On Monday evening, November 5, 2019, Bret Wayne Mitchell passed away from this life to the next where he ”will run and not be weary....walk and not be faint.”
Born in Guymon, Oklahoma, on January 20, 1962, Bret was the fourth child of Duane and Yvonne Mitchell. He was born with a cleft lip and palate and spent his first two months in the hospital. He would later need eye surgery to correct a crossed eye, and due to his right leg turning inward, he wore a brace on his leg about 3 years. In spite of his challenges, Bret began
his formal education at Texhoma Elementary School. He also attended special education classes in Dumas, Texas, driven the 100 miles per day by his mom, Yvonne. He continued his education at Stratford, Texas, and Edison School in Guymon, before finishing his last two years at Texhoma.
When Bret was 18, he moved to Garden City, Kansas. Under the direction of Southwest Development Services, he worked as a helper in the business office and later painted western belts manufactured by the special needs students at SDSI. Bret resided, at what became known as Summit ResCare, in Garden City, Kansas for 39 years.
Bret was quite a zany character, keeping his family on their toes. At age 3 ½, he taught himself to read by comparing the ads he heard on tv to the ads he saw in the Amarillo Globe News. His love of tv continued with his love of medical shows, his favorite being ””Emergency.” He caused quite an uproar at school when he decided to call 911 saying that his teacher was needing medical assistance. Bret’s perfectly applied medical rhetoric got the ambulance to the school quickly. His teacher, however, was not experiencing any medical difficulties and was on playground duty when the fire truck, the ambulance and the police rolled up to the school. The teachers, administrators and emergency folks were not as impressed with the situation as the children were.
On the home front, Bret could also be quite amusing, such as the day he went next door to Emet and Della Callaway’s to get help opening some green beans. When he was informed his mom had the same opener, he proceeded to go home and open all the cans in the pantry, which his mom found when she arrived home. His dad was also surprised to hear from his neighbor, Jesse Johnson, when Duane left the house, Bret, with no driving experience, would get in Yvonne’s car and go forwards and backwards in their driveway.
Bret was also blessed with an incredible photographic memory, which sometimes got him into trouble. Helping in the SDSI office, he memorized personal, private information and would then go to his bedroom and duplicate the forms and information with his typewriter, which of course was against the rules. He could also remember telephone numbers, which once resulted in 98 calls to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in one month, when his parents gave him his own phone, which he didn’t keep long.
Bret’s favorite pastime was bowling. He had to quit bowling because of onset of Parkinson's it affected his speech initially and moved to his legs and then his hands. It wasn’t long before he had to use a walker, and eventually, a wheelchair. He continued enjoying his outings, including being pushed in his wheelchair as he identified each animal at the zoo. He also loved to ”dance” in his wheelchair with the staff.
One of our fondest memories of Bret will always be his love for the Lord. He put his great memory to use by memorizing scripture within seconds. His favorite outing was attending the first and second service each Sunday at Bible Christian Church. Although he loved country music, he especially loved the praise and worship service and listening to the preaching. As Cody Goodnight, his aid at Summit ResCare explained to us, in spite of developing a stutter, which sometimes made him hard to understand, when he would sing, he had a beautiful, strong voice with no stuttering. His favorite song to sing was ”Go Rest High On the Mountain, ” which Vince Gill wrote for his deceased brother.
Bret was proceeded in death by Grandmother, Kate Marshall; Grandparents, Leland and Dortha Daniel, and nephew Kendall Ryan Harland.
He is survived by his parents, Duane and Yvonne Mitchell; his sister and her husband, Carmen and Kenny Harland and their family, daughter Ashley Lanman and her husband, Kenny, and their children, Kendall and Kellen, son, Zach and his wife Ashley; his brother Tommy and his wife, Cathy and their children, son, Brady and wife Kristi and their children, Trent and Allie, son, Jamey and his wife Chelsey, and their children, Emma and Maddie; his brother Bob and his children, son Bryce and wife Raquel and their children Jaxon and Calvin, son Ben and wife Kati, and their children Mason and Breelyn and his Aunt, Selma Kelyon.
Bret’s family would like to thank the staff for the care he received at Summit ResCare, with a very special thank you to Goodnight, his aid, and to Sherrie Harrison, St Catherine Hospital Social Services and his ICU nurse, Morgan Nevola. Bret held a special place in his heart for his church family at Bible Christian Church and a special thanks goes to all our family and friends who played a part in Bret’s amazing life.
We are comforted by a song his sister, Carmen, used to sing, sung by Sandi Patty:
The angel will sound, the shout of His coming,
And the sleeping shall rise, from their slumbering place.
And those who remain shall be changed in a moment,
And we shall behold Him, then face to face.
We are leaving Bret peacefully in His Father's arms until our wonderful reunion!
Services will be Saturday morning, November 9th at 11 AM at First Christian Church, 120 A 3rd Street, Texhoma, with Pastor Matt Maples, officiating. Cremation and services are entrusted to Henson-Novak Funeral Directors.
Memorials may be given and designated to Summit ResCare, Bret Mitchell Memorial Fund, andwill be used for handicap accessible facility improvements.
Memorials will be accepted at Henson-Novak Funeral Directors, P.O. Box 1306, Guymon, OK 73942.
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