September 11, 1930 - April 1, 2018
On Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, Eugene Howard Mitchell went home to be with the Lord. Born September 11, 1930 in Houston, Texas to Charles Wesley and Lyna Evelyn Mitchell, he and his family lived a rather nomadic life, moving often, primarily in Texas, Colorado, and Oregon. In 1945, his family settled in Grants Pass, Oregon, where he graduated in 1948. He was the third of six children.
Always a hard worker, he worked fields in Texas as his family were sharecroppers. He sold pastries door-to-door in Colorado and Oregon, dairy and chicken farmed in Texas, and was a shoe-shine boy and pulled "green-chain" in mills in Grants Pass. He also drove wood trucks and long-hauled lumber on the west coast for the family business, Mitchell's Wood Yard.
On December 25, 1951, he married Glenna Adaire Cooper in Grants Pass, Ore. After marrying Glenna, he began his education and professional career, enrolling in the University of Oregon's baccalaureate nursing program, where he became the first male graduate in June of 1964. He then attended the University of Colorado and eventually earned his master's degree in psychiatric nursing. He worked at several V.A. hospitals, primarily in White City, Ore., as well as helping to start the nursing program and teach at Southern Oregon College in Ashland. He also provided marriage counseling in the Rogue Valley.
He came to know the Lord at an early age and was a lifelong follower of Christ. He wore "The armor of God" and instructed others to do the same. A man of high integrity and character, he was never shy about teaching others how to conduct themselves in a manner that would please the Lord.
Gene had many hobbies and excelled at all of them. They included fishing, hunting, metal detecting, gold mining, long drives, bowling, and his favorite, camping with his family. He was a great storyteller, loved to tell jokes, and engage in lengthy conversations about the way things ought to be.
He is survived by two sisters, Sara Gerig and Neva Grauberger; six children, Randy (JoAnn) Mitchell, Rhonda (Jan) Tiel, Ryan Mitchell, Royce (Tammy) Mitchell, Russell (Barbara) Mitchell, and Rayburn (Lisa) Mitchell; 15 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Glenna, on June 17, 2015; his father; mother; brother, Charles Mitchell; sisters, Ruth Blowers and Dera Keen; and one great-grandchild, Aubriella Tiel.
A service was held April 7, 2018 at the First Baptist Church in Silverton, Ore., and interment was at Bethany Pioneer Cemetery in Silverton.