Rita M. (Coburn) Mitchell

August 10, 1940 ~ April 18, 2019 (age 78)

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Rita (Coburn) Mitchell left this world to be with her Lord on April 18, 2019. Rita was 78 years old. She died at her home in Elizabethtown surrounded by her loving family.


Rita was always proud to say that she was born at home on August 10, 1940 on the Plank Road in Ellenburg to her loving parents Frank and Beulah (Bessey) Coburn. She was the youngest in her family of 3 brothers and a sister.


Rita married the love of her life Gary ‘Red’ Mitchell on September 27, 1959 in Port Henry, NY and enjoyed almost 60 years of marriage.


Our wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and aunt led a very full life. Her faith and her family were of utmost importance to her.


Rita’s father was an Iron Ore minor. She lived in Lyon Mountain and Tahawus but grew up in the then thriving town of Mineville, NY. Rita’s life was always full of outdoor activities and her love of kids and animals never wavered. In the mid 1960’s Rita, Gary and their family moved to Vermont. While living in Poultney VT, Rita received her real estate license and later got her New York State license. Rita went on to sell real estate for another 45 years. Rita and Gary were never afraid to try new things. They owned many business’ in the journey. At one point, they purchased a farm in Redford, NY where she enjoyed raising horses, chickens, goats, geese and pigs including her pet pig Penelope Ann Marie Marie that her grandchildren enjoyed hearing many stories about. They built many new homes throughout the years but finally settled in Elizabethtown, where Rita loved visiting with the many people that would walk by their house, as they walked ‘the loop’.


Rita was a strong willed and kind hearted woman. She was very artistic and had a keen eye for decorating a house to make it an inviting home. Some of her many talents included painting, sewing beautiful quilts and clothing, toll painting, stencilling, stained glass, chair caning, etc. She was also a phenomenal cook and best known for her lasagna and apple pie. These were often requested at family gatherings.


Rita loved to garden, a talent that she undoubtedly received from her father Frank. She liked to have tomato plants that grew taller than her and would often have the first ripe tomato in the area.


Rita is survived by her loving and devoted husband Gary ‘Red’ Mitchell, a son, Douglas Mitchell and his wife Christina, a daughter, Bonnie Mitchell Williams and her husband Shawn, a sister, Maybelle (Coburn) Gregory, five grandchildren, Maghan Mitchell and her fiance Ahren Wolson, Elizabeth Terry and her partner Tommy Gale, Daniel Mitchell and his fiance Kelly Percell, Mitchell Terry and Andrew Mitchell and great granddaughter Nora Wolson.


Rita was predeceased by her parents, Frank and Beulah (Bessey) Coburn, her three brothers,  Lloyd Coburn, Ephrim (Red) Coburn, and Bernard (Nig) Colburn.


Calling hours will be held on Thursday, April 25th, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Harland’s Funeral Home located at 4279 Main St., Port Henry. A celebration of Rita’s life will be held on Saturday, June 1st, 2019 at 11:00 am at the United Church of Christ located at 7580 Court St., Elizabethtown with lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Rita’s honor to High Peaks Hospice or to the Alzheimer’s Association.




To send flowers to Rita's family, please visit our floral store.


April 25, 2019

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Harland Funeral Home
4279 Main St
Port Henry, NY 12974

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