August 30, 1932 - September 10, 2020
Holmes Beach, Florida - Thomas E. Mitchell of Holmes Beach, FL passed away peacefully on September 10, 2020. He was born to James T. Mitchell, Jr., and Mary Carboni Mitchell of Ridgefield, CT, on August 30, 1932, and attended Ridgefield schools. While at Ridgefield High School, where he served as President for the class of 1950 all fours years, he lettered in basketball and baseball, and was active in the Ridgefield Boys Club sports, camping and youth counselor programs. He graduated from Ridgefield High in 1950 after receiving the Ballard Memorial Scholarship, and was inducted into the Ridgefield Sports Hall of Fame. After high school, Tom attended Holy Cross College where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1954. Also in 1954, Tom married the prettiest girl in the entire state of Connecticut and the love of his life—Janet Ertman of Ridgefield, who preceded him in death in 2016 after 62 years of marriage—one of the great love stories of human history. After graduating from college he served his country as an aviator for the US Navy until 1958. He also earned a Masters degree in Business from Xavier University in Cincinnati, after moving the family to Blue Ash, OH, where he served as President of the Kenridge Lake Club for 2 years, and embarked on a highly respected career in business. Tom served as a Corporate Executive with some major corporations, culminating in his position as Director of Purchasing at Best Foods Inc. in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, from which he retired in 1997. While residing in Ramsey, NJ, he was a member of the Ramsey Golf and Country Club from 1971 to 2014, for which he served as Vice President for 2 years. Tom and his wife, Jan retired to Holmes Beach, FL in 2014. His great passion and expertise was in the world of antique golf clubs and sports collectibles, and he was a nationally recognized collector and seller of golf and tennis antiques in his retirement. He also loved playing golf and paddle tennis, and was one of the most successful little league baseball coaches in the history of the sport. But despite his many achievements in the worlds of business and sport, it was his uncompromising love—as a son, husband, father, grandfather and dedicated friend, that most endeared him to all who knew him. He had a subtle yet sly sense of humor, and loved to give a speech. Tom will be greatly missed by all. Thomas E. Mitchell, Sr., is survived by his son, Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr., and daughter-in-law, Donna Roswell Mitchell of Ringwood, NJ, son, Michael T. Mitchell and daughter-in-law, Allison C. Mitchell of Raleigh, NC, and daughter, Kathleen Mitchell Fraser and son-in-law, George P. Fraser of Scottsdale, AZ. He is also survived by grandchildren; Brett Mitchell, Lindsay Mitchell Bogdon, Casey Fraser, and Paddy Fraser, as well as great-grandchildren; Tyler Mitchell and Cole Bogdon. All of his family continue to love him dearly, and will hold tight to lifetimes of cherished memories, not the least of which was how he sang the Christmas carol "Deck the Halls": Deck us all with Boston Charlie, Walla Walla Walla, Washington!
Published in Bradenton Herald on Sep. 13, 2020.