Marilou Mitchell, age 91, of Battle Creek passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. She was born in Battle Creek on September 20, 1930, and was the loving daughter of Orrin J. Leveiller and Dorothe (Grover) Leveiller Baker. Marilou was raised by her grandparents, Charles & Marie Grover, and graduated from Battle Creek Central High School with the Class of 1948.
Marilou married the "Love of Her Life", Merlin "Mitch" Mitchell at the First Congregational Church, Battle Creek on May 13, 1951; he sadly preceded her in death on February 10, 2005. She is survived by her children, Melinda Mitchell of Battle Creek, Martin Mitchell of Lansing, Maureen (Dennis) Whitney of Gulf Shores, AL and Matthew (Sue) Mitchell of Battle Creek; eight grandchildren, Justin (Shannon) Warren, Jordan Whitney, Devin Whitney, Cole (Anna)Whitney, Jason Mitchell, Amber Mitchell, Holly Mitchell, and Lacy Mead; 14 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild; a sister, Cheryl (George) Scott; and a cousin, Colette Leveiller Turgeon of Sioux City, Iowa. She was also preceded in death by a brother, Richard Baker.
Until her marriage, Marilou was involved in Civic Theater and was on many radio programs and performed in acting skits around town, mostly with her mother, also a local actress, who wrote most of the skits. She taught the 3-year-olds Sunday School class at the First Congregational Church for more than 30 years. Marilou was active with the PTA while her children were in school, serving on the State Board during that time as well. She was active with the Battle Creek Central alumni committee in prior years and the AABC baseball tournaments when her husband was a host. She also served as Chairman, committee member & performed in the Leila Follies for many years and continued to dance well into her 60s.
She held several jobs after her children were grown, Robinsons and Hudsons Department stores, where she was known as "the lingerie lady", Battle Creek Public Schools as "the lunch lady", and Binder Park Zoo (which she absolutely loved), where she worked with the giraffes and in the membership hut, and during Christmas read stories to children and was known as "grandma Claus". She loved all those jobs and met many people, but she always said her most favorite and cherished job was being a mother. Her children and family were her life.
Some of her favorite activities included NASCAR racing, which she and Merlin enjoyed together, having season tickets to the MIS races, camping with their travel trailer, which in later years she pulled with her famous white Ford F-150 (which she still had, by the way), and her many trips with her daughter, among which were California, Hawaii, a Caribbean cruise, and a trip to England to visit her pen pal who she had corresponded with since high school. She especially loved going "up north" in the great state of Michigan, and her most recent out of state trip was to Arizona when she was 89 with both her daughters.
The family will receive friends 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., Sunday, June 5th at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. Funeral services to celebrate Marilou's life will be held 1:30 p.m., Monday, June 6th at the Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta. In lieu of flowers, memorials directed to Companion Cats, Calhoun County Animal Shelter or Binder Park Zoo, would be appreciated. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.