Franklin (Frank) John Trehern Mitchell (Dad and Grandpa)

December 27, 1925 – September 15, 2021 (95 years old) 

Kathleen (Kay) Patricia (nee Doherty) Mitchell (Mom and Granny)

July 1, 1927 – August 7, 2018 (91 years old)

Dad passed peacefully on September 15, 2021, after a long and debilitating illness. Dad was predeceased on August 7, 2018 by Mom, his partner and wife of 68 years after her brief battle with Cancer. The family extends its heartfelt gratitude to Ophelia and all the caregivers and staff at the Selkirk Seniors Village who regarded Dad as part of their families in his last three and a half years.

Dad’s father John Dimond Mitchell, born in Exeter, Devonshire, England and his mother Ellen Meek, born in Herefordshire, England, and two older sisters Kathleen and Molly, predeceased dad. His younger sister Enes, and many wonderful nephews and nieces survive Dad.

Mom’s father Peter Doherty, from Drogheda, Ireland and her mother Emily Edwards Hodgkinson from Howebridge, Lancashire, England, and two younger brothers Peter Doherty and Frank Doherty, predeceased mom. Sister-In-Law Trudy, survive mom and many wonderful nephews and nieces.  Mom was born on Canada’s Diamond Jubilee of Confederation (1927) in Prince Rupert, B.C. and spent many wonderful years living with her family on the very remote Cape St James Lighthouse, at the southern tip of the Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)

Their two loving daughters, Maureen Mitchell-Starkey (Cris) and Erin Patricia Mitchell Beckwith (Glen), survive Mom and Dad. As well, their four devoted grandchildren David (Lisa), Katelyn (Dave), Emma and Mitchell, and four delightful great grandchildren Jacklyn, Duke, Peter and Evie survive Granny and Grandpa.

Born and raised in Esquimalt, Dad joined the Canadian Military and served in the infantry and paratroop division of the Canadian Army during World War II. After the war, at a local riding meeting of the Cooperative Commonwealth Youth Movement (CCYM, the CCF Youth Group), is where Mom and Dad meet. Six years of courting and chasing Mom, on Christmas Eve Day (1949) Dad took the plunge and invited Mom for a rowboat ride, out to a small island off Saxe Point Park in Esquimalt, where Dad proposed and Mom said yes. It was the start of a very loving, caring and full 68-year marriage. They were married on August 5, 1950, in the family home at 1303 Lyall Street, in Esquimalt, where they continued to live for many years.

1950 – 1951 was the start of a political life for both of them. Dad was first elected as the CCF MLA for Esquimalt-Port Renfrew in 1951 when he was just 25 years old, making Dad one of the youngest B. C. MLAs ever elected in the Province. He was re-elected in 1952, then defeated in 1953. Dad was also an MLA during one of the earlier B.C. coalition governments. 

One of Dad’s pastimes was boxing; he actually did very well while competing. In addition, around 1949 dad joined the Esquimalt Boxing Club with Coach Nick Lystar, and Dad became a trainer there. The club was for both youth and adults; Dad really enjoyed his time with the club. 

In 1956, Dad joined the Esquimalt Police and Fire Department (EPD). A role he found exceedingly rewarding. While on duty, he was police officer, until there was a fire, then he became a firefighter, and if there was an ambulance call, he went out on those calls as well. It was a busy time for all EPD members in those days.

Dad retired officially from the EPD around 1982. One of Dad’s favourite form of community outreach, was back in the early 1970’s was formation of a local Esquimalt youth group called the “Police Organization of Esquimalt Teens” (POET). The meetings were at our home. Mom and Dad would host the local youth executive as they planned their next events.

Dad loved to be busy and he knew how to work! He loved working with his hands, whether it was in his garden or with cement, pouring walkways or building concrete retaining walls, he loved a project. Dad was also a journeyman welder and plasterer, an accomplished gardener, beekeeper, boater, a devoted husband and Father.

A special mention of their two son-in-law’s, Cris and Glen for the countless hours they would both spend working on “Dad Projects”. Dad always said, “…he should have had more daughters, so he would have had more son in laws”!

Nearing the twilight of his working life, Dad decided to throw his hat in for an election once more, and he was elected as the Esquimalt – Port Renfrew NDP MLA in 1979, serving until 1986.

Following Mom and Dad’s retirement from active politics, their long-time friends including Moe Sihota who succeeded Dad as the next NDP MLA (elected in 1986). Then (elected in 2005), NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis, and out in the Western Communities (elected in 2005) NDP MLA/Premier John Horgan, and in 2017, a new dear friend, NDP MLA Mitzi Dean was elected in the riding of Esquimalt Metchosin. Thank you all for continuing Mom and Dad’s legacy of community leadership!

Mom and Dad both lived full and active lives. Their family and politics were their lives. They were the stalwart, caring architects of the NDP “election machine”. In Esquimalt – Port Renfrew, Mom was known affectionately as the ‘Godmother’.

In her younger years, Mom worked for the old Hudson Bay Company in Victoria as a cashier and then a head cashier, before staying at home raising her two daughters. Mom, also had a brief career working as a Sergeant-at-Arms for the B.C. Legislature, Mom volunteered as an executive member on many of the local NDP riding association executives. Mom also served as Dad’s campaign manager when needed. In the days before computers, Mom ran many a campaign. She was a strategic thinker. Mom knew the whole riding like the back of her hand. She also mentored many of the past and today’s New Democrats on how to run an election. 

Upon retirement, Mom and Dad moved from their Esquimalt home to their little cottage on Gordon’s Beach (the beach) (they purchased it in 1960), west of Sooke into the Otter Point community where they called it home for over 30 plus years, until their passing.

One of the many gifts from Mom and Dad to our family and friends were summers, weekends, Christmas’s, birthdays and any other holiday or opportunity was a visit, a sleepover or a stay at the beach. Erin and I both have many fond memories of our times at the beach. Grandchildren David and Katelyn, and Emma and Mitchell always looked forward to sleepovers at the beach. They all spent many a day, week, a month or a year on the beach playing, in the creek, swimming, fresh and salt-water fishing, learning how to catch, net and clean a fish and plant and cultivate a garden. They all loved their visits with Granny and Grandpa. As well, we also spent many summers out and about our local B.C., waters up and down the west and east coast on the family boat, MV ErinMaur, Mom and Dad’s 36’ Canoe Cove cruiser. Named after their two daughters. Best fishing at Otter Point and up at Port Renfrew.

An extra special mention to my sister Erin, who became a constant companion to both Mom and Dad for several years. Driving them, taking them to appointments, caring for Mom over her last 8 weeks, and visiting Dad daily, if not twice a day, while he lived at the Selkirk Retirement Seniors home. The day before Dads passing, Erin and Dad were sitting down at the Selkirk trestle enjoying fresh and warm brownies. They had a marvellous time together, Dad was very happy!

Mom and Dad’s friendship with Heather and Bob Phillips from the Kemp Lake area of Otter Point was extra special; never a week went by, where Bob did not stop by for a coffee, a visit or a phone call.  Oh, the wonderful projects Dad and Bob would take on. Thank you, dear friends

Mom and Dad always enjoyed their outings with the ‘Usual’s’. Thank you ‘Usual’s’ for always including them, truly a full and a wonderful life, both Mom and Dad lived. 

In lieu of a formal service or celebration, the family asks that if your lives have been touched or enriched by Kay and Frank Mitchell, whether you are a friend, a family member or you have a love of politics, please take a moment to raise your cup to celebrate your life and your friendships! Enjoy the moment. 

 Kay and Frank Mitchell, together again!

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • ASTON family

    It such a great honor to be part of your life Frank, our unit will never be the same without you. May you rest in peace with your beloved wife. Our deepest condolence to the family. We will miss you Frank.

  • Mary P Brooke

    It seems BC wouldn’t be what it is today without the heartfelt and hard working influence of Kay and Frank Mitchell. Putting forth both a vision of a better life for all people together with the knack for and commitment to on-the-ground political organization, this powerhouse couple in a way made all of BC’s neighbourhoods and communities their family. The impact of the Mitchells is not the sort of legacy one must wait to see unfold. Each of us in BC is living the benefits of their passion for politics and people. Moe, I have no doubt that they poured every ounce of their unique passions into you and the ones around you; through you their wisdom and quiet but steadfast vision flowers forth.

  • Carol Pickup

    I will always treasure my friendship with Kay and Frank. Two very special people who helped me so much on my journey into politics!! I believe that they are united in the Light of Spirit and all is well with them. Love & hugs to their family.

  • Andrew & Annette

    Truly an end of an era. Frank and Kay were always incredibly welcoming to us whenever we came over. Some of our fondest memories of Christmas are when all the family gathered at Otter Point. So much laughter and grand stories; history you could hear. Their love of their community and family was always so boundless and inspiring. They may be gone but they are frequently in our own stories and thoughts. They will be greatly missed.

    Heartfelt condolences.
    Andrew & Annette

  • Julie Flatt

    As a landscaper for Maureen, then later for a couple of Frank and Kay’s Esquimalt properties, my heart grew two sizes the day Kay said, “You do what you think best Julie, I trust you”. The Gordon’s Beach gig was especially fun. Frank indeed created a beautiful garden, his greenhouse system a marvel. Frank taught me a lot about fruit and veg but what I treasured most was sitting down for grilled cheese lunches at Kay’s table. Oh the stories! I consider myself fortunate to be drawn into their orbit. With Frank and Kay, it was truly all about family, friends and community.

  • Vance Capron

    Maureen and Erin you must know how lucky you both where to have such special parents as yours were. Uncle Frank and Auntie Kay treated all of us as part of the family and they were very special people. My thoughts are with you all and I can only imagine how happy Auntie Kay must be to be together with Uncle Frank again!!

  • George Pedneault

    Best regards to the family. He will be

  • Pete and Jeannie Bonin

    That is such a beautiful and touching way to celebrate mom and dads amazing life. We all will never forget the amazing friendship we had with them and the whole family. Sending our hugs and love to you all and we did raise a cup of tea to send them off with love and know that they are holding hands and walking along the beach together. We will never forget them and know that as long as we remember the great times they are always with us forever!!!

  • Lorraine Braulin McCulloch

    OMG I so remember Frank and Kay. Maureen “Moe” and I were great friends who have lost contact over the years. Frank was always such a wonderful, kind, friendly man. I remember Moe’s adoration for him.
    My condolences to the family.
    Lorraine Braulin McCulloch

  • Louise Brygadyr

    I always considered kay and frank as family especially after Frank gave
    the toast to the bride at both my weddings, I worked in franks campaign
    office when I was 16 and couldn’t vote yet. He won and I listened to his
    maiden speech the night before his presentation in parliament. All my love to you Maureen and Erin..Louise Lystar Robertson Brydadyr

  • Patricia Freedman

    I was honored to be one of the many ‘Hanai’ family members that Frank and Kay welcomed into their home many years ago. My only regret was that I did not have a chance to host them in my home here in Hawaii. I will say another prayer for Frank and Kay soon when we spread the ashes of my own daddy who was the same age as Frank and passed just a few weeks prior.
    A hui hou. Your spirit lives on. Aloha me ke akua

  • Maureen Mitchell-Starkey. (Daughter)

    Thank you Mom and Dad for being the wonderful parents you have been. The values you have instilled in us, the gift of community giving and the natural gift of sharing you both. We have lots of adopted brothers and sisters…….

    You have big boots for us all to live up too….

    I will continue to honour your Legacy!,


  • Mike Sheroan

    To the most wonderful people I could have gotten to know being from afar. So took me under their wings and guided me in a place, for me unknown. So very grateful and blessed to have known them, and their family. They so very much will be missed. GOD BLESS THEM

  • Grace Foran

    Such an amazing, fitting and incredibly loving tribute. I am sure your parents are bursting-their-buttons-proud of how well you’ve captured their very well-lived and well-loved lives, Moe. No wonder you and your sister are who you are with parents such as these. Brian’s and my sincerest sympathy on your loss but I know you are comforted greatly by the fact that they are, yes, together again. Much love, Grace

  • Sharon and Don Lassey

    Many years of contact with encouragement to work on this and that. Both Kay and Frank new where all the hard workers were. We will miss their smiles and conversation. Don often talks about those years…

  • Elizabeth Parkinson

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful story of your parents and their love of this province, their family and friends and the amazing work they both did to make it a better place for all of us here now. I remember them from the summer BBQ’s and remember how happy and friendly they were to everyone. Sending you virtual hugs and wishes to care for each other carefully. ❤️

  • Sandra Houston

    Maureen and Erin,

    Your Mom and Dad were special and inspiring people. I have so many countless memories of working with them when managing Moe’s campaigns. They worked as hard, as if they were your Dad’s campaigns! True party stalwarts and community activists. My most vivid memory of election night in 1986 is of your Dad’s face when he burst into the campaign office asking what was happening with the results after he had been knocking on doors all day to get people out to vote. It was only moments after I had determined we were definitely winning. When I think of your Dad I always have that picture in my mind – of the joy on his face, knowing we had elected Moe. When I think of your Mom I can always see her – with a phone in her hand – in that union hall in Esquimalt from where we operated the Esquimalt part of the campaign. Fond memories always.

  • Chris Main

    Frank and Kay were the Esquimalt NDP. Nobody better at organizing and motivating volunteers. They lead by example. They trained people to take over responsible positions. They ran a first rate organization. The local association and EPC was second to none. We will never see this type of political/social machine again.

    They were great parents and grand parents. Raised two beautiful daughters. Don’t get better than this.


  • Ofelia Bermejo

    Our Sincerest and deepest Condolence to the bereaved family. May you Rest In Peace Frank, I will miss you…

  • Lawrence Herzog

    What a wonderful tribute to two amazing people who lived so fully and gave so fully to others. I am so grateful for my time with both of them in their twilight years. I can still hear their laughter. They made a difference in so many ways, and our community is better because of them. Their legacy lives on.

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