Monday, August 14, 2023
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Casual Attire encourage.
Life Story Celebration
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Selfless and compassionate, Barb Mitchell lived her life to the fullest. A lover of all people, she made each and every person she met feel special. A hard worker and successful caseworker for the State of Michigan for twenty-seven years, Barb enjoyed abundant pleasures in life, yet her family was her greatest treasure. Gone too soon, Barb will be sincerely missed by her close family and many special friends.
The year 1956, was the year that Rock ‘n Roll music swept the nation. Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, with his current hit, "Heartbreak Hotel" which claimed the charts for eight straight weeks. That same year, Barbara was born to Robert and Marion (Sisson) Mitchell on April 29, 1956, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Born the second of four children, her birth brought great joy to the family home.
Growing up in Battle Creek, Barb lived a typical childhood of the times. Her dad was a car salesman and her mother worked for the public schools until she later worked for Caterpillar Inc. Active in her youth, Barb enjoyed singing in the school’s A Cappella Choir that toured Romania performing numerous concerts for the Romanian people. She was proud to earn the Wo-He-Lo medallion, the highest award for her participation in Camp Fire Girls of America. As a family, they traveled back to Pennsylvania for several holidays with her dad’s side of the family. She and her cousin and grandparents traveled to the Rocky Mountains. Barb was in awe of the beauty of the area and the trip remained one of her favorites. After she graduated with the Class of 1974 from Battle Creek Central High School, she attended Kellogg Community College and Grand Valley State University.
As an adult, Barb enjoyed her work life as well as her many special pastimes. As a caseworker, she was known for her attention to detail and ability to manage the complicated state system while remaining calm and collected. She was well-liked by her co-workers and was always willing to help out! Over the years, she worked in St. Clair, Allegan, and Kalamazoo counties as well as special projects in Lansing in addition to her casework. Proud of her Scottish heritage with some Irish and German, Barb remarkably traced her family back to the 1500s. She maintained a file cabinet loaded with pictures and documents. In addition, she collected all of the family heirlooms. Having grown up knowing most of her great-grandparents as well as grandparents, recording the family history and stories was a source of pride for her.
Following her retirement, Barb continued her active lifestyle and was always up to try new things. She was involved with the Patriot Guard Riders serving as the Administrative Assistant to the State Captain for several years as well as Ride Captain. Although she never rode a motorcycle, she could follow the bikes to protect them from other drivers, earning her the nickname, Momma Duck. She seemed to never get enough of the motorcycles and the reverence they brought whenever they entered the city. Barb also became interested in hot air ballooning and spent time as a trained observer and crew member over the years. In the past few years, she was also part of the Mayflower Society. A lifelong lover of music, she also managed a local classic rock band known as, The Edge, for several years.
For relaxation, she enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. A favorite pastime was taking her nieces and nephews to the zoo. A lover of all animals, but especially cats, she made sure to visit the large cats whenever they visited. She also loved tending to her flower beds. She planted special pink daylilies, named Barbara Mitchell, after her own name! Described for her fiery personality, Barb was also very caring and took great social concern for the community she so loved. Barb will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew and loved her. May her loved ones always cherish their memories of the good times they created together and may her gifts of unconditional love and grace live on in their hearts forever.
Barbara Mitchell, age 67, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died on August 5, 2023, at her home. Barb was preceded in death by her parents and by a brother, Kenneth. Surviving are brothers: Bill (Pat) Mitchell and David (Donna) Mitchell; sister-in-law, Sandi Mitchell; nieces: Lori Mitchell, and Shari (Colin) Boone, and their children, Jordyn and Blake; Jennifer (Kay) Mitchell and her children Paige and Peyten; and nephews Max Mitchell and James (Amanda) Mitchell and his children Lily, Jasmine, Skylar, Bruce, Amarna, and Reza; close friends: Debbie and Michael Harrison, Gig and Patty Wagner, as well as neighbors, and her cat, Sofie. Cremation has taken place.
A Life Story Celebration will be held Monday, August 14, 2023, 2 PM with visitation beginning at 1 PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Burial at Barryville Cemetery, Nashville, escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders. Visit Barb’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue.