Idelle Mitchell

Idelle Buckley Mitchell

1936 - 2021

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Obituary of Idelle Buckley Mitchell

Idelle Buckley Mitchell, beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, volunteer, friend & mentor to many, passed away peacefully in her home in Santa Rosa on March 10th at the age of 84. A fifth-generation Californian with family roots in County Cork, Ireland, Idelle was born in San Francisco to Stafford P. Buckley and Marion Mitchell Buckley. She is survived by her daughter Alexandra Eisler and son-in-law Timothy Eisler of Kensington, her granddaughter Carson Eisler of Alameda, her son Robert Mitchell of Santa Rosa, her cherished younger brother Stafford Buckley of Guerneville, and her sister Mary Anne Conmy of Walnut Creek. She grew up in Piedmont and graduated from Piedmont High School. She attended UC Berkeley, class of ‘59, where she pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma. Soon after moving to San Francisco, Idelle joined the Spinsters and was an avid member of the Junior League. She greatly enjoyed a whirlwind social life with her Cal classmates while living on Telegraph Hill. In 1963 Idelle married Sumner Carson Mitchell, Jr., whom she met at Cal. The young couple lived in Sacramento while Carson worked at the state legislature. In 1964 they chose Santa Rosa as the ideal spot to start Carson’s law practice and raise a family. They endured a great tragedy when their firstborn daughter, Catherine Elizabeth “Peachy” Mitchell, died in 1965 at three months of age. Alexandra was born in 1966 and Robert followed in 1968. In 1973, the Mitchells joined a small number of Santa Rosa families as charter members of La Cantera, the newly established tennis and swim club near Howarth Park. Thus began Idelle’s new persona as a fierce competitor and social mainstay in the team tennis world. While the kids took swim lessons Idelle honed her game with lessons and tournaments. and represented La Cantera in team play in the USTA league. She and her longtime mixed-doubles partner Joe Seibel were a fixture in the league and set the standard for good sportsmanship. Tennis was the glue of the family’s social life as well, as the legendary “Wednesday Evening Tennis” couples group formed in the late ‘70’s. After informal mixed doubles play the group would enjoy lively dinners hosted by each couple in turn. Idelle was a talented home chef and consummate hostess, and dinner at the Mitchell’s became the occasion of the summer. Her children were active participants in the kitchen during these events and their love of cooking and entertaining remains one of Idelle’s enduring legacies. Even after the group stopped playing tennis regularly, they remained lifelong friends. La Cantera was a centerpiece of Idelle’s life as she assisted with club events, occasionally stood in at the office, and continued to play tennis into her 80’s. Following her divorce in 1985, she re-invented herself as a caterer. Idelle was famous for her signature cheesecake, which she first served at home to adoring guests and later as a feature of her catering business. She became a devoted supporter of Canine Companions for Independence and of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, where she volunteered for many years. She cheerfully displayed her enthusiasm for all things Peanuts-related; jewelry, clothing and artwork in her home. In 2018 the Museum honored her years of service with a special video installation for visitors. Idelle was above all things a loyal and steadfast friend. She was blessed with a tight-knit group of childhood pals from Piedmont who stayed close over the years through regular bridge games and outings in San Francisco. She also enjoyed regular Monday bridge games at the Wild Oak Saddle Club with a devoted circle of friends in Santa Rosa. In her final days her friends showered her and her family with love and support, a fitting testament to the life she lived. Due to pandemic restrictions, the family will postpone celebration of life events until conditions permit. Please refer inquiries to Idelle’s son Robert Mitchell via email at Rob@rlmweb.com.
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