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.