Johnetta Mitchell Marshall, aka "Queen Joyous," (Jo) was born July 14, 1939 in Scott AR. She departed this life on April 26, 2014, in Lakewood CA. She was the third of four children born to the union of Printess Mitchell, Sr. and Lennie Lee O'Neil Mitchell. Her older sister, Dorothy Mitchell, approximately two years her senior, passed away two months before Jo was born. Dorothy's passing created a vacuum in the life of the family, which Jo graciously and immediately filled. She was God's gift to her parents and a comforting presence to her father, thus creating a special bond among them. Along with her sister Dorothy, Jo was preceded in death by her father, Printess Mitchell, Sr., brother, Herman Luvert Mitchell, Sr., her mother, Lennie Lee O'Neil Mitchell (in 1979, 1998 and 2000, respectively), her son, Donald Russell Mitchell and daughter, Stephanie Marshall. Jo began her education at Britt School, a one-room elementary school in Scott AR. After completing Britt School, she attended and graduated from Carver High School in Lonoke AR, where she excelled in basketball. After finishing high school, Jo enrolled in Philander Smith College where she attended one year before transferring to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Later she earned her license as a nurse, which served her well until she retired in 2001. Jo came west to seek her fortune in 1962, and lived with her cousins Louis and Dehetti Gantt of Los Angeles CA. She subsequently moved to Long Beach and worked at St. Mary Hospital. She later was employed as a nurse at Santa Fe Convalescent Center, from where she underwrote part of her brother's post-graduate education. In 1968, she met and subsequently married Johnny Russell Stanfield. To this union, two sons were born, the late Donald Russell Mitchell and Michael Anthony Stanfield. Later she met and married the late Stanley Marshall and was further blessed with four more children, Johnnie, Michael, Stephanie, and Stacy Marshall. Jo was given the opportunity to experience and express her "regal" side when she and her friend Albertine established the Precious Jewels Red Hatters on July 9, 2009. At that time, Albertine became Queen and Jo became Vice-Queen, where she assumed the royal name "Joyous." When Queen Albertine re-located to North Carolina in November 2009, Jo founded her own Chapter, Ladies of Zion, and became Queen; thus earning the right to be called "Queen Joyous." She wore this title honorably and humbly until her reign ended on April 26, 2014. Long Live The Queen! Jo professed a hope in Christ at an early age, and in 1952 she united with Zion Chapel Baptist Church in Scott AR. She subsequently continued her quest for a deeper and more submitted life in Christ in all places she travelled. After she returned to Long Beach CA in 2002, she united with the St. Luke Holy Baptist Church, Artesian Well Church and lastly, Light and Life Christian Fellowship in 2012 (LLCF). She continued her service at LLCF as a "Greeter" until her health prevented her from doing so. Jo remained faithful in all of her endeavors, whether Professional or Spiritual. Whether twice interrupting her life pursuits to return to Arkansas to care for her ailing parents, or opening her doors and her heart to family members and friends in need, or playing endless games of chess with her "sister" Blonnie Dobson, or sitting and planning a Red Hat Chapter with her other "sister" Albertine Speights, or studying, dialoging and relishing the Amazing Grace, and rejoicing over the majestic promises of God with her other "sister" Karyl Crosthwait, Jo lived and exemplified a committed Christian life. She leaves to celebrate her memory and preserve her legacy; her brother, Prentiss Mitchell, Jr. and his wife Virginia of Long Beach CA; her sister-in-law, Wivolene Mitchell of Little Rock AR; her sons, Michael Anthony Stanfield of Tulsa OK, Johnnie Marshall of Sterling VA, and Michael Marshall of Sterling VA; her daughter, Stacy Marshall of Sterling VA; her grandchildren, Dalila Asha, Opal Talise, Nina Marie, Mya Janae and Elijah; her god-daughter, Lorraine Preston-Miller; her god-sisters, Blonnie Dobson, Albertine Speights and Rosalyn Hutton; Her Red Hatters Family; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 90:9b, "we spend our years as a tale that is told." In Jo's "Five Wishes" booklet, she wrote the following regarding "My Wish For What I Want My Loved Ones To Know" : If anyone asks how I want to be remembered, please say the following about me: She was a person who loved God. Someone loving and caring, with the interest of others above my own.