Bridgette Bottemiller-Mitchell, 1963-2016

The first time I met Bridgette things were fairly formal. Her father, Ron, hired me to run their PhotoKis machine for Ron Villa Pharmacy’s new one-hour photo lab in McKinleyville, California.

The second time I saw her, she blew me away with, “Why, hello gorgeous!” I walked around flattered as flattered could be for a couple of days, until I realized that was her greeting for most everyone she knew.

Today, I’m sitting here at my desk feeling sad at the knowledge of her passing on April 28, 2016. I think she was diagnosed with cancer sometime in 2015, but I didn’t realize how bad it had become until she said the disease was pressing on her spine, causing her pain.

Bridgette was born in Fort Bragg, California, Christmas day, 1963 to Betty and Ron Bottemiller. She grew up in Bayside, near Eureka, went to school in Arcata and then worked as her father’s bookkeeper at the pharmacy.

She’s survived by her two children, Clara and Matthew, her sisters, Connie and Kristy and mom, Betty. She is preceded in death by her dad, Ron, who passed away in 2013 and her husband David Mitchell, who died in 2009.

For me, her smile, laughter and good cheer will always hold a special place in my heart. This, and every time I see a red chili in a plate of chinese food, like the one that nearly killed me during a lunch date she and I had at a restaurant in Arcata, where she laughed so hard and so long that she nearly pee’d herself.

I’ll miss you, Bridge.

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