On Friday, October 16, 2020, the Lord called Jerry Duane Mitchell home to rest. Jerry Mitchell was born on May 2, 1936(a birthdate shared with his grandson Keith) in Benton Harbor, Michigan to Eugene (Mary Ann Baird) Mitchell, who preceded him in death. He spent the majority of his life in Eau Claire, MI. Jerry Mitchell went to Eau Claire Schools where he became an exceptional athlete. He graduated from Eau Claire in 1955.
Jerry then joined the marines from 1955 to 1959. In between that time, he married Rebecca R. Singer and they had five children and divorced in 1965. Jerry moved back to Eau Claire and then married Mary Ann Isom in 1968, with whom he had two children with. He opened a body shop with his father Eugene Mitchell and called it E & J Body shop. Jerry would charge only $5 for minor repairs so he became known as the five-dollar man in the community. Besides the body shop, Jerry coached the junior varsity girls’ basketball and the boys' track team at Eau Claire high school. Jerry became so well known for his involvement in the school that he became the first black Eau Claire school board member in 1981. As the Harold Palladium printed in the July 21, 1981 issue “Black Man Appointed to Eau Claire Board.” Jerry was breaking barriers.
Jerry also coached a ladies softball team called the Doc’s who won the 1984 district championship and he played men’s softball until the age of 63 (most people thought that Jerry was in his 50’s he was in that good of shape).
Besides softball Jerry’s other favorite pass time moments were going fishing and hunting with his children and grandchildren, watching the Detroit Tigers and westerns on the television, and flying his Cessna. Every fall Jerry would go salmon fishing at the St. Joe River and deer hunting in Newago Michigan, where they owned property, to teach his family survival skills. Whenever you caught Jerry watching T.V., he was either watching the Detroit Tigers or a western movie or show. His favorite show was Gun Smoke. Jerry had purchased his own airplane and those whom he let ride in it usually flew to South Bend, Indiana. It was a true adventure sharing the experience of Jerry getting his pilot’s license.
Jerry leaves to cherish his memories his children, grandchildren, great grands, and great, great grands;
Pamela Mitchell of Portage, MI-Kelley Kellis with Kaedan, Keith ll (Justina) Kellis Keirra, Keith III and Kyle
Douglas (Mary) Mitchell of Dowagiac MI-Kysha’(Harold) Johnson with Chematia Marisin (preceded in death), Malia Marisin with Gem’mere, Briah Barnes, Douglas Mitchell with Amara, Paeshence Lanier with Josiah, Cervantes, Alvernon, My’onnah, Quentin and Lonnie Mithell
Kevin (Bonita) Mitchell of Eau Claire, MI-Kevin II
Lonnie Mitchell-Preceded in death
Lisa (Paul) Broussard of Muskegon, MI-Tiffany (Derrae) Valentine with Paige and Sklyer, Candice (Worlie)Johnson with Layla and Diala, and Blair Broussard
Jerri (Myron) Rice of Benton Harbor, MI-Myron Rice Jr., and Keziah Rice
Lorne (Nikita) Mitchell of Benton Harbor, MI-Sarvaria with Lyric Lorne Jr. with Kyree, Lorne D., Jadorous T.J., Trinity and Aixa
Anita Wright of South Bend, IN-Anitris(Clinton) McKay with Roosevelt Jr. and one on the way, Andrea(preceded in death), Tashika(Ryan) Richards with Cameron, Andreas, and Angelina
Along with many cousins and friends.
In lieu of flowers monetary donations will be accepted to purchase a memorial plaque at Eau Claire school.
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