Clifton Edwards Mitchell
November 9, 1945 – April 24, 2017
Clifton Edwards Mitchell passed away Monday, April 24, 2017, following a long illness. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Travis and Geneva Mitchell. The family moved to Medford, Oregon where his father owned the Top Notch Restaurants (late 1940s and early '50s) and his mother became an avid walker and naturalist.
Clifton graduated from Medford High School in 1963 then pursued further education for much of his adult life. Not finding a welcoming local community at age 17 he moved to the local woods and began building a four-room cabin with a very dear friend. At age 21 he moved first to Seattle, then to the North Beach area in San Francisco. He studied psychology at Columbia Junior College in Columbia, California and graduated from Sonoma State University.
From there, Clifton and a close companion traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada before settling in Colorado. He was proud of the fact that he worked to put himself through school, graduating from the University of Colorado with a BA in geology, Washington University with degrees in biology and chemistry, then the University of Oregon with an MS in geology.
Clifton’s love of the outdoors was expressed in travel and climbing. He was particularly proud of a youthful journey that took him through Europe, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan on a quest to join Mother Mary (of Mt. Shasta, California) and travel with her in India.
Later, Clifton taught a wide range of sciences at Lane Community College, Springfield, Oregon until he retired in 2010 to care for his disabled mother. Following her death, Clifton then fulfilled his lifelong dream of living in the upper Rogue Valley woods, at peace with himself and his surroundings. In his own words, he had been healed “by miraculously meeting the most wonderful person in the world . . . and one who thinks so too.” Another long-time family friend cared for him during his final days.
Clifton Mitchell is survived by a brother, Larry A. Mitchell, of North Little Rock, Arkansas; friend, Kirk Smith; extended family; and a close circle of friends.
A memorial gathering will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Madrone Hill Club House, 8401 Old Stage Road, Central Point, Oregon.