William M. Mitchell
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William M. Mitchell

Lt. Col. William Michael Mitchell, age 41, of Shalimair, Florida, formerly of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, passed away Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. His family will welcome friends for visitation today from 5-7 p.m. at Colbert Memorial Chapel. Lee Livingston will officiate the service on Saturday, Sept. 13, beginning at 2 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Burial will follow in Piney Grove Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Jennifer Leigh Williams Mitchell; father, Billy Mitchell; mother, Joyce Mitchell; sons, William Jacob Mitchell and Dawson Elias Mitchell; daughter, Clara Naomi Mitchell; and sisters, Suzanne Livingston (Lee), Lynn Robinson (Mark), and Laura Bonham (Craig).

Members of the United States Air Force will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Mark Flanagan, Trent Jeffreys, Jon German, Lee Livingston, Mark Robinson, Craig Bonham, Ian Fritz, and Brandon Frits.

Mike was a "plankholder" in the Third Special Operations Squadron, Dragon No. 12, one of only a handful of the original Airmen who established that highly effective combat unit from scratch in the most challenging of conditions. He was an expert marksman. Mike served in the United States Air Force for 15 years. He was a decorated pilot and flew the C-130, Predator drone, C-145, and served several tours of duty in foreign countries including Afghanistan as a member of the Eighth Special Operations Unit. He received numerous medals, awards, and commendations for bravery and service.

Mike loved his children and wife dearly. He was on the board of the Shalimar Athletic Association where his son, Eli, played football. He was an avid supporter of Choctawhatchee High School football where his son, Jake, plays. Mike also loved attending gymnastics meets where his daughter, Clara, competed.

Mike was always famous for his jokes and ability to make everyone laugh. His smile was contagious and lit up the room. Mike was not only a dependable and loving father, husband, son, and brother, he was also a great friend. Mike had a great love of music. He loved attending live music events with his family. Mike decided he wanted to play in a church talent show. In two weeks he formed his own band with his two sons, Jake and Eli, and friends, Hayden Bludworth and Nate Gilmore. They named their band "Unicorns and Rainbows." Everyone loved them. He had a strong competitive spirit and never let anyone else win, not even his own children. Mike loved football and was an avid Auburn fan. He also loved the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves, even in the bad years.

Everyone that knew Mike loved him. He would do anything for anyone, any time, any place. Mike left many great stories and memories that will never be forgotten. He will be missed immensely. Mike will join his precious son, Gus, as well as many dear friends and extended family that predeceased him.

The family would like to thank the staff of the surgical intensive care unit at Sacred Heart Hospital and Dr. Samuel Cretidies for the excellent care and love shown to Mike and his family.

You may sign the online register at colbermemorial.com.

Colbert Memorial Chapel is assisting the family.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Florence Times Daily from Sep. 12 to Sep. 13, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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30 entries
September 18, 2014
So very sorry to hear about this tragic accident. May God be with all your family and loved ones as they deal with the loss of a good man.
Christie Hamrick Corsby
September 18, 2014
To the Mitchell Family,

I am truly sorry to hear about the death of a great family, friend, and soldier. I am a classmate of Eddie Howard and I know how devastated Dinah is.....Mary Jo Holland-Cancelmo, Lake Wales High School, Class of 1965
September 15, 2014
I have just learned of your passing and my heart is so heavy.You were such a sweet person and I am so lucky to have known you.I pray for your family.Much love!
Heather Naron
September 14, 2014
Jennifer and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with Mike briefly at Hurlburt while assigned to the 18th Flight Test Sqdn. He was always a pleasure to work with and very helpful with anything I needed help with. Our thoughts and prayers are with you sand your family.
Joshua Casson
September 14, 2014
Mike was the most balanced people I know. He had enormous love for his family, duty to his country, and was a truly joyful person who appreciated a good time. Mike and I were friends, but we were not close. However, I will always remember Mike. Any time some part of my life gets out of balance I will just ask what would Mike do and let his example set me straight again.
Louis Erickson
September 14, 2014
My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Elaine Call
September 13, 2014
He will truly be missed and I can never watch another Atlanta or Auburn game without thing of him.
Lincoln Sledge
September 13, 2014
Jennifer and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know how much he will be missed, and how hard it will be. Please remember that God is with you and will help you though.
Patricia Goodhart
September 13, 2014
Mike was a very kind hearted person. He went above and beyond to help players and parents within the Shalimar Youth Sports Association. Mike is the sole reason that my son came back to play this year. He will truly be missed.
leslie calhoun
September 13, 2014
May you find peace that passes all understanding in the days ahead. So sorry for your loss.
Shalako Blasingame King c/o 90
September 13, 2014
I did not know Mike personally, but worked many years with his mother in law, Jeanie. I know he came from a very close and loving family. My condolences to all of his family.
September 13, 2014
I have many good memories of Mike as a student at MSHS. He was always a joy and a fine young man. My prayers and sympathy go out to all of his family.
Martina Melson
September 13, 2014
I love you Mike and I am thinking of you Jen and family! God called a great soldier and dear friend home! Fly High Mikey and long live the kids of Wisconsin St and Colorado :) my heart is broken for those he left behind!
Denna Noah
September 13, 2014
I am proud that our country has men such as the Lt. Colonel William Mitchell to serve and protect us.Our loss is Heavens gain. Our prayers go to his family.God bless each of you.
Tony and Katie Logan
September 13, 2014
Praying for you in your time of loss. Mike was a great student.
Kip A. Box (Mobile, AL)
Kip Box
September 13, 2014
I have been one of the many who has grieved when hearing of Mike's accident and his passing. I cannot think of him without thinking of his wide smile. It has been a pleasure to have known him since his kindergarten days with my daughter and I pray for all his family.
Linda Kocisek
September 12, 2014
I was so sad to hear of Mikes passing. I have so many great memories of him and the Mitchell Family went we lived in Alabama. May our Heavenly Fathers love comfort you.
Much love, Clark and Kathy Knudsen
Clark Knudsen
September 12, 2014
Sorry to hear of the passing of Mike.Lived next door to the Mitchells and watched Mike and his sisters grow up.Mike always had a smile on his face no matter what time of day it was.Mike acheived so much in life in a short period of time. I was so glad when I heard that he received his Pilot Wings in the Air Force. I know that Mike will be missed Dearly by his family and friends. May God bless his family and give them comfort during this time. God is faithful all the time even in our worst of times. God Bless you all.
Keith Fitzgerald
September 12, 2014
So sorry for your family's loss. Even though I hadn't seen Mike since we moved from the neighborhood I will always remember his smile and the fact that he was always one of the good guys. Praying for your family.
Casey Osborn Filyaw
September 12, 2014
Mike our family is gonna miss you and that contagious smile. But the memories will remain. Thanks for teaching my son the basics in football something he will never forget.
Lori Meyerholz
September 12, 2014
Jennifer, you and the entire family are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so sorry for your loss!! You all will continue to be in our thoughts through each passing day!! Praying The Lord gives you the strength that only He can give!! I'm sure Gus is one happy boy!! God Bless you all!!
Lori Wilson Bhatti
September 12, 2014
I'm so sorry that I can't make it to Mikes memorial service. Since the moment Mike and I became fast friends he's held a special place in my heart. Please know how very much I love him and each of you.
Misti
Misti Swack
September 12, 2014
so sorry to hear. my family will keep you in our prayers. may the Lord bless and comfort you
marcia bliss
September 12, 2014
We are humbled and Blessed with the time the Lord graced us with you. Our sadness is slightly lifted when we remember your smile that came straight from your heart. You are loved by many and honored by all! You will always be a bright proud memory in our family history. God Bess
Judy Mitchell
September 12, 2014
Mike was a special man and you knew it from the first time you met him. When came through the doors at the Pike house for Rush he might as well have been initiated on the spot. Mike never let anyone down. Period. If you needed him he was there. Once you counted Mike as a friend it was a permanent commitment. The world is less bright today but heaven is brightened by his smile and love. My prayers, love and deepest sympathies go out to the entire family.
Brian Davidson
September 12, 2014
Lynn, Suzanna, and family,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers will be with you in the difficult times ahead.
Sherry Johnson
Sherry Johnson
September 12, 2014
We grieve with you the loss of Mike. Our hearts ache for your and the journey you are taking at this time. We love Mike and we love each of you. We are praying that you will feel God's loving arms around you. Stanley & LeAnn Lash
LeAnn Lash
September 12, 2014
RIP my dear friend god choose you because he knew your 1991 classmates need a guardian angel to watch over us. he picked you to place in his beautiful garden of roses shine like a rainbow in that beautiful sky. you will be greatly missed MIKE MITCHELL. TILL WE MEET AGAIN CLASS OF 1991.
lori preston alexander
September 12, 2014
Magdalene Butler
Magdalene Butler
September 12, 2014
Billy and Joyce, we were long time neighbors on Colorado. I remember your family. So very sorry to hear of Mike's passing. I know this has to be very hard. Your family will be in our prayers.
Glenda Speegle Glover
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