Ruth Ellen Mitchell, 86 - Taylors

Ruth Ellen Bates Mitchell was born on January 19, 1930 in the Highland Community of Dark Corner of Northern Greenville County to the late James Davis Bates and Maude Irene Cox Bates and went to be with the Lord on April 16, 2016.

Ruth Ellen always put God first in her life and was always dedicated to God. She was the organist at Redeemed Baptist Church for 23 years, while her daughter served as pianist. Ruth Ellen enjoyed playing the piano, the organ and being with family and friends. She loved everyone that she met and never met a stranger.

Ruth Ellen became saved at an early age and lived with her parents serving the Lord and sharing God's word, the KJV Bible. She led a biblically conservative lifestyle being an integral part of the ministry sharing of God's love with everyone‎. She would witness to anyone about the love of God and would say that we all needed to "live for Jesus every day." Her favorite beatitude was always, "Blessed are the Peacemakers."

Ruth Ellen ‎served in various capacities of the following churches: Tyger Baptist Church, Beaverdam Baptist Church, Pacolet Hills Baptist Church, Cross Plains Baptist Church, Washington Avenue Baptist Church, Shady Grove Baptist Church, Redeemed Baptist Church and Blue Ridge Baptist Church. She served as a pastor's wife, mother, daughter, friend, faithful church member, pianist, organist, VBS Director, Sunday school teacher, Training Union Director, Training Union Teacher and VBS Youth Leader. She served in these various positions with joy, not complaint. Ruth Ellen is a faithful member of Blue Ridge Baptist Church on Pennington Road, Greer, SC, where she served as a door-greeter. She served the Lord with gladness and thought of others first. She always handed out candy and lollipops to the children.

Ruth Ellen graduated from Jordan High School where she excelled and went from the 11th grade directly into North Greenville University and Furman University.

Ruth Ellen is a retired educator teaching in Greenville County Schools for 33 years.‎ She taught 17 years at Tigerville Elementary then taught 16 years at Ebene‎zer Elementary School.

She loved her students and went the extra mile to encourage them. Ruth Ellen designed the Challenge Program of Greenville County School District with teaching these advanced children so that the smarter children were advancing and not being held back. She motivated others and wanted her students to succeed. Due to her desire to help students reach their potential with the Challenge Program, some students were promoted to the next grade level.

Ruth Ellen was always willing to do any job that she could do for the Lord. She has always been a PRAYER warrior. She would stop what she was doing and immediately pray when someone asked her to pray or she felt that someone needed prayer.

Ruth Ellen supported her daughter with piano lessons, orchestra, GCYO, 4-H, Girl Scouts, and did it all without complaint.

Ruth Ellen and her daughter, Tonya, were more like sisters, than parent/child. Ruth Ellen enjoyed spending time with her daughter, dressing alike, laughing, visiting the sick and shut-in's, and trying to show care to everyone.

Tonya's musical talent was a joy for her parents and grandparents. It pleased Ruth Ellen for Tonya to play for God where all praise and honor goes to God. Ruth Ellen never complained about taking Tonya to violin lessons, orchestra, school events, 4-H, and Girl Scouts, all while trying to assist her daughter to develop the talents that God gave her.

If someone passed‎ away, as late as 3 weeks ago, mother would bake a cake or cook a full meal for a sick friend. She never expected anything in return but seeing the joy that it brought others.

April 7, 2016 Ruth Ellen accompanied Tonya and Brian to MUSC Hospital Charleston regarding Tonya's brain tumors and chronic migraines.‎ She enjoyed riding around and seeing Fort Moultrie, the beauty of Sullivan's Island and dining at Paige's Okra Grill and Taco Mamacita. She was able to eat, drink and enjoy the time.

Her last breathe on earth were hard to deal with as she was septic (colon) issues and UTI infections off and on the past 4 months.

This is taking a terrible toll on Tonya, Ruth Ellen's Daughter. Ruth Ellen was 37 when Tonya was born. They have always been more like sisters as we wore matching outfits to church. Ruth Ellen and Tonya loved each other. Ruth Ellen enjoyed special times and trips shared. They served 23 years as organist and pianist of Redeemed Baptist Church on Blackstock Road, Landrum, SC 29356.

Tonya feels like part of herself left when her mother took her last breath here on earth. Her comfort comes in knowing that her last breath on earth was her first breath in Heaven.

Ruth Ellen is survived by her daughter, Tonya Sabrina Mitchell and her son-in-law, Brian L. Pace; a sister, Betty Jean Bates Ward (Charles Ken Ward); and sister-in-law, Mrs. Lena Johnson Farr (Homer Farr).

She was predeceased by her husband of 55 years, Rev. George J. Mitchell.

Funeral services will be held 3:30 p.m. Friday at Blue Ridge Baptist Church, conducted by Rev. Michael Pittman and Rev. Buddy Robbins. Entombment will follow in Hillcrest Memory Gardens Mausoleum.

Visitation will be held 2:00-3:15 p.m. Friday at the church.

The families are at their respective homes.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hopewell Independent Baptist Church, Attn: Pastor Michael Pittman, 1919 Hwy 11, Landrum, SC 29356 or Blue Ridge Baptist Church Debt, Mortgage or Music Fund, 3950 Pennington Road, Greer, SC 29651.

If you would like to send a card to the family of Ruth Ellen Bates Mitchell: Tonya Sabrina Mitchell & Brian Pace, PO Box 1132, Travelers Rest, SC 29690 or Betty Jean Bates Ward and Ken Ward, 100 Tigerville School Rd, Taylors, SC 29687.

Online condolences may be expressed here.