Renay Sue (Slaten) Mitchell was born April 17, 1945 to Raynelle (Rankin) and William Slaten in Long Beach, CA. At the age of 6 months, the family moved to Quincy, CA. Older brother Ran Slaten and Renay were best of friends. Renay was called “Susie Q” by her dad, and often known by the name “Rainy” to her classmates. Renay attended Quincy schools until her graduation from QHS in 1963. She was a member of the band, a cheerleader and an involved member of Quincy Rainbow Girls.
Shortly after graduating she met the love of her life, James (Jim) Mitchell. They married in 1965 and moved to Oroville, CA to start their life together. Their first child, Ken, was born the end of 1965. Daughter Jenny was born in 1969. Renay’s daddy Bill passed away while she was pregnant with Jenny.
The family frequently visited Quincy to see Goppy Raynelle, Ran and his family - first wife Sandy and children Shandel and Marcus.
In 1976, the family moved to Quincy, where Jim started Mitchell Construction Company and over many years built several homes on Clough Street, including the Mitchell family home. While in Quincy, the Mitchells built a backyard swimming pool, which allowed them to keep a close eye on their kids, while providing a fun, safe place for other kids to be. Renay was a friend to all, and to this day, many of the kids she invested in still say they remember her influence in their lives.
Renay and Jenny became involved in Rainbow Girls, and Renay served as Mother Advisor several times.
In 1983, the Mitchells moved to Reno, NV, where they lived for two years. Jim continued in his construction business, while Renay worked at a furniture store, and enjoyed driving her Camaro Z28 around town.
In 1986, the Mitchells moved to Pacific Grove, CA. Renay worked at a furniture store, as an office manager on Fort Ord Army Base, and then later at a gas company in Morgan Hill.
In 1990, Jim and Renay went to Coeur d’Alene, ID for work. They eventually settled in the area and Jim continued to grow his construction business. They stayed in the area until 1994, when they moved to Ritzville, WA, where Jim took a job as an Inspector for Adams County. Renay worked at a hotel in Ritzville, and discovered her love for the hotel business and customer service. She soon became manager and found that she enjoyed mentoring her often younger employees. It was during this time that their son Ken came to live with them.
While living in Ritzville, Jim and Renay became grandparents for the first time when daughter Jenny and husband Ken welcomed their daughter Elizabeth Jane in 1996.
In 1998, Jim, Renay and their son Ken moved to Yakima, WA, where Jim took a job as a Road and Bridge Inspector for Yakima County. Renay managed several hotels in Yakima, and their son Ken bounced around job to job, until he found his niché in the Transportation Industry as a truck driver and has been doing it ever since.
Renay’s hotel team members found in her a mother figure, confidante, and all around cheerleader. She was known to go to bat for anyone, anytime. She continued to serve in this capacity until she retired in 2007.
Once again, Jim and Renay became grandparents when Jenny and husband Ken welcomed daughter Anna Renee in 2003. Being Grandma to her “grandgirls” was one of Renay’s favorite things in life. She often traveled the 3 hours to North Idaho just to watch one of the girls play in a volleyball game or perform in the theater. There was never a shortage of love or treats when her grandgirls were involved.
Jim and Renay enjoyed traveling, having taken multiple trips to Paris and Mexico.
Jim, Renay and son Ken continued to live in Yakima for the remainder of Renay’s life. They gained several important friendships while in Yakima. These are the friends that walked alongside them during Renay’s journey with cancer, and continue to walk alongside Jim as this new phase of life unfolds.
Renay’s talent for candy-making was a delight to her family and friends, and she received much joy in sharing it. The holidays were her favorite times with family. Renay’s smile, laughter, love and joy for life is missed daily. She leaves behind husband Jim, son Ken, daughter Jennifer (Bookamer), son-in-law Ken Bookamer, granddaughters Elizabeth (Knight) and Anna, and new grandson-in-law Luke Knight, who married granddaughter Elizabeth one week after Renay’s passing. Renay also leaves behind niece Shandel (Slaten) Sutherland, her husband John Sutherland, and nephew Marcus Slaten, his wife Ericka, and their daughters Kylie and Taylor. Renay was preceded in death by her father Bill in 1969 and mother Raynelle in 2006.