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.