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MITCHELL, Catherine Mary

September 8, 1931 – Calgary, Alberta
June 8, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Catherine Mary Power Mitchell started her life September 8, 1931. On that day, she was born to Michael John and Mary Ann (Dillon) Power in their family home in Calgary, Alberta.

Catherine attended St. Ann’s School and St. Mary’s Girls’ High School and entered the Sisters of the Faithful Companions of Jesus at Sacred Heart Convent in 1947. Catherine graduated from the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts. She then went overseas to Broadstairs Kent, UK for further religious training.

Catherine returned to Calgary in 1957 to begin her teaching career, which continued both in and out of the classroom, including managing the St. Francis Archives, until 2016. She taught at both St. Mary’s Girls’ High School and St. Francis High School.

Catherine left the convent in 1967, and later met and married her dear, dear Theo in 1972. Together they shared a wonderful life filled with love.

Catherine is predeceased by Theo as well as by her mother and father, brother, Michael, and sister, Lil.

On June 8, 2018, Catherine died peacefully in her home in Calgary, Alberta surrounded by loved ones.

While gone from this world now, Catherine will not be forgotten by her friends and loved ones, and the thousands of students she taught, celebrated, and held dear throughout her lifetime. Teaching us all until her last breath, we have witnessed how to live life to the fullest and to turn towards death with just the right mix of enthusiasm and trepidation. We hope to join you one day, Catherine, soaring on the thermals alongside a most spectacular albatross.

Donations, in Catherine’s memory, may be made directly to a charity of your choice. To honour Catherine, teach your children well, respect nature, stand up for something you believe in, and hold your loved ones dear.

Interment will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Read Catherine Mitchell’s complete life story at Lest I Forget.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Prayers and condolences to all of you. Mrs Mitchell was a most amazing teacher and mentor. She inspired the love of biology in all who knew her. I feel honored to have had her as my teacher for Bio 10, 20 & 30!! Rest in Peace Mrs Mitchell.

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  2. Linette Lahey :

    Mrs. Mitchell was a very special teacher… and so giving. My condolences to the family.
    Linette Lahey

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  3. Sad to hear the news of Catherine’s passing. She believed strongly in her convictions, loved deeply and whole heartedly and if you were lucky enough to spend real quality time with her, you got to know a truly special person. Catherine and I had an interesting relationship while working at St. Francis, many trials and tribulations, smiles and a few tears but I felt I was able to share some life experiences together with her and it made things just a little bit lighter at times when it was needed for both of us. I am sure she is joining the love of her life up in heaven and they are smiling and walking hand in hand. Rest In Peace Catherine

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  4. Michele Maurette (Boiteau) :

    One of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Thank you Mrs. Mitchell!

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  5. Thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. She was an amazing woman and teacher who pushed her students to achieve what they were capable of. Rest In Peace Mrs.Mitchell.

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  6. Viqui haynes :

    I have no words. I’m so sad to hear this news. Mrs. Mitchell was one of my favourite, most inspirational teachers who left an impact on my life. She was and will still be in my most cherished memories.

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  7. Kathy Power-Connolly :

    It was my honour and a privilege to have Catherine as my dearest Aunt. Her love for Nature, music and the Arts were always a topic of discussion.If you had the pleasure of meeting both Catherine and Theo, then you would know that he was the jam to her peanut butter. A more loving and kind couple you will surely have never met. Their love for Calgary and surrounding areas was a joy to witness. If you were lucky enough to receive one of their many cards, it would always include some of Theo’s Exceptional photos and some terrific story of their adventures.

    I’ve been waiting for the sky to clear one night as I’m sure there’s a brilliant star now shining in the heavens. She did speak with much love of joining Theo on the thermals and sailing on , just as the Albatross they both so enjoyed.

    Dear Auntie, you are gone from this earth but you will always be tucked closely in my heart and in my spirit . Fly….fly beyond , to the Peace you so deserve. All my Love, Kathy.

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  8. I was sad to hear of the passing of Mrs. Mitchell. She was an amazing teacher and person! We often chatted in the halls of St. Francis when I was substitute teaching there. She still wore her lab coat even after retiring when she was volunteering at St. Francis. So cute! I would often see her at the race track. She loved horse racing. So many found memories. Rest In Peace Mrs. Mitchell! You were one in a million!

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  9. Marvin Bidulka :

    It was my honor to have known Catherine. She was a colorful and interesting lady to visit and chat with. I was always impressed with the St. Francis Archives and the legacy she has left for others to enjoy. God speed on your trip to be with Theo for eternity.

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  10. To see Catherine in the halls at St. Francis was a daily source of inspiration for staff and students alike. I had the good fortune of her guidance in my Biology studies at St. Francis, where she made a non-scientific-in-any-sense-of-the-term student actually respect and love this subject. When I returned to teach at St. Francis, I was amazed to see her passion carried out in her direction of our archives–which were run with military precision! I still look for her in the halls…and I hope her spirit remains here in the years to come. Once a Brown, always a Brown. Rest in Peace, Catherine.

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  11. Nelly (Herrera) Duchesne :

    I will always remember Mrs. Mitchell as the face of St. Francis. She taught me Biology a million years ago, yet it seems like only yesterday that she was in front of the class teaching us how to stop a hiccup attack. She was stern, but fair and has forever left a mark on my soul. Rest in Peace Mrs. Mitchell.

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  12. Sarah Schrauth :

    what a beautiful Obit.
    Rest in Peace

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  13. Connie Schwieder :

    We were very sad to hear of Mrs. Mitchell’s passing. She was a beautiful person! Rest in Peace! Such a loss.

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  14. Carmela Cortese :

    Mrs. Mitchell will always be unforgettable. I have plants in my own classroom because of her. Rest in peace Mrs. Mitchell.

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  15. Grazia Damis :

    I met Catherine while working at St. Francis from 1997 to 2002. Catherine was already retired but came in faithfully to keep up the Achieves. What an inspirational, dedicated and lively person she was. I loved talking to her, she knew so much history about the school and the many people who had worked there. She will truly be missed by many. Rest in peace Catherine. Sincerely, Grazia Damis

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  16. Catherine had a deep love for St. Francis High School, it’s students, staff, and alumni. The archives at St. Francis will always hold her heart and spirit, and the community will forever enjoy her legacy.

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  17. James Stauch :

    Super-human citizen and volunteer, nature-lover, gonzo teacher and great Canadian. What a privilege to have known such an extraordinary human being. Many stories and memories will be cherished by the thousands of Calgarians who knew Catherine, aka “Mrs. Mitchell.”

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  18. Marita Bothwell :

    I will never forget Mrs. Mitchell, she was an outstanding teacher and amazing person. I always looked forward to her biology class at St. Francis. Rest in peace, Mrs. Mitchell, you were one in a million!

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  19. troy strader :

    She was my absolute favorite teacher of all time. Throughout my whole time in school, at all levels, there are only 3 teachers I felt really cared, and she was #1. Your grade was what you earned, period. Never once saw her lose her cool, but I also never once saw anyone act up in her class. She had a very special way about her. I’ll never forget how much time she would spend writing on the chalk board each day, only to erase it and start again the following day. She was (and is) very special indeed. Rest in Peace dearest Mrs. Mitchell.

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  20. Rick C Benson :

    I had the sincere privilege to teach and work as a Youth Minister at St Francis with Catherine in the late 80’s early 90’s What a women of integrity and passion. She cared so much fro students and fellow teachers. I felt very welcomed by Catherine. I give thanks for her long service for others! She lives on in heaven and here as well ! Blessings to family and friends.

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  21. Mery de Somma :

    Love know no boundaries, even those that divide Heaven and Earth. SO whenever you feel sad, just remember that you are hearts are connected. With deepest sympathy.

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  22. Cathy (Lazlock) McKee :

    What a lovely obit!

    Mrs. Mitchell was one of the most dedicated teachers and patron of the arts I had ever met.
    Her dedication to teaching was an inspiration to all of us who followed the same path.

    It was always a pleasure to see that white lab coat in the halls of St. Francis.

    My condolences to all of you.

    Rest in peace Mrs.Mitchell knowing how many lives you’ve touched over the years.

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  23. Sharon Carstairs :

    I first taught with Catherine when she was Sister Delores at St. Mary’s Girls School. We then taught together again at St Francis. Beloved by students particularly the hard working ones she was dedicated to each and everyone of them. Her love of Theo and his for her was a joy to see. She made an exceptional contribution to life and that is all anyone can ask of us.

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  24. I shall miss my good friend Catherine and our many interesting conversations with mutual friends at Waves Coffee House.

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  25. Cathy is one of my heroes. I first met Cathy as fellow biology teacher in the Calgary and District Biology Teachers’ Association. I came to first respect and then revere this hardworking sincere individual. When working with student teachers at the U of C my students were often blessed with having the chance to share in Cathy’s wisdom. Some of my all time favourite memories are of Cathy hasseling me over some of the content in the human reproduction aspect being taught in Bio 30. She loved to remind me that reproduction proves millions of males were needed to accomplish what one single female can achieve. She was a delight to work with and learn from as a fellow. Biology teaching in this province was all the better for her input and guidance! Rest well Cathy!!

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  26. Phil Tweten :

    I met Cathy while teaching night school at Western. She taught all day then taught at night. Why? Because she loved it.
    She was a loved,admired and respected by all.

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  27. Carrie Palko (Bridges) :

    Ms. Mitchell was the best teacher and the kindest. She was always firm but fair, I will miss her dearly as I learned so very much from her.

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  28. Mary Perrott :

    I will always remember Catherine Mitchell as a great teacher who made biology fun. I still remember tidbits of useful information to this day, such as when best to take an aspirin. Still remember the trepidation at the live frog dissection. And her timely “Biology 30 in a Nutshell” resource that she wrote to help her students get through the diploma exams. Later, when I myself worked at St. Francis, I had the opportunity to get to know Catherine better and always loved her stories, admired her determination and was amazed at her energy. She loved St Francis High School and its students, and did her very best to make it the powerhouse that it is.

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  29. Nancy Cotten (Rodgers) :

    Like many others I was taught by Mrs. Mitchell and have remembered her well all these years. She taught biology in a practical way that brought it to life. She raised the bar for her expectations and we responded to that by learning science and much more. Reading here of her life beyond St Francis adds to the respect I had for her. A life well lived, Rest In Peace Mrs. Mitchell.

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  30. Jill DeMan-Jones :

    We were late in hearing the news of Catherine’s passing and are still digesting the impact of this on our St. Francis community and our personal lives. Catherine was a hard-working dynamic force throughout the last 20 years or so of my time at the school. While she was a dedicated academic teacher, she supported athletics in an amazing way. She faithfully sold t-shirts and memorabilia for fundraising and could be seen at her booth during SFI and BIT persuading fans to buy a shirt to help the athletic teams. She attended football, basketball and other team games to support the students and the teachers who gave freely of their time to coach and assist because she believed strongly in service to the school community.
    In retirement, she devoted her energy to creating an archive that is matchless in schools anywhere. Every morning she walked from her home in Beltline and often beat the caretakers opening the doors at 7:00 am. She meticulously recorded events of all sorts: awards given, tournaments won and lost, drama presentations, music concerts, outstanding students and teachers and collected memorabilia to support all of these. She was fierce in her protection of this history. She also composed a monthly newsletter for retirees that was filled with school news and the activities and deaths of former teachers and students. She was terribly proud of all students and their accomplishments.

    Never to be replaced, long to be missed, we were proud and blessed to know and work alongside her.
    Gary and Sally De Man and Family

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  31. Mary Nash-Frohn :

    so sorry to hear about your loss. Catherine (Mother Dolores) was my grade 10 science teacher and prepared me for the Calgary Science Fair.

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  32. Patrice Taylor :

    I shall miss Catherine. She also directed my science fair project at St Mary’s school in 1967. A year later Catherine would leave the Convent, and the life of Mother Dolores behind. We met again in 2004 when I learned from a mutual friend that Catherine and Theo daily hosted without fail, 24/7, a coffee klatch at Beano’s on 17th avenue. Four thirty became the time of day around which work and commitments and chore-doing got organized. I will remember Catherine gratefully for being the force that made that wheel turn.

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  33. Patrice L Taylor :

    This is a corrigendum from Patrice Taylor. Catherine was such a stickler for accuracy. Mother Dolores left the convent in 1967, the year of my graduation. Not a word leaked out before the students had written their final exams. Catherine supervised my science fair project the year before.

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  34. Marina R Skulsky :

    Mrs Mitchell was a fabulous teacher, always instilling the love of learning and striving to be your best! She was a tremendous biology mentor and I silently thanked her often during my medical studies.
    Marina Skulsky, Class of ’71

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  35. Susan (Jacques) Ford :

    My memories of Catherine are as Mother Dolores at St. Mary’s Girls’ High School – 1960 to 1963. She was a remarkable and very unique personality with an inspiring and unforgettable life story.

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  36. Catherine Gillis (nee Bond) :

    It was sad to hear of Mrs. Mitchell’s passing. I never had her as a teacher however she was a well respected and loved teacher by all who knew her. She was so passionate about teaching and cared about all the students. RIP Mrs. Mitchell.

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  37. Mrs. Mitchell – never has a teacher touched so many students, parents and colleagues….you were so dedicated to your teachings, to the success of your students. Probably why I took Bio 30 in the summer 0f ’86 right after your Grade 10 Bio 10/20 class….You will never be forgotten….

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  38. Catherine Mitchell was my science teacher in St. Mary’s. She was a dedicated and passionate teacher and strong character. She lived her life “her way.” Rest In Peace Mother Dolores.

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  39. Laurette Gilbert :

    My sincerest condolences to friends and family of Catherine Mitchell. I knew her as mother Dolores at St Mary’s High School where she taught me biology for 2 years. She opened my mind to the “why” and “how” of everything around me. Her encouragement resulted in a Science Fair project that helped me focus on my future career. What an amazing gift that was, thank you so much mother Dolores/ Katherine Mitchell.

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  40. Joan Oxendale Barnet :

    I remember Mother Dolores from SMG where she remains in my heart as one of the best teachers ever. She was liberal and open minded and taught us that the power of science is a way to understand and appreciate the wonder of the living things of this world.

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  41. Shirley Rose (Gulyas) :

    My memories of Mrs. Mitchell are all positive. She wanted us learn and learn well. She was straight up and I must admit she did scare me at times but I enjoyed her love of teaching. May she rest in peace.

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