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Bruce Mitchell

Wakefield, Clay County, Kansas, USA
Death 17 Jan 2005 (aged 96)
Wenatchee, Chelan County, Washington, USA
Burial Non-Cemetery Burial
Memorial ID 100095437 · View Source
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Wenatchee World - Jan 20, 2005

Bruce Mitchell


Bruce Mitchell, 96, a long time North Central Washington resident, died Monday evening, January 17, 2005, at his Wenatchee home. He was born May 6, 1908, at Wakefield, Kansas to Jessie and Charlotte (Fraser) Mitchell.

He moved with his family to North Central Washington in 1919. His father had homesteaded in the Waterville area some years before, gone back to the Midwest, then returned with a wife and family and bought the orchard that Bruce operated.

Bruce graduated with Wenatchee High School's class of 1927.

To get to commencement exercises he hopped a freight at Cascade Tunnel where he had been working. He then attended Washington State Normal School in Ellensburg (now Central) through the fall of 1930. Bruce went on to receive a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Washington in 1932.

Upon returning to Wenatchee, he worked in the fruit and was a substitute teacher at Wenatchee Jr. High for a brief time before joining the merchant marine in 1934. From 1935 until 1958, Bruce was a full-time Orchardist in the orchard which once belonged to his father. He enjoyed raising old time apples, such as the Spitzenburgs, King Davids and Winter Pearmaines.

At the tender age of 50, Bruce made the decision to work on his master's degree, choosing Rufus Woods as the object of his thesis. While working on his thesis he was employed at The Wenatchee World, for two years doing archival work on the Wood's papers and correspondence, retiring after 32 years.

After receiving his master's degree in history at age 54, he worked as a writer for the Chelan County Industrial Development Council from 1962-1969.

In 1942, he married Gwyneth Sawyer. Both shared a long-standing involvement with the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society. The old Mitchell home was donated for use as the Humane Society Thrift Shop and their property became a site for the shelter.

Bruce loved to play cards at the Elks and read historical magazines. His principal interest was local and regional history.

He learned a lot from people who were not be able to read or write. He took his greatest pride in those things he could do with tools and a team of horses. He had a high regard for productive labor and skills involved in it. He said "It is not what a person can do, rather what he will do."

The family would like to give thanks to his caregivers and the Hospice for the loving care that was bestowed on him the last few years. You were great.

Bruce was member of the Masonic Lodge.

Survivors include nephews, Robert B. Mitchell of East Wenatchee and Mike Forney of Chelan; nieces, Kathy Forney of Spokane and Patty Lou Mitchell Smith of Redmond, OR; grand nieces and nephews, Lori Reed, Mike Smith, Karen Ellis, Susan Monday, Joe Brown, Jimmy Brown and Sherrel Brown and long time friends, Lee and Mary Barnhill.

He was preceded in death by his wife; sister, Margaret Forney; brother, Albert Mitchell; nephew, Dick Forney of Chelan; niece, Patty Lee Mitchell Brown of Bakersfield, CA and a grandnephew, Rob Mitchell of East Wenatchee.

At his request there will be no funeral services. Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society in Bruce's name. Jones and Jones Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements

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  • Created by: Teresa
  • Added: 3 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100095437
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bruce Mitchell (6 May 1908–17 Jan 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100095437, ; Maintained by Teresa (contributor 46969893) Non-Cemetery Burial.