May 12, 1954 - February 26, 2022
Gloria Mitchell made her transition on February 26, 2022. Please encourage the Mitchell family with words of love and encouragement on our Tribute page. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Gloria Mitchell please visit our Sympathy Store. The Life and Legacy of Gloria Jean Durfield Mitchell Gloria the Great Mrs. Gloria Jean Durfield Mitchell was born May 12, 1954 in Detroit, Michigan to the late Christine and Bruce E. Durfield. She was the second child born to this union along with her sisters, Brenda and Gwendolyn, and brother Winford. She also was blessed with a bonus sister, Olivia Durfield. Gloria grew up on the eastside of Detroit on Garland St. where she was a Girl Scout in her elementary years. She attended Southeastern High School and later graduated from Kettering High School. With the untimely passing of her mother as a teenager, Gloria was thrust into helping to care for her younger siblings with her older sister Brenda. From this, she developed an independent and self-determined spirit which was a continuing thread throughout her life. Gloria the Matriarch Just after graduating from high school, Gloria welcomed her first born, Shawn Douglas, into the world in 1972. Even though Gloria was a young mother, she was committed to giving her son the best possible life she could. In 1977, Gloria welcomed her second son Euclides Jamal into the Durfield family clan. Completing their family with “sugar and spice”, her daughter Kyra Christine was born in 1984. On October 14, 1992, Gloria married Alfred Mitchell, the love of her life. They were married for nearly 24 years before Alfred’s passing in August 2016. As a blended family, together they raised and cared for many family members, providing a safe haven and unconditional support for their kids, grandchildren and extended family. Gloria was a strong believer in family history, family bonds and family loyalty. She exemplified this in her planning of annual Durfield family cookouts, Juneteenth celebrations, MLK walks, family bike rides and her consistent support of family member’s accomplishments. She was extremely proud of her children, grandchildren and extended family members. She emulated and lived the family motto, “Durfield Strong”. Gloria the Caregiver Gloria worked in the healthcare industry as a nurse’s aide upon graduation from high school. In 1978 she started her life-long career with the State of Michigan as a mental health nurse. She began working at the Plymouth Center for Human Development before she eventually transferred to work at the Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital for almost 20 years before its closing in 2003. Gloria worked the remainder of her career at Walter P. Reuther Psychiatric Hospital and completed her career, upon retirement from the State of Michigan in 2010, with over 32 years of dedicated and compassionate caregiving. Over the years, Gloria developed many deep and lifelong friendships with her co-workers. She worked the midnight shift for most of her career and became a “night owl” for the remainder of her life. She was well known for sending text messages in the middle of the night - an encouraging quote, a picture from the past, her walking mileage for the day or maybe even a directive! Gloria the Leader Gloria was always a strong supporter of many causes including social justice, feeding the homeless, breast cancer prevention and awareness, black history, healthy lifestyles just to name a few. However, when she retired she made it her life’s work to not only participate in these causes but also to serve as an active contributing member. Gloria was the face that you would see at every event, smiling for a selfie, in all her purple glory. She became an enthusiastic and active member of GirlTrek in 2014 where she served as a Team Leader and Neighborhood Captain of the “Indigo Girls”. As a founding member in Michigan, she led countless walks at Palmer Park, the Riverwalk, Fairlane Mall and other metro Detroit locations. As a 20+ year survivor of Breast Cancer, she used her story of overcoming health obstacles and the benefits of walking to recruit hundreds of new members. Gloria also walked annually in Sister Strut and the Karmanos Cancer Walk with her sisters, friends and other family members. In addition to walking, Gloria began to foster her love of bike riding after retirement. One of her early rides was trying to recruit the Durfield family members to ride 8 miles from West Bloomfield to Pontiac. She didn’t miss a beat! As a 60-year-old, she outpaced her younger family members in speed and endurance! Once she got the “biking bug”, Gloria embraced it to the fullest. She joined the Detroit Bike Life community and participated in Detroit’s Slow Roll every Monday during the summers. She turned her bikes into masterpieces, winning several awards for her beautiful bikes. She formed her own bike club, the Detroit Diva Cruisers (DDC). From the time she formed DDC, until her passing, Gloria poured her love and energy into the club. She incorporated DDC, recruited members, and even got a DDC tattoo on her arm. The club was committed not only to sharing their love of the bike life culture but they participated in many charitable events. Gloria the Christian Gloria accepted Jesus Christ at an early age and was baptized as a young adult. She recognized the joy and love that her faith brought to her life and made sure her children experienced that same relationship with God. She joined Fellowship Chapel United Church of Christ when her children were young, where they participated in numerous youth activities and church special events. She continued her dedication by bringing her youngest grandchild, Cameron, to church with her. Gloria also served on the Women’s Usher Board, as a mentor in Intojane, member of the church book club and weeknight bible study. Annually, she helped to prepare Thanksgiving baskets for those in need. Gloria the Philanthropist Gloria did not take her retirement lightly and lived by the scripture, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” She was one of the first members of Food Rescue Detroit, helping to reduce food waste and distribute to those in need. She was a board member of the Detroit Greenways Coalition, a non-profit focused on creating and conserving greenspaces in Detroit. She regularly participated in many other charitable projects, including Adopt-A-Family, serving at the Capuchin Kitchen, book donation drives, and clothing drives. Gloria the Legend On February 26, 2022, Gloria made her transition leaving behind family and friends that will forever cherish her memory and her unforgettable spirit including: supportive daughter Kyra Gross; devoted sons: Shawn Stafford (Kimberly), Euclides Durfield (Yolanda); bonus son: Keonte Mitchell; bonus daughter: LaSetta Gross; loving sisters: Gwendolyn Collins and Olivia Durfield; younger brother: Winford Durfield; and faithful cousin: Gloria “Boots'' Dupree of Hot Springs, AK. She also leaves to mourn and cherish her memory her grandchildren: Cameron Manette, Chelsea Durfield, Christian Durfield, Kennedy Stafford and Tachionna Mitchell; nephews: David Durfield, Glenn (Khalilah) Durfield, Trevin Durfield, Tristan Birotte and Troy Birotte; nieces: Ashley Durfield, Iriana Walls, Cammea Durfield, Jennifer Telemaco and Judy Figueroa Johnson and a host of extended family and friends.
Gloria Mitchell made her transition on February 26, 2022. Please encourage the Mitchell family with words of love and encouragement on our Tribute page. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Gloria Mitchell please visit our Sympathy... View Obituary & Service Information
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