James Mitchell(1950 - 2013)

James L. Mitchell, Jr.


James Leonard Mitchell, Jr., passed away peacefully on March 13, 2013.

Born to Mildred and James Mitchell on January 20, 1950, Jim was raised in New Orleans, and the vibe of the Big Easy stayed with him throughout his life. Though he lived and taught in many different places over the years, New Orleans was always the place he considered home.

Jim graduated with honors from De La Salle High School in 1967 before going off to college at Louisiana State University. He received his MA from Duke University in 1973. As a high school history teacher, Jim made a difference in the lives of students at Booker T. Washington High School (Norfolk, VA), Maury High School (Norfolk, VA), Granby High School (Virginia Beach, VA), Seton Academy (New Orleans, LA), Lecanto High School (Lecanto, FL), and Gulf Breeze High School (Gulf Breeze, FL).

Jim had a passion for teaching and a knack for making students feel special. His students responded to his sense of humor and respected his vast knowledge. He was voted Teacher of the Year at Seton Academy in 1986, and again at Lecanto High School in 1987. In addition to teaching, he also coached volleyball, basketball, tennis, football, softball, and soccer. He served as the sponsor for the National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, and yearbook.

Jim loved to travel. He believed "the journey is the destination" and this mantra led him all over the United States. He was a huge fan of Duke University--especially during basketball season! He enjoyed gadgets and goofy toys that were scattered all over his classrooms during his teaching years. He was an avid reader. He had two rescued dogs that he loved dearly, Rou and Buddy.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, James Mitchell, Sr. He leaves behind to miss him his mother, Mildred Mitchell, and his sisters, Susan Rubick, Anne (Bobby) Doll, and Lynn (Patrick) Mier. Rebecca, Lisa (OLG), Bo, Kristin, Kyle, Robby, Parrish, Lulu, and Rachael are nieces and nephews he loved very much. His Genie and his Citrus County family are also left heartbroken by his loss. He leaves a legacy of caring in the lives of all the students he taught over the years, and a deep void in the lives of those who loved and knew him best.

Jim had a big, generous heart and shared anything he had with anyone who needed it. He would be honored if memorial contributions were made to The Humane Society for the care of abandoned or abused animals.

Though he is missed beyond measure, those left behind are comforted with the knowledge that Jim's beautiful spirit is finally at peace.

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Published in Pensacola News Journal on Apr. 4, 2013