Sixty years and counting Mitchells celebrate six decades of MarriageBY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR
They are celebrating their “diamond anniversary”, which in Greek means unconquerable and enduring, two terms that suit each of them and their marriage well.
Jim and Nancy met each other in 1946 after Jim returned from the War and started attending the University of Washington.
Nancy was already a student at the UW and had become friends with many of Jim’s friends who decided that they were a perfect match, even before Jim had his feet back on American soil.
“The fact that he was active on campus is what interested me,” she said. “He was very social and he introduced most of his buddies to their wives.”
Jim was the President of his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta while Nancy was the President of her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and thus began a lifetime of community involvement.
After their wedding and a reception which was held at Nancy’s sorority house, the Mitchells moved to Lake Stevens and purchased a small house on Sandy Beach Drive with the money Jim earned from the GI Bill.
Both of them had graduated from college and Jim came home to Lake Stevens to work with his father as a Pharmacist at their family owned drug store.
Nancy, who grew up in Seattle, wasn’t completely sold on the idea of moving so far away from civilization.
“I thought it was the ends of the earth,” she said. “I couldn’t just go to the wall and turn up the heat.”
Jim and Nancy soon got to work in their new community and have been actively involved ever since.
Volunteer firefighters, Lions Club, American Legion, Historical Society, three term Congressman, Library Board, School Board, Sewer Commissioner, actively involved with their church, Ebenezer Lutheranyou name it, Jim and Nancy have done it.
But even with all of their involvement in making Lake Stevens a better place to live, their proudest accomplishment is their family.
The Mitchells have two sons. Bill lives in Olympia where he is a Gastroenterologist and their son John lives in Snohomish where he teaches at Snohomish High School and is a line coach at the new Glacier Peak High School.
They also have six grandchildren, ages 18 to 27. Four of them have graduated from college, including one grandson who graduated from West Point and is currently serving in Iraq.
Another one will graduate in June and their youngest granddaughter is a freshman at Vanguard in Costa Mesa, Calif.
As with all couples, Jim and Nancy started out as diamonds in the rough but over the past 60 years they have become a shining example of love, commitment, family and service.
“The fact that Jim worked the first 50 years for 12 hours a day has kept us together,” Nancy said with a smile.
Having separate interests was also important.
“We are independent people he did his thing and I did my thing,” Nancy said. “I think husbands and wives have to have their own things.”
“I agree with what she said,” Jim smiled.