Mrs. Vanessa J. Mitchell-Russell affectionately called “Van” of
Palmetto, Florida was born to the parentage of the late Samuel Mitchell, Sr. and the late Alma Davis Mitchell in Freehold, New Jersey. Vanessa was the sixth child of nine children born to this union on August 1, 1953. She departed this life on Sunday, Jan- uary 24, 2021 at Tampa General Hospital.
Vanessa attended Lincoln Memorial Elementary in Palmetto, Florida and several Ele- mentary schools in Virginia, New Jersey and Maryland. She attended Lincoln Memo- rial High School and graduated from Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey in 1971. Vanessa attended Turner Chapel AME Church during her years of growing up. In her adult life she attended Church of God in Bradenton Florida where she accepted God as her Lord and Savior.
She later moved her membership to Mt. Moriah Christian Church in Sarasota, Flori- da, where she remained a member until her passing. Vanessa was a faithful servant in the church serving as a choir member, a member of the woman’s ministry, and a licensed Evangelist.
Vanessa worked in two areas of helps. She worked as a CAN and a Child Care Work- er. She worked for Manatee Convalescent Center for many years where she met and remained friends with many of her co-workers. She was employed by the Manatee County Head Start program and Kelly-Brown Day Care Center where she enjoyed and had many stories to tell about her joyous experiences with the children.
Vanessa had a heart of gold. She would help anyone who had a need. One day on her way to church a homeless man was asking for help. She only had a $20.00 bill, so she handed it to him. His eyes lit up and he yelled” Thank You!!” in a way that let you know he had never received that much before. For Christmas, she would buy everyone in the church a gift, even the children. She would start shopping for gifts right after Christmas and shop for the entire year.
Vanessa was discovered as a “Madea” like character named Hattie in a role she played while performing for Diamonds RU production. The play was titled A Mothers Cry. She adlibbed her role and had the audience rolling and laughing in their seat. She could be the comedian. Vanessa loved life and lived it to the fullest.
She leaves to remember and celebrate her life her husband, Roosevelt Russell; 5 chil- dren, Corey Mitchell, Palmetto, FL, Keiya Mitchell, Clermont, FL, Kendall Mitchell, Palmetto, FL, Joseph Morris, Palmetto, FL and Simeon Morris, Palmetto, FL; She has 2 grandsons that she adored Caleb Morris and Tony Washington, Jr.; 2 loving sis- ters, Betty Mitchell Oats of Tampa, FL, Kathy Mitchell Gainer of Pompano Beach and 1 brother, Ricky Mitchell (Shira), Pensacola, FL; Sisters-in-law: Christella Mitchell, Lois Small (Dennis), Annette Coffee (Charles), Edmond Poole, Timothy Simmons, A host of nieces and nephews, Gwendolyn Williams (Fredrick), Bradenton, FL, Pamela Johnson, Bradenton, FL, Teresa Peterson (Harry) Bradenton, FL, Cheryl Truewell, Tampa, FL Vicky Vegas (Sam), Georgia, Valerie Starling, Bradenton, FL, Cassandra Isom (Jarvis), Bradenton, FL, Charity Gainer, Pompano Beach, FL; Faith Gainer, Mid- land, Texas, Donna Hill (Thomas), Ruskin, FL, Kevin Mitchell (Karen) Little Rock, Ar- kansas, Jessie Oats (Judy), Tampa, Fl., Errol Scott, Orlando, FL, Donald Scott, Jr. (Deborah), Bradenton, FLDarryl Scott, Maryland, Josh Mitchell (US Army), Youthekneia Miller (Paul), Frostproof, FL Kenneth Mitchell, Jr., Bradenton, FL Keith Mitchell, Bradenton, FL Vanessa had a host of great and great-great nieces and nephews that will miss her sorely. She has 3 Godchildren, Sarah, Josiah Gonzelez and Kylee Thomas Vanessa will be missed by all of her other relatives and friends that were all dear to her.
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