Larry Craig Mitchell (1954 - 2019)

  • "So very sorry to hear of Larry's passing. Many good..."
    - Jim Henderson
  • "For you"
    - Jennifer Bennie
  • "Love you Daddy. I miss you and my life is dimmer without..."
    - Jennifer Bennie
Service Information
First United Presbyterian Chr
101 N Main St
Houston, PA 15342
Memorial service
Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019
10:00 AM
First United Presbyterian Church
102 North Main Street
Houston, PA
View Map
Celebration of Life
Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019
3:00 PM
Chartiers Township Community Center
2013 Community Center Drive
Houston, PA
View Map
Following Services
Forest Lawn Gardens Cemetery
3739 Washington Road
McMurray, PA
View Map

Larry Craig Mitchell, 65, of Crystal River, Fla., passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, August 16, 2019, after complications from an automobile accident 19 months earlier. At the time of his death, he was under the care of VITAS hospice in Lecanto, Fla. The world lost one of its wittiest jokesters and a man who just knew how to make people smile. Larry was born February 17, 1954, in Washington, the first child of Bernard and Thelma Craig Mitchell. He graduated from Chartiers-Houston High School in 1972 and was an instrumental player on his high school football team, winning the WPIAL State Football Championship in 1971 and 1972. Not to be pigeonholed as a baller, Larry was also a decorated Golden Gloves Boxer. Larry sought adventure after graduation, when he served in the U.S. Air Force Security Police for 20 years, which took him to bases in Italy, North Carolina, Hawaii and Wyoming. He completed his EMT in North Carolina, became scuba certified in Hawaii and earned his pilot's license in Wyoming. In addition, he finished Associates degrees in Criminal Justice and Computer Applications, as well as a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from Southern Illinois University in 1986. Larry was the U.S. Air Force Investigator of the Year for 1991 and was also owner of Centurion Investigative Services in Cheyenne, Wyo. During this time, he never missed an opportunity to take his kids with him on routine stakeouts and security checks. Upon the end of his military service, he returned back to Washington County, where he was the zoning officer, planning director, and building inspector for Chartiers Township from 1993 to 2000. He meandered back to his sports roots when he was a Chartiers-Houston High School assistant football coach for the 1994 season. Larry was also an employee at the Washington Observer Reporter from 1994 to 1999. Larry and his family moved from Meadow Lands to Citrus County, Fla. in 2000 to escape the Pennsylvania winters. He was then a licensed fishing boat Captain for the Nittany Sea Lion Fishing Team of Crystal River, Fla., and was also the distribution manager for the Citrus Chronicle in Crystal River, Fla. from 2005 to 2017. At the time of his passing, Larry was a member of St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Crystal River, Fla.

He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Andrea (Bradley) Mitchell from Crystal River, Fla.; two children, daughter Jennifer (Mitchell) Bennie and husband Scott from Erie; and his son, Larry Mitchell, Jr and wife Tiffany from Citrus Springs, Fla. He will always be Pap Pap to his six grandchildren, Sastia, Jackson, Blyth, Tanner, Madison and Sagan. Larry is also survived by his mother Thelma Craig Mitchell of Houston and five younger brothers Bernard of Houston, Randy and wife Monica of Canonsburg, Jeffery and Bruce, both of Houston and Bryan and wife Ann of Castle Rock, Colo. Larry is also survived by his "life of the party" sister-in-law, Suzanne Orsogna and husband Mario of Edison, N.J., as well as 21 nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his aunt Loretta Craig Moffat and husband Wayne, as well as over 20 cousins.

Larry was preceded in death by his father, Bernard Mitchell; his maternal grandparents, James and Virginia Bazzoli Craig; his paternal grandparents, James and Stella Hakranovich Mitchell; his uncle James Craig, Jr. and wife Terri; and uncle Nick Rellich and wife Romanie. He was also preceded by his fishing buddy and brother-in-law Alfred Bradley, and wife Camille.

Larry will be remembered for his fierce loyalty to his family, his contagious laughter and his absolutely unforgettable sense of humor. He loved the outdoors, from camping to hunting to fishing. He was a most gifted marksman easily hitting an antelope or a deer on the run from 300 yards with a 30.06 rifle. He would joke that he only needed to bring one bullet when he hunted, he was that accurate. Larry could not help falling in love with the first female security police airman stationed with him at Aviano Air Base in Italy and they were married within four months of dating in New York City on November 16, 1974. He was dedicated to his children, Jennifer and Larry Jr., who arrived three and five years later. He was committed to attending every one of their sporting and school events bestowing upon them all his energy before their performances. A professional kitchen dancer, he never missed the chance to do the Tango with his kids which always culminated in the most graceful dip. His pride was abundant when both of his children graduated from Penn State University, married and became parents themselves. A devoted family man till the end, he adored his three grandsons and three granddaughters having been present at all of their births. He loved to tinker with electronics and computers, always being one of the first people to invest in the latest technology. If his eye wasn't on his grandkids or his fishing bobber, it was studying the motherboard of his latest computer building project. A lover of movies, he made sure his children were well versed in all types of cinema, especially the work of John Wayne and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although he would tell you he is only resting his eyes, the world is a little darker without him in it, but he left sparks of himself behind in all his family and friends he delighted in spending time with.

A Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, August 29, in First United Presbyterian Church, 102 North Main Street, Houston, PA 15342, immediately followed by interment in Forest Lawn Gardens Cemetery, 3739 Washington Road, McMurray, PA 15317.

All who knew him are welcome to partake in a Celebration of Life to eat, drink and be merry, that will take place at 3 p.m., also on Thursday, August 29, in Chartiers Township Community Center, 2013 Community Center Drive, Houston, PA 15342. Please wear Pittsburgh Steelers attire for Larry's last tailgate. We look forward to friends and family attending to hear stories of Larry, jokes he told, adventures he had and recalling memories of a life well lived.

In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to the Trump Presidential campaign or the American Diabetes Association. A celebration of life in Florida will be at a later date.

Published in Observer-Reporter on Aug. 25, 2019
bullet Penn State University bullet World War II
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.