Donis Claudene Mitchell 91, passed away on October 9, 2020, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She was born on June 18, 1929, in Scott City, Kansas, and was the eldest daughter of Claude and Thelma Helfrick Hughes.
Donis grew up on the Hughes family farm west of Scott City. She graduated from Scott Community High School in 1947 and from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri in 1949. While a senior in high school, Donis was introduced to Lewis (Mitch) Mitchell at the May Fete, and their courtship began and continued throughout college. They were married on August 13, 1949, and moved to Lawrence where Mitch completed his final semester at KU and Donis worked at Weavers Department Store.
Donis and Mitch returned to Scott City to farm and start their family. They kept very busy with farming and supporting their children’s school and extracurricular activities. Donis was a great cook but an even better baker. She made the best pies and cookies, which she shared with her extended family and church community. Her granddaughter Catie loved to make cakes and cookies with her, and now carries on in her grandmother’s tradition. Donis always planted a garden and shared her produce with neighbors and friends before canning the rest. She lived through the depression and learned frugality at a young age.
Donis was a founding and faithful member of the El Quartelejo Study Club, where she enjoyed participating in plays written by Ruby Rodenbeek. She also was a devoted member of the United Methodist Women, her Circle group, and taught Sunday school for many years. Donis and Mitch formed a monthly bible study group (“The Group”) with several couples with whom they made and deepened life long friendships.
Donis and Mitch were avid Jayhawk basketball fans. Over the years they seldom missed watching a game and attended games in Lawrence, Kansas City, and California cheering on their team. Donis continued to watch KU basketball games after she moved to Rhode Island much to the amusement of her caregivers.
Mitch passed away after 66 years of marriage, and Donis moved to Rhode Island to be near her daughter and son-in-law. She enjoyed seeing the sites in New England and loved frequent visits from her California family to celebrate holidays and milestone birthdays. Donis never lost touch with her community back home in Scott City thanks to the many cards and letters sent by her friends and family. She would read them repeatedly, and always looked forward to the arrival of the Scott County Record and the Methodist church bulletins.
Donis is survived by her three daughters Meredith Mitchell of San Francisco, CA, Melanie, and her husband Stephen Key of Providence, RI, Marci, her husband John Duys of San Anselmo, CA, and her granddaughter Catherine Mitchell Duys of Berkeley, CA. She is also survived by her sister Connie Posl and husband Charles; her brother Bob Hughes and wife Cheryl; her sisters-in-law Charlene Hughes and Betty Ann Hughes; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
She was preceded by her parents, her husband Mitch, her son Marc, her sister Dee Hoeme and brother-in-law Albert Hoeme, and brothers Harold and Calvin (“Butch”) Hughes.
Donis will be laid to rest next to Mitch in a private graveside service in Scott County Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the United Methodist Church or Camp Lakeside.
Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Friday at Price & Sons Funeral Home in Scott City, Kansas.