Lilia Albina Malgesini Mitchell has left us to rejoin her beloved “Daddie,” Dean Mitchell, who passed in May.
After 70 years deeply in love, we all suspected that when one went, the other wouldn’t be far behind.
Above we see Lily belting out one of her favorite songs, “God Bless America.” Her tiny stature belied the mighty voice and personality within.
Lily was born in northern Italy in 1926. Her parents and six siblings came to America during the escalation of World War II. They settled in the Snohomish Valley and started a small dairy farm near Lowell in 1937.
Many know the story mom told, of moving into the farm house and running to the front window–her mama had told her that the saying was the first man she saw would be the one she married. Lily saw two boys walking down the road and told her mama and papa, “If I have to marry the tall skinny one, I’ll be a nun instead!” Papa laughed and said, “Lily, you’ll NEVER be a nun.”
Papa was right, and so was mama: Lily did not become a nun AND she married the tall, skinny Dean Mitchell in 1946.
Over the next 70 years their stories, singing, incredible cooking, laughter and love flowed like a river bringing family and friends together again and again. Together with Dean, she raised four children, countless nieces, nephews and neighbors as well as numerous grandchildren and one great grandchild.
She was the choir director, as well as second-grade CCD teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Marysville for many years.
Many long-time parishioners had her as their guide through First Communion. Others will recall her beautiful singing voice in church or at family functions. Still others will remember her for all those years she cooked for the Marysville-Pilchuck homecoming spaghetti feed.
Her CD “So Good” is probably the most widely distributed free CD in Puget Sound. More than all this, mom’s great gift to all of us was her ability to make each person she touched feel deeply valued and loved.
She leaves behind two daughters, Diane Springer (Ron–deceased), Colette Devery (Tony); two sons Larry (Paula) and Tom (Kim), seven grandchildren, one great grandchild, and brother Erasmo Malgesini.
Services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1, at St. Mary’s. Rosary/viewing at 10:30 a.m. followed by a funeral mass at 11 a.m. A reception will be held afterward in the church hall.
There will be pictures, a video and an opportunity to share stories. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be directed toward our cousin Father Luigi De Giabatista’s mission abroad. Mom was an ardent supporter of Father Luigi’s work, and this would really please her. Information about this charity will be available at the service.