Charles Franklin Mitchell was born June 3, 1934, in Stephens County, Texas, and passed from this life May 10, 2018. The son of Ivan Mitchell and Lora Sides Mitchell, he grew up in West Texas where they instilled a deeply ingrained work ethic and moral code in Charles that was as much a part of him as his ever-present cowboy hat and boots.
Like all men of his generation, he served his tour in the US Army in the mid 1950s, and then returned home. A short time later, he moved to Kilgore to work in the booming East Texas Oil Field. He met and later married Mary Anna Owens, daughter of Rev. O.S. and Ruth Lee Owens, founders of the Kilgore United Pentecostal Church.
Charles, or Charlie as he was known, spent some time working as a roustabout, but it was when he went to work for the United States Postal Service that he became known all over the city of Kilgore. Mail bag slung over his shoulder, Charlie walked daily routes, then later drove a truck delivering mail around the city. Laughing, smiling, greeting neighbors … and fighting off dogs … delivering the mail kept him on the move Monday thru Saturday.
Saturday and Sunday found him moving all over the city too. He was driving the church’s old VW buses around the city neighborhoods on Saturday, knocking on doors, inviting children to Sunday School. Sunday mornings he was back, picking them up and bringing them to church. It was a calling he never grew tired of, and many of those children are still church members today. That is the legacy of which he was the most thankful. He considered himself blessed by those children. He also faithfully served as Sunday School superintendent, church treasurer and secretary under many pastors before retiring after 50 years.
Charles is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Mary; his sons, Clinton A. Mitchell and wife Tawnya Mitchell of Cypress, Texas, and Paul F. Mitchell of N. Little Rock, Ark. He is also survived by his four grandsons, Jacob Mitchell and Zach Mitchell of Corinth, Texas, and Caleb Mitchell and Simon Mitchell of N. Little Rock, Ark.
The family would like to thank the faculty and staff of Brookdale Assisted Living in Houston for their impeccable and loving care of Charles during his three year stay.
The service to celebrate his life will be held Saturday, May 19 at the Kilgore First Pentecostal Church, 516 Fritz-Swanson Rd, Kilgore, TX 75662. Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m. with service starting at 11 a.m.