Millie Mitchell, an 83-year-old Merritt activist who was known as a force to be reckoned within her community, has died while doing what she loved: fighting for change.
"Anytime she wanted to make a change or make a difference, she would get in there and she would fight to the bitter end to make it happen," said friend Lucas Handley in an interview with Daybreak Kamloops.
Handley, who worked with Mitchell at a local farmers' market, says Mitchell had been out on Highway 8 near Merritt for a week, protesting against biosolids that are currently being dumped at a composting facility in the Sunshine Valley.
She and another woman were believed to be on their way to investigate a biowaste location on Saturday when they got stuck on a forestry road about 20 kilometres outside of Merritt.
They tried to walk out, but Mitchell fell into a ditch. She died on the way to the hospital.
Handley says Mitchell's death has affected a lot of people, many of whom were fans of her homemade bread sold at the farmers' market.
Mitchell hated to be away from the market, said Handley. Even when she broke her hip, she insisted on baking cakes while leaning on a walker.
"When she went to open the oven, she realized she had no available hands," Handley said. "Needless to say, the cake ended up on the floor. But that's the kind of determination she had. She just had to be there."
To hear the full interview with Lucas Handley, click on the audio labelled: Merritt Millie Mitchell