SAN ANTONIO, Texas - It was a sad day when the word passed rapidly from home to home and heart to heart that Hilda Jane Conley Mitchell had been taken from us. Hilda was born in Danvers, Mass. (Putnamville) Oct. 6, 1921 to James Perkins Conley and Elsie Ervina Godfrey Conley. She was the middle child of seven; six girls and one boy. Hilda went to grade school in Middleton, Mass. and later moved back to Danvers attending junior high and graduating from Holton High in 1940. During high school she participated in sports and took tap and ballroom dancing, which became natural to her and performed in shows at Holton High School.
Her yearbook entry had the prediction that she would be in the Rockettes! However, following graduation she trained as a nurse's aide and worked at the Beverly Hospital, Mass. for a few years before taking a job as a bookkeeper at the Danvers State Hospital. As fate would have it her husband to be, Bob, worked there as an orderly. Bob was eventually called up to active duty and sent to flight training but they remained in touch and got engaged. Hilda traveled by train to Garden City, Kan. by herself to marry him in a simple wedding.
Moving many times in their career but none was more memorable than when she flew to Freising, Germany with four small children at the time, one being a new born, to meet up with Bob. Through the years at various bases as a military wife she volunteered hundreds of hours as a Red Cross worker, was active in the wives club, bowled in many leagues (even up until she was 88 years old), was also an avid bridge player; but most of all mother to their five children. She was an excellent cook and kept a very neat and orderly home.
Upon retiring they moved to Jaffrey in 1975 and made First Church their church for 39 years. Hilda was very active in decorating the parsonage, working the fair, and helping in the kitchen, active in the craft circle and led the Sanctuary Committee. She loved her church family, which was second only to her immediate family.
Upon her beloved husband's death in 2010 she moved into Rivermead, Peterborough; where she lived until Aug. 2013 when she moved to San Antonio, Texas to live with her youngest daughter, Gail and husband, Randy. Having three of her children living in Texas, she was able to see them and several of her grandchildren frequently and meet great-grandchildren she had never met before. These were the joy of her existence. After a beautiful week with her three daughters, her frail body no longer could stand the test of time.
She is survived by sons, Robert V. Mitchell Jr. (Marilyn) of Plano, Texas; Gary E. Mitchell (Sue) of Richmond, Mass.; daughters, Jan Schiering (Jim) of Westerville, Ohio; Dianne Lebsock (Alan) of Missouri City, Texas; Gail Schavrien (Randy) of San Antonio, Texas; as well as 21 grandchildren and 24 ½ great-grandchildren; two sister in laws, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was loved by all and will be truly missed for generations to come.
Services will be held Saturday May 17, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the First Church in Jaffrey, 14 Laban Ainsworth Way, Jaffrey, N.H. 03452, followed by burial at the Phillips-Heil Cemetery on Fitzwilliam Road.
In lieu flowers a memorial has been set up at First Church in Jaffrey, P.O. Box 673, 14 Laban Ainsworth Way, Jaffrey, N.H. 03452. To share stories, photos, or condolences with the family, please visit www.cournoyerfh.com