Rebecca Mitchell celebrates 105th birthday

Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Rebecca Mitchell poses for a 105th birthday picture with her children and brother. Pictured are, from left: front -- brother Harold Thompson, Mrs. Mitchell and son Dallas Mitchell. Back -- Julian Mitchell, Elizabeth Warren, John Haskin Mitchell and Ken Mitchell. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

It was a red letter day on Saturday at Monette Manor as family, friends, staff, and residents celebrated Rebecca Mitchell's 105th birthday. The decorations were in her favorite color, red.

Mrs. Mitchell was born on Feb. 8, 1900, and had lived most of her life in the Blytheville/Promised Land area. She lived at home until she was 101. She came to Monette Manor on July 30, 2001, after she had suffered a fall and a broken hip.

"Mrs. Mitchell is up daily and still enjoys attending the activities the nursing home provides," Marla Layne, administrator, said. "She is loved by all the staff."

A large number of family members were able to attend the birthday celebration, including her brother, Harold Thompson, Sr., who is 98.

Mrs. Mitchell is the widow of Roy Mitchell. They married on Christmas Eve 1916. They were farmers and later owned a grocery store. Mr. Mitchell passed away in 1960 at the age of 68.

Mrs. Mitchell has seven children. Her oldest daughter, Mildred Bruski, 87, and lives in Ringold. Her oldest son, Roy Eugene Mitchell, died in 1944 serving in Patton's Army during World War II. Dallas Mitchell, 82, lives in Marmaduke. Elizabeth Warran, 80, lives in Blytheville. John Haskin Mitchell, 78, lives in Blytheville and Julian Haskin, 75, lives in Burdette. Her youngest son, Ken Mitchell, 67, lives in Pittsfild, Ill.

John, Julian, Ken, Elizabeth, and Dallas, along with several of their children and grandchildren, attended the birthday celebration.

Mrs. Mitchell lost one son during World War II and had two others, Dallas and John, that served during WWII.

Mrs. Mitchell has 15 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, 11 great-great-grandchildren and two great-great-great-grandchildren.

Among the younger family members attending were a great-grandson, Tyler Campbell, 12, of Tennessee, and a great-great-grandson, Connor Mosley, 5, of Blytheville who is 100 years younger than Mrs. Mitchell.

"When I think about my mother's life, it is really amazing the things she has seen," John Mitchell said."

Several stories were shared about Mrs. Mitchell's life. The family recalls her memories of a tornado that came through the area during her teenage years. She said they were all huddled in one room. When it was over, the only part of the house still standing was the room they were in. She always said the Lord was looking over them that day.

In 1937 the family rode out a flood. The Mitchell home was on a higher ground than some and they were able to remain at home. They kept a boat tied to the porch of their house. John said that luckily the levee held during the flood. He can remember they would sit on the top of levee and put their feet in the water.

Mrs. Mitchell has always been a devoted Pepsi Cola drinker. Her saying is, "Pepsi Cola hits the spot." Last year she was honored by the Pepsi Cola Company in New York. They sent her a certificate and numerous items of Pepsi memorabilia.

Mrs. Mitchell's son, John, said when his mother was turning 100 in 2000 he told her she was about to turn 100 and she said, "No one lives that long." It is 2005 and she is still celebrating birthdays with family and friends.

Cake and punch were served to the many guests.

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