Katherine Margaret Mitchell passed away on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Coronado, at the age of 94. Mrs. Mitchell, known as “Kitsy,” succumbed after a 10 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Kitsy was the daughter of Lt. Gen. Robert Houston Pepper, and Mildred Libermann Pepper, and was married to the late Col. Jerry J. Mitchell for over 65 years prior to his death in 2018.
Kitsy was born in San Diego in 1926. Kitsy earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a juris doctorate from George Washington Law School. Kitsy was a gifted early pioneer in machine computing, running a section of the US Navy’s computational lab in Washington D.C. during the 1960s while her husband Jerry was deployed to Vietnam.
Kitsy was also one of the last remaining survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Then Col. Pepper and his family lived on the parade ground adjacent to Hickam Field. While Col. Pepper was at sea aboard the USS Enterprise during the attack, Kitsy, her mother, and her sister were at the house, which was strafed during the attack. Kitsy’s memories of that day were published in the Coronado Eagle several years ago, http://www.coronadonewsca.com/news/memories-of-pearl-harbor/article_f305fb1b-c4bc-5a06-97ac-654a90f6a99e.html.
Kitsy and Jerry were residents of Coronado since the 1970s. They were active in real estate, avid sailors and members of the Coronado Cays Yacht Club. They pursued numerous charitable endeavors. Kitsy also enjoyed traveling, reading, and tennis.
Kitsy is survived by her nephew, Robert, and her niece, also Kitsy. A brief internment ceremony will be held Jan. 26 at Miramar National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family would request donations be made in her honor to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org.