Joann Lee Mitchell January 24, 1932 February 17, 2023 On Feb. 17, Joann Lee Mitchell died peacefully at home. She has been a resident of Santa Rosa, California, for more than 60 years. She is survived by her husband, a daughter and son-in-law of Huntington Beach, California, plus cherished friends. Born in Utah, Joann graduated from Uintah High School. She continued her education at University of Utah, majoring in English. She received a Master's degree in history from Sonoma State University, graduating with High Honors. She was inducted into the honorary Phi Alpha Theta due to "attainments and scholarship in the field of history." She held a California teaching credential in history. While at Uintah High School, Joann served as President of the Pep Club and Vice President of the student body and was chosen Miss Uintah in her Senior Year. She enjoyed attending Utah Girls State, loved music and reading. She always remembered her "Vagabond" friends from high school and enjoyed attending many reunions to catch up on fond memories. An advocate of history and education, Joann co-authored and co-published the book, "Santa Rosa, a 19th Century Town" with Gaye LeBaron and Dee Blackman, plus she and Gaye were co-authors of "Santa Rosa, a 20th Century Town" For these books and their contribution to local history, the authors were awarded with a Certificate of Merit by the City of Santa Rosa. Joann was honored by the Sonoma County Historical Society with the "Editor's Award for Historical Scholarship" in 1994 and their "Individual Award" in 2004; both awards were for her contribution to history. Also, she received the Historical Society's Campbell Menifee Scholastic Award. In 1994, the Sonoma County Museum presented her with their Annual Foundation Award for "her continuous contributions for an appreciation of Sonoma County's past and future." Due to her interest in education, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) offered a gift to the Fellowships Program in her name. Always involved in education, Joann was elected to the Bennett Valley School Board for eight years, three years as President. Previously, she had been President of Bennett Valley Parents Club. During her tenure as a Trustee, she was on the Board of the Sonoma County Trustees Association, serving as President of that organization. She was elected to the Sonoma County Committee on School District Organization for nine years and was Chairperson for two years. She volunteered in the school classrooms for many years and was Assistant Leader in her daughter's Girl Scout troop. Through her interest in the history of our region, Joann was the first woman to be appointed to the Sonoma County Landmarks Commission and maintained her position for 27 years. Appointed by five different Supervisors from District #1, this may have been a record in volunteer service for the County of Sonoma. For eight years, she was a Trustee for the Sonoma County Museum and served on the Board of the Sonoma County Historical Society. In addition to her volunteer work, Joann was employed as Director/Manager of Consumer Credit Counselors for nine years. She also served as President of Newcomers Club, was on the Board of Sonoma Land Trust, a member of the Redwood Garden Club, AAUW, Santa Rosa Hosts and League of Women Voters. She and her husband enjoyed traveling, having the opportunity to visit India, Kenya, Tanzania, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, China, Singapore and Scandinavia amongst other countries. For over 50 years she enjoyed her devoted friends in her Book Group and Bridge Club. Per her wish, no service will be held. Donations may be made to the library of Strawberry School or the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa, CA. Under the direction of Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home.
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