Patricia Mitchell, who retired in 2009 as principal of theBessie Rhodes Magnet School, died of cancer on May 24, according to a statement from the Evanston/Skokie District 65 communications office.

Ms. Mitchell started service with the District as a kindergarten aide in 1980, was a teacher atWalkerSchool. She served as principal atDeweyElementary Schoolfrom 1991 to 1998, and at Bessie Rhodes (formerly Timber Ridge) from 1998 until her retirement. She returned as interim principal at Dewey from February to June of 2011.

“During her almost 30 years of service to District 65 families, Mrs. Mitchell touched the lives of so many,” Communications Director Pat Markham said in a prepared statement. “We offer our sincere condolences to her family and to the many faculty and staff to whom she was a friend and colleague.”

There will be a community memorial service on June 2 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, corner of Ridge and Grove. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and refreshments will be provided following the ceremony. The memorial service, although not a religious rite, will have religious overtones and presentations by family, friends and public officials. Her Resurrection Mass will be for family only and it will have occurred prior to the memorial service.