Josephine Russell Mitchell
March 06, 1914 - February 26, 2009
Birthplace: Mills County, Iowa
Resided In: Red Oak, Iowa

Service 3/26/2009
Montgomery County History Center
Burial 3/26/2009
Evergreen Cemetery

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Josephine (Jo) V. Mitchell passed away Thursday, February 26, 2009 at the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital, Red Oak, IA. Jo was born March 6, 1914, the daughter of John O. and Grace A. Russell and grew up on the family farm founded by her Grandfather, J. W. Nims, in 1871 southeast of Hastings, Mills County, IA. Jo attended Deer Creek “Center” rural school where her mother, Grace, attended and served as a teacher. Jo graduated from Red Oak High School in 1931 and from Simpson College, Indianola, IA in 1935. She taught in the Villisca and Glenwood Iowa High Schools after graduation until moving to Los Angeles, California in 1945 to start a life-long career in the airline industry. After working for Western Airlines she moved to American Airlines in 1948 where she retired as Manager of Reservations in 1976.

Jo met her husband Charles Mitchell in Los Angeles in 1960 and they were married at the Red Oak Methodist Church on May 18, 1963. Jo and “Charlie” made their home in Los Angeles until returning to live in Red Oak in the mid-1980s. Jo was known for her flower and vegetable gardening both at her home in Los Angeles and in Red Oak. Her garden was known as an oasis of beauty in the city of Los Angeles. Jo also enjoyed traveling and her airline affiliation allowed Jo and Charlie to travel to many exotic destinations. Jo was very interested in the Nims family genealogy and active in the Nims Family Association. She traveled to Deerfield, MA, the site of the family’s heritage dating to 1674, to attend reunions and study family genealogy. She maintained contact with many of the Nims family descendants throughout the U.S. After returning to Red Oak, Jo became involved with the Montgomery County Historical Society and was instrumental in the relocation of the 1884 Nims’ barn and 1894 Nims corncrib to the Historical Society site in Red Oak. She was very proud of the development of the Historical Society and the farming and livestock displays in the Nims’ barn. In 1997, Jo moved to the Regency Retirement Apartments in Red Oak where she remained until her recent illness.

Jo was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and brother and sister-in-law, John W. and Helen R. Russell. Survivors include nephews: Edward L. Russell and wife Dee, Hastings, IA, Walter J. Russell and wife Alice, Overland Park, KS; three great nephews, Michael J. Russell, Boston, MA, Jeffery Scott Russell, San Francisco, CA, and Timothy Russell; other nieces and nephews: Burton Mitchell, Elliott Mitchell, Ralph Rogers, Judy Rogers Clark, Judy Mitchell and Gail Mitchell; and cousins: Jon Waltz, Red Oak, IA, Alicemary Borthwick, Grinnell, IA, Ellen Boydston, Camden Point, MO, Robert Savage, San Antonio TX, Barbara (Nims) Miller, Eagan, MN, Garry Nims, Minneapolis, MN, Larry Purdon, Ashby, ND, Bob Purdon, West Fargo, ND, Marilyn Bialobrzeski, Mesa, AZ, Michelle Wootan, Chino Valley, AZ, Maureen Shaffer, Prescott, AZ, Alan Nims, Lisbon, ND, Dennis Nims, Fergus Falls, MN, Deborah Sand, MD, and many other relatives and friends.

A memorial service in honor of Josephine’s life will be held at 11:00 AM Thursday, March 26 at the Montgomery County Historical Society, 2700 N. 4th Street, Red Oak, IA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society or Montgomery County Hospice.


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Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel, Inc.
410 Sixth Street
Red Oak, Iowa 51566
Phone: (712) 623-2525 or
(800) 653-4881