June 23, 1933 – September 4, 2020
Stew was born on June 23rd, 1933 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, the son of Montague and Mildred Mitchell. It is with great sadness that we announce his death on September 4th, 2020 at the Pleasant Valley Manor in Armstrong, B.C. at the age of 87 years.
Stew was a proud resident of Vernon having arrived here with his wife Joyce and their growing family in 1959. He managed the Woolworth’s store on Main Street until 1970 when he was transferred to Lethbridge, Alberta. The family’s desire to return to Vernon resulted in Stew purchasing the first suitable business to become available – The Credit Bureau of Vernon – in 1972. He co-owned and grew this business over the next several years until taking an early retirement with Joyce.
Stew was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was generous to a fault, but also known to love a good bargain. He was especially generous with his smile and kind greetings to all he met. He freely shared his time, constantly nurturing his relationship with the community of Vernon, a place he loved. This nurturing spanned from those kind words on the street to his tireless work in the community. Some of these community activities included:
* being instrumental in establishing and running the Pee Wee Invitational Hockey Tournament in the Vernon Winter Carnival, for which he twice won “The Rienie Holland Service Award”.
* refereeing for Vernon Minor Hockey for many years and sharing his knowledge by training many young referees.
* holding membership in the Lions and Rotary Clubs at various times.
* being a Trustee on the Board of Noric House Long Term Care Home from 1985-1997.
* his proud membership in the Okanagan Woodturners Guild.
* reporting to his post at the Community Policing Office long after it was easy for him to walk the length of Main Street from his home.
* and attending with Joyce at Trinity United Church where he enjoyed the social activities and as Joyce once said, “he loved to sing”. He met with the Men’s Group, produced huge meals with the members of the church to feed various groups, and always lent a hand when needed.
Stew was an especially social man. “The more the merrier” was always his feeling. Give him a few people to talk to – family, friend or stranger – and he was at his happiest. Only if there was dancing could he be happier. This brings me to something that concerns not only Stew but all seniors. We knew before being able to finally visit him at Pleasant Valley Manor, that he was in the hands of many caring, competent and loving professionals. We’ve learned since he passed away just how loved and cared for he was by some of the staff that have shared with us their feelings for Stew. They did all they could within the important current health guidelines that are designed to keep seniors, their loved ones and the staff safe. If Stew could have foreseen being shut away from visits with friends and loved ones, it would have seemed the worst way to spend his final days. We need to find a way so that it is not a choice between dying early from loneliness or dying early from a virus.
Stew was a wonderful man who will be profoundly missed by his friends; his four children, Debbie (Mike Carroll), Jay (Stephanie Saville), Monty and Traci (Chuck Bannister); two grandchildren, Cheth and Amy (Nat Zalinksi); one brother and one sister, Barney Mitchell and Ruth Martens. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Joyce and one sister, Betty Rammel.
In respecting Stew’s wishes, he was cremated and a private family gathering will be held when Stew is placed next to Joyce in the Trinity United Church Memorial Garden. As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to do so may donations in memory of Stew to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, 2101-32nd Street, Vernon, B.C. V1T 5L2 or to the charity of your choice.
Cremation arrangements were made with
Bethel Funeral Chapel Ltd.,
5605-27th Street, Vernon, B.C. V1T 8Z5
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