Elizabeth "Betty Lou" Louise (Kunkel) Mitchell

December 29, 1928 ~ October 22, 2021 (age 92)


Elizabeth Louise “Betty Lou” (Kunkel) Mitchell, 92, of Nampa, Idaho, went to her heavenly reward on October 22, 2021. A Celebration of Her Life Service will be held at 1 PM on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So. – 208-442-8171. There will be a viewing and visitation for family and friends at the Nampa Funeral Home on Wednesday evening from 6 – 7:30 PM. An online guest book and the complete obituary may be found at

She was born on December 29, 1928 to Abraham and Alma Jane Kunkel in the Miller, South Dakota hospital located above the IGA grocery store. The family moved to Glenville, Minnesota when Betty was two years old. She grew up in a cottage between the railroad tracks and the blacksmith shop. After 7th grade the family moved to a farm near St. Lawrence, South Dakota where she graduated high school as valedictorian in a class of 13. She went on to an associates degree from Wessington Springs Junior College and then entered nurses training at Samaritan Hospital in Nampa, Idaho where she met Alva Mitchell, a farm boy from Sparta, Oregon. After nurses training, Betty worked in a mission hospital in Oklahoma City while finishing her bachelor’s degree at Bethany Peniel College. She worked the night shift until 7:00 a.m. and caught a 7:15 ride to the college for classes during the day. During this time she renewed acquaintances with Alva Mitchell and they were married September 3, 1954 in the Salem Zion Mennonite Church near Freeman, South Dakota. The couple moved to Nampa to finish Alva’s schooling and during their years there children John Russell, Roni Lou, Karl Thomas, and Robert Alva were born. After Alva’s graduation the family moved to Fallon, Nevada where Nancy Lee was born. They spent 21 good years in Fallon and enjoyed the Nazarene church, making many lifelong friends. She taught Sunday school for 50 years and was awarded the 2nd Mile certificate from the General Church of the Nazarene. She received three Distinguished Service Awards from her church. Other areas she served were bus ministry, missionary president, junior leader, and piano and organ playing for many years. She was a cub scout den mother for seven years and all of her children are Eagle Scouts or the equivalent for Nancy in the girl scouts. She was a health educator/school nurse in the primary schools in Fallon and an instructor for CNAs. She held a nursing license for 50 years. Betty liked to tell this “sad” story: “The hospital where I was born has been replaced with a modern facility. The house where I grew up has been replaced with a nicer house with a garage. The grade school I attended in Glenville has been destroyed and rebuilt. The high school I attended has been torn down and removed. The junior college I attended has been erased off the hills. The hospital in which I trained has been abandoned and the buildings given to Northwest Nazarene University. The hospital I worked in in OKC has been replaced with a modern building. The college I graduated from has changed its name three times and is currently Southern Nazarene University. The church I was married in has been turned into a parking lot for the new church.” Betty’s children were raised in Fallon, Nevada where their father was Chief Juvenile Probation Officer of Churchill County.

She is survived by her sister, Laetetia Anne Chavez, sisters in law, Shirley Kunkel and Pauline Mitchell, daughter-in-law, Dianne Mitchell (John, deceased), three children, Karl Thomas Mitchell , Newbridge, OR, Robert Alva Mitchell (Molly), Nampa, ID, Nancy Lee Mitchell Schinkel (John), Nampa, ID, and ten grandchildren: Aimee Catherine Schoenfeldt, Matthew David Schoenfeldt, Mark Alva Mitchell (Jessie Jo), Dana O Mitchell Palkki (Matt), Sydney Elizabeth Mitchell Drinkwater (Mike), J Mitchell, Samuel Joseph Robert Mitchell, Roxanne Evelyn Mitchell Johnsen (Trevor), Maris Marie Schinkel and Alva John (AJ) Schinkel. Eleven great grandchildren: Tyler Johnson (Shannon), Kain Carlson, Kyle Carlson (Lexie), Taren Taysom, Dia Jo Arriaga Mitchell, John Russell Mitchell, Maxwell Jon Drinkwater, Rose Elizabeth Drinkwater, Asher Lee Sexton, Wyatt Alva Mitchell and Beverly Dee Johnsen. Seven great great grandchildren: Charlotte Jean Johnson, Arielle Rose Carlson, Malachi Arthur Carlson, Winter Blake Carlson, and another baby girl due soon. She was preceded in death by her parents, Abraham and Alma Jane (Leighty) Kunkel, two brothers, Robert Kunkel and Henry Kunkel, a daughter, Roni Lou Mitchell and a son, John Russell Mitchell, and her husband, Alva Ronald Mitchell.

Betty Lou has said, “It was my duty before God to raise my children to serve the Lord. It was my plan to wait until they were all in heaven and then write a book on how to raise children. They are all born-again Christians and married to Christians.”

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made in Betty’s name to Hands of Hope Northwest, 1201 S Powerline Rd., Nampa, ID 83636.


Well done, Grandma. Welcome Home.



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October 27, 2021

6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Nampa Funeral Home
415 12th Ave. So.
Nampa, Idaho 83651

Celebration of Life
October 28, 2021

1:00 PM
Nampa Funeral Home
415 12th Ave. So.
Nampa, Idaho 83651

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