FALMOUTH — Lorraine Busse Mizell was born April 4, 1929, in Chicago, Illinois, and passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at the Josephine M. Lilly Health Care Center in Falmouth. Lorraine was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and artist.
Lorraine was married to Dr. Merle Mizell for more than 51 years. They met on a blind date in 1954 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was one of the first women to graduate from the University of Illinois College of Business, where she received a B.S. in Management. She initiated her career in management at the Chicago headquarters of Sears, Roebuck and Co. stores. In 1958, she married Merle Mizell and moved to New Orleans, where her husband had joined Tulane University's Biology Department. Lorraine continued her management career in the main Sears store in New Orleans until the birth of her first child.
She later divided her time between winters in New Orleans and summers in Sippewissett. During the academic year, Lorraine worked in her husband's Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology teaching the art of sectioning for both light and electron microscopy. In Woods Hole, she served as an early Executive Board member of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Associates' Gift Shop.
Her love of family was paramount — the highlights of her life were her husband, children (Tracy Mizell Moore and her husband, Dr. Sean Moore, of Hollis, New Hampshire, and Dr. Michael Mizell-Nelson and his wife, Catherine Mizell-Nelson, of New Orleans) and grandchildren (Isabelle Lorraine Moore, Constance Moore, Keely Maia Mizell, and Arlo Jack Mizell.)
Lorraine was a talented artist in many media: watercolors; oil painting; photography; and stained glass. She studied painting at Northwestern and Tulane Universities. Whenever she decided to try a new artistic medium, she quickly mastered it. Lorraine designed "Sea Aerie," her distinctive "upside down house" in Sippewissett. She started "Sea Aerie Vistas," which sold prints and gift cards featuring Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse. Her artistic skills were unique in that she detected beauty in everything. She transformed a twisted Bittersweet vine removed from a tree into an evolving piece of art over the fireplace mantel. She, her children, and her grandchildren decorated the vine through the years with treasures from the ocean.
She saw the goodness in everyone and loved jokes and being silly. She allowed a wide variety of animals to be brought into the home, including clawed Xenopus frogs, rabbits, hamsters, opossums, chickens, one duck, fish and several special poodles, especially her last companion, "Mackie." She also had been a celebrated golfer, winning golf tournaments in New Orleans and scoring a hole-in-one at the Woodbriar Golf Course in Falmouth.
Lorraine fought hard against Alzheimer's disease for the past decade and enjoyed her friends and the outstanding support of the JML Adult Day Care Center. She established a close friendship with JML Adult Daycare Center Director Bobbee Frazer. Although diminished by the disease, Lorraine continued to exhibit her unique spirit through her love of laughter and music. Her kind heart and joyful light live on through her family, friends, and her beautiful artwork.
Her life will be celebrated on Saturday, May 8th, from 10 a.m. until noon, at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 584 W. Falmouth Highway, in West Falmouth. The burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the JML Adult Day Care Center, 184 Ter Heun Drive, Falmouth, MA 02540 or the MBL, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543, Attn: Development Office.
Published in the Cape Cod Times on 5/7/2010