James D. Mitchell

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James D. Mitchell

89, died peacefully on Friday, June 22, 2012.

The life of the party, Jim was beloved for his ability to tell a great story—and his life was full of great stories. In addition to his great athletic talent and flair for writing, Jim was wonderful at making people laugh. A quieter aspect of Jim's character was his deep decency. Jim treated everyone with equal kindness and respect.

Born May 2, 1923 to Lon W. and May Harrop Mitchell in Somerset, KY, Jim graduated Shortridge High School in 1941. He was Junior class president, all-city football team halfback and defensive safety. Jim graduated Butler University in 1946 with a BS in journalism, baseball team captain, football halfback, Sigma Delta Chi journalism fraternity president. Survived by his wife Mary Elizabeth (Donnell), brother Robert H., five children - Doug (Mary Kay), Betsy (John) Sweeney, Dan, Bonnie (Mark) Fulnecky, and Tom (Sorraya); eleven grandchildren - Molly (Jason), David, Annie (Nick), Patrick (Lisa), Kevin, Joe, Elizabeth, Cassandra, Grace, Sally (Peter), Clara, and seven great grandchildren.

While at Butler, Jim worked as Sports Editor at the Associated Press Bureau, until he and Mary Liz graduated and married in 1946 and moved to LaPorte as Boys' Work Secretary of the LaPorte YMCA. Journalism called him back in 1947 as Sports Editor of the Kokomo Tribune until 1953, when he landed a reporter position at the Indianapolis Star. Jim then served as Alumni Secretary at Butler University from 1955-57. He found his eventual career at Indiana Bell Telephone in 1957 and eventually retired in1983 as Division Manager, Public Relations, after lengthy service as Advertising Manager, where he was noted for frequent "Addy" awards during his tenure. "Mitch" served as a Board director of the Intercollegiate YMCA and the Indianapolis Baseball Club, 12 years with Weekday Religious Education, a program for elementary students, and many years with Northminster Presbyterian Church as a 3rd grade Sunday School teacher, elder and volunteer. He delivered Meals on Wheels for 25 years. Clearly, being able to help others kept him going, as well as organizing reunions with his "Shortridge Gray Devils" football teammates, but his love for children (and their love for him) really made him a very special guy.

Calling will be held on Friday, June 29 from 5:00 to 8:00 at Flanner and Buchanan - Broad Ripple . Service will be 1:00 Saturday, June 30 at Northminster Presbyterian Church with calling 1 hour prior of service. Burial will be in Crown Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Memo: James D. Mitchell, 811 W. Evergreen Ave., Suite 204, Chicago, IL 60642, http://www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org. Online condolences may be left at: http://www.flannerbuchanan.com

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on June 27, 2012
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