Kirtsy Ann Mitchell
Kirtsy Ann Mitchell
  • February 22, 1930 - October 19, 2017
  • Stafford, Texas

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Kirtsy Ann Kendrick Mitchell added the final coda to her life's symphony on October 19th, 2017 in Meadows Place, Texas, after a long battle with dementia. Kirtsy led a full life, touching the lives of so many people with her kindness and dedication.

Born on February 22, 1930 in Chickasha Oklahoma to the late Thomas Levi and Izola Myers Kendrick, Kirtsy graduated from Chickasha High School and attended college at the Oklahoma College for Women, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Piano with a minor in history. She then received a Master's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Oklahoma.

After graduation, Kirtsy spent six years teaching elementary music and basic subjects in the Tulsa Oklahoma Public School System. It was while teaching in Tulsa that she met Roscoe Mitchell at a church social, and their courtship lead to marriage in 1958. Kirtsy taught school until the birth of her first child, Roger, when she became a stay-at-home mom.

In 1965 the family, now including younger sisters Karen and Marcia, moved to Houston following the consolidation of Roscoe's company. The family settled in the Memorial area, and Kirtsy turned her talents to serving God, working as both a volunteer and employee in the education and music ministries at Chaplewood United Methodist Church. She served as an assistant organist, accompanist and children's choir director, and helped establish the Handbell program there, serving as director of the youth and adult Handbell choirs. She was a Certified Elementary Laboratory and Training School leader for the United Methodist Church, and helped lead the development and writing of curriculum materials for elementary education programs. For over 25 years, Kirtsy taught piano to students young and old. She also helped children in need of tutoring, teaching remedial reading at home. Upon her "retirement" she started another career, composing instructional Handbell music, eventually creating and publishing the only graded Handbell series for teaching the English Handbell to elementary and middle school students. Several of her compositions became bestsellers in the educational Handbell literature. For over twelve years, until her final retirement at age 83, Kirtsy served as a volunteer teaching assistant to the music teachers at Spring Branch Elementary School in Houston, teaching young students how to play Handbells.

Kirtsy was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Roscoe, and her parents Tomas and Izola Kendrick. She is survived by her sister Joyce Freeman, of Midland, son Roger Mitchell of League City, daughters Karen Musick and husband Geoffrey Cope of Kerville and Marcia Johannsen-Baker and husband Steve Baker of Sugar Land. She is also survived by granddaughter Kayla Cook and husband Josh of Tyler, and grandson Shane Musick and fiance Jessica Bishop of Houston, and her sister-in-law Margaret Leu of Alton, Mo. She also leaves behind many wonderful lifelong friends that made her life more fulfilling.
A private family service of commitment will be held at the Houston National Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest with her husband. A memorial service celebrating Kirtsy's life will be held Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Chapelwood United Methodist Church, 11140 Greenbay Drive, Houston, Texas 77024.

The family would like to thank the staff at The Hampton at Meadows Place and the caregivers from Family Tree Home Healthcare for their wonderful care of mother in her last years. In lieu of flowers, Kirtsy wished that those who desire dedicate memorial gifts to the Music Ministry of Chapelwood United Methodist Church at the above address, or to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Texas, 8111 N. Stadium Drive, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77054, or to the Ehlers-Danlos Society, P.O. Box 87463, Montgomery Village, MD 20886.