Mary Jane Mitchell, age 82, passed away on October 9, 2020. Mrs. Mitchell was born on July 29, 1938 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the daughter of the late James Jackson Foy and the late Alverta Hilton Foy of Decatur, Georgia.
Mrs. Mitchell graduated in 1956 from Decatur Girls High School and from Florida Southern College in 1961. She was a member of the Gamma Epsilon chapter of Kappa Delta sorority and Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership fraternity.
After college, she remained in Lakeland and was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church. Until her death, Mrs. Mitchell attended weekly a Bible Study Group which emerged from the church in 1972. She was a member of Chapter CP of P.E.O. Sisterhood, a former member of the Florida House Committee, the Dresden Antique Club, and very active in the Junior League of Greater Lakeland.
Mrs. Mitchell was employed as a social worker and then served as the social worker for the 10th Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Florida. For a number of years, she owned a flower business, M.J’s Bouquets, and later worked in the field of Interior Design.
In 2005, with God’s direction, she founded “The Bag Ladies,” a group who collected, restored, and decorated used suitcases to be given to foster children. These were distributed by Heartland for Children in Polk and surrounding counties. The Leadership Class of Lakeland Senior High School whole-heartedly participated in this project each year. At the time of her death, 8,666 suitcases had been distributed. There were many, many extraordinary stories connected with “The Bag Ladies,” and the project proved to be a supernatural adventure with God for her. Howard Wiggs, Mayor of Lakeland, proclaimed April 7, 2014 as “The Bag Ladies’ Day” in the City of Lakeland.
Mrs. Mitchell was formerly married to Lawrence Sherman Lowe, Jr. who preceded her in death in 1981. She was also predeceased in death by their son, Lawrence Sherman Lowe, III. She is survived by their son, James Woodson Lowe and their three grandsons: Lawrence Sherman Lowe, IV, James Garrison Lowe, and Davis Jackson Lowe.
In 1992, she married Fritz Kriesler Mitchell who passed away in 2015. Mrs. Mitchell is also survived by step grandson, Stewart Bonnet Mitchell (Deborah) and two step grandchildren, Cameron Bonnet Mitchell and Paige Mitchell Martin (Sam).
A celebration of her life will be held at noon on Friday, October 23, 2020 at First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Florida.
Because of the outstanding help Peace River Center provided for her grandson, Mrs. Mitchell greatly respected the agency. Those wishing to do so may make a contribution to Peace River Center, P.O. Box 1559, Bartow, Florida, 33831. Memorial gifts may also be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, Florida, 33803, or to the charity of your choice.
Mrs. Mitchell’s service will be recorded and available for viewing on October 28, 2020 at www.gentry-morrison.com.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Homes.