top of page

Share a Memory:

Upon submitting your memory, please refresh your page to view your condolences.

Your content has been submitted

An error occurred. Try again later


Joe Olliff

Grew up with Martha Lee in Statesboro where we were as six year olds we girlfriend and boyfriend later a wonderful friend to my wife Jody and I. We will always remember her with much love and affection.

Jennifer Koenig

Mrs.Mitchell was my kindergarten teacher at Hilliard elementary school in the early 90s..Rest in peace ❤️

Judy Harper Sapp

What a wonderful teacher and woman Mrs. Mitchell was. Always smiling and encouraging her students. We will miss this powerful educator!! God bless her family - I know where she is today!

Judy walker

I'm so sorry about your loss, praying 🙏 for peace.

Paul . Johnson

Been a long time but remember Mrs. Mitchell well. Was my neighbor nearby us after my Mom died in the 70s.

Willie Evans

Mrs. Mitchell was my 5th grade teacher condolences 🙏 and prayers to the family.

Robin Reynolds Humphreys

My heart is with you, Mitch and Kitty. Your parents were an integral part of my family’s life. Mrs Mitchell was my 5th grade teacher and I will always be grateful for her guidance and kindness. She was one of my mom’s dearest friends and was always there for our family. Her smile will be sorely missed. I hope she and Franz are together and smiling down on you. -robin

Jeni Cuthrell Sabo

What a beautiful, loving, faithful and fiery spirit! Mrs. Mitchell cared and lifted so many in our community. She and Franz were like second parents and an inspiration for so many. Love, and hug to you both during this difficult time. Love, Jeni

Theresa moore

Loved her so much she will be missed

Cymonne Smiley

Mrs. Mitchell was a wonderful co-worker. Rest in peace and thank you on behalf of your ELH Family!

Tucker & Sharon Aguirre

With a heavy heart we are posting this. Ms. Martha Lee & Mr. Franz were out Florida family, we were know to them as "their angels upstairs". Our thoughts and prayers are with all the family during this difficult time. We love you all!

Mark and Sheryl Hsrper

Mitch and family, Mark and Sheryl Harper are praying for you and for your family. Our sincere condolences are with you all. Love, Mark and Sheryl Harper

Harry Mills

Thanks Martha Mitchell for your life and courage to be strong in your faith and to encourage others. Together with Mrs. Tyson, & Mrs. Whitaker! You 3 redheads made this world and this community a better place to live in!

Margaret Scott

The Mitchells were our neighbors and friends for all my life. Martha Lee taught me social studies in 5th grade and I still remember my Washington State "float"assignment. I returned to her classroom as an adult when she taught my daughter and saw the same graciousness, Love and discipline that shaped so many lives throughout her career. Fernandina has lost yet another iconic figure. Ole Fernandina is becoming more and more a memory. Good times with good people.

Cynthia Sapp

David and I were sorry to hear of Martha Lee’s passing! She was such a special person! I always loved running into your mom and dad in Publix! They always made a point to talk to me and ask how I was doing. Your mom and dad will truly be missed! Love and prayers for the Mitchell family. Cynthia and David Sapp

Deanna Fisher Lovell

I will always remember how she loved ALL her students. How she read us a bible story and the pledge of allegiance before every class. Every time that I would run into her she always had a huge smile and a huge hug for me. She will forever be in my heart and in my memories. Mrs Mitchell love you and miss you. Prayers for all of her family friends and students.

Nancy Douglas

We will never forget you. Go with God.

Sherry Vaughn

Martha was a special friend to my mother during their time at Savannah Grand. Keeping the family in my thoughts and prayers.

Valarie Pikula

I love them both. I was very sick and in the hospital. She and Franz came to see me several times and I will never forget that.She had Kyle in school and loved him and he loved her. They were the sweetest couple.

Carlene Green O'Kelley

My deepest sympathy to MItch and Kitty and their families. I had Mrs. Mitchell in fifth grade. Years later, I surprised her by showing up with my brother for 'career day' with my niece's class. Mrs. Mitchell gave me a huge hug, but she never missed a beat with her class - she introduced both of us as speakers! I was reminded what a wonderful teacher she was by the amazing questions those kids asked about my work. Even though I haven't lived in Fernandina for a long time, I'd still see Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell occasionally, and she would always call me by name and ask about my family. She was one of that remarkable breed who could remember your name, who your parents and siblings were, and what you were like as a student even 50 years later. She was an amazing woman, and she will be missed by so many of us.

Kelly Van Wagner McGregor

Mrs. Mitchell taught me at Emma love and never let me get by with anything and called me out quite often I used to gripe about her then but as I got older we became good friends and I adored her. So sorry for your loss Mitch and Kitty she truly was one of a kind and had a beautiful smile.

Melissa Hall

I got to know who when I worked at Robison's and her and Franz had the book store. Then later she would come out to Mammy "Myrtle" Hall's and we would enjoy visiting.

Nancy Mayo

I had the pleasure for many years of doing Ms Myra Decker's hair. As a result I got to know Martha very well. As an added bonus in recent years I got to do Martha's hair. We had such a good time. She and Franz were a sweet couple.l am afraid she never recovered from his passing. Perhaps now they are holding hands again.

Gene Giddens

Class members of the Class of 57 are sadden and mourn the loss of Martha Lee. She was a charming, witty, beautiful classmate. Never for a loss for words, smart as a whip, and class valedictorian. Her positive demeanor influenced the lives of so many and we will always cherish the experiences and memories that we shared together. We dearly loved Martha Lee and God has truly found another wonderful Angel. She will live in our hearts forever.

Valencia Dubberly Gower

I, too, was a 5th grade student of Mrs. Mitchell - the year Kitty was born. And when I had my own little red-headed baby, I made a trip to Emma Love to show her off to Mrs. Mitchell. Like many others, Mrs. Mitchell had a very positive influence on my life, not only in school, but in church as well. Great picture of her and Mr. Mitchell. Gone, but never forgotten. God's peace to her family.

Deana Griffin

Martha Lee and Franz were my godparents and miss them both more than I can say! They were truly Gods gifts to all the knew.

Joni Hughes Reud

Ms. Mitchell was my 5th grade teacher and whenever I would see her in town., she would always brought up a school days memory. I have not seen her in years but often wondered how she was doing. I hope she had a peaceful journey.

Ronnie and Fay Moore

Martha Lee and Franz were so very kind to us and held a place of love and respect in our hearts. They helped us tremendously with my Mother when she was ill. God bless you all with His strength in the days to come as you navigate this great loss. With Love, Ronnie and Fay

Martha Lee Barnhardt Mitchell


Martha Lee Barnhardt Mitchell passed away peacefully in the early morning of May 24, 2022. She was 82 years old.
The daughter of Gene and Myra Annis Barnhardt, Martha Lee (known affectionately by her family as "Boots") was born on June 17, 1939. She graduated in 1957 as valedictorian of her Fernandina Beach High School class. Martha Lee married Franz Mitchell, the love of her life, in 1958. They remained happily married for 62 years, until Franz's passing in 2020.

Martha Lee and Franz were blessed with two children, Franz "Mitch" Mitchell, Jr., born in 1965, and Katherine "Kitty" Mitchell Morris, born in 1969. She is preceded in death by her brothers Gene Barnhardt, Jr. and Bud Barnhardt. She is survived by her son Mitch (Dede) Mitchell, her daughter Kitty (Joe) Mitchell Morris, her grandchildren Tripp Mitchell, Katie Mitchell Woodruff (Blaine), and Will Mitchell, her cousin and de facto sister, Chris Hall Bryan, her de facto nieces Ginny Bryan Burnet and Amy Bryan, and her beloved cousins Chipper and Gretchen Hall.

Martha Lee was a school teacher for 41 years in Camden (Georgia), Duval, and Nassau County schools. She spent more than 35 of those years as a teacher at Emma Love Hardee Elementary School in Fernandina Beach.

She was a member of Memorial United Methodist Church. After her marriage to Franz, she became a member of the First Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach, where she taught Sunday School for many years.

From her positions as a beloved teacher, Sunday School teacher, wife, parent, grandparent, neighbor, and friend, Martha Lee served as a moral and academic force in the Fernandina Beach community. She insisted that her students do their best and stay disciplined in their school work, while treating each child with love and compassion.

Martha Lee was unfailing in her faith, her love for the Lord, and service to her church. In 1990 she was sued, along with the Nassau County School Board, for reading Bible stories to her students. The entire church community rallied around Martha Lee, such was the affection, love and heartfelt respect the community had for her.

Martha Lee was loving and generous, always smiling and laughing. Family, friends, and strangers were perpetually invited to sit on her front porch with her and Franz, where she served them iced tea and delicious cookies. Visitors always left more cheerful than when they arrived, and with an offer from Martha Lee to "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you!"
While Martha Lee is no longer here with us, her positive influences, love, compassion, and infectious good cheer will live on for many generations to come.

She will be laid to rest with her husband at Bosque Bello Cemetery as part of a private family service.


bottom of page