DELORES O’GUIN MITCHELL
Delores O’Guin Mitchell, 92, died Sunday August 6, 2023, at her home in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. She was a teacher, a nursing home owner, a public servant, and of the Methodist faith. Delores was born to Clara Emogene (Tucker) and Ray O’Guin on May 24, 1931, in Linden, Tennessee. In 1949 she graduated from Perry County High School in Linden as the Class Valedictorian, Miss Perry County High, Best Athlete, and Most Popular. She then married Bob G. Mitchell of Sallisaw. They both attended college at Northeastern State College in Tahlequah and then transferred to Oklahoma State A&M where she was a 1952 yearbook queen. That same year Delores received her Bachelors of Science in Home Economics in 1952. From Stillwater, they moved to the University of Oklahoma, where
Bob attended medical school and Delores taught kindergarten in Oklahoma City Public Schools. They then moved to Henryetta, OK, while Bob completed his residency and eventually settled in Bob’s hometown of Sallisaw. There Bob started his own medical practice and Delores did everything to help her children and her community. She was an officer in the PTA and organized the first Girl Scout troop in the area. Her troop started as Brownies and went all the way through high school. She also served as a local and national beauty pageant judge, helping young girls gain confidence and achieve scholarships.Delores was not afraid to try new and exciting things as she became the first female to obtain her pilot’s license in Sallisaw. She was an active member of the Arkansas Chapter of the 99s, a group of women pilots, founded by Amelia Earhart. With her strong desire to help others and promote education, Delores served on the Sallisaw School Board of Education from 1975 to 1978. Later that year Delores was appointed to serve on the Board of Regents for Carl Albert State College in Poteau. Even though it was a small college at the time, she helped CASC make many improvements and eventually expand to have a Sallisaw campus for her community. She was instrumental in forming scholarships and helping many that otherwise might not be able to attend college.In 1982 she was appointed by Gov. George Nigh to serve on the first-ever Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. This commission laid the foundation and regulations for newly-legalized gambling at all tracks in Oklahoma. Shorty after in 1984, Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw became the first pari-mutuel horse racing track in Oklahoma. She served 11 years on the horse racing commission and was OHRC chairman from 1985-86. Delores was so loved by her fellow commissioners and at the time the only woman on the commission, so she was affectionately tagged with the nickname “Queen Bee.”In 1987 she received The Julep Award from the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association for bringing recognition to Oklahoma on the national level in the thoroughbred industry. The Oklahoma Horseman’s Association in 1990 awarded her for distinguished service and dedication to the sport. Delores was recognized for her ability to be a leader and became the first woman to chair the Association of Racing Commissioners International in 1994-95. Horse racing took her around the world from Sallisaw to places like England, Egypt, France, and Dubai.After serving on the horse racing commission, Delores spent time with family and friends, but never stopped helping individuals and her community. She served on many other committees and boards all aimed at helping individuals to become better and more educated. She continued to strongly support Carl Albert State College making advancements for the college and especially the Sallisaw CASC Campus. In 2015 she was honored by CASC as the new library on the Sallisaw Campus was named the Delores O’Guin Mitchell Library in her honor. But with all the awards and honors aside, Delores will be remembered most for helping others, being a good listener, having a positive outlook, and spreading cheer to others. She always greeted people with a smile and a quick sense of humor. She encouraged everyone to be the best they can be and be happy. She was an influence to so many people in all walks of life. She is survived by two daughters, Angela Tabor of Muldrow, OK and Marcinda Mitchell, DVM of Sallisaw, OK; two sons, Mike Mitchell, DVM, and Kathy of Muldrow, OK and Kelly Mitchell of Plano, TX; nine grandchildren, Michaela Files and husband, Jake, Nicholas Mitchell, Zachary Mitchell, Lyndsay Hensley, and husband Wade, Drew Duch, Aaron Mitchell and wife, Jacklyn, Victoria Mitchell, Elijah Angeletti, and wife, Chandler and Bella Angeletti; ten greatgrandchildren, Katherine Files, Elizabeth Files, Isabella Files, Mitchell Files, Marissa Williams, Madison Mitchell, Grace Mitchell, Emily Mitchell, Trenton Mitchell and Luca Angeletti, one niece, Gwen McEwing-Chance of Soper, Oklahoma and several other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, one great grandson, Nate Williams Mitchell, one sister, Ray Dean McEwing, her husband Mack and one nephew, Pat McEwing. The Mitchell family would like to extend a special thank you to the ones that helped her in her home, Patti Spurlock, Verla Pounds, Faye Weeks, Sharon Caldwell, Kim Huitt, Kay McDonald, and Ann Boyd. Active pallbearers were Drew Duch, Nicholas Mitchell, Zachary Mitchell, Jake Files, Aaron Mitchell, and Elijah Angeletti. Honorary pallbearers were past and present members of the Oklahoma Horseracing Commission, Regents of Carl Albert State College, and the horsemen and staff that worked at Blue Ribbon Downs. Visitation with the family was held Thursday, August 10th, at Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home in Sallisaw. Funeral service was Friday August 11, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church in Sallisaw, OK with burial following at the Sallisaw City Cemetery under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin. The family requests that memorial donations be made to Carl Albert State College, CASC Development Foundation,1507 McKenna Poteau, OK 74953.