Alas, our own Coni Mitchell passed away on Saturday April 20, 2019, Holy Saturday. A mere 54 years of age, Coni exuded warmth, laughter, tears, and a true dedication to improving the lives of others, often the less fortunate.
I recruited Coni in 2004 to specifically work at a new day habilitation program entitled “The Purple Cat” not knowing if the program would fizzle and die or grow strong. Well, thanks in part to Coni, it has grown strong. Coni moved on to activities director and assistant daily director of Golden String and has been witness to many successful fundraisers, fish frys, fishing derbies, golf outings, proms, and parties. She contributed mightily to successful grants and helped usher in a new era for Golden String, the GabbaCamp era. Coni will be remembered, etched deeply in my mind and heart, for her smile, laughter, guidance, and friendship. Coni and I have been together since my birth (Our fathers were best friends) and my second earliest memory ever is of Coni pushing her brother Gino (my best friend) in a stroller up Erie Avenue on her way to Euclid Boulevard to see me (aged 4; Coni was 10). I can still see her now in her St. Dominic schoolgirl plaids, her navy knee socks. I watched and waited anxiously for her from the blacktop of my driveway in the summer of 1976. I now must watch and wait to see her in the blossoming lilac trees, hear her in the wind and in the faint chirps of sparrows. Coni is present at our farm where her ashes were lovingly spread in the lake by her husband John, her daughters Hannah and Halley, and family and friends. Someday I will hopefully be there too. Coni lives on and while we do not fully understand the mysteries of our Lord, we do understand His love. Through Coni He was evident. As Coni used to say, “We are funny and we are pretty too”. Yes, yes we are Coni. Rest easy girl. We’ll continue down here. You create a camp for us up there.
Farmer Casey’s Ranch