Dona Mae Mitchel
Dona Mae Mitchell, age 77, of Elko, Nevada, died March 20, 2013, in Elko, Nevada.
It was a warm winter day in Culver City, California on January 28, 1936 when Dona Mae England came into the world, the second child and only daughter of Sarah May (Reasoner) and Carlyle “Ted” England. Her father had been out celebrating her birth and later, misspelled her name on her birth certificate; she loved the story and the specialty of the spelling delighted her. She quickly learned what an older brother was and adored Carlyle “Carl” from then until the day she died. Tragedy struck this little family early when at only 34 years old, Sarah died, in the spring of 1939. Dona Mae, at the age of three, was sent to a boarding school at this time, for over a year until Ted married Thelma Dorthea Knapp and she got to go home with her new mommy, daddy and older brother.
Dona Mae completed her education in southern California, attending University High School but, graduating from Santa Monica High class of 1954. During high school she worked at the Santa Monica Hospital, meeting her lifelong treasured friend, Isabel Barks, with whom she shared a birth date and a most precious friendship. There she noticed a handsome orderly as well. She would tell the story of how she would quickly eat her lunch, and then go outside peering through window waiting for him. After he finished his lunch, she would race inside and down the hall just in time to intercept him coming out of the cafeteria. Young love blossomed and in May of 1955 Dona Mae married Donald James Weldon, becoming the proud wife of a US Navy sailor. To this union two children were born; Michael Dean in 1956 and Rebecca Suzanne in 1960. As is often the case with young love, this relationship ended but, not before moving north into the southern Bay Area of California.
Dona Mae began her venture into single-parenting down the street from one who would become one of her two, most favorite friends of all her life, Liz (Fuentes) Fultz. Liz had a single, good–looking brother, Donald Frank Fuentes who soon became Dona’s 2nd husband in April of 1964. This union was blessed with another daughter in November of 1968, Diana Christine. They enjoyed 37 years together of laughter, family gatherings, car business ventures, nice homes, and the raising of two daughters in Campbell, California near to both of their parents and all of Don’s siblings and their families. After the daughters were grown and gone, business ventures caused a move to Elko, NV in 1991, where they began a new life near the base of the beautiful Ruby Mountain Range. Although hating to leave California they both quickly grew to enjoy their new life. Donald passed away, very suddenly, in October of 2001.
Dona Mae had a passion for our language and words; she had a voracious appetite for writing letters, reading, crossword puzzles-in ink, and the game of scrabble in which she could be a ruthless competitor. Dona was blessed again with ‘young love’ at the age of 67 when she met and married Dean Harold Mitchell in April of 2003. She had met her match in scrabble, in wittiness and an appreciation of Hollywood’s old movies. Dean and Dona Mae spent almost ten years together sharing laughter, wits, and game playing. Suffering a stroke in August of 2011, her health continued to decline until Dona Mae went to be with her precious Lord Jesus, on the first day of spring, March 20th 2013, in Elko Nevada. Dona Mae spent the last couple years of her stepmother’s life writing about her wonderful memories of her growing up years, to Thelma and thanking her. This was not only lovely and compassionate; this was an act of great forgiveness. Dona was always able to search for joy, the good in people and life no matter what happened to her…this light will be missed.
Grateful for having shared her life are her husband Dean Mitchell of Elko NV, her children; Michael (Peggy) Weldon of Lancaster OH, Rebecca (Rocky) Williams of Philip SD and Diana Fuentes of Reno NV; six grandchildren; Jeremiah Adkins, Amber (Ron) Eaton, Joshua (Tiffany) Weldon all of Lancaster OH; Joshua (Jamie) Williams, Jonathan (Carrie) Williams, Lacy Williams all of Rapid City, SD and eleven great-grandchildren; her brother Carl (Marie) England of Vallejo, CA, and sister-in-law Lotty Fuentes of Redwood City, CA and a host of nieces and nephews.
Dona Mae was preceded in death by her parents, her step-parents, her husband Donald Fuentes, sister-in-law Liz Jones, a nephew Doug Fultz, and brother-in-law, Joe Fuentes.
Per her request, she was cremated. Memorial services are pending with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.