AP NEWS

Community mourns Kingwood church’s eldest parishioner

April 15, 2019

At 104 years old, Georgia Mitchell was the eldest parishioner of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Kingwood.

Mitchell died in her sleep on Thursday, April 4, about three months shy of her 105th birthday.

People gathered at Good Shepherd on Friday, April 12, to celebrate her life and mourn her passing.

“She could literally brighten up a room with that smile of hers — almost like an angelic countenance about her,” said Reverend William Richter of Good Shepherd. “The things that she lived with and lived through — just ordinary ups and downs of life — she was just so gracious and so appreciative of everything that everybody did for her.”

Mitchell was born in 1914 and grew up with 10 siblings. She was the oldest of the bunch, which may have contributed to the maternal tendencies noted by those close to her.

“If granny wasn’t outside putting up clothes, chances are she was in the kitchen fixing us something good to eat,” recalled her grandson, Dana Satterwhite.

After a major stroke in 2014, doctors projected Mitchell only had days to live.

Four years later, on July 8, 2018, a smiling Mitchell was surrounded by loved ones during her 104th birthday celebration at Landon Ridge assisted living community in Kingwood.

Mitchell moved to the assisted living community after her family’s home, where she had been living, flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Mitchell quickly found her way into the hearts of her new community and was even likened to a Georgia peach by staff members.

Friends and family remember Mitchell as a strong woman.

“You don’t get to be 104 years old unless you’ve seen some things,” said Kathy Culmer, family friend.

Dana Satterwhite gave perspective to just how much his grandmother experienced throughout her life.

“Not only one, by two world wars, the first of which started a mere 20 days after she was born on July 8, 2014,” Dana Satterwhite said. “The Great Depression. Prohibition. Korea. Vietnam. …Penicillin. The jet engine. …In fact, that’s mainly just the 1920s and 30s — barely scratching the surface of two decades, and she lived for over 10 of them.”

Her granddaughter, Kelli Satterwhite, read part of a proclamation from Houston Mayer Sylvester Turner in memory of Mitchell.

“City of Houston is indebted to such outstanding individuals who have enriched our community with their many accomplishments,” states the proclamation.

Mitchell reveled in the presence of family and lived to celebrate the birth of three great-grandchildren.

During the funeral, Mitchell’s daughter, Bernice Satterwhite, recited a poem she wrote for her mother’s 100th birthday entitled, “My Mother’s Hands.”

“When I was sick you cared for me with hands of love that I still see,” she read. “I love you mom, there is no other set of hands like yours, my mother. …I love you mom, God’s choice for me, from now until eternity.”

mfeuk@hcnonline.com