Thomas Edward Mitchell, III, 86, of Irwin County passed from this life at home on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 3rd at 11:00 a.m. in chapel of Albritton Funeral Directors with Evangelist Larry Stewart officiating. Harold Chambers will deliver the eulogy. The family will receive friends from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. before the service at the funeral home. A private family interment will be held later.
Honorary pallbearers will be Rod Brown, Randy Chambers, Allen Davis, Klint Guess, Bob Patrick, John Paulk, David Tanner, Tim Warren, Roy Willis, Terry Story and Bill Wiseman. The American Legion Post 100 of Ocilla is in charge of the military portion of the service.
Mr. Mitchell was born in Nyack, New York on November 6, 1931 to the late Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr. of Tifton and Dorothy K. Mitchell of Omega. When he was 11 years old, he and his parents moved back to Tifton to manage the farm that had belonged to Thomas E. Mitchell, Sr. They also built the house and Pine Grocery store on the corner of Hwy 125 and Brighton Road. In 1949, Mr. Mitchell graduated from Tifton High School. He joined the Navy at the age of 17 with his parents’ permission. After boot camp, he was assigned to a LSMR rocket ship. At the age of 18, the captain of his ship made him the port director with the responsibility of controlling the firing of the rockets. He was engaged in seven battles at sea during the Korean War. After 4 years in the Navy, Mr. Mitchell was discharged on April 2, 1953, returned to Tifton, got engaged to Frankie Renahan of Atlanta and was married on June 7, 1953.
In 1957, Mr. Mitchell graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS Degree and with a major in Physics and a minor in Math. He was a member of the Physics Honorary Society. He was employed as an engineer for RCA in Sommerville, New Jersey; Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas; Honeywell and Solitron Devices in Riviera Beach, Florida. Mr. Mitchell and his wife enjoyed showing horses in local and national shows and competed in competitive trail rides. They enjoyed riding with various trail clubs in Florida, and when they moved to Georgia, they were members of the Ridge Riders Trail Club and the Long Riders Trail Club. Mr. Mitchell rode 100 miles to Calvary for Mule Day several times with the Long Riders. He also rode 165 miles with the Alabama Wagon Train five times. One year, out of hundreds of riders, he was awarded the honor of Wagon Master of the Year. Mr. Mitchell was a life member of the Garland Anderson VFW of Tifton. Garland Anderson was his first cousin and was the first Tift County casualty the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 100 in Ocilla. The American Legion held a special ceremony recently and awarded Mr. Mitchell the honor of Legionnaire of the Year for 2018. Mr. Mitchell was a faithful member of The Church of Christ on Ridge Avenue. He looked forward to attending every service and going to gospel meetings and special singing services held in the area. When his grandsons, Kyle and Eric, spent the summer months with their grandparents, they enjoyed attending the Georgia Bible Camp in Hahira.
Mr. Mitchell is survived by his wife, Frankie. They had two sons; Steven Charles and Michael Allen and two daughters’; Melanie Maurine and Teresa Lynn. Mr. Mitchell’s children gave him 11 grandchildren; Julie, Monica, Jene, Jennifer, April, Mason, Kyle, Eric, Kaylie Christopher and Kimberly; 9 great grandchildren, Amber, Brennan, Gunner, Loch, Iver, Daniel, Sid, Rohit and Harper.
In lieu of flowers, donations made to the wonderful Southern Care Hospice Services, 412 1st St. S.E., Moultrie, Ga. 31768, will be gratefully accepted. They are all truly angels of mercy. Our family was well cared for in every way 24/7 and we appreciate everything they did for our loved one. Albritton Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.