Avis died in her home of 62 years, thanks to the caring support of her daughter Jill who tended her to the end. She had suffered through two cancers over the past four years and underwent various cancer treatments without complaint and remained bright and alert throughout. Prior to that, she had led a very healthy and active life. Born in England, the youngest of eight, she immigrated to Canada in 1947 with husband Jim and her two children. After a brief stay in Victoria the Mitchells purchased their farm near Craig Bay where Avis has since lived. They worked very hard at the farm and for years raised turkeys commercially. Latterly they also marketed beef, corn and other produce. When Jim died suddenly in 1978 Avis devoted her energies to raising and training Dogs and made a wide circle of like minded people who have kept in close contact with her to this day. She won many awards with her various dogs and became a mentor to many people in the art of handling canines.
In the community Avis was a real activist. Concern for the kids schooling led her to become a school trustee from 1961- 1978. She served SD 69 as a trustee and a number of those years served as Chairman. She was appointed the District representative to the Developing Malaspina College and served on the Board of Malaspina College from its founding in 1969 and served as chair of that board from 1976 until 1978. during these active years she also became involved in the development of the local Society of Organized Services (SOS) helping the late Pauline Touzeau and others to found that organization. In the spring of 2002 Avis was honored to receive an award from SOS recognizing her 30 years of volunteer work there. She also served as a Senior Citizen Counselor sponsored by the Provincial Government from 1979 through 2002. She was a long time member of the SPCA and the Golden Retriever Club of BC. Avis also mastered the computer in her mid eighties and got untold pleasure out of instant communication with her aging relatives in various parts of the world. Truly she led an active and productive life and will be remembered fondly by many. Predeceased by husband Jim, all of her siblings and two grandsons, she leaves daughter Jill and son-in-law Charles Ennals on the farm, son John(Pat) of Nanaimo, John’s 4 daughters and 4 great-grandchildren, nephew Ted and niece Lynn, nephew Vern and his daughter Carol. Jill is grateful to the Home Care Support workers, home care nurses and Dr. Desai for their able assistance in keeping her at home. A special thanks also to long time friends /Shirley Nelson, Lesley Kenyon, Colleen Coombe, Pat Townsend and Margo Banks all of who she valued dearly.
She requested there be no formal events following her death but did agree to a party for friends at her home which will be held Sat May 8th at 2:00 pm. Flowers are gratefully declined but those who choose may make a donation to the local SPCA or charity of choice.