Penney Echols Yoakley Mitchell Burton

August 17, 1944August 24, 2019

Wife, mother, sister, grandmother, cousin, Penney, 75, died suddenly on August 24. Penney was a longtime resident of Rome. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Seven Hills Garden Club of Rome, and served on the board of and volunteered for Good Neighbors Ministries, Inc. She also served on the ESL committee at St. Mary’s Catholic Church for several years. Penney was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, at the army base, Penney Farms. She grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, graduating from Forest Hill High School in its second graduating class, 1962. She attended Shorter College, graduating in 1966, after marrying Martin H. “Buddy” Mitchell in January of 1966. Penney began a teaching career at Rockmart High School, then worked in Special Education at East Rome Junior High School before committing to a job with the State of Georgia. Anne Bronte said: “the best compliment to a mother is to appreciate her little one.” Penney devoted herself to her grandsons and was a presence in their lives at school, ball games, church, and family functions. Complimenting her grandsons was always welcome conversation. Penney was a comforting face to the sick, the elderly, the downtrodden, and the youth. She was quick to make you feel at ease, and she had the gift of storytelling that brought a smile and reassurance to all she knew. If anyone had a visiting niece, nephew, grandchild, or older relative, she made sure everyone had a gift. Penney is survived by her husband Ronnie Burton of Rome; daughter Mary Hardin Thornton and husband Bill of Rome; son David Yoakley Mitchell and wife Niamh of Atlanta; grandsons Walter Wyatt Thornton and Henry Hardin Thornton of Rome, and Liam Dellinger Yoakley Mitchell of Atlanta; sister, Mary Yoakley Inglis and husband John of Palm Beach Gardens, and five first-cousins. Penney was preceded in death by her parents, David S. “Bud” Yoakley and Madge Dellinger Yoakley, of West Palm Beach, and her husband, Martin H. “Buddy” Mitchell, of Rome.

Donations may be made to:

Saint Mary’s Catholic School 401 E. 7th Street Rome, GA 30161 Or The Atlanta Preservation Center 327 Saint Paul Avenue SE Atlanta, Georgia 30312


  • Funeral Mass Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Penney Echols Yoakley Mitchell Burton

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sharyn Dowd

August 27, 2019

Penney was one of the most interesting people in our family. You never left a visit with her without having learned something new. She was truly a fascinating storyteller. I well remember my nieces and nephews staring open-mouthed at Penney while listening to her stories. She was a generous, big-hearted person whom we will all miss.

Nan Selman

August 27, 2019

I had the honor of Penny walking into my store about 8 or 9 months ago. From that point on she was a delight to see each week. Tomato pie, pasta salad, squash pickles and pepper jelly were always on her shopping list. I saw her about a week ago and she told me to hurry and get that pepper jelly made because she was about out. Well Ms Penny I finally got it made.
I did not have the privilege of knowing Penny a long time. But if you heard us talking in my store you would think we knew each other for many years. She was a delight to know.

Alina Hoge

August 25, 2019

My heart breaks for everyone. I had the pleasure of spending time with Penney when she was at her best. We laughed and hid cream cheese sandwiches from Mary. She was a force to be reckoned with and made you laugh while keeping a straight face. Thank you for sharing her with me, Mary and Mary Hardin. I love you all. ❤️