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Johnnie Mitchell

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Johnnie Mitchell Obituary
Mitchell, Deaconess Johnnie Ethel Miller Was the fifth of six children born from the marital union of John and Gracie Hudson Miller in Harris County, Georgia on December 29. Her parents uniquely named her after her father and a special aunt who she never had the opportunity to meet. At an early age, she professed her faith in Jesus Christ and united with Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Hamilton, Georgia. Eventually her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she graduated from high school. As a child, Deaconess Mitchell knew that she wanted to become a nurse because of her love for people, especially infants. After graduating from high school, she attended nursing school for training. She served as a private duty nurse for 52 years with assignments in Illinois and Georgia. Her giftedness with nurturing babies, raising children, cooking scrumptious meals, and caring for the sick opened many doors for her and she was in popular demand throughout her career. She was blessed to nurse and nurture three generations of children from the same family. Mrs. Mitchell took care of more than 1,000 infants during her career. On September 14, 1961 she married the love of her life, Deacon Nathaniel Mitchell, and they were united in holy matrimony for 37 years until his passing in 1998. They moved to Illinois in 1952 and were longtime residents of Glencoe. They joined Second Baptist Church of Evanston in 1952 and Mrs. Mitchell eventually was selected to serve on the Deaconess Board under the leadership of the late Deaconess Viola Balderus. She was especially proud of her esteemed friend and mentor, Deaconess Balderus, who trained her on the important role and responsibility of the deaconess in the church. Mrs. Mitchell was committed to this ministry and for years she faithfully served in many capacities including preparing communion for bereaved families and washing the baptism towels and robes keeping them fresh and white as snow. She was also a member and president of the Flower Club. Deaconess Mitchell and Deacon Mitchell blossomed together as they served their church. Following worship on the first Sundays, they would faithfully share the love and hope of Jesus Christ by ministering to the sick and shut in sharing Holy Communion, praying mightily for their care and concern, reading scripture, and singing the old songs of Zion. Mrs. Mitchell had a great sense of humor and loved telling stories. She loved to cook and was a much sought after baker famous for her pineapple upside down cake. She loved flowers and always kept a beautiful garden just as her husband, "Deac" did. Preceding her homegoing were her two children: daughter, Ethel Lee Thornton and son, James Thornton, Jr. Deaconess Mitchell leaves to honor and cherish her memory a host of family, friends, and neighbors: granddaughter, Vanessa Harper and great-grandson, Darryl Thornton; goddaughter, Helen Pettway; god-granddaughter, Melanie Pettway; good friends, Joan Howlett, Betty Dishmon, Judi Flink, Ethel Thompson, Julie Potter, DeLois and Chester Scott, Sue Reising and family, Nancy and Steven Nemerovski, Grace Pickens, Donald Pettway, Cathy Harris, Winston Shelby; and a host of nieces and nephews, one devoted great-niece, Carolina Mincey. Service and interment held in Hamilton, GA. Memorials to 2nd Baptist Church of Evanston, 1717 Benson, Evanston, IL 60201 appreciated. Arrangements by Simkins Funeral Home.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Dec. 3, 2017
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