Janet Mason Mitchell Fishel

November 12, 1936 - March 14, 2023

11/12/1936 - 03/14/2023

Past Services

Saturday March 18, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie
205 NC Highway 42 W
Ahoskie, NC 27910
252-332-3122 | Directions
Sunday March 19, 2023
Ahoskie Cemetery
First Street
Ahoskie, NC 27910
Funeral Service
Sunday March 19, 2023
3:30 pm
First Baptist Church of Ahoskie
312 Main Street West
Ahoskie, NC 27910

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Janet Mason Mitchell Fishel, 86, died peacefully in her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on March 14, 2023.

Born on November 12, 1936, in Tarboro, North Carolina, Janet was the daughter of Rufus Edward and Estelle Newsome Mitchell. She grew up in Ahoskie, North Carolina, and graduated from Ahoskie High School before attending East Carolina College in Greenville. She obtained a B.A. in Art with minors in English and Education. After graduation, she moved to Raleigh to teach art at Hugh Morson Junior High School. While in college, she met her future husband Charles E. Fishel. They were married in 1958, and moved to Winston-Salem for a brief period where she worked as a technical illustrator for Western-Electric. They then moved to Memphis, where she taught art at Frayser High School before giving birth to her only son Charles E. Fishel, Jr. The family subsequently moved to Virginia Beach in 1961.

While raising her family, Janet continued her love of teaching at the short-lived Virginia Beach College and as a substitute teacher for the Virginia Beach City Schools. She also became managing editor of the Virginia Beach Guide. She was also involved in pageant coaching and judging within the Miss America scholarship program and worked for the Virginia Beach Recreation Department by directing the Little Miss Virginia Beach Pageant for more than twenty years. She also taught needlework for the ODU Bounty Rainbow adult education program and the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk.

Her passion for embroidery needlework continued with memberships in the Embroiderer’s Guild of America and later the American Needlework Guild, where she became a Senior Master Teacher, Certified Master Judge, and ultimately National President.

Janet is survived by her husband and son, and has now joined her beloved dogs Chienie, Cocoa, Charja, Sweetie Pie, and Precious in Heaven. A lover of cool jazz and snowy winter days in Vermont, she was an elegant, vibrant force in the world, and the void she leaves behind will never be filled.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 18, 2023, from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm at Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service in Ahoskie. A celebration of life service will be held on Sunday, March 19, at 3:30 pm at First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, with Rev. Dr. Paul R. Gilliam, III officiating. Burial will follow in the Ahoskie Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made directly to Wings Over Virginia Hospice, 6325 North Center Drive, Suite 204, Norfolk, VA, 23502 or online by clicking here; directly to the Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater, P.O. Box 12693, Norfolk, VA 23541 or online by clicking here; or directly to the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, 740 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA, 23451 or online by clicking here.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie is handling arrangements for the Fishel family and online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.


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Gerry Bonney
10 months ago

I am so shocked and saddened to learn of Janet’s passing. That incredible woman taught me art lessons in my pre-teen and teenage years. To this day, some 60+ years later, I put into practice many of the techniques she taught me every single day as I now do graphics, presentations and animation videos for FEMA. I also still have a ceramic turtle coin bank she made and painted all those many years ago. To Coach Fishel and Charlie, Jr., I just can’t find the right words to say. Just please know that Janet always has and always will have a very, very special place in my heart.

1 year ago

Very saddened to hear of this lovely lady’s passing. She was very special and always kind to me. The world needs more people like Janet in it.

Becky McIntyre
1 year ago

A very special light has left the lives of all who knew and loved Janet. We worked closely together the first 4 years of the Little Miss Virginia Beach Pageant but her inspiration remains part of me. Not only was she the most elegant person I’ve ever known, but she encouraged everyone to be their best selves. She loved life but especially her family. God Bless you Charlie and Cholly with His comfort.

Jill Rabius McGrath
1 year ago

I had the honor of calling Janet my friend. She was a force, a cohort in crime and a mentor. She did everything with passion, a purpose and from her heart. My children use to say “Mom, that southern lady is on the phone”. I will miss her but will remember just how much she touched my heart. You taught me so much, things I live with everyday. I will so miss you and know we will have just one more hug someday.

Homan (Ali) Khorrami
1 year ago

Mrs. Fishel was a mother figure to me when I most needed one! She took me under her wings with Cholly during my college days! She was a beautiful soul who touched the hearts of everyone she met!
I will miss her….

Sandi Rice Helms
1 year ago

Janet was indeed an elegant, vibrant force with a great sense of humor and a huge heart. How she adored you, Charley Jr., her sweet pride & joy. I’ll forever love Janet and her Charlie’s. Janet was my Matron- of- Honor almost 50 years ago— a dear friend and mentor. I’m holding you two Charlie’s in my heart and prayers.

Jodi Mills
1 year ago

Charlie—I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish I could make it months and months from now so you would be hurting less. Janet was a force of nature and I know you miss her.

Elizabeth Ross
1 year ago

My dear friend, Charlie, Jr. –
My heart aches for you and your Dad. Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved mother. There is no doubt that her passing will be a great loss to all who knew her. I am here for you in your time of sorrow and I shall see you soon.

Annmarie & David King
1 year ago

Charlie Sr. (known as coach to our son & many others) and Charlie Jr. we are so sorry for your loss. Janet’s passing will be a great loss to all who knew her. We have been neighbors and friends for 30 plus years, it has been a privilege. Such a smart, independent & lovely lady, Our thoughts are with you both and your family. Annmarie & David King

Brenda Baisey
1 year ago

Thoughts and prayers are going to Mr. Fishel Sr. and to Charles Jr., one of the best neighbors that anyone could ever ask for. Mrs Janet was an awesome lady. She was truly one of a kind. She was beautiful both inside and out. She will be missed by all of us that knew her.