Mary Ella Mitchell-Bell
October 16, 1928 — November 2, 2020
Mary Ella was born to Victor and Dena Hirsch on October 16, 1928, in Freewater, Oregon. She passed away on November 2, 2020, in Walla Walla. Mary’s family moved to Waitsburg, where she and her sister Patricia grew up, attending both grade school and high school. After high school she attended the University of Washington for one year and then returned to Walla Walla where she worked at Rhoades Music Store in Walla Walla, and that is where she met Sherman R. Mitchell. They moved to Seattle where Sherm was a graduate student in Journalism at the UW. They wed on June 12, 1949, and settled back in Walla Walla, where they had three children: Rebecca, Michael and Timothy. Mary was active in her church at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, as well as PEO and all things family. She had a special group of friends who comprised a “coffee club” which lasted for over 50 years. She was a wonderful wife, mom, friend, cook, gardener, and care giver to Sherm, who tragically died of cancer in March, 1972. Years later, Mary met an old college friend of Sherm’s, William “Bill” Bell, and they married in September, 1994. They enjoyed traveling together and had many mutual friends.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, sister, and husband’s, Sherm and Bill. She led a full and rewarding life up until her last days. She is survived by her three children: daughter Rebecca (Scott) Garske and sons Michael (Liz) and Timothy. She has seven grandchildren: Griffin (Lauren) Garske, Jayme (Brandon) Wichman, Kelsey (Don) Soukup, Kyle (Kaelyn) Mitchell, Ryan (Kaleigh) Mitchell, Tyler Mitchell and Claire Mitchell. She also has 11 great-grandchildren and three step-great grandchildren. After her marriage to Bill Bell, she gained four wonderful stepchildren too: Janet, Mary Lynn, Susie and William, Jr.
Due to Covid-19 services are limited to immediate family. Further celebrations of life are pending. Memorials can be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or the Blue Mountain Humane Society in her name.