Leona Ann Mitchell

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Leona Ann Mitchell
September 1, 1941 - June 6, 2018
September 1, 1941 was a day of celebration for Kyrle Francis and Dorothy Olive Viola English Seals when their daughter, Leona Ann, was born in Syracuse, Kansas. She was named after two of her grandmothers and was the youngest of five siblings.
The family of seven soon moved to Lamar in Southeast Colorado, where they would reside for several generations to come. Ann - as she preferred to be called - grew up in the shadow of three older brothers, who she often said were her tormentors as well as her protectors. But she also gave as good as she got. She recalled once that she snuck into her brother Ken's room at night and painted his toenails while he was sleeping. Of course, he retaliated in kind by painting her entire toes while he thought she was sleeping, but she never let him know she knew he was there because she loved the attention.
Ann loved animals, especially fur babies. During her childhood years, it was commonplace to find a shoebox or small bundle in her bedroom containing some small critter she had rescued. She came to the aid of not only the typical lost kittens and puppies, but also baby birds that had fallen out of the nest, tiny orphaned bunnies, and even a little kangaroo rat, just to name a few. As an adult, she would often surprise her family when she'd stop to scoot a bull snake or turtle across the road to prevent them from being hit by a car. In the colder months she would always build warm, insulated box shelters for the stray cats in the neighborhood so they'd have a warm place to spend the winter.
Ann met the love of her life when she was only 14. She recalled many times how she'd come home from school to see who she believed was the "most beautiful man she'd ever seen" standing in her kitchen with her brother, Kyrle. When she returned to school she told her girlfriends that she'd met the man she was going to marry someday. The feeling was mutual for Ken, as he could barely take his eyes off of her anytime they were together. Three months after she graduated from Lamar High School, Kenneth Gene Mitchell and Ann were married on August 27, 1959.
Ann's first wish after being married was to have a baby. She had to wait nearly three years before her dreams would come true when blue-eyed, brunette Misty Monet was born two months early, but healthy. Two years later, Ann suffered the devastating loss of twin daughters born too early. Dede was next...a tiny, curly headed blonde with smoldering dark eyes. Their family was completed with the birth of auburn haired, green-eyed Todd.
Ann was a wonderful mother and was always finding ways to educate her children. Many times if a child had a question, she would have them think about the "whats" and "whys" and reason out the answer. Some days she would provide a word from the dictionary and have her children learn its meaning by dissecting the word parts. Because of her extra attention, her children always excelled in spelling and grammar. Ann also loved to teach them non-typical life skills, sewing, embroidery, beading, and crochet, and even how to build a campfire!
As a teenager Ann worked as a cashier at the Lamar Theater and at the local drive-in theatre. After she married, she briefly worked as a dental assistant, but fainted during a tooth extraction, a memory that always made her laugh. After her children were at or near school age, she went to work as a clerk at Montgomery Wards and then Sears catalog stores, the latter of where she worked for ten years. She then held several clerical positions over the years including executive secretary at Lamar Community College and new accounts/receptionist at The First National Bank in Paonia, CO.
Everyone who knew Ann knew she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. She loved the Lord and shared that love with her family. When her children were young, they would gather around her as she shared stories from her big illustrated Bible. She always said that "with God there was no such thing as coincidences and that He always had a plan for us". In later years, she and her husband, Ken, were involved in and taught several Bible studies during their 15 years in Paonia.
Ann was a lover of babies and nothing could bring a smile to her face like her grandchildren. She was there when many of them came into the world, and she spent many hours and sleepless nights helping to feed, bathe, and soothe all of her babies. Every grandchild felt her love and their Nana (as she is affectionately called) has a very special place in all of their hearts.
Ann's ingenuity, common sense, quick wit and never-ending love will be carried on for generations to come. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, but she leaves behind a wonderful legacy. In addition to numerous friends, nieces, nephews and cousins, Ann is survived by sister, Lucille Hutchison of Grand Junction, and brother, Kenneth Seals and Cheryl of Colorado Springs; sisters-in-law, Mitzie Seals of Eckert; Barbara Mitchell of Delta, and Virginia Allen of Lamar; brother-in-law, Max Moss of Barstow, CA; her children, Misty Monet Mitchell of Delta; Stephanie Diane "Dede" Blake and TJ of Grand Junction; Todd Andrew Owen Mitchell and Kelly of Northridge, CA; grandchildren, Kimbra Lanae Birchler and Matt of Commerce City, CO; Kali Ann Devor and Matt of Montrose, CO; Jeffrey Scott Clark of Santa Monica, CA; Jordan Brook Hall of Denver, CO; Margaret Claire and Molly Bridget Rose Mitchell of Northridge, CA, and great-grandchildren, Cora McKenna, Mark Everett, Emma Lanae, and Abigail Olive Birchler all of Commerce City, CO.
Leona Ann may have departed from this world, but she will never, ever be forgotten.
A Funeral Service will be held at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary on Tuesday, June 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Funeral Home
Callahan-Edfast Mortuary & Crematory Inc
2515 Patterson Rd
Grand Junction, CO 81505
(970) 243-2450
Funeral Home Details
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Published in The Daily Sentinel on June 12, 2018