Cover photo for Pauline Allen Mitchell's Obituary
Pauline Allen Mitchell Profile Photo
1929 Pauline 2020

Pauline Allen Mitchell

November 1, 1929 — September 24, 2020

Pauline Allen Mitchell, 90, died peacefully September 24, 2020, surrounded by her daughters at her home, overlooking the James River, in Powhatan County. Born November 1, 1929, Pauline grew up in the City of Newport News, where she excelled in school and enjoyed working in her family’s jewelry store. At Newport News High School, she accepted a date with a good-looking, funny, persistent classmate only on the condition that he contribute artwork to the yearbook she edited. That date of the two “Most Popular” students, according to their senior superlatives, culminated in a 47-year marriage and six children with Ashton D. Mitchell, Jr. With kids in elementary, middle and high school, Pauline completed a degree in Mass Communications at VCU, finishing the education that began many years earlier at Virginia Intermont College, where she was president of the Student Government Association and played string bass in the college orchestra. Her degree would launch an illustrious career in communications and public relations (PR). Her career, in fact, was so distinguished that she was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in 1998. Pauline’s diverse work experience included holding positions as Corporate Director of Community Relations and Television Producer at WCVE, Information Director at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Vice-President of Ashton Mitchell and Associates, Adjunct Professor at Mary Baldwin College and Director of News and Information and Director of Special Projects, both for Chesterfield County. After official retirement, Pauline continued as a media consultant for Lucy Corr Village and other organizations, always looking for an angle, knowing that “advertising pays for space, but PR prays for space.” She successfully pitched stories to reporters with whom she developed rapport over decades, highlighting interesting people, events or organizations. Pauline took a keen interest in mentoring others and won many professional honors and awards, notably with the Virginia Press Women and National Press Women. Pauline was a creative visionary who developed and established boards including The Henricus Foundation where as a co-founder of Henricus Historical Park was conferred the honor of Emeritus Board Member in 2013. Prior to that, she was a charter member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees serving as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-Chair and Chairperson over the years. Pauline held other noteworthy volunteer leadership positions on the James River Task Force, Virginia Civil War Trails, the Greater Richmond Tourism Association, the Powhatan Civil War Round Table and was a director on boards of numerous non-profits throughout the region. Pauline and Ashton were charter members of both Salisbury Country Club and Federal Hill Club and were long time members of Fine Creek Club. Pauline also was a past president of both the Westwood Junior Women’s Club and Tri Club Women’s Club. Pauline is predeceased by her husband in 1998, sons Ashton “Danny” Mitchell III and Timothy Allen Mitchell, as well as her sister Virginia Allen Robertson and brother William Hiram Allen. By birthright, she was a proud member of the Clan Moffat of Scotland. She is survived by her children, Paul Bruce Mitchell, Mary Catherine Mitchell Amos (Allen), Susan Bell Nottingham (George), and Anne Louise Maliff (John), and by her daughters-in-law, Linda Shepherd Mitchell, Katherine Moore Townsend and Susan Jervey Waller. She has dearly loved having, playing with, and reading to her dozens of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, who affectionately called her “Quack-Quack.” Pauline has always enjoyed the company of her brother, Robert Bruce Allen, and his wife, Annette. She also adored her many loving and attentive nieces and nephews and their children. A private, socially-distanced service will be held outdoors at John Tree Hill, followed by a family-only burial at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, where Pauline belonged for over 50 years. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Luke’s Cemetery Fund, 2245 Huguenot Trail, Powhatan, VA 23139 or The Henricus Foundation, 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester, VA 23836.
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