Aili Maria Mitchell, 91, of Spearfish, passed away on Monday, June 24, 2013 at Spearfish Regional Hospital surrounded by her loving family.
Aili was born on February 3, 1922 to Thomas and Emelia (Nygard) Penttila on the family homestead near Roubaix, SD. She attended grade school at the Roubaix School and 9th Grade in the upstairs of the Thomas house at Roubaix. She attended high school in Lead and was a member of the graduating class of 1940. Her class was the last one to graduate from the old high school, located between Siever and Wall Streets. During her last year of high school, Aili worked part time as a domestic servant in several homes, including the one of John Ryan, president of the First National Bank.
Aili married Albert "Bud" Mitchell, Jr. on June 30, 1941 in Lead. After the War Order mandated closure of the Homestake Mine in 1942, Bud and Aili moved to Montpelier, ID where Homestake began exploring for vanadium, a strategic war mineral. A short time later, they moved to Gillette, WY when Bud was re-assigned to Homestake's Wyodak Mine.
When Bud enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944 and was sent to the Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, MD, Aili moved to Washington, D.C. and went to work for the U.S. Bureau of Internal Revenue. After Bud was transferred to the naval base on Treasure Island near Oakland, CA, Aili moved to San Francisco and went to work for the National Safety Council. Following the war, the couple moved back to Lead and began raising a family.
Aili was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Lead and was quite active in the Senior Choir and Women’s Fellowship. She became a member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church when the two Lutheran churches in Lead merged in 1992.
Survivors include her three children, Eileen (Charles) Richards, Lead, SD; Christal (Gary) Pummel, Spearfish; Steven (Cindy) Mitchell, Sturgis; nieces, Lois Olson, Spearfish; Darleen (Jim) Cobb, Belle Fourche; Evelyn (Allen) Greenwalt, Olympia, WA; Jo Ann (Larry) Tucker, Wenatchee, WA; Clara Carter, Idaho Falls, ID; Anna Hiepler and Juanita Strait, Mira Loma, CA; nephews, Sherwin (Kaycie) Artus, Golden, CO; Dennis (Betty) Artus, Elkhorn, WI; Albert (Joanne) Penttila, Oxford, PA; Eugene Penttila (HI); five grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and many beloved relatives in Finland. She was preceded in death by her husband, three sisters, and two brothers.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 A.M. on Friday, June 28, 2013 at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Lead with visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis. A memorial has been established to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church Choirs.
Arrangements are under the care of the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel in Lead