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RALPH MITCHELL

Obituary
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Ralph William "Mitch" Mitchell, Retired Major, U.S. Army, age 72, of El Paso passed away on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 in El Paso, TX following hospitalization for a pulmonary embolism. He was born on July 3, 1940 in Philadelphia, PA to the late Anderson and Emma Mitchell. He grew up in south Philadelphia, lettering in track, football, and gymnastics at South Philadelphia High School.ÊÊ He entered the U.S. Army following graduation from high school. He received his Bachelor's Degree in General studies/Political Science from the University of Nebraska and his Master of Arts Degree in Human Relations from Webster University.Ê He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division Recondo School, NCO Academy Leadership School, Officer Candidate School, Officer Advanced Course, Army Command and General Staff College, Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement management Institute of Texas,FBI Command College and various other specialty courses in the military and law enforcement fields. He held the Master Peace Officer Certification. He was a graduate of Leadership El Paso.Ê He received many professional awards and recognitions during his career, including the Del Norte Award by El Paso County Commissioners in 2008 and the Silver Patrick Henry Award from the El Paso Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars. His career in the U.S. Army spanned 20 years, from 1959-1979. Military Awards included: Bronze Star for Valor (3), Purple Heart (2), Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Parachute Badge, Army Commendation Medal (2), Good Conduct Medal, Expert Infantry Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 7 stars, Distinguished Unit Citation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam GeneralÊ Staff medal, meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnam Soldier's Medal, Vietnam Freedom Medal, Vietnam Parachute Badge, Sharpshooter Badge (M-6 and 45).Ê Following his retirementÊ from the Army, he joined the El Paso County Sheriff's Department, where he spentÊ 29 years in various positions, as a Patrolman, Detective, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant of Special Operations, Detention Lieutenant and Captain, Administration Lieutenant and Captain, Criminal Investigations Captain, Patrol Division Captain, and Assistant Chief Deputy for the Law Enforcement Bureau. He also served as coordinator for the Sheriff's Reserve and the Explorer Scout program.Ê Following his retirement from the EPSO, he worked as the Regional Communications Planner for the Rio Grande Council of Governments. Community Activities included service on the El Paso County Risk Management Board and the El Paso County Ethics Commission.ÊÊ He served for many years on the Board for the Victory Warriors Drill and Dance After School Program, influencing the lives of our youth. He is a member of multiple law enforcement, civic, and fraternal organizations, including but not limited toÊ the Military Order of the World Wars (Perpetual member, Past Chapter Commander, El Paso Chapter), International Association of Chiefs of Police , National Organization of Black Law EnforcementÊ Executives, Sheriff's Association of Texas , 82nd Airborne Association, American Legion, Law Enforcement Post 74, Disabled Veterans Association, Free and Accepted Masons, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Triple Nickle (555) Airborne Association, Vietnam Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars . He is survived by his wife, Dr. Paula Mitchell and his son, Daniel Maher, his brothers Albert and Bobby Mitchell; his sister, Frances Whitt, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was predeceased by his parents Anderson and Emma (Collins) Mitchell and his brothers Walter, Joe, Henry (Harry), and Richard Mitchell. Visitation will be on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 from 5 to 9 PM.Ê Funeral Service will be at 11:45 AM on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM. All events will be held at Sunset Funeral Home Northeast, 4631 Hondo Pass.Ê Interment will be at Fort Bliss NationalCemetery following services. Please visit on-line register book at www.sunsetfuneralhomes.net

Published in El Paso Times from Nov. 12 to Nov. 19, 2012
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