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Remembering Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

Friends and colleagues convened in the Trustees Room on January 10, 2011 for an emotional memorial to a woman who was nothing short of a Salk institution: Margaret Mitchell. Mitchell played a vital role at the Institute for over 30 years, beginning her Salk career in the president's office as an administrative manager and then working in several other departments before joining the Vision Center Laboratory—perhaps the position closest to her heart—in 1994.

"She absolutely loved this place," said Mitchell's son, Robert. "She would say, 'I love my children and job in that order.' You spent as much time with her as we did. She worked here because this is what she wanted to do, and she wanted to be with all of you."

The tribute featured a slide show documenting her life and career, and coworkers, friends and family members filled a book of remembrances to overflowing with stories, poems and photographs.

"It was a great privilege to work with her for 17 years on a daily basis," said Thomas Albright, professor and director of the Vision Center Laboratory. "Margaret had a heart as big as the sky, a spark of wit that could light up a room and a larger-than-life presence that filled our days.

"When we remember and celebrate Margaret's life, the thought of her will always bring smiles to our faces," he added. "We will laugh at the things she taught us to laugh at and find joy where she found it and know our lives are richer and greater for having shared them with her."