At the age of 18 months, Dee was baptized into the United Methodist Church. She spent her life in the church, singing in the choir, teaching VBS songs, chaperoning youth groups, and traveling with UMW. Singing was her passion; singing for Cattlemen’s banquets, community choral groups, weddings, and funerals. After moving to New Mexico, she helped with Shuler theatrical productions, singing on stage, and in the choral box. Dee spent many hours with her sister-in-law, Dolores Park, researching the family genealogy, traveling many miles, walking cemeteries and visiting county court houses to find the stories of the family. Dee was a master seamstress, learning to sew at an early age. Her quilts were masterpieces, examples of a lost art. As the years progressed so did her beloved collection of rocks, artwork, and flowerbeds, each holding a memory and a story.
Dee is survived by her daughters and husbands, Jonnie and Ed Warnken of Texas, Mary B. Mitchell-Ellis and Rob Ellis of Des Moines, New Mexico, and Kay Mitchell-Medina and Lonny Medina of Raton; niece and husband Tracy Ann and John Deniz of Green Forest, Arkansas; stepchildren Cassie Jane Goodwin and Dana Haynes; grandchildren Jeremy, David, JoVeta, Jonathan, Mary, James, Rebecca, Erica, Ila Raine and Lijah; and 12 great grandchildren.
Dee was preceded in death by her mother and father, James Eddie (Jim) and Veta Park, brother and sister-in-law, Dick and Dolores Park, and son, James Dee (Scooter) Mitchell.
Memorial service will be held at Yocum Cemetery, County Road 625, Oak Grove, AR 72660. Date and time are pending. Memorial donations may be made to Yocum Cemetery Fund, 8111 Highway 103 North, Green Forest, AR 72638.
Arrangements and celebration of love for Ila Dee Mitchell are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton, New Mexico.