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Marion Mitchell-Wilson


1946 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Marion Mitchell-Wilson Obituary
MARION MITCHELL-WILSON left the Riverside, CA home she had enhanced for 25 years and passed into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior on the evening of August 16, 2015 after a long battle with breast cancer. Her gracious approach to friends and family, as well as her contributions to historic preservation and Inland Empire literature, are the foundation of her legacy. Born in Roanoke, VA on November 30, 1946, to Deinese and Marvin Mitchell, she graduated from Northeastern University and served as the first professional director of the Orchard House in Concord, MA, historic home of Louisa May Alcott. Her interest in historic preservation continued when she moved to California in 1976 and joined the staff of the Office of Historic Preservation, ultimately serving as Acting State Historic Preservation Officer. A Joint Resolution of the California Legislature cited her contributions to the California Heritage Task Force in 1984. She was an Adjunct Professor in the Program in Historic Resources Management at UCR commuting from her home in Sacramento. As a member of the OHP staff, she contributed to the restoration of the Mission Inn. In 1989 she began her quarter century residence in Riverside. Serving as a Historic Preservation Redevelopment Project Manager, she drafted the city's first Historic Preservation Element of the General Plan and its first Certified Local Government Ordinance for historic preservation. In 1997, she joined the staff of the Riverside Public Library to found the Riverside Public Library Foundation and serve as its loaned Executive Director. Two years later she founded the Inlandia Institute, a literary center and regional publishing house. She was the Executive Director Emeritus and a board member of the Inlandia Institute, Secretary of the Riverside Land Conservancy, and tireless supporter of The Pink Ribbon Place. In 2010, the Volunteer Center of Riverside recognized Marion's achievements with a Non-Profit Excellence Award for Individuals. An early graduate of Leadership Riverside and former President of both Riverside East and Sunrise Rotary, she was Riverside East Rotary Club's Rotarian of the Year in 2011-2012. The University of Redland's Town & Gown named her a Woman of Distinction for Volunteerism in the Arts in 2012, and in the same year she was honored as a Riverside City Hero. She had a talent for recognizing the pieces of the puzzle and facilitating their going together to form the big picture. In her spare time she enjoyed working in her garden and cooking outstanding meals for family, friends, and organizations. Marion was a mentor and supporter of many in the field of historic preservation and a valued friend to all who knew her. She is survived by her husband of 39 years, Chuck Wilson; daughter Ellen Wilson and son-in-law Steven Whyte of Monterey, CA. A memorial celebration of her life will be held Friday, August 28 at 6:00 p.m. at the California Citrus State Historic Park. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Marion Mitchell-Wilson Endowment at the Inlandia Institute (https://www.crowdrise.com/inlandiainstitute).


Published in Press-Enterprise from Aug. 25 to Aug. 27, 2015
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