away in 2005.
Her family fondly remembers all her good cooking—a kitchen filled with comfort foods like chicken and dumplings, but her cinnamon rolls, apple and rhubarb pies were legendary and always requested at gatherings. Wilfred once stated, ”Why should I go out to eat when I am married to the best cook in the country.”
Creative and crafty, Ella Mae was a skilled seamstress who made clothes for her family plus doll clothes, quilts, even a wedding dress. She could create dance outfits out of drawings instead of a complete pattern. Reading was a true passion. There was a constant stream of books from the local library, and bookshelves filled with encyclopedias, fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books in the house. Ella Mae constantly clipped poems, sayings, and articles from newspapers and magazines, which were then organized in scrapbooks. She was a 62-year member of the Reading Circle Club.
Ella Mae’s hobbies included genealogy and family photography—even developing her own pictures in a basement dark room. She documented detailed family trees and was the living historian of family stories and information. Because of her our family is endowed with many photo albums and scrapbooks documenting our life over the past 94 years. She enjoyed collecting home floor plans and watching movies, especially older classics from the thirties and forties.
A life-long resident of Bonner Springs, Kansas, Ella Mae’s research and photo records of the city’s history led to several civic awards. Her father, Urbin Rudell, took many photographs of Bonner from the turn of the century through the 1940s. Ella Mae preserved and shared these photos, becoming the go-to person for city history. On May 31, 2012, the Bonner Springs City Library honored Ella Mae for “donation of her personal collection of historical photographs and scrapbooks that preserves the history of the Bonner Springs community.” The City of Bonner Springs proclaimed July 12, 2012, as Ella Mae Mitchell Day for her” commitment and dedication to the community and its history.” In 2013 the Wyandotte County Historical Society and Museum presented a Lifetime Service Award to Ella Mae Mitchell “for over 30 years of active participation in collection, preservation and education on the history of Wyandotte County.”
Ella Mae loved her church: the First Christian of Bonner Springs. An 82-year long member; she served as deaconness, headed funeral dinners for countless years in addition to being church Historian for over 50 years. In 2008 the church members honored Ella Mae for her service as Historian. She was also a 60-year plus member of Christian Women’s Fellowship.
Mom was a wonderful matriarch of our family. She was a loving grandmother who enjoyed entertaining and caring for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Toys, good food, and hugs were always provided. We love, cherish, honor, and will greatly miss her.
Surviving family (in birth order) includes: children and spouses: Tim and Linda Mitchell, Kathy and Bill Tisdale, Jon and Nancy Mitchell, Patricia and Daryl Steele, Paul Mitchell. Grandchildren and spouses: Shawn and Jill Boyce, Tim Mitchell, Ted Mitchell and Michelle Birdsell, Ryan and Sarah Boyce, Michael and Ashley Harvey, Tom Harvey, Leanna and Ben Zimmerli, Elizabeth and Dave Oberle, Pam Mitchell, Sarah Mitchell, Nathan Mitchell. Great-grandchildren: James Boyce, Laura Boyce; Tessa Mitchell, Stephen Mitchell; Tarin Boyce; Audrey Oberle, Isaac Oberle; Jace Zimmerli, Brock Zimmerli; Ocean Harvey, Ever Harvey, Nash Harvey.
Arrangements: Alden-Harrington Funeral Home (913)422-4074 aldenharrington.com
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