Wesley Willard Mitchell
September 26, 1932 - October 10, 2020
On Saturday, October 10, 2020, Wesley W. Mitchell, loving husband and father of two children, passed away at the age of 88. Wesley “Wes” was born on September 26, 1932 in Ft. Madison, Iowa to Charles “Bud” Mitchell and Beatrice “Bea” I. (Greene) Mitchell. He attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and studied Translation and Interpretation (Spanish, French.) He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1951, during the Korean War, serving as a Sergeant until March 1954 when he was honorably discharged.
In the mid 1950s (about early1955) Wes contracted the infectious disease, polio (poliovirus) involving the central nervous system, causing muscle weakness and resulting in flaccid paralysis. Compounding his weakness, while working as a railroad switchman for BNSF Railway in Iowa, Wes suffered a debilitating vertebral compression fracture , which combined with childhood rickets (softening and weakening of the bones) (and a later diagnosis of spinal stenosis - a narrowing) presented a life of chronic physical pain.
On May 29, 1958 he married Phyllis “Toby” M. Odom. (They were happily married for 62 years until his death.) They raised two daughters, Kelly and Kerry. He practiced real estate for Melody Homes from about 1970 - 1975. Wes’ hobbies included billiards, photography, Lake Geode (Iowa) fishing, detective novels; blackjack gambling; betting horse racing and dog racing, coin collecting, listening to and amateur singing the Big Band, Swing and Jazz music. His passions were animals, particularly his pet cats and dogs and backyard birds and wildlife. Wes was witty, charming, handsome and had a clever sense of humor.
He enjoyed music by Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Julie London, Harry Belafonte, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey. He often sang songs through the house: Cool Water, Marty Robbins; If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked A Cake , Eileen Barton; Que Sera Sera, Doris Day; High Hopes, Frank Sinatra; Banana Boat Song (Day-O) , Harry Belafonte; It Was a Very Good Year, Frank Sinatra; Mocking Bird Hill, Patti Page. He is preceded in death by his father, Charles “Bud” and mother, Beatrice “Bea”, brother Richard “Dick”, nephews Ricky, Kim and niece Pam.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis “Toby” and their two daughters Kelly Mitchell Craighead and Kerry Mitchell.
A private columbarium service will be held on Tuesday October 20, 2020 at Ft. Logan National Cemetery (4400 W Kenyon Avenue Denver, Colorado 80236) at eleven fifteen A.M.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent in memory of Wes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital https://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/GiftFunds/GiftFunds?px=6815606&pg=personal&fr id=39300
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