A native of Carlsbad, N.M., Anita was the third of six children born to Robert Leslie McPherson (1893-1955) and Bessie Dydine (Clark) McPherson (1909-1988). Known to family and friends as “Nita,” she spent her early life in New Mexico. In the summer of 1949, soon to be 17, Nita relocated to the Southern Sierra sawmill community of Johnsondale, Calif., where she lived with her brother-in-law and sister, Robert and Roberta Greenwood. There she met her “husband to be,” Jack Glendon Mitchell (1930-2001). After a short summer courtship, the two were wed in a ceremony at the home of Jack’s parents, Lee and Ivy Mitchell of Johnsondale. Jack worked for Mt. Whitney Lumber. Nita became a homemaker. They spent most of the next 25 years there and raised four children; Allan Wayne (1951), Larry Neal (1952), Charlotte Anne (1956) and Jack Gregory “Greg” (1963).
Nita was involved in various community activities. Her favorite was the Women’s Club. She spent many daytime hours visiting with friends and playing cards or board games, especially Yahtzee with her good friend, Vivian Griffin. For several years, Nita worked a part time food service job at the “cookhouse” where the “loggers” and single employees ate. Jack retired from the lumber industry in 1974, and he and Nita relocated to the Kern River Valley where they lived out the remaining years of their lives. Jack and Nita were married for 52 years before his death in 2001. Nita, being a strong willed individual, continued to live on at their Onyx, Calif., home until her recent health issues caused her to be hospitalized in mid-November. It was then that she was diagnosed with an advanced/aggressive form of cancer. She spent the next 2 months in the care of Kern Valley Hospital and the Skilled Nursing Unit. Nita passed peacefully in her sleep in the early morning hours of January 11, 2019.
Nita was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Mitchell; parents, Robert and Bessie McPherson; brothers, Raymond McPherson and Edmond McPherson; sisters, Billie McCord and Frances Cooper; and granddaughter, Valerie Mitchell. Nita is survived her sister, Roberta Greenwood of Kernville, Calif.; four children and their spouses: Allan (Kay) Mitchell of Inyokern, Calif.; Larry (Karen) Mitchell of California City, Calif.; (Jim) Charlotte Chico of Kernville, Calif.; and Greg (Tina) Mitchell of Kimberly, ID; 12 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
Nita was known to be a kind and caring person and was loved by so many. She will be forever missed. Graveside services will be held at Kern River Valley Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 18, 2019, and will be officiated by Pastor Neal Preston. A reception will immediately follow at the Foursquare Church, 20 Panorama Drive, Wofford Heights, Calif. Arrangements are being handled by Lake Isabella Valley Mortuary.