Our beloved mother, grandmother, friend and teacher, Irene June Sidwell Mitchell, passed away peacefully at her home on July 24, 2022, surrounded by loving family members. She was dearly loved by her posterity, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Irene was born on June 3, 1925, to Stella Bates and Leonard Wilford Sidwell. She attended South High School where she was a member of the yearbook staff. She was devoted in helping her father take care of her mother and two younger siblings while her mother suffered with cancer. After her mother passed away at age 43, Irene continued to help care for her brother and sister. Irene graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education and English.
Irene was married to Shirl Vaughn Mitchell on November 23, 1949, and they raised six children together (divorced in 1982). Irene taught her children the values of responsibility, doing their best in school, working together, and having fun together. Irene wrote poetry and short stories and loved reading. She encouraged her children to develop a love of reading and gave excellent feedback to help with their writing assignments. Irene was an excellent, dedicated English teacher for over 25 years. After 18 years of teaching English at Olympus High School, the Granite School District gave her an award for outstanding leadership demonstrated by initiative, ability and influence on others.
Some of the callings that she served in for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were director of the ward road show, primary teacher, relief society teacher and ward librarian. She was always helpful when members in her wards needed her and kind to people who were having difficulties. Irene was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and loved reading histories and stories about her ancestors. Attending family reunions, going on vacations and walking around Silver Lake with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were activities that brought her great joy. She loved reading stories to her grandchildren when they came to stay with her overnight. Irene took excellent care of her physical well-being by eating healthily, swimming, and sunset walks. During her retirement years she loved listening to the Tabernacle Choir every Sunday and hearing her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren sing and play instruments.
Irene is survived by her daughters, Kayleen Hill, Lisa (Tom) Holbrook, sons, Brian Mitchell and Tim (Barbara) Mitchell, and son-in-law, Scott (Sheri) Dean. She is also survived by her sister, Ruth Sidwell Duke, brother, Richard Sidwell, brother-in-law, Leland Gygi, 34 grandchildren and 68 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two of her children, Laurie Ellen Dean, and Kevin James Mitchell, her great granddaughter, Kate Holbrook and great grandson, Tovin Pratt. She is also preceded in death by her brother, Robert Sidwell, sister-in-law, Blanche Sidwell, sister, Betty Gene Henderson, brother-in-law, Ralph K. Henderson, sister, Karen Gygi, sister, Catherine Alberta Joseph, sister-in-law, Ruth Sidwell , and brother-in-law, James Taylor Duke.
We are grateful to Kayleen Hill for her dedication and devotion in caring for and managing Mom’s daily needs during the past 5 years. We are grateful to Kevin Mitchell for driving Mom to her appointments, taking her shopping and taking care of her yard when she was in her late 80’s and ages 90 to 91. We are very thankful for the thoughtfulness of everyone who visited Irene, brought her food, and helped take care of her yard and home. We appreciate the care given to Mom by Bristol Hospice CNA’s, nurses and chaplain during the last ten months of her life. Irene’s funeral will be held at the Butler 10th Ward on 6634 South Greenfield Way Cottonwood Heights Utah 84121 on Saturday, August 6, 2022, at 11:30 am. There will be a viewing for family and friends from 10:00 am to 11:15 am at the same location. Irene will be buried in Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park at 3401 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84106.