Sarah Jane Mitchell

Sarah Jane Mitchell, 91, of Murphysboro, died at midnight on Sept. 19, 2017, surrounded by family.

She will be remembered for being a loving mother and grandmother to her family. A voracious reader, she taught and instilled a love of reading in her children, grandchildren and hundreds of school children. She will be missed as a gentle compassionate and generous soul.

She was born on March 4, 1926, in Benton, the daughter of Walter Preston Harper Jr. and Mary Baker Harper.

On June 4, 1949, she married Donald Ray Mitchell of Murphysboro in Champaign. They were married for 26 years.

She attended Anna public schools and graduated from Anna-Jonesboro Community High School in 1944. She continued her education at Southern Illinois University  Carbondale, graduating in 1948 with a bachelor of science degree in education. She taught in elementary and junior high schools in Illinois for 25 years.

She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Murphysboro.

She is survived by a daughter, Mary Susan Lassy and her husband, Paul of Symsonia, Ky.; a son, James Donald Mitchell of Scottsdale, Ariz.; two granddaughters, Bianca Jane Mitchell of Brevard, N.C., and Kelly Maurer and husband Matthew of Metropolis; two grandsons, John Paul Henry and his wife Emily of Lawrence, Kan., and David Ray Mitchell and fiancee Kara Sauls of Chicago; three great-grandsons, Andrew, Luke and Zachary Maurer of Metropolis; other relatives and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; by two sons, Thomas Harper Mitchell and William (Bill) David Mitchell; and all of her grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.

Graveside services for Sarah Jane Mitchell were at the Anna Cemetery at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, with the Rev. Becky Brooks officiating. She was buried by her son, Bill Mitchell.

Memorials can be made to the United Methodist Church of Murphysboro.

Crain Pleasant Grove-Murdale Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

To view the full obituary or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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