Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jim Lee Mitchell 1920-2007

Jim Lee Mitchell was born on September 3, 1920 in Waynesville, MO. He was the only child of Harry Lee "Cat" Mitchell and Nora Ruth Judkins Mitchell. He grew up and went to school in Waynesville graduating in 1938.

After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Missouri School of Mines (now University of Missouri-Rolla) with a major in Electrical engineering. He graduated from Missouri School of Mines in 1942.

While at high school, he met Phoebe Ellsworth Shockley and they were married August 15, 1941 in Marshfield, MO. They were the parents of four children: Barbara Jo, Daniel Lee, Jennifer Nora and Jeffrey Ellsworth.

After graduation from MSM, he went to work for Allis Chalmers, in Milwaukee, WI. He also worked briefly for Halliburton in Salem, IL before going into the Navy as an Ensign in May of 1944. He served two years on the USS Darby during World War II and saw action in the Pacific. He left the Navy as a Lt. Jr. Grade (O2).

After the Navy, he returned to work for Allis Chalmers and became a well respected field engineer. He worked at Allis Chalmers until early 1953 when he moved back to Waynesville.

He ran his father's gas station and constructed some buildings until 1956. At that time he moved to St. Louis and started working for McDonnell Douglas. He was involved in developing the heat shield for Mercury and Gemini spacecrafts. He was always justifiably proud of the contribution he made to the early space missions.

He worked at McDonnell Douglas until he retired in 1976 at which time he moved back to Waynesville for the last time. He served on the Waynesville City Council from 1977 to 1982. After that, he served on the Planning and Zoning Committee until 1996.

He loved working in his basement workshop and taking trips around the country until his health could no longer permit it. He enjoyed working and being outdoors. He was a kind and generous person who was loyal to his friends and made sure that his family had the things they needed.

Jim died on March 16, 2007 at his home in Waynesville. He was preceded in death by his parents; son Daniel on August 1, 1970 in Da Nang, Vietnam; daughter Barbara Johnson on December 4, 1986 in Columbia, MO and his wife Phoebe on February 27, 1993 at home in Waynesville.

He leaves to mourn his passing a daughter, Jennifer Hubley of California, MD and a son Jeff of Waynesville. He also leaves seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren as well as other family and friends.

Funeral services were held at 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, March 20, 2007 in the Memorial Chapel of Waynesville/St. Robert with Rev. Danny Graves officiating. The songs "Amazing Grace" and "Precious Memories" were played. Serving as escorts were Tom Tinsley, Danny Graves, Wayne Denton, Erv Morriss and Bill Morgan.

Burial with military honors followed in the Waynesville Memorial Park Cemetery. Military honors were provided by the Missouri Military Honors Team. Services were under the direction of Memorial Chapel of Waynesville/St. Robert.

No comments:

Post a Comment