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Billy P. "Bill" Mitchell

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Billy P. "Bill" Mitchell Obituary
HENDERSONVILLE-Billy P. Mitchell "Bill" 84, of Hendersonville passed away on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at Carolina Village. He was born on April 5, 1930 to the late Julius Pender Mitchell and Dolibel Jones Mitchell. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Rebecca Burroughs Mitchell.
A native of Robeson County, North Carolina, Bill graduated from Duke University and joined the United States Air Force during the closing days of the Korean Conflict. Upon his discharge, he married Jeri Stevenson and became involved in research for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company in Durham, NC. Two years later they moved to Gainesville, FL where he was involved in cancer research at the University of Florida. All three of their children were born in Gainesville, FL: Sharon Lynne, Steve Lee, and Amy Elizabeth. All three of their children live in Orlando FL. including two grand children: Brittney and Chase Boyt.
In 1958 Bill entered his lifetime career field of Chamber of Commerce management. He served as the Chief Executive Officer for the following chambers: Gainesville, FL., and Macon, GA, and Jackson, MS. He dedicated 35 years to this career of community development, believing that strong communities build a strong nation. Through his beliefs of economic and industrial development, he created employment opportunities for thousands of current workers which in turn touched many future generations.
He was a strong leader in coordinating the establishment of the Mercer University Medical School which was involved in training doctors to serve rural communities in Georgia and the south. In 1982, Bill moved to Washington DC to work for the United States Chamber of Commerce. He was the liaison between the National Chamber of Commerce and the 3000 state and local chambers. He taught and consulted in the fields of organization management and community development which made him one of the most recognized and respected leaders in his field. During this time he married his childhood sweetheart and gained two step-daughters: Amy of New Albany, IN and Betsy of Fairbanks, AK.
Bill retired from the US Chamber in 1993 although he continued to serve as a consultant. He then founded and was president of the Arlington Mediation Service. He pioneered in the field of "conflict management" in the courts of Virginia. Bill and his wife Becky spent a summer in Zambia where he led the reorganization of the Zambia National Chamber of Commerce and their local chambers while Becky taught reading to the local children.
After his wife's retirement, they relocated to Hendersonville. Bill was involved in his work in conflict management throughout North Carolina. He arbitrated and mediated for the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers. He was also involved with the North Carolina Superior Court System and the North Carolina Industrial Commission. In 2002, he was President of the NC Association of Professional Family Mediators.
Bill was active in many clubs and organizations as well as being an ordained Elder in the Trinity Presbyterian Church of Hendersonville and he later joined Grace Lutheran Church in 2003. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution where he was a member of the Board of Directors and the Blue Ridge Chapter Chairman. He was a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association, Rotary Club of Hendersonville, and the University Club of Hendersonville.
A Memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Grace Lutheran Church of Hendersonville with Reverend Greg Williams officiating.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Grace Lutheran Church of Hendersonville 1245 Sixth Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC 28739.
An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.
Published in The Times-News on Jan. 17, 2015
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