Elmyra Mary Mitchell's story began June 8, 1942, in Springfield Township. Her story is filled with love, faith, and devotion to her family and community. From her early days growing up as the only girl among six brothers to her fulfilling career in education and her firm faith in God, Elmyra left a lasting impact on those around her. She was loved, is missed, and will always be cherished.
She met the love of her life, John C. Bell, during high school, and they were married. Their union brought forth six children. Despite being asked to leave school due to her marriage, Elmyra never forgot her desire to receive her diploma. Years later, her daughter Mary worked tirelessly to fulfill her mother's dream, and on June 19, 2018, Elmyra was presented with an honorary diploma from the Springfield High School Class of 1960.
Elmyra dedicated over 30 years of her life to Akron Public Schools, starting as a paraprofessional and eventually becoming a librarian. She had a deep appreciation for reading and collecting books, and she shared her passion with others through her work. She also enjoyed completing word search puzzles and helping those in need. Elmyra’s favorite trips were traveling to Hawaii with the Zion Apostolic Faith Church group, traveling with her great-granddaughter, Monae, on a cruise to the Bahamas, spending time with her brother Charles and his family visiting South Carolina and Biltmore estates, visiting Fred and Diane in Virginia, spending time with Patrick and John in North Carolina, visits to Crystal’s house, and traveling to Las Vegas and San Diego with her daughter’s family to see her grandson, Donald, and his family. She appreciated visiting and going out to dinner with Grace Wadud after church. As a member of Faith Place, she treasured attending noonday prayer, Bible Study, Sunday School, church services and events, and fellowshipping with her Faith Place church family. She provided spiritual nuggets to assist others in their journey with God. She was a Foster Grandparent for four years with Community Action/AmeriCorps Seniors. She loved taking care of children.
She enjoyed watching Westerns: Gunsmoke, Raw Hide, Bonanza, and Tales of Wells Fargo. She would spend hours reading her Bible and writing in her journals. She liked to take walks and sit on the patio for hours while enjoying the sun. But most of all, she stopped at Chick-fil-A and ordered a Frosted Lemonade that put a smile on her face every time. Elmyra watched Christmas movies, ate popcorn, and shared drumstick ice cream treats with Austin and Ava.
Family was everything to Elmyra, and she cherished spending time with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. She loved buying them gifts and making their days brighter. Despite her health struggles, Elmyra never stopped praying for her family and others in need. Even in her illness, she would be found praying for others and encouraging other sick patients during her stay at nursing facilities. She was often described as sweet, kind, beautiful, friendly, and loving by the staff.
Elmyra's favorite saying, "I would rather have Jesus," reflected her unwavering faith. She found comfort and strength in her relationship with God, and she lived her life as a testament to her family and friends.
Elmyra passed on November 5, 2023, shortly after watching her church morning service and while holding her daughter’s hand. It left a void in the lives of her loved ones. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Mary Mitchell, and her brothers, Norman, Edward, Willie, Robert, and John. Her granddaughter Crystal Bell and great-grandson Damonta Bell, Sr.
Loved ones who will miss Elmyra are her children: Patrick (Annette) Bell of Kinston, North Carolina; Dr. Mary Bell-Nolan (Donald) of Akron, Ohio; Fred (Diane) Bell of Conyers, Georgia; Crystal (Denny) Neal of Akron, Ohio; John (Sue) Bell of Archer Lodge, North Carolina; and Pam (Clyde) Mayfield of Akron, Ohio; her brother Charles Gray of Greenville, South Carolina. Her grandchildren Patrick, Jr., Thomas, Donald II (Tori), Jasmina (Marteece), Tiauna, Shaunte, Lauren, Breanne, Shayla, Jordan, Shakeya, Avery, Kenneth; Her great-grandchildren: Monae, Cerenity, Mackenzie, Donald III, Alex, Johnathon, Ava, Austin, Gibraunta, Damaya, Dahmonye, Antonio, Navaeh, AJ, Jai’Den, Jour’nee, Jhase, Jourdyn, Jaidaya, Xavier, London, and Isaiah. Great-great grandsons: JaMonta, Jykai, Damonta, Jr., and great-great daughter, Ari. Her special cousins are Gaynell, Marie, Dorothy, and Carrie, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Valerie Jorge Cabrera, Dr. Day, Dr. Rueben, and the Cleveland Clinic Hospice Center staff. Special love goes to Marchelle, the home-health aide who cared for her with compassion, loved, and provided excellent care over the years. The Arden Court staff provided exceptional treatment and kindness for our mother. Bishop Samuel Hampton, Elder Meranda Hampton, Pastor Eugene Wilson, Lady Sarah Wilson, Evangelist Loretta Johnson, Evangelist Rema Cole, Prophetess Mandy, Grace Wadud, and the Faith Place Family, thank you for your prayers, encouraging words, and support during those difficult times and now. In honor of Elmyra M. Mitchell, donations may be made to Faith Place Youth Department, 790 Easter Avenue, Akron, Ohio 44307, or www.fafcakron.com, text: fafcakron to 77977, or First Apostolic Faith Church Givelify (Tap. Give. Done.). Condolences may be sent to The Bell/Mitchell Family, 522 Overwood Road, Akron, Ohio 44313.