Irene Mary Mitchell, 89, of Saco died September 7, 2018, in Biddeford.
She was born July 28,1929 in Laconia, NH to Roland Mitchell and Rosilda Savard Mitchell.
After graduating from Thornton Academy in1947, she went on to earn her degree at St.Joseph’s College in 1952.
She was a beloved teacher at Biddeford High School from 1952 until1984, then continued as a teacher at Biddeford Adult Education.
Irene was a teacher of the highest caliber, one of those unique people born with an innate ability to reach out and connect with her students in such a powerful way that she changed their lives. For 39 years she made each student whose life she touched, believe in themselves and realize that they could be more, and do more than they ever imagined. Every moment was a teaching moment, though often so subtle that it seemed like just a sharing of information. She often said that she was one person sharing information with her students, but she had hundreds of teachers in the students sitting in her classroom, sharing their thoughts and information with her.
Irene loved music, especially opera. As a youngster, she contemplated a career in music, but instead opted to use her perfect-pitched voice in her local church where she sang for many years along side her good friend, Grace Kerry. She was well versed in the arts and literature and bi-lingual as well.
Irene was a good athlete and great coach. As a basketball coach her teams and individual players won many outstanding awards. She played tennis, racquetball and bowled; she was an avid biker and biked many miles, once to North Conway and back. She earned a presidential fitness award for her biking. In later years, she began walking, and often when in Florida walked two to 3 miles each day. She especially loved to watch tennis and golf matches, even attended Wimbledon twice.
Irene loved to travel, learn new things and meet new people. She traveled to Europe many times; she lived in Ireland one summer and attended the University of Galway. On her latest trip she spent a month in Australia and New Zealand where she kept up a hectic pace and made fast friends with her new travel mates.
She loved parties and dancing and was often spearheading a gala affair for her friends and fellow teachers! Most of all, Irene loved her family, friends, and people from all walks of life - unconditionally. She always saw the best in everyone.
Irene is predeceased by her father, Roland Mitchell; her mother and step-father Rosilda and Percy Gowen; her brother Ronny Mitchell; a nephew, Brian Cunningham; and a niece, Karen Mitchell. She is survived by her sister Lucille Duross of Saco, her brother Richard Mitchell and wife Sally of McCormick, S.C., her brother Robert Gowen of Kennebunk, her close friend Anita Findlen of Bradenton, FL, 11 nieces and nephews, and many grandnieces and grandnephews
Mass of Christian Burial, 11:00 AM, Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Most Holy Trinity Church, 271 Main St., Saco. Arrangements Old Orchard Beach Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Wardwell Scholarship are gratefully accepted.
MITCHELL, IRENE M., 89, of Saco died September 7, 2018, in Biddeford. Mass of Christian Burial, 11:00 AM, Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Most Holy Trinity Church, 271 Main St., Saco. Arrangements Old Orchard Beach Funeral Home.