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Joan Mitchell, educator, coach and tireless advocate for girls’ sports in Kentucky, has died

B. Joan Mitchell, 83, passed away on Tuesday, December 3rd, at home. 

Mitchell, a native of Shelbyville, graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.S. and M.A. degree.

She taught Physical Education at Holmes High School for 30 years and coached basketball there for 23 years and volleyball and softball for 14 years.


In college, she was a member of Collegiate Pentacle, a Senior Womens’ Honorary, and a member of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. 

Mitchell received many awards and accolades during her lifetime.

She is in the Covington Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame; the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame; and the prestigious Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

She received the Kentucky Girls’ Sports Association Service Award; the Northern Kentucky Athletic Directors’ Distinguished Service Award; the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Service Award; and the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Womens’ Sports Association Lifetime Service Award. 

Service was, indeed, one of Mitchell’s outstanding traits.

She served on several local and state organizations and pursued tirelessly the never-ending battle of improving, equalizing, supporting, and promoting girls’ sports. Countless students and athletes can thank Joan for nurturing, caring for, and loving them.

Of all the awards Mitchell ever received, she would agree that her greatest achievement was helping “her kids” be the best they could be. 

In 2004, Mitchell was presented another special award; the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Legend in Her Own Time. She truly was a legend in her own time. 

She is survived by life long friend of 53 years, Donna Wolfe, a nephew, Bart Gover, 2 great-nieces: Ella and Eddie, a great-nephew, Ethan, and a niece, Brook Gover Mills.

Her family invites her friends to join in the recognition of Joan’s life and to come and share your stories and memories.

There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, December 14th, from 11-2 p.m., at the Hebron Church of Christ, 2966 Damascus Rd., Hebron, Ky. 

Memorials are suggested to the Boone County Animal Shelter, 5643 Idlewild Rd., Burlington, KY 41005. Woodhead Funeral Home, Falmouth, is serving the family. 

Woodhead Funeral Home

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