Mary Frances (Mitchell) Aten, 68, went to be with her Lord and Savior on July 8, 2013 at her home in Loveland, CO. following a battle with brain cancer. She was known for a sweet smile, a friendly spirit, compassion and tremendous love for The Lord, family and friends. Mary was born Feb. 26, 1945 in Lincoln, NE to Henry and Mary Mitchell. She shared her childhood with seven siblings and graduated from Pius the X Catholic School. She met Donald Aten from Ainsworth, NE who was attending the University of Nebraska. A year later she was employed at Gold's Department Store and Don who was employed with the Lincoln Police Department were married on Feb. 8, 1964. In December of 1964 they welcomed their first son, Douglas Paul to the family. They then made their way from Lincoln, NE to Butte, NE. where they owned and operated the Butte Livestock Market. While still living in Butte, they added their son, Todd James and daughter, Michele Beth (Medley) to the family. In 1970, after falling in love with Loveland, CO during a vacation and Don accepting a position on the Police department, they left Butte to make Loveland their permanent home. While in Loveland she gave birth to another daughter named Heather Jean. The family suffered a heartbreaking loss when Heather drowned at age 2. Rounding out the family in 1975 their third daughter, Victoria Dawn (Shaner), was born. In addition to Mary's focus on raising the children, she was the bookkeeper for the family owned business of Creditor's Service Bureau. They later sold the business and purchased Sprenger Valley Estates and Aten Valley Ranch. Mary was a very compassionate and creative woman. She had a very large garden, taught weaving to children, her many talents included: spinning, stained glass, painting, sewing, bee keeping, refinishing furniture, and a multitude of other crafts. She has been very active with Life Spring Church since 1980 where she helped feed monthly meals to the widows, the homeless and was also a volunteer at Good Samaritan Nursing Home. She rarely said "no" when she saw a need. She was one of those folks who not only loved God but was in love with Jesus and was deeply devoted to her family. She had a special heart for her 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. She so much wanted everyone to love one another. Even through her illness, Mary's faith in God was unwavering and a true testimony to many. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Jim and John Mitchell, and daughter Heather Jean Aten. She will be greatly missed by her husband of 49 1/2 years, Don Aten; Her children, Douglas (Connie) Aten, Todd (Leanne) Aten, Michele (Roger) Medley, Victoria (Gregory) Shaner; 10 Grandchildren and 4 Great-grandchildren: Sisters, Shirley Dunlap, Betty Jo Zwiener; Brothers, David, George and Michael Mitchell as well as many countless treasured friends. She was an inspiration and blessing to all who came to know her and was often referred to as "Sweet Mary". An open service will be held at Life Spring Church on Saturday July 13th 2013 at 10:30am, 743 S Dotsero Dr. Loveland, CO 80537. The Family has requested that donations be made to the Gideons where she was an Auxiliary Member. The Gideons, P. O. Box 491, Loveland, CO 80539. Go to www.viegutfuneralhome.com for condolences.
Published in Loveland Reporter-Herald on July 10, 2013