Robert Lee Mitchell Sr. was born to the late Thomas and Patty Mitchell on October 12, 1943. He attended public schools in Athens and graduated from Athens High & Industrial School in 1963. He attended Mississippi Valley State University, the University of Georgia, and the War College. He retired from the federal government after more than 33 years of outstanding service.
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Bob, as he was known by most of his friends and colleagues, joined the federal government in 1966 as a purchasing agent for the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1969, he was selected as one of only 49 people in the country to participate in an intense Departmental Management Training Program with the Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. During his stay in Washington, D.C., President Richard Nixon selected him as coordinator of the White House Conference on Black Youth and the Environment. This was an honor that Bob cherished dearly.
Bob accepted the position of Director of the Title VI Program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1971. In 1978, Bob was selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, in Atlanta, to serve as Minority Business Utilization Specialist.
In 1982, Bob was appointed Division Director of the Logistics Management Directorate. In this position, Mitchell oversaw offices located in Charleston, S.C., Mobile, Ala., Savannah, the Panama Canal Zone, Jacksonville, Fla., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. While serving as Director of Logistics Management, Bob developed the famous Logistics Emergency Response Team (LERT). The purpose of LERT is to respond to both natural and man-made disasters around the world.
Bob retired from the federal government in 1999. Upon his retirement, he continued his involvement in public service. He volunteered with the East Athens Development Center, WBKZ radio station where he hosted the "Tell Bob Show," and many other community activities.
Bob's commitment to service was demonstrated by his membership in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He served on the Board of Directors for Athens-Clarke County Adult High School, Georgia State Council of Human Relations, Creative Visions Foundation (Youth Mentoring Organization), East Athens Development Cooperation, and Clarke-Atlanta University Steering Commitment Magnet Program. He was Vice Chair of the Help Save Our Children project, Board Chairman for the Athens Human Relations Council, Chairman of the Subcommittee of Procurement Federal Executive Board, and Co-founder of the National Association for the Prevention of Delinquency & Civil Disorders. He was also a member of the Clarke County Consolidation Committee, the Boy Scount Council, the Ralph Hubert Smith Benevolent Order of Elkan, and the Broadcasters Association.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Patty Mitchell; older brothers, Thomas Jr. and William Sheb; and older sisters, Nellie Mims and Dorothy Sims.
Left to mourn his loss are his devoted wife of 48 years, Mable; children, Robert Jr. (Rose), of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Stephanie (Richard) Lockett, of Tampa, Fla.; grandchildren, Richard "Tré," Raleigh, and Michelle; sisters, Hattie Meadows and Carol Heard, both of Vallejo, Calif.; uncle, Robert "Skip" (Bernice) Payne, of Athens; aunt, Daisy Watkins, of Athens; mother- and father-in-law, Marvin and Robbie Leake, of Hernando, Miss.; and a host of nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
Family visitation is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Friday, January 4, at the funeral home.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, at Hill First Baptist Church, with interment in Evergreen Memorial Park.
Gardenview Funeral Chapel, Athens, is in charge of the arrangements.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Jan. 4, 2013