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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Mary Kay Mitchell, 82, Quintessential Hostess and Party-planning Extraordinaire

Mary Kay Mitchell
Mary Kay Mitchell

WILLIAMSBURG — Mary Kay Mitchell, 82, was born May 7, 1939, in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and died peacefully Monday, Aug. 2, 2021, from lung cancer.

Mary Kay fell in love with Jim Mitchell from Milwaukee, Wis., in 1959, and they were married for over 60 years. They raised five children, Patricia (Marty Benn), Sandy (Ronnie Downing), Kelly (Jim Salley), Katie (Alex Locadia) and Jimmy (Meredith). They moved to South Orange, N.J., in 1970, where they resided for over 40 years and retired to Williamsburg in 2008.

Mary Kay was dedicated to her children and loved community. Naturally artistic and industrious; she often sewed, read history and fiction, refinished furniture, renovated interiors, and created various crafts. She donated endless hours of her time to activities, such as the girl scouts, makeup and costume designer for school plays and sports fundraising. As a member of the South Orange Historical and Preservation Society, she was honored for pioneering research that uncovered the historical significance of the Old Stone House located in South Orange. A quintessential hostess, she was well known for her outsized annual parties (Easter egg hunt and July 4th celebrations), where she welcomed everyone.

Mary Kay was outspoken, incredibly generous, a dear and loyal friend, and inclined to consider others before herself. Her 11 grandchildren, Marshall Fogle, Mitchell Downing (Kate), Bailey Fogle, Cassie Downing, Gracie Jo Benn, Madison Fogle, Emma Mae Mitchell, Qing Shuang Downing, R.J. Benn, Quinn Downing and Sidda Mitchell, will attest to her heartfelt selflessness. In the addition to being in her eternal home with Jesus Christ, our Savior, she will be joining her mother and father, Emma and Warren Robarge; sister, Roxanne; and brother, William. She will be deeply missed by friends and family.

Services will be held Saturday, Aug. 21, at Saint Olaf Catholic Church, 104 Norge Lane, Williamsburg, with a viewing at 10 a.m. and funeral Mass beginning at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to or charity of your choice.

Share online condolences with the family at Bucktrout of Williamsburg Funeral Service.

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