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Mrs. Marva Dianne Mitchell, daughter of the late Clarence and Addie Mae McFarland, was born on August 11, 1949 in Vancouver, Washington. Marva inherited and learned many practical and creative skills from her mother, and discovered at a young age that she had a penchant for sewing, drawing, homemaking, and other crafts. She developed her exceptional high soprano voice and aspired, as a young woman, to be a renowned opera singer.
She grew up as a parishioner of New Hope Baptist Ministry Church, which her grandfather, Marvin Lewis, helped establish. Her love for God and ministry was enduring. She served as a lifelong choir member and went on to serve as Youth Choir Director for New Hope Baptist Church and Adult Choir Director at Bethesda Baptist Church. She was also a distinguished member of the Gospel Music Workshop of America Portland Vancouver Chapter where, in addition, she served as Choir Director for their Youth Metropolitan Choir. After teaching herself sign language, she was able to incorporate the language into her delivery and direction. Even more, Marva also served as the District Congress Superintendent for the Union District Baptist Association, where she planned children’s and community engagement activities for the past five years. Indeed, Marva was always known for excelling in her role as Teacher Marva to several generations of Sunday School children at both New Hope and Bethesda Baptist churches. Her fun and inspirational lessons, exciting classroom decorations, and ability to incorporate games into her teachings were always an amazement to witness and a delight for the children who she taught.
Her family was another deep source of joy to which she extended a great wealth of positivity and upliftment. She is most notably remembered for the encouraging words delivered and heartfelt gestures that reached her husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, nieces and grandnieces, nephews and grand nephews. They have all relayed how blessed they feel to have had someone in their lives so able to make everything she did elegant and unique. Her legacy of arts and ministry live on through them with her favorite .
She will be forever cherished by her husband, Cal Mitchell; children: Chanise (Dante) Gilliam, Ericka (Juan) Marin, Cicely (Travis) Snow; Shakaya (Mya) McFarland; Latitia Rae McFarland; God-Daughters: Milinda(Paul) Lawrence and Miranda(John) Chatterton; fifteen grandchildren: Wakisha Duclos, Denzel Weekly, Dante Gilliam ll; Caleb Weekly; Shekinah Weekly, Ricarda Marin, Aiden Marin; Leo Marin; Stephanie Marin, Ezrah Marin, Jazmin Snow, Dillan Snow, and Rhyan Lahmar McFarland; five great grandchildren: Josiah Duclos, Maya Duclos, Benjamin Duclos, Tytan Weekly, and Elijah Weekly; siblings: Patricia Warren, Gary McFarland, Stella LaVon McFarland; Barbara Jean Hunt; Carol Gill, and Cheryl Moten; her great-aunts, Helen Ruth Stone, Pairfine “Sweet” Hall, and Ella Mae Harrison; and a host of devoted family members including cousins, nieces, nephews, and cherished friends.