Obituaries

Betty Ellen Merrifield Mitchell

Photo of Betty Ellen Merrifield Mitchell
Betty Ellen Merrifield Mitchell, wife of Billy G. Mitchell, died at her home in Helena on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010. Born to Godfrey and Bernice (Bunny) Wade Merrifield on Aug. 9, 1933 in Helena, she attended Helena public schools, graduating from Central High School in 1951. She was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church where she was director of the Youth Choir and a Choir member for a number of years. She organized the needlepoint kneelers guild at St. Johns, making possible the creation of uniquely creative needlepoint works of art for each of the kneelers in the sanctuary. She passed on her creative spirit when she taught both kindergarten and piano lessons. As a member of the Phillips County Historical Museum Board, she created a docent program to introduce school children to the many fascinating collections in the Phillips County Historical Museum. She and her husband were active in other local organizations and supported many projects including the Mitchell Science Annex School of Nursing. Betty had a lifelong interest in photography and travel. She and her husband divided their time between Helena and a home in Florida where she was a volunteer docent at the Polk County Museum of Art. Betty loved to entertain and was a gourmet cook. Her home was always open to her family and friends, who will miss her loving and generous heart. Survivors include her husband, Billy; sons: Edward F. Brown (Leslie), Gainesville, Fla.; Sheldon F. Brown (Billye), Germantown, Tenn.; Kevin W. Brown (Kaye), Brandon, Fla.; stepchildren: David A. Mitchell (Lynda), Mandeville, La.; Joseph S. Mitchell, Helena, Ark.; Brenda J. Saunders (Ken), Maumelle, Ark.; and Timothy H. Mitchell, Pittsburg, Pa. Grandchildren: Austin Brown, Blair Brown, Jason Brown, David Mitchell, Brady Bratcher, Jenna Bratcher, Tim Mitchell, Kim Mitchell and several great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. The family is eternally grateful to Melody Rodgers, Betty's Hospice nurse, who cared lovingly for her. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice, Arkansas Department of Health, Area IX, P.O. Box 788 Forrest City, Ark., 72396; St. John's Episcopal Church, 625 Pecan St., Helena, Ark., 72342; or a charity of your choice.

Published November 26, 2010

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