Elizabeth Seabury Mitchell, 99, formerly of Oak Park, died on Sept. 22, 2013 at her retirement home in Oro Valley, Ariz. She grew up in Oak Park, the daughter of insurance executive Charles Ward Seabury, who was the creator of the Seabury Foundation and a founder of the Children's Zoo at Brookfield Zoo. After attending Oak Park and River Forest High School and boarding school, she met her first husband, Joe Hibben, at the University of Chicago and they spent much of their 37-year marriage in Glenview.
After their divorce, she became active in philanthropy by supporting the YWCA, Habitat for Humanity and many other organizations.
With her second husband, John Mitchell, she founded the the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, located in Evanston. It is one of the few in the country that focuses on a wide variety of tribes in the United States and Canada, and an "Elizabeth Seabury Mitchell Day" is planned there for Oct. 26.
Elizabeth Mitchell is survived by her husband, John; her daughter, Bonnie Hibben; and her two granddaughters. A celebration of her life is planned in Michigan next summer.
Information for this obituary was gathered from the Chicago Sun-Times death notice on Oct. 4.
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