Eunice "Lila" Mitchell

CHOTEAU Eunice "Lila" Mitchell, 86, of Choteau, died of natural causes Saturday, Feb. 23.

At her request, Lila's life will be celebrated at a private memorial with her family this summer when the grass is green and the flowers are in bloom. Gorder Jensen Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Lila passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family.

Lila modeled virtues of love, compassion, selflessness and faith in her walk through this life. Lila never complained and always had a positive word for everyone she spoke to.

Lila was born Jan. 13, 1927, at her family home in Race Track, the fifth of six children born to Andrew C. and Eunice L. Robinson. Her father worked for the railroad as a depot agent. Her family, with children Roscoe, Jay, Ray, Clyde, Lila and John, moved to the train depot in Agawam in 1932. Lila attended Agawam Grade School through 8th grade. She attended Teton County High School in Choteau, graduating in 1944. After attending Cadet Nurses Training in Bozeman at Montana State College, Lila met the love of her life, Arthur R. Mitchell. They were married Dec. 6, 1945. They farmed and ranched in the area and homesteaded near Terry until the birth of Sandra in 1956. They returned to the Choteau area, where Art was employed as a rural letter carrier. Laura was born in 1957, and they built and moved into their home in Choteau.

Lila was an active volunteer with Girl Scouts, Bible school, Sunday school, Rainbow Girls and Eastern Star. She worked as the head chef in the Choteau School lunchroom from 1965 until her retirement in 1975.

Lila loved family gatherings, camping, fishing, gardening and traveling to Arizona to spend winters with Art in their motor home during their retirement.

Lila loved to sew and crochet and share her handiwork with her family and friends. She was a wonderful cook.

After Art passed away in 2004, Lila moved into the Skyline Lodge and truly enjoyed that new experience with the "family" there. She volunteered to help with the flower gardens and served as secretary of the Residents Board until this year. She loved to treat guests to a meal and celebrated her 86th birthday at the lodge in January.

Survivors include her brothers, Roscoe of Missouri, Jay of Oregon, Clyde of Hamilton and John of Missoula; her daughters, Sandra (Curt) French of Great Falls and Laura (Scott) Swanson of Pendroy. Lila was extremely proud of and is survived by her seven grandchildren, Michael Morris (Ashle) of Choteau, Joe Morris of Los Angeles, Norse Swanson (Jesica) of Lakeside, Ilsa Taggart (Jon) of Kalispell, Greta Hensler (Sam) of Bozeman, Freyja Raznoff (Scott) of Fort Collins, Colo., and Bjorn Swanson of Conrad. Her greatest joy is being survived by her nine great-grandchildren, Kyron Taggart, Alexis Morris, Katy Morris, Ava Raznoff, Boden Swanson, Ramina Taggart, Pendroy Taggart and Jorja Morris and Isley Swanson. Lila and Art always said that passing on is God's way of making room for the new ones coming into the world.

Lila was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 59 years, Arthur; their infant son born in 1946; their infant daughter born in 1949; and her brother, Ray Robinson.

Memorials are suggested to the Skyline Lodge Resident's fund at Skyline Lodge 424 7th Ave N.W., Choteau, MT 59422.

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Published in Great Falls Tribune on Feb. 26, 2013