(Sept. 26, 1928 - July 17, 2011)
Donald M. ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, of Powell, died Sunday, July 17, 2011. He was 82.
Mitch was born Sept. 26, 1928. A child of the Depression, he grew up in Cheyenne and graduated high school there. After a short work history with the railroad, he went to work for “Ma Bell” (AT&T) on the line crew. He traveled throughout Wyoming during the late ‘40s as a lineman, when he met his future wife, Beverly A. Ballenger, in Buffalo. They were married in November of 1950 —immediately after Mitch received his induction notice. After his Army basic training, they were sent to Georgia where he spent his military career as a trainer in the signal corps.
After his military service, Mitch and Beverly returned to Wyoming where they traveled the state pulling a house trailer and adding to their family. They agreed they probably lived in every town or ‘wannabe’ town in the state until 1958, when they settled down for eight years in Casper. The family transferred to Mammoth Hot Springs in 1966 where Mitch was the manager of the telephone company throughout the park. They moved to the outside of Powell in 1971, where they resided until his death. Mitch referred to Beverly as his “lovely bride.” He used to tell people “she may have made a mistake 60 years ago, but I damn sure didn’t!”
Mitch was the local and later the regional telephone manager during his time in Park County. He was active in the Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, Park County Rec Board and many service groups. After his retirement in 1987, he and Beverly traveled the U.S. by pulling a fifth wheel, visiting friends and family as they went along. Later they became snow birds, spending winters with their kids in Arizona.
Mitch was a lifelong hunter and fisherman and passed on his love of the outdoors to his kids and grandkids. He was an avid reloader and shooter with his own shooting range in their back yard. He became a vintner, making wines from local and purchased fruits and he loved to show and tell people about the process as well as passing on his vintages to friends and family. He also enjoyed woodworking, metal working and mechanics. He was the “go to guy” to anyone needing assistance and he was quick to offer his knowledge and service.
Mitch was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Hazel, brother Paul and three sisters, Charlotte, Cleo and Eloise.
He is survived by his wife Beverly; son Ken (Pat) of Powell; daughters Kathy (Doug) Curtis of McNeil, Ariz., Karmel (Jim) Laursen of Boise, Idaho; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; brother Frank of Cheyenne and a sister, Iris (Dick) Anderson of California.
A memorial date will be made at a later date.
Thompson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements and online condolences may be sent to the family at www.thompsonfuneral.net.