A little over a week ago, my family lost another incredible person. Uncle Raymond was my grandmother’s eldest brother and the last surviving child of Dudley Moses Mitchell and Opal Blanche Strickler. He was 94 years old when he passed.
I remember a couple of visits with Uncle Raymond and Aunt Juanita as a child. The most prominent is when we stayed with them on a trip across county when I was 7 years old. I got my first milkshake at a true Malt shop and visited my first grain elevator with Raymond and Juanita.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have grown closer with this side of my family in the last five years. On two different trips to Kansas in the last several years I got to visit with Uncle Raymond and get to know him. I can’t help but smile when I think of the drive around Topeka where he pointed out houses, told stories, and paid respects to family gravestones. He was so generous with sharing all he could remember. There was a lot of laughter and love that day.
Rest in Peace.
This is the obituary for Uncle Raymond. (reprinted with permission)
In Memory of
RAYMOND A. MITCHELL
1921 – 2015
Raymond A. Mitchell, 94, of Topeka, passed away on Friday, May 29, 2015 at Aldersgate Village in Topeka. He was born February 20, 1921 in Topeka, KS, the son of Dudley M. and Opal B. Strickler Mitchell.
Raymond attended Hutchinson High School. He was an Army Veteran of WWII. He resided in Topeka since 1991. Raymond was employed as a manager for the Farmland Cooperatives for 30 years prior to retiring in 1985. In 1983, he was appointed by Governor John Carlin to the Kansas State Grain Advisory Commission. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and the Gideons International.
Raymond married Juanita Burleson on May 3, 1942 in Hutchinson. She preceded him in death on November 15, 2001. He was also preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters.
Survivors include three children, Judith Dene (Melvin) Farris of Paola,KS, Jalayn Rae (John) Love of Berryton, KS, Rev. Victor A. (Ellen) Mitchell of Highland, IL, six grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at Grace United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in Penwell-Gabel Cemetery. Raymond will lie in state and the family will receive friends from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at Penwell-Gabel Mid Town Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800.