Messenger photo by Dianne Schultz
Mary Mitchell of Plain City won this year’s Madison County Scottish Rite Community Service Award.
Mary Mitchell, 81, says she has a lot of life to live and a lot to offer life.
That spirit and dedication earned her this year’s Madison County Scottish Rite Community Service Award.
"I’ve done a lot in my lifetime, but I’m not entirely out of the picture yet," Mitchell said last week from her farm house outside of Plain City.
Born in 1926, Mitchell began a business career in banking even before she gradu-ated high school. She rose through the ranks from bank teller and bookkeeper to president of Farmers’ National Bank in Plain City.
When the bank consolidated with Citizens National Bank of Urbana in 1993, Mitchell stayed on as assistant vice president and manager of the Plain City branch. She retired in 2004 with 60 years of service to the banking industry. Her career included 30 years as secretary-treasurer of the Plain City Home and Saving Co., and she was director of the bank’s building and loan department.
Over the years, Mitchell’s civic pursuits have included stints as president of the Union County Historical Society, secretary of the Plain City Historical Society, treasurer of the Marysville Business and Professional Women, and a member of the Plain City Business Association.
Mitchell’s 62 years of membership in the Daughters of the American Colonists (DAC) pay tribute to her family’s roots, which date back to the early colonization of Pennsylvania.
"They were the first families to come to Plain City from Lancaster. When I say that, people naturally think our families were Amish but they were actually Presbyterians," she said.
Mitchell has served as state regent, national treasurer, national finance chairwoman and state chairwoman of a DAC scholarship fund and hosted the state DAC picnic at her home for about 30 years.
"I was actually coming home from a shopping trip to buy tablecloths for that picnic when I had my accident,’’ Mitchell said, regarding a 2005 car accident near her home that required months of recuperation. Hip replacement surgery 18 months ago slowed her down again for a few months, but not for long. She maintains a full slate of activities.
"I’m still teaching piano and I’m still active in my organizations,’’ Mitchell said as the ring of her telephone interrupted the interview.
"That was a friend asking if I was going to the concert tonight," Mitchell said. She serves on the Union County Community Concerts Committee.
The octogenarian also is an active alumna of the Plain City and Jonathan Alder schools. She has not missed an alumni banquet since her high school graduation in 1944. Mitchell has served as the banquet reservations chair for several decades.
When asked to what she attributes her success in her career and community service, Mitchell said, "I always tried to treat people the way I like to be treated myself. I think it’s important to say I always tried, because I think I fell down a few times on that goal."
She hopes her goal for the future doesn’t involve any actual falling-down time as she relies on a cane to get around following her hip surgery.
"My goal now is to get rid of this cane. It’s slowing me down,’’ Mitchell said as she prepared to leave for her evening in Marysville where she would sell tickets for another concert.