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1919 - 2014
Deva first arrived in Boise on a Corporate Jet in 1971. And from Boise she departed this life on Wings of Angels, August 23, 2014.
Deva was born in Tatums, a small rural township in Oklahoma, December 5, 1919. The family, comprised of three sons, Plez, Burke, Elmer, and one daughter, Deva, was devoted principally to farming. Parents, Clara T. Evans McConnell and Eugene Romeo McConnell were part of the many migrations that have formed America, with Deva's family relatives helping to pioneer the historic Chishum Trail. Deva excelled in school and graduated Valedictorian of her High School Class.
Later she met and married Ausby Bernard Mitchell, whose family walked across half the American Continent to settle in Oklahoma to achieve the goal of all Americans, a better life. Ausby was born in what was then known as Oklahoma Indian Territory, later to become a state by proclamation of President Theodore Roosevelt.
When World War II began, Ausby and Deva moved from Tulsa to Phoenix to do their part in fighting the evil aggression of global tyranny. Both worked at Goodyear Aircraft, building bombers. Deva was a spot welder in the manufacture of these decisive War Birds. Respectful of, but not to be confused with "Rosie the Riveter", Deva emphasized with intense pride her job as an aircraft "spot welder". Ausby and Deva left the culturally rich environs of Arizona for the emerald beauty of Seattle and continued their part in the manufacture of aircraft at Boeing. With Deva's touch, home was warm, welcoming, and always filled with berry pies and flower arrangements made from wild berries and flowers that grew nearby.
At war's end, Ausby and Deva opened a restaurant near Long Acres Race Track in Renton, Washington. Some customers paid on a charge tab. Unpaid tab bills led to Ausby and Deva becoming the owners of two race horses, which were entered in races in Washington, California, Arizona and Louisiana. This enterprise revealed itself to be more of a hobby than a business, and the race horses were sold. Deva and Ausby bid the restaurant and horse racing business good bye, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area - the Public Schools were said to be among the best in the nation. Settling in Richmond, they raised and educated six children. An avid reader, Deva emphasized academic achievement, civic responsibility, and energetically supported PTA activities, and a school curriculum that provided a path to higher education. Ausby and Deva worked for the City of Richmond, and also through tireless effort bought, remodeled, leased and sold residential properties.
Later, Deva became assistant buyer for a women's boutique company with retail outlets at Union Street, Ghirardelli Square, Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, as well as stores in Berkeley and Carmel. Always stylish, fashionable hats were a special trademark of Deva's.
In 1972, they returned to live in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where they farmed, raised livestock, and provided advisory and landman services in the Oil and Gas business. With airline connections through family members, Deva and Ausby were able to travel throughout the U.S., and abroad with favorite trips that included London, Paris, Rome, and Athens. Ausby and Deva were married fifty three years. Eventually, Deva divided her time to maintain ties with close family and friends in Ardmore, Boise, and California.
Deva experienced a meaningful and wonderful life and made many contributions to the lives of others. Deva's name means "goddess". Spiritual, kind and gentle, she was beloved by all who knew her. Friendships, to which she brought a special grace, came easily and effortlessly. Deva's selfless devotion to others, especially the care of elderly family members, was apparent throughout her life. She was a quiet but significant presence in church activities wherever she lived, including Children of the King Church in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and St. Michael's Episcopal Cathedral in Boise, where she was a member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry, St. Catherine's Guild, and the "Sunday Morning God Squad". Deva's abiding faith and trust in God was ever present throughout her life.
As a member of her generation, Deva was privileged to be a part of the flow of the historic and epic currents that continue to remake the landscape of the Great American Experience.
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Deva was predeceased by her parents, husband, three brothers, and son, Kenneth. Deva is survived by daughters, Quincy Mitchell Kemesu, Dian Mitchell, and Andrea Mitchell Cruickshank, and sons Leo Mitchell, and Eugene Mitchell, all of California, and son Donald Mitchell of Boise, Idaho. Grandchildren include granddaughter, Teki Cruickshank, grandsons Stephen, Craig, and Clay Mitchell, two great grandsons Garren and Kolby Mitchell, and many devoted relatives and friends.
Services and Interment, Rolling Hills Memorial Park, Richmond, California, September 5, 2014. Viewing 12:00 p.m. / Service 1:00 p.m. Arrangements, Bowman Funeral Home, Boise, Idaho.
A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Michael's Episcopal Cathedral in Boise, September 14, 2014, at 2 PM.
Remembrance gifts may be made to the Idaho Commission for Libraries "Talking Book Service", Boise; the Public Library, Ardmore; or to a
Condolences and memories may be posted at www.bowmanfuneral.com
Family appreciation and thanks are expressed to the Boise Medical Community, especially Stefanie J. Fry, Susan L. Blough, Jeffrey J. Gilbertson, and Ada County Paramedics; Dolores E. Ali, M.D., San Francisco; and Sharon DeLong, Bon Munson, Sondra Stacy, Boise.
Bowman Funeral Parlor
10254 W Carlton Bay Dr Garden City, ID 83714
Published in Idaho Statesman on Aug. 31, 2014