Thursday, October 12, 2006

Obituary: Ernestine (Mitchell) Bugbee - Class of 1961

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Ernestine Mitchell Bugbee of Providence, R.I., died peacefully Tuesday Oct. 3 2006, at the Phillip Huiltar Inpatient Hospice Center in Providence, following a long illness. Ernestine was born in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 18, 1943, the daughter of Edward D and Ernestine Roberts Mitchell. She grew up in a large and loving family in Madison and graduated from Central High School. As an undergraduate at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. she participated in the student sit-ins and boycotts that helped focus national attention on America's civil rights movement and inspired similar actions by students in 54 cities across nine states. Upon graduation from Bennett, Ernestine's interest in fashion and style led her to New York, where she wrote marketing copy for Allied Stores and Mademoiselle before becoming director of public relations for the professional products division L'Oreal. Her success designing and fabricating custom tablecloths, napkins and table arrangements made her a sought-after expert both on national television programs and in the consumer press. Following four years in Harrogate, England, she and her husband relocated to Rhode Island, and their present home on Providence's east side. Her volunteer commitments included the Women's Center for Domestic Abuse and ASSE Student Exchange. Until forced to retire because of her illness, Ernestine was the Director of the Community Kitchen Culinary program for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. A member of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, she taught church school and was involved in many activities focused on helping the less fortunate members of the Providence community. The beloved wife of Robin Alexander Bugbee for more than 35 years, Ernestine had a great sense of humor and a magical laugh--both frequently directed at herself. To her love of plaid, music and children she brought her big heart, great common sense, an unshakeable belief in peoples essential goodness and an eagerness to help others however she could. She touched the hearts and helped change the lives of many. She is survived by her devoted husband; her sister, Marilyn Mitchell of New York City (their brother Don predeceased her); her brothers-in-law, Christopher Bugbee of Las Angeles, Calif., and Bruce Bugbee of Napa, Calif.; her nieces and nephews, Sara, Erin, Isabelle, Rachael, Byron and Colin; her godchildren, Christopher Altchek and Tamara Brown; and a vital community of family and friends throughout the world who knew the gentleness of her touch and loved her as dearly as Ernestine loved them and every minute of her wonderful life. She will live forever in our hearts. Funeral services will held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006, at ST. MARTIN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, Orchard Ave., Providence, R.I. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Thethe Southern Poverty Law Council, Thethe Rhode Island Community Food Bank or the Phillip Hulitar Hospice Center.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 12, 2006

Note: Ernestine Mitchell's class year is based on information in the 1961 Tychoberahn.


Anonymous said...

Ernistine was an incredible woman. She was strong, kind and loving. She always had a warm hug and incredible smile to greet you.
She was the kind of woman who could move heaven and earth if she knew you needed something and never asked for more than a hug in return.

The Registrar said...

I loved the comment that was left about E. We had a wonderful life together, I loved her with all my heart and miss her terribly. Madison WI was such an important part of her life and she talked frequently and very warmly about her life there. We were so blessed to have each other and I send you my best.

Robin Bugbee