Obituary and funeral service: Frances Irene Bynum Mitchell, 92, of Loganville

Frances Irene Bynum Mitchell, age 92 of Loganville, GA, passed away on Monday, May 27, 2024. A funeral service will be held at 3:00 PM on Sunday, June 2, 2024, with Minister Don Hardison officiating. Interment will follow at Corinth Memorial Gardens in Youth community near Loganville. Frances was a member and frequent teacher in the Christian Workers Sunday School Class at Corinth Christian Church.

Frances was born on June 28, 1931, at the family home in Cedar Springs community in Early County, GA. Like most people within this southwestern Georgia county, her family made their living farming row crops including cotton and commercial vegetables such as peanuts, watermelons and corn. During World War II the family often sold vegetables to both US Army guards and German POWs at a nearby US Army installation. Her childhood was filled with the difficult work of a family farm but also the rustic fun of a piney woods and Spanish moss draped Georgia community with many hours spent swimming and socializing at the “Turtle Hole.” It was about this time as a teenager that Frances passed out in a peanut field from heat prostration which pointed to her true calling – public education.

Frances graduated from nearby Jakin High School on May 28, 1948. Thereafter she enrolled at Georgia State College for Women at Milledgeville, GA and was seasonally employed in 1950 at the Monmouth Hotel at Spring Lake Beach, NJ earning $20.00 per month. Her teaching career began in the fall of 1950 at the Pavo Consolidated School in Thomas County teaching 2nd grade students. In 1953 Frances was instructing students at Pine Grove School in Early County and shortly thereafter enrolled at Valdosta State College earning a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education on August 14, 1957. While attending Valdosta State, she instructed students near Turner Air Force Base where she met her future husband Thomas Alan Mitchell of Youth Community, GA who was employed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Upon their marriage at Cedar Springs Methodist Church on June 26, 1960, the couple moved to Columbus, GA where Frances was employed by the Muscogee County Board of Education through the summer of 1969. It was during this interval that Frances earned her Master of Education degree from the Women’s College of Georgia at Milledgeville, GA on August 20, 1964.

Following the birth of her son Robert Alan Mitchell on Dec. 26, 1969, Frances was employed for the next 18 years by the Walton County Board of Education beginning at West Walton School in Youth Community. This was followed with third grade assignments at the Loganville School in 1973 and Loganville Primary School in 1976. She concluded her full-time career in 1990 for a total of 37 years in GA public education. During retirement Frances served as a substitute teacher and an adult reading instructor. Frances won accolades for “outstanding contributions in education” for the 1979-80 school year from the Northeast GA CESA Teacher Center; was elected the 1984-85 Teacher of the Year for Loganville Primary School; and was nominated for the National Teacher Hall of Fame for the 1986-87 school year. Frances was initiated into Delta Kappa Gamma Society International on Oct. 19, 1958, a national education honor society and was affiliated with the Gamma Chi chapter.

Beyond her extensive teaching career Frances enjoyed fellowship with friends & family and was delighted to serve her church and community. She was a well-known cook, oftentimes serving her version of Ritz cracker chicken soufflé and turnip greens with corn bread. Although reared in a rural setting, she was a fastidious proponent of Southern manners and knew all the foibles of a proper dinner place setting and personal attire. She also enjoyed machine sewing and reading with an emphasis on biblical study.

For the past seven years Frances resided within the Gardens at Great Oaks Assisted Living facility in Monroe, GA. The family would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation for the love and care that was extended by the faculty and staff to “Miss Frances.”

Frances was preceded in death by her husband Thomas Alan Mitchell in 2003; parents Oscar Leon and Martha Inez (Johnson) Bynum; and brothers Gordon Bynum, Wayne Bynum, Winston Bynum, Hal Bynum, and Fred Bynum. Frances is survived by her son & daughter-in-law, Robby and Gabi Mitchell of Loganville, GA; brother Max Bynum of Las Vegas, NV; and grandchildren, Clara Mitchell and Molly Mitchell. The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Saturday, June 1, 2024 at Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 670 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville, Georgia 30052, 770-466-1544. In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make donations to the National Alzheimer’s Association www.act.alz.org or the historic Cedar Springs Georgia Cemetery in care of Robert Mitchell 2150 Hwy. 81, Loganville, GA 30052. Please sign the online guest registry at www.stewartfh.com.

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Reposted courtesy of Tim Stewart Funeral Home.

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