Janet Ellen  Mitchell
Janet Ellen Mitchell

November 13, 1946 - February 26, 2016
Resided in Highlands Ranch, CO


Janet Ellen Wood Mitchell was born on November 13, 1946 in Rockford, Illinois to June Ellen Cummings and Ludwig Clifford Wood. She died February 26, 2016 with her husband Gary at her side at Denver Hospice in Denver, Colorado. Jan grew up in Cincinnati and graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1964. She studied French Language and Culture at the American College in Leysin, Switzerland.

Jan came to Colorado in 1964 to attend Colorado State University. She received a B.A. in English in 1968. In 1965 she became a member of Epsilon Beta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. She cherished her experiences with her Kappa sisters and remained active in Kappa until her death. She attended graduate school at Colorado State while working as a Principle Library Assistant at the Colorado State University Library from 1969 to 1974.

Jan's marketing career began in 1974 with Scientific Software and continued with Continental Trailways, Coca Cola Company and Lily-Tulip Inc. through 1982. She also studied marketing and business at Metropolitan State College, Denver, from 1976 to 1981. Jan began her long association with Kraft Food Service in 1983 and was with them and affiliated companies, Baxter Health Care and Dietary Products (Alliant Food service) through 1999.

She then shifted focus to a love of hers, interior design, starting in 1999 by studying Interior Design at Arapahoe Community College from 1999 to 2001, while working at Norwalk Furniture. In 2001 she joined Columbine Showroom at the Denver Design Center where she finished her working career with retirement in 2010.

Jan had three true avocations; reading, archeology, and rescuing dogs and cats. She was always reading books, especially mysteries in Europe and the American west. She was very active with the Kappa Book Club in Centennial, Colorado. Jan's interest in archeology began in her youth during long family vacations to the American west, and continued through college and after. She was a member of the Archeology Conservancy and had attained the Anasazi Circle.

Jan had rescued cats from the 1970's, including MacTavish, Goochie, and Abby. Abby just turned 19 on May 5, 2016 and misses Jan terribly. Jan loved dogs her entire life. Her parents had Irish Setters their entire lives. She started rescuing dogs in the early 70's when she "rescued" a neighbor's Springer Spaniel and placed it safely on a farm outside Fort Collins. In the 1990's she started volunteering for English Springer Rescue of America (E.S.R.A.). She performed many jobs, including home visits, transportation, rescuing Springers from shelters, organizing Springer events, fostering and adopting Winchester, Becky, Freedom, and Jubilee. She also did yeoman work for the Colorado E.S.R.A. summer picnic. Jan then discovered Soul Dog Rescue which does wonderful work on Indian reservations and in areas of high kill-rate shelters. She worked in their Thrift Store two days a week, did home visits, and assisted on spay and neuter trips. Jan's heart was immense and full of love for cats, dogs and all animals, both domestic and in the wild.

Jan met Gary Clark Mitchell in December, 1994 through a pre-computer video dating service. A line from Jan's write up was "You must tolerate cats and love dogs." She fell for Gary's Golden Retriever, Lindsey, the copy machine in his basement, and his kilt. They were married on May 5, 1996. Discovering their Scottish heritage, they had a Scottish wedding and spent their honeymoon in Scotland.

Jan became very involved with the St. Andrew Society of Colorado, initiating summer picnics again and hosting several. She worked nearly 20 years on the committee for the Colorado Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Highland Games. She performed many different jobs, including designing and marketing shirts, publicity, suggesting a Nessie float, organizing parades and events, and her first love, assisting as the Deputy Dog Lady with the Dogs of the British Isles.

Jan loved to travel. She grew up traveling with her family to the west generating her interest in archeology and ancient western history. She traveled extensively throughout Europe and Mexico with her mother, friends, and Gary.

She enjoyed camping from her youth. She decided that tent camping was in her past and she picked out a small 23 foot Jayco Eagle Class C RV. She called it the "Eaglet". She liked it as it was small enough to get into forest service campgrounds and big enough for two people, two dogs and a cat. She was ready to go for one night in the mountains or for a month somewhere in the western U.S. The first time Jan's mother saw it, she named it "Cleopatra's barge", and it stuck. Jan loved to RV.

Jan was a wonderful, intelligent, caring, loving interesting and strong woman. She was always concerned about Gary's health and well-being, the dogs, the cat, as well as the rescues to which she dedicated so much of her time. She will be remembered always by all the people she touched and for whom she cared.

She is survived by her loved and loving husband, Gary Clark Mitchell, her sister Nancy Hoefer and her husband David Hoefer, sister-in-law Luann Nelson and her husband Robert and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and a great-great niece.

A celebration of Jan's life will be held on Saturday, June 25th, 2016 at Horan and McConaty Funeral Home, 5303 East County Line Road, Centennial, Colorado 80122 (303-221-0030) at 11:00 A.M. with a reception following from 12:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. Attire may include Kappa, Scottish, canine, and anything one feels appropriate for Jan.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Archeological Conservancy, Albuquerque, New Mexico, English Springer Rescue America, Northridge, California, Soul Dog Rescue and Humane Society, St. Louis, Missouri, Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, Columbus, Ohio or Walnut Hills High School Alumni Foundation, Class of 1964 Performing Arts Fund, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Please attend the celebration of Janet Ellen Wood Mitchell.

Please share memories of Jan and condolences with the family by signing the guestbook below.



Horan & McConaty - County Line
5303 East County Line Road
Centennial, CO US 80122
Saturday, June 25, 2016
11:00 AM