Surrounded by the love of his family, Don passed away peacefully at the North Bay Regional Health Centre on September 23, 2023. Don was in his 86th year. He was the beloved husband and constant companion of Mary (nee Bavington), loving father of Wendy (Peter), Wanda (Jorge) and Mark (Lisa) and cherished and proud grandfather of Jennifer (Adam), Danica, Gary (Catherine), Jordan (Camille), Bianca, Tanya, Zachary, and Elisabeth.
Donald Mervin Mitchell was born June 5, 1938, in Blind River, Ontario to Gwen and Earl Mitchell. Don and his five siblings, Ellwood, Gary, Earline, Max, and Sharon grew up in Spanish, Ontario. Don was involved in the family trucking business during the development of Elliot Lake and helped with the operation of Mitchells’ Tourist Camp.
Don attended Graceland College (now known as Graceland University) in Lamoni, Iowa where he received his Bachelor of Education degree. He later earned his Master of International Education and Guidance Counselling from Michigan State University. It was at Graceland where Don began his love story with Mary.
Don and Mary were married on June 4, 1960, in Woodbridge, Ontario. That summer they both worked at the John Island YMCA Camp. Mary worked in the kitchen and Don put his expertise to work as head of maintenance. He continued to support and share his skills with John Island Camp for the rest of his life.
A teacher to many, Don worked for 25 years for the Nipissing Board of Education (now known as the Near North District School Board). Don was in charge of a boarding home program for Indigenous students who came to North Bay to attend high school. In 1965-67, with Mary and a young family in tow, Don was principal and taught in the Indigenous communities of Waskaganish and Chisasibi on the shores of James Bay in Northern Quebec. An educator at heart, Don generously shared his knowledge, skills, and time with everyone he met throughout his lifetime.
Don’s passions and expertise extended to his volunteer work. He and Mary worked on several Habitat for Humanity builds in Florida, Kansas City, and Texas. They both also worked together with a charity called World Accord to build schools and homes in Honduras and El Salvador. With his many skills, Don contributed to the beginnings of Camp Noronto, a Community of Christ campground in Monetville, Ontario. Once Noronto was established Don helped his friends operate Indigenous Cultural Camps on the grounds. He also spent many hours at work camps helping with the maintenance of the camp.
Don and Mary traveled to many places in their more than 63 years together. On their 25th wedding anniversary they traveled to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands visiting friends and exploring. Don and Mary shared a love of birding and over the years they have followed the flocks to Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, and Mexico as well as to several places in Texas and Florida. They have enjoyed visiting many U.S. States, including Alaska, as well as Australia and New Zealand. In retirement Don and Mary spent several winters in Pharr, South Texas at the Tip O Texas RV Resort where they enjoyed the warm weather. Don could often be found in the woodshop in Pharr creating works of art, teaching lathe work or planning and completing machinery repair and maintenance.
In 1972 Don and Mary took over the Mitchells’ Camp business and operated the camp every summer until the fall of 2018. They entertained many tourists and have wonderful friends and memories of those years. Don was an expert in the operation of boats and in the navigation of the North Channel of Lake Huron. In 2015 Don became the captain of the Gwennie. He would find every opportunity to rally up a crew for a tour on the Gwennie. He loved sharing the awesome beauty of the North Channel, especially the Benjamin Islands. Don was the happiest in one of his many shops or on the water with family and friends.
Don was a faithful member of the Community of Christ. He was ordained as a priest at Graceland University by Dr. Roy Cheville and later ordained and served as an elder.
Our family is grateful for the care Don received at NBRHC from the staff on A3 and C3, and Dr. Senior, Dr Leckie, Dr. Tuomi and medical student Natalie Hynes. We would also like to thank Dr. Ravi, Dr. Marras, and Home Care for their compassionate care over the years.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at Martyn Funeral Home at 1:30pm. Live streaming will be available through the link below:
A graveside service will take place in 2024 at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Spanish, Ontario.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to World Accord or Camp Noronto in memory of Don Mitchell. https://worldaccord.org/30022-2/
Donations to Camp Noronto may be made by cheque or by Interac e-transfer.
All cheques for Camp Noronto should be made out to Camp Noronto.
Mail cheques to:
7 Thorndyke Crescent
Brooklin, ON L1M 1G5
By Interac e-transfer:
Send e-transfer payment to:
Name: Camp Noronto
Email for e-transfer payment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Include “Donation” in message with e-transfer or by email to above address.
A celebration of life service will be held for Wallace B. Smith, president emeritus of Community of Christ.
Sunday, 8 October 2023
2:00 p.m. CST
(find your time zone)
Doors open at 1:00 p.m. CST
Community of Christ Temple
201 South River Blvd.
Independence, Missouri, USA
Streamed live on YouTube.
Click to read the obituary.
Beyond the Walls – All Are Called
Beyond the Walls is embarking on a nine-week series exploring Community of Christ’s Enduring Principles. In this first Enduring Principles Sunday, Wednesday Jones speaks about our testimony that “All Are Called.” God graciously gives people gifts and opportunities to do good, and Jesus Christ invites us to find joy in our lives by expressing our giftedness by becoming disciples who share his life and ministry. As disciples, we respond faithfully, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to our best understanding of God’s call in our lives. We will share communion 🍞🍇 with all those participating live from around the world. 🌏
Beyond the Walls – All Are Called. Worship with the Beyond the Walls community on Facebook or YouTube:
📅 Sunday, October 1st, 2023.
⏰12:00 PM or 6:00 PM EDT.
ORDER OF WORSHIP
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: ONE LICENSE LICENSING PERMISSION: REPRINTED / PODCAST / STREAMED WITH PERMISSION UNDER ONE LICENSE A-739874. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Beyond the Walls is an online worship service offering live ministry from locations around the world. Our global congregation meets every Sunday at 12:00 pm EDT / 11:00 am CDT / 10:00 am MDT / 9:00 am PDT. All are welcome at this inclusive church service.
Scarborough Congregation - every Thursday at 7:00 p.m.via Zoom. Contact Linda Armstrong for Zoom details. In-person worship monthly. October 1, ordination of Arland Wicksey to the office of Priest.
SLIM (Sharing Love in Mission) - 1:45 p.m. Presiders Shone and Paula will include testimonies on the theme "God is at Work" as well as a communion video message by Midlands Mission Young Adult Minister Jenny Lowndees entitled, "That All May Feast". Contact Don Robb for Zoom info.
Other Online Ministries are available from many varied places for you to connect with.
We are hoping to repair the back exterior wall of our WWII era quonset hut (dining hall/meeting hall/worship space). We are in need of professionals to do an initial assessment, as well as to make a plan for the repairs. We are also in need of any and all able bodied people to help us do the repairs, ideally this fall in order to prevent further water damage from our harsh Ottawa Valley winters!
Those willing to help can contact Stephen Griffin at email@example.com or Wanda White at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpers will have full access to our luxurious shower house and heavenly grounds for your camping enjoyment. Accommodation in trailers is potential.
To the Members of Canada East Mission,
We would like to clarify regarding discussions that are occurring in congregations. Dialogue and discernment have been ongoing in many congregations over the past 18 months. Common challenges are aging and declining membership, accessibility issues of old buildings, leadership challenges, and financial or human resource limitations impacting the ongoing maintenance requirements of church facilities.
Our situation is not unique, as churches throughout north America are dealing with the same challenges as we are experiencing. We are going through a metamorphosis...
Nora “Colleen” Manning (Née Brown)
July 30, 1929 – Sept. 3, 2023
It is with deep sadness, that the family of Colleen Manning announces her passing at the age of 94 years.
Colleen was diagnosed with cancer and for several months courageously and with grace, continued to bring joy, and positivity to the many people who surrounded her with love and care.
Colleen came from humble beginnings. She was born on Manitoulin Island a middle child of seven. “Midge” in the middle was quiet, yet strong and resilient. Although times could be difficult, Colleen found satisfaction in the present, never looking for more and always grateful for whatever she had. Over the years, she provided support for her family, helping care for her siblings and the extended family's children, leaving a positive, loving, indelible imprint on so many.
In her youth, Colleen worked at many jobs eventually leaving the Manitoulin, never forgetting her roots. She eventually moved to Toronto and worked for several years for Bell Canada. She met many lifelong friends and while attending church, she met her loving husband, Murray. Colleen and Murray settled in Oakville. Their home was a bustle of family activity. They welcomed anyone who dropped by for a quick visit or longer stay. There was often just a wee bit of everything left over in the stove-top saucepans just in case an unexpected hungry visitor stopped in. Murray and Colleen were married for over 40 years before Murray’s sudden passing at the age of 65. They proudly raised two daughters Leslie (Brian) and Tracy (Lloyd) and welcomed 4 grandchildren, Zachary, Scott, Keira, and Leah (and partners). She loved her family. She enjoyed family trips and get-togethers. Hours were spent on the phone chatting and laughing. Sharing words of encouragement and cheering successes.
Resilience and deep faith carried Colleen through much of her life. She was a devoted life-long member of the Community of Christ Church. As an ordained Priest, she provided support and ministry to many. She was a good and kind listener, giving sound and thoughtful advice. To raise much-needed funds she hosted pie-making events for World Accord. Apples, pastry, and many friends filled her small kitchen to the brim with love and laughter. No one could make a better apple pie than Colleen.
Colleen was an avid gardener and environmentalist, always considerate of protecting our planet never using more than necessary. She loved all animals and supported animal welfare. She had fond memories of childhood ponies Pat and Peggy. She loved her dogs, cats, and any other little critter her daughters may have brought home. She had a wonderful warm sense of humour and endless gratitude for everyone around her. Colleen was fiercely independent. She was pragmatic and level-headed when she made decisions and at the age of 86, she decided to move to Orangeville to be close to her sister Alberta and her late-brother-in-law Don. She was welcomed by many friends, neighbours, and the Grand Valley Community of Christ congregation.
Colleen has left a huge void in the lives of her many friends and family members. She was a wonderful, loving supportive Mom and will be forever missed. Her grandchildren have lost their cherished Grams with whom they shared a never-ending bond of love and friendship. Her only remaining sister Alberta deeply misses her.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the many people who formed the supportive “village” that helped us through this difficult time. Dr. Carol Mills for her attentive care and compassion. Her visits and phone calls are greatly appreciated. Many thanks to Sue and the Bayshore nursing team who brought so much joy through their many visits. To the PSWs, kind neighbours, the church community, and all the family and friends who lent support - thank you. Finally, to the staff and volunteers at Bethell House, your kindness will always be remembered. You shared so much love and provided exceptional care. We will be forever grateful.
Online condolences may be made at www.imfunerals.com
In Memoriam Funeral Services Inc. has been given the honour to serve the Manning Family.
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community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537