Russell Wayne Mitchell, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully on November 12th, 2023, in Atlanta, GA. He recently celebrated his 100th birthday and was a proud and spry centenarian. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawson and Bessie Mitchell; his loving wife of 71 years, Cassie Cox Mitchell; and seven of his brothers and sisters: Virginia, Talmadge, Ina, Glenn, Edith, Howard, and Andrew. He is survived by his sister, Lois Mitchell Hundley (101 years young); his children Gail Mitchell Cook (Jim), Dawn Marie Mitchell, and Lisa Mitchell Carvalho (Ricardo); and six grandchildren: Jameson Croix Cook (Racheal), Micah Russell Cook (Samantha), Tessa Cook Powell (Zach), Chloe Alisa Cook, Marissa Carvalho Watts (William) and Nicolas Mitchell Carvalho (Laura). He is also survived by his five great-grandchildren: Alexander, Juliana, and Mitchell Cook; Celise and Naomi Powell; dearly loved nieces and nephews; and his loving caregiver Doreen Maxwell.
The middle of nine children, Russell was born and raised on his family’s beautiful farm in Snow Creek, VA. He sacrificed the continuation of his education to commit his time in helping his father to sustain their farm through the depression. At 18, Russell enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in World War II. Throughout this time, he traveled through France, Belgium, Holland, England, Germany, and his favorite, Switzerland. He enjoyed sharing stories from this time about trying his first sip of Champagne in Épernay, France, his first cup of hot tea from a stranger in Holland, and an unexpected reunion with his brother and fellow soldier, Talmadge, in the French countryside. After celebrating the end of the war in 1946, he remained in Paris where he worked at the military post office. He returned to the U.S. to start an exciting career in construction, a path he always knew he wanted to take. His early career took him up and down the east coast to Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, and New York.
In 1950 he met his sweet wife Cassie at Fairy Stone State Park, VA and they soon eloped to Cowpens, SC. After starting a family in New Jersey, he became a member of the philanthropic organization, the Fraternity of Freemasonry. In the 60’s, Russell and Cassie took the opportunity to move to St. Croix, U.S.V.I. where he worked for Hess Oil Company. The years they spent raising their family in the Caribbean were by far some of the happiest moments of their lives. Russell developed a passion for golf, riding his motorcycles, his K9 companion Jasper, and making friends from all over the world. Wherever you saw Russell, you were sure to see his devoted Jasper. The construction of a container port eventually took them to St. Lucia, where they lived for 5-years until finally retiring in Atlanta.
Russell loved people; his family and friends relished his witty spirit and dry sense of humor that was reflected through his knack for lively story-telling. If you were fortunate to share a sip of bourbon, a cold beer, or a cigar with him, you were sure to hear something good. Whether watching car races, the Atlanta Braves, air shows, or golf, he brought joy and laughter into daily life. He had a special bond with his brothers and enjoyed traveling with them all over the country. He developed a strong sense of community and wonderful friends at Sunrise Assisted Living where he enjoyed quieter days reading or ‘watching the world go by’ on the front porch. Grandad also had a particularly close relationship with his grandchildren, who he reminded daily to ‘live every day, ‘cause they sure do go by in a hurry!’
A graveside service with military honors by the U.S. army will take place at Georgia National Cemetery on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at 11:00 AM. The Cemetery is located at 1080 Scott Hudgens Drive, Canton, GA, 30014.