AAWGA member, (Betty) Joanne Mitchell, Dies at 77

Obituary from AnnArbor.com (2009)

Joanne, 77, passed away peacefully, in Ann Arbor, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 after an extended illness. Joanne was born in Ann Arbor on July 15, 1932 to Elmer and Alice Jespersen. She was a lifelong resident of Ann Arbor with winter homes in Vero Beach and Jupiter, FL for the past 32 years.

She married Jerry Mitchell in June 1975 and he survives. Their blended family includes Joanne’s daughter Martha (Marti) Marshall, son Cam Marshall, Jerry’s daughter Kimberlee (Ralph Williamson) Mitchell and son Kurtis (Kim) Mitchell. She is also survived by her brothers; Alvin Jespersen (Lottie) of White Lake Township, MI and Dave Jespersen (Neava) of Sun City, AZ., four grandchildren; Ashleigh Mitchell, Shayne Mitchell, Dylan Burrows and Riley Williamson. As well as being missed by her two-legged family, she will also be missed by her cherished dog, Luke.

Her professional career revolved around providing executive secretarial and administrative skills for various Ann Arbor based companies including Great Lakes Science Center and Bechtel Corporation. She later worked as the corporate secretary at Ann Arbor Muffler, Inc., until retirement in 2005. She acquired a degree in Interior Design, which definitely was reflected in her homes, which exemplified her decorating skills.

Joanne was an avid athlete participating in and teaching both youth swimming and bowling. In her later years, she became an avid golfer spending most of her spare time on a golf course either at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor or Jonathan’s Landing in Jupiter.

Many people have been the recipient of one of Joanne’s pieces of handiwork such as a knitted sweater, a hooked rug, a crocheted afghan or cross-stitched picture. She often sewed many of her own clothes, a skill she taught herself. Joanne and Jerry were also able to do some traveling after retirement including trips to both Germany and Hawaii.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service, officiated by Pastor Peter Harris will be held on Friday, December 4, 2009 at Nie Family Funeral Home, Liberty Road Chapel at 3767 W. Liberty Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. and a service will be held at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Betty Joanne Mitchell to Hospice of Michigan, 44720 Hayes Road, Suite 100, Clinton Township, MI 48038. Please visit Joanne’s personal web page at www. niefuneralhomes.com to leave a memory.

[Published in AnnArbor.com on November 29, 2009]