Martha Jane Mitchell, 79, died peacefully with her daughters by her side on January 6, 2022 at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Silverdale, Washington. She was a 40 year resident of Bainbridge Island. Martha was born in Boston Massachusetts on July 17, 1942, the second of five children. Her father, Frederick Langenheim (Fred Lang), was a radio announcer for WNAC Boston. Her mother, Ruth Langenheim, was a news reporter and columnist for the Falmouth Enterprise on Cape Cod. Mrs. Mitchell’s early years began in Westwood, MA., and in 1944 her father purchased the decommissioned lighthouse at Sandy Neck in Barnstable, Cape Cod. Her family’s early summers at the lighthouse fostered Martha’s love and connection to Cape Cod and living by the water which continued throughout her life.
In 1950 the family moved to West Falmouth, and became year-round Cape Cod residents. Martha adored the Cape and growing up by the sea, playing at the beach, dunes, and marshes. As a teen, she enjoyed many summer jobs, ranging from waitressing at the Coonamessett Inn to interning at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. After graduating from Lawerence High School class of 1960, she furthered her education at The Children’s Hospital School of Nursing at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. She graduated with her RN degree in 1965 and was hired by Boston’s Children’s Hospital and the Wentworth Institute as a school nurse. In October of that year, Martha married Peter C. Mitchell. In 1968, they moved from Boston back to Peter’s home town of West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. There they built their own home, and Martha worked as a private nurse providing in-home care for islanders. She took great joy in helping her patients and their families adjust and navigate their later years. Mrs. Mitchell went on to co-start the Vineyard’s first nursing referral business for in-home care.
In 1981, Martha and her family relocated to Bainbridge Island, Washington. There she raised her two girls and continued as a private care giver until retirement. She was a voracious reader, an avid antique connoisseur; lover of dogs, children, nature, art; and a dedicated Boston Red Sox fan. She had a strong belief in volunteerism, a trait she carried throughout her life from her Key Club days. Quick to help anyone in need, whether it be a lift, a meal, or a hug. She was also an outspoken advocate for victims rights, politics, and in the effort to preserve small town community in the face of growth challenges, often writing letters to the editor for the local paper.
Preceded in death by her husband, Peter Mitchell, son Peter Mitchell Jr., and her sister Katherine Eastman. Martha’s sister, Dr. Ellen Lawson of Oxford, OH., has since passed away on January 26, 2022. Martha issurvived by her daughters Janet and Margaret Mitchell of Bainbridge Island, WA. and Skagway, AK.; her siblings Dr. Anne Yentsch of Forestdale, MA., and Frederick D. Langenheim of Falmouth, MA.; and numerous nieces, nephews, and grand nephews.