Julie Ruth Mitchem, the only child of Riley and Francis Shaw, was born in Albany, Georgia on December 7, 1951. She grew up in Orlando, Florida, and attended Maynard Evans High School from 1965 to 1969. Julie is survived by her 4 children, Wendy Michelle Mitchem, Robert Lee Mitchem, Scott Michael Mitchem and Rebecca Francis Mitchem, and her four grandchildren, Cole, Noah, Tracy, and Bella. Her last 20 years were spent with her loving partner Kevin Wantje and he has been a saint in caring for her in her last days.
Julie was a self-taught businesswoman who worked for 30 years in the car business. She started her career as a receptionist at Don Mealey Chevrolet in Orlando. Over the years her responsibilities grew to a very successful career. In 2002, she moved to Punta Gorda, Florida, where she made her home for the rest of her life.
Julie loved spending time with her family, especially her four grandchildren. She was always up early to catch the sunrise and loved the outdoors. She had a passion for rescue dogs. Julie fostered many dogs on their way to finding new homes. Julie was a big patriot and loved America. All her homes had an American Flag waiving prominently out front. Her favorite place to visit was New York City. Julie was also a big advocate for environmental causes and was always concerned with keeping our land and oceans clean. Julie was always up for a day with her girlfriends going out visiting museums, gardens, and other interesting places. One of her gifts was her keen ability to match people together. She was able to introduce several couples that resulted in marriage. In fact, she introduced her son Rob to his future wife Nicole. Lastly, her love of music was infectious, and she would always play her songs around family.
In her later years, she worked at Home Depot, where she was known for her warm smile and energetic personality. Along the way, Julie touched the heart of countless people and loved life.
Julie died on January 17th from a short battle with Cancer under the care of Tidewell Hospice House in Port Charlotte, FL. One of Julie’s favorite quotes was “The trouble is, you think you have time”. Per Julie’s wishes, there will be a private family memorial at later date to spread her ashes. Her family has requested that donations in her memory be made to Ears Animal Rescue Sanctuary.