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Diana Mary Mitchell

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DIANA MARY MITCHELL February 28, 1926 September 6, 2018 Diana Mitchell was born in London, England, the eldest of three children. Her parents, Graham and Vida Straker, owned a publishing company, which inspired in her a passion for books and writing. She was an avid reader, and an award-winning poet, whose work was published in the Daily Breeze "My Turn" section. In 1944, at the age of eighteen, she enlisted in the Women's Royal English Navy. At USO functions, she was incessantly entreated by love-struck military men, hoping to get a phone number, and she wouldn't let them down, offering "Whitehall 1-2-1-2" with a coy smile. It wasn't until later these suitors would discover she had given them the number to Scotland Yard. The exception was a handsome officer with the US Air Force named Eli Mitchell, who was charming enough to earn her real phone number. They were married by the end of that year, and together they flew back to the US to start a family. For the next few years, they moved across the country from the East Coast to the West, finally settling in Rolling Hills. They had six children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren (so far), as well as a modest menagerie of pets, many of which she rescued, including horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, parakeets, mice and squirrels. Their door was open to all creatures, great and small, in need of a safe haven. Diana had a wide range of interests, and she enjoyed several careers throughout her life: fashion model, stage performer, real estate agent, but above all, she was a world-class homemaker. She cooked all the family meals, coordinated the timetables of six active children, and never failed to maintain a loving and warm home environment. She was known and loved for her generosity and her spontaneity. It was not uncommon at Thanksgiving or Christmas to hear a foreign language being spoken in the living room, only to discover a group of strangers, looking happy and well-fed, explaining that "Diana Mitchell invited us!" Diana is survived by her six children, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, three dogs, a cat and a tortoise. We will miss her greatly, and forever remember her for her kindness, generosity and beautiful radiant smile. A celebration of a life well-lived will be held Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 11:00am at McKenzie Mortuary, 3843 East Anaheim Street in Long Beach, California. She will be buried next to her husband of 65 years, Eli Mitchell, in a private ceremony at Riverside National Cemetery. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, 2018
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