Marilyn E. Mitchell, age 90, died peacefully on Thursday, Oct 29, 2020 surrounded by family.
She was born on April 12, 1930 in Two Harbors, MN, to Helia Nauha Erickson. Marilyn grew up in Baltimore and then Minneapolis, spending summers in Two Harbors helping her grandparents at the farm. She graduated from Central High School in Minneapolis (age 15) and attended the University of Minnesota earning her BA (age 20) and was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. She paid her way through college by working at First National Bank. While a sophomore in college, Marilyn was selected as an Aquatennial Princess and part of the responsibilities included partaking in the State Fair as the “Thermometer Girl”. She also met her husband Jerry Mitchellat the University, and they were happily married for 64 years. Together they had seven children. She encouraged her kids to pursue education, think independently, and most importantly to be good people.
Marilyn was always looking to give back. She volunteered her time at HCMC for 20 years, and she supported a wide variety of community organizations, including: University of Minnesota, Wayzata Community Church, Naples Community Church, The Animal Humane Society, United Way, IOCP, and many more. She had a special spot in her heart for dogs and took in a number of strays – so much so that family fondly called her house “dog paradise”. Marilyn (along w/Jerry), also orchestrated turning the Nauha family homestead land into the Two Harbors High School, and she did a mission’s trip to Central America to help build an elementary school and bring supplies.
She was always on the go. Marilyn traveled the globe with her husband both for vacation and business, where they met many world business leaders and dignitaries. She participated in sports and was an active member of Wayzata Country Club and Royal Poinciana, where she golfed, played tennis, and loved to dance with her husband. Marilyn also attended many Gopher events and was a big fan and booster. She was especially keen on watching the athletic games of her kids and grandkids, attending hundreds.
But her happiest times were at home in Wayzata, MN – being together with the family and friends, enjoying the long summer days by the lake. She often entertained large gatherings for the 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, her favorite holiday. In the later years, she and Jerry also lived in Naples, FL, watching sunsets in the evenings (looking for the green flash) againentertaining friends and family. She created a warm, fun and supportive household. Marilyn was a loving, encouraging, successful woman, a great mom, and a wonderful wife.
She is survived by her children, Terri Veneziani (Rodrigo), Gerald Mitchell Jr. (Christy), Jean Mitchell (Steve), MarkMitchell (Michele) and Amy Mitchell (Cheri), plus many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald Mitchell Sr., daughters, Susan Mitchell Frank and Barbara Mitchell Frank, mother, Helia Nauha Erickson and sister Phyllis Hastings. Special thanks to all Marilyn’s care givers over the last few years - their compassion and love is greatly appreciated. A small private memorial will be held with family. A public memorial will be planned for a future date. Memorials may be directed to the Gerald Mitchell Family Scholarship Fund #5905, at Gopher Athletics, Attention: Golden Gopher Fund, 516 15th Ave SE, Suite 220, Minneapolis, MN 55455
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