Stanley J. Mitchell, 99, of Olympia died Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004, at Mother Joseph Care Center in Olympia.

Stanley J. Mitchell was born almost 100 years ago on July 2, 1904 in Yakima, to Joseph J. and Josie C. Mitchell. In the fall of 1904 the family bought 20 acres of sagebrush-covered farmland seven miles west of Sunnyside. How the family prospered in such difficult conditions is another story. Stanley’s siblings included brothers, Carroll, born in 1902, Theron “Dick”, born in 1907, followed by sisters, Alma and Lola in 1909 and 1911. As more settlers moved into Sunnyside and the surrounding areas, schools were built.

Stanley graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1922. World War I had begun in 1914, and he joined the U.S. Navy. After his Navy discharge, Stanley met Bertha Lauth, the girl of his dreams, and they married on Sept. 5, 1926. The couple moved to Oregon City, Ore. to establish their home. It was Bertha, an elementary school teacher, who encouraged and helped Stanley to study for a law degree, which he earned at what is now the Law School of Lewis and Clark University. He opened his law office in Oregon City. Stanley was elected to serve as district attorney in Clackamas County, Oregon for eight years. Later, he served as a judge in Florence, Ore. He was active in the law profession for 30 years.

Stanley and Bertha were married 74 Ω years. Bertha died April 1, 2001.

Stanley and Bertha moved to Merrill Gardens in Lacey in 1997, where they developed many close friendships with the guests and staff. Recently, Stanley and Virginia Mouer, also a resident at Merrill Gardens, met and announced their love for each other. “Virgie” is just as sweet and dear as my mother always was.” They did not marry but shared a wonderful, caring relationship. Stanley moved from Merrill Gardens to Mother Joseph Care Center in Olympia just six days before he died. His death, as well as his life, reflected his faith in his Savior, Jesus Christ.

Stanley and his wife had two children for whom they were wonderful role models, Stanley Joseph II of San Antonio and Myra Richards, who lives in Dutton, Mont.; four grandchildren, Nancy, Walter, Claudia and Valerie; and five great-grandchildren. Stanley is also survived by his sisters, Alma Wilson of Lacey and Lola Emel of Seattle; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 21, 2004, at 2:30 p.m. at Olympia-Lacey Church of God, corner of Ruddell Road and Lacey Boulevard, Lacey, WA. Those wishing to honor his memory may contribute to Merrill Gardens or the Olympia-Lacey Church of God.


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