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Obituary Condolences

Family-Placed Death Notice

MITCHELL, Jr., Walter WALTER MARSHALL MITCHELL JR. "Walter Marshall Mitchell Jr. died March 15, 2013. He was born April 7, 1929 to Ethel Niall Mitchell of Atlanta, Ga. and Walter Mitchell, Sr., of Tifton, Ga. As a native Atlantan, he spent his formative years in Brookwood Hills, attended E.Rivers Grammar School, North Fulton High School, McCallie Prep School, and the University of Georgia. At the University, he belonged to Phi Delta Theta fraternity and served as captain of the University track team. A Cum Laude graduate with an AB in Journalism, Mitchell was also a member of the Gridiron Secret Society and a charter member of the UGA President's Club. He served as a Director of the Journalism School. His business career was with W.R.C. Smith Publishing Company, where he was President and Publisher of various business magazines and founded the popular magazine of interiors and gardens, Southern Accents. Walter was one of the original Buckhead Boys and was honored in 1980 as "Buckhead Boy of the Year". He was a former long-time member of the Downtown Atlanta Rotary Club, the Capital City Club and the Piedmont Driving Club." A list of scholastic, athletic and professional accomplishments, however long and illustrious, would be woefully inadequate in conveying the scope and character of Walter Mitchell Jr.'s life. We, his family, wish to expand upon the obituary quoted above that Walter penned for himself, and trust he will not be offended--even as we find that words seem insufficient for the task at hand. Walter was a gifted craftsman, applying his creative talents to the production of a constant stream of projects, including finely detailed radio control model airplanes, birdhouses, dollhouses, his famous line of "Thomas Cheapendale" furniture, and musical instruments of all sorts--guitars, mandolins, banjos, violins, dulcimers, bucket basses, and countless other sublime noise-makers. When at last the house couldn't hold them all, he gave them away to make room for more. He loved music, listening to almost everything from Blind Willie McTell to Bach, and even if his short tolerance for opera was well-known to the producers at radio station WABE he was nevertheless known to harbor a secret affection for the voice of Anna Moffo. He was himself an accomplished guitarist, performing in his youth with his band The Melody Entertainers, and ultimately passing his treasured 1956 Martin D-18 to his youngest son along with a wealth of ditties, dirges and D-major chord variations. He was an artist, handy with oil on canvas, and an illustrator of considerable skill. He was also extremely well-read, maintaining a lifelong interest in literature and poetry, and was apt to quote authors as diverse as Shakespeare and Max Shulman from memory when the occasion demanded. If all this was not enough, he was a superior wordsmith as well. In his writing he perhaps best conveyed his sly, wicked, but never malicious sense of humor. He possessed an amazing ability to shake up the driest of subjects, and come up with an article or presentation that not only managed to convey the required information, but would also leave the reader or listener helpless with laughter. Above all, Walter Mitchell was as generous and loving in life as a man could be, freely sharing his gifts with all who were blessed to know him. His grammar school yearbook, The Rivers Overflow, contains a couplet, written of him at the tender age of 12, that perhaps describes him best: "Walter Mitchell is a good Scout, He's always helping others out." As true in 1941 as it was the day of his passing. We love you, Dad, forever. Walter is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Evelyn; his son David Edge Mitchell, David's wife Amanda Burns Mitchell and their son Colin Tate Mitchell, of Washington, DC; and his brothers William N. Mitchell and Wade T. Mitchell and their families, both of Atlanta. He was predeceased by his first son, Walter Mitchell III of Albuquerque, NM. The body will be cremated, and at Walter's request, no formal ceremony is planned.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 20, 2013
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