A memorial service for Sophie will be held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 10, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 85 S. Constitution Drive, Aurora, Il. Sophie Mitzel, 46, Aurora, IL, formerly of Wahpeton, ND, passed away as a result of a car accident near St. Cloud, MN on Sunday, October 3, 2010. God has called her home to add her beautiful voice to his heavenly choir.
Sophie was born on December 14, 1963, to Arnold and Marge (Flados) Pankow in Breckenridge, MN. She was a graduate of Wahpeton High School and North Dakota State School of Science. She married Scott Mitzel, son of Dorothy and the late Lyle Mitzel of Wahpeton, on March 21, 1987. They had been classmates since the 4th grade, but were only casual acquaintances until both accepted jobs with AT&T in Illinois in 1984. Upon the birth of their first child, Lucas, in 1989, she left AT&T, doing home daycare until a part-time job with H&R Block became a full-time career as a Master Tax Advisor, Enrolled Agent, office manager, instructor, technical support staff member, and numerous other titles.
Sophie was constantly giving of her time and talents, singing with her church choir at Hope Lutheran Church, teaching Sunday school, and leading a church youth group. She was also a tireless volunteer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association after their second child Logan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and for the American Cancer Society after several close friends and family members battled cancer. She touched the lives of so many people, and her death has left a void that will be hard to fill.
The same traffic accident also took the life of Thomas Williams, age 78, of Sandwich, IL. Sophie and Tom were long time coworkers at H&R Block, but over the years Tom became family to the Mitzels, like another father to Sophie and Scott, and "Grandpa Tom" to their sons. His presence in their lives will be greatly missed as well.
Sophie leaves behind her husband Scott and sons Lucas and Logan, all of Aurora, IL.; her parents, Arnold and Marge Pankow of Wahpeton, ND; three sisters Patty Wanner of Mesa, AZ; Ronda (Weldon) Hoesel of Lidgerwood, ND; and Dr. Dawn (Kevin) Pankow-Loll of Wahpeton, ND; one brother- Kevin (Naomi) Pankow of Crookston, MN; her mother-in-law, Dorothy Mitzel, Wahpeton; and her sister-in-law, Mary (Gary) Parsons, Fargo; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews; and all those who knew and loved her.
She was preceded in death by her father-in-law, Lyle Mitzel and her brother-in-law and her sister-in-law, David and Linda Bakken.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 1100 W 31st Street, Suite 210, Downers Grove, IL 60515, in memory of Sophie and in honor of Logan in hopes of finding a cure for his disease.
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Published in Beacon News from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, 2010