Obituary writer, Christina Mitchell is a baby boomer who was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia. The oldest of five children, she was surrounded by a loving Italian-Irish family that was usually gathered around the kitchen table.
A graduate of Holy Family College, Mitchell earned a B.A. in English and started her journalism career at the weekly Northeast Times. She joined the Courier-Post in 1984 as a copy editor. Thus began an odyssey of journalistic self-discovery that saw her write about every subject except sports. The Voorhees resident had stints as both features and business editor while raising two sons. An affinity for obituaries grew out of the weekly column she wrote for several years, Ties That Bind, whose subjects often dealt with loss in families. Her own close family and the realization that real life is stranger than fiction made that column rewarding.
Mitchell eventually became a frequent writer of obituaries at the Courier, from celebrities such as Shirley Temple and Bob Hope to familiar South Jersey names as Al Rinaldi and Lew Katz.
While serving as executive editor, Mitchell also wrote a weekly Lives Well Lived column for the Web of short tributes to the recently deceased. They included the beloved coach who racked up years of wins, the local hurler who once got to pitch for the Phillies and the successful retailer who survived several bouts of cancer.
Mitchell considers obit writing an art. Her tributes have been tucked into desk drawers, slipped into scrapbooks, framed and hung, as well as being posted at funerals.
Now retired from the newspaper business, Mitchell has chosen to focus on the work she loves best.
Christina Mitchell, Some Facts:
If I could turn back time: I would be in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945
Favorite movie: “A Star is Born,” 1954.
Offspring: Two sons, both studying in the medical field
Inspiration: My 84-year-old mother
Something I’d like to see again: A Phillies World Series parade