Mary Kay Mitchell

August 2, 2021
Mary Kay Mitchell

Mary Kay Mitchell was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on May 7, 1939 and died peacefully on August 2, 2021 in Williamsburg, Virginia at 82 years of age from lung cancer. Mary Kay fell in love with Jim Mitchell from Milwaukee, Wisconsin 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, New Jersey in 1970 where they resided for over 40 years and retired to Williamsburg, Virginia 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, RJ 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. In lieu of flowers please send donations to or a charity of your choice.

Services will be held at Saint Olaf Catholic Church (104 Norge Lane, Williamsburg, VA 23188) on August 21, 2021, with a viewing at 10am and funeral mass beginning at 11am.

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  • August 07, 2021
    Michael C. Banks says:
    Mr. Mitchell, Jimmy, Patti, Sandy, Kelly, and Katie, I am sorry for your loss. Since 1976 when I moved to South Orange and I visited the “Mitchell Mansion”, your mother greeted me with warmth and love. She treated me like her own child and I felt like part of the family. I will always love her and I will miss her dearly. I am so grateful that she and your family is a part of my life. I am a better person for it.

  • August 07, 2021
    Tim and Louise Runyan says:
    Jim the entire Mitchell family. We've had the honor and pleasure to have known Mary Kay for 13 years. From the first time we met Mary Kay, at the Mitchell home in Williamsburg, we knew we were in for a wonderful experience. The wonderful experience never failed, from Mary Kay's life knowledge to her motherly and grandmotherly catering to the family. Our hearts ache for your loss and share in the desire to hear and see her one more time.

  • August 07, 2021
    Gay Myers says:
    I met Mary Kay and Jim when I moved to Williamsburg in 2009. They were an integral part of our BYOB group and added so much to our gatherings. Mary Kay was so warm, so friendly, so considerate and kind and so fun to be with. She was devoted to her family and grandkids and often filled us in with their latest antics, happenings and milestones. Mary Kay was a thoroughly genuine person, always ready to help in any way and could laugh at herself despite her ongong health issues. She was the real deal and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

  • August 07, 2021
    Lou & Carla Capuano says:
    This is a beautiful tribute to a remarkable woman we loved dearly. It was a privilege to be her friend and share in her love, which was boundless. We cherish the memories we have of her, of the wonderful times we spent together with her and Jim, and all the fun we shared we all of our friends here in Williamsburg. Our love and sympathy to Jim, all their family, and to all who shared the blessing of MaryKay.

  • August 08, 2021
    Marilyn and Mike Olimpi says:
    This picture of Mary Kay is priceless. The warmth and humor she always shared radiates in this picture. Mike and I have been so fortunate to have been friends with Mary Kay and Jim during our years in Williamsburg. It's been such a comfort knowing these two genuine, down-to-earth people. Mary Kay has taught me about family first, inner strength, and selfless purpose. Needless to say, she will be missed more than words can say. Our heart aches for Jim and the family. But I know her heavenly spirit will always be with them.