Johnny Walter Mitchell, Jr., known to friends and family as “Chuck,” passed away following a brief illness, on October 2, 2023, at the age of 72. He was born on April 2, 1951, in Martinsville, VA, to Jaunita McGhee Harner and the late Johnny W. Mitchell, Sr. Chuck was a 1969 graduate of William Fleming High School in Roanoke. He graduated from Clemson University in 1974 with a degree in Financial Management. Chuck worked as a controller for Bond Textile Machinery, Stone Manufacturing Company, and Umbro USA. He also was the accountant for Della Ventura’s Ristorante and Pizzeria for 16 years where he faithfully and weekly did payroll for the employees. For the past 7 years, he worked part-time at Foothills Presbyterian Retirement Community, driving residents to many of their appointments. He also took groups on trips to Charleston, Braves games in Atlanta, the Billy Graham Library, and numerous local history tours.
Chuck’s greatest joy in life was being a father to his two sons, who know his life and personality cannot be summed up in an obituary. He could hold entire conversations with his sons Graham (LB) and Avery (PB) and wife Debbie using nicknames, references to inside jokes and popular culture that an outsider would find unintelligible. For example, Chuck hated driving on the Circus Highway to see his son Graham who lived in the City of Sirens, but when he got there, he enjoyed staying in Graham’s Kato Suite and playing with Rango. No one but family could decipher that!
In addition to inheriting Chuck’s array of nicknames and jokes, Graham and Avery are living testaments to Chuck’s life and character in other regards. While both allege they have Chuck’s wonderful sense of humor, there is no denying both sons share Chuck’s love of animals, sports, fitness and the outdoors. Graham now has a son, Walker, and can only hope that he will be as good a father to Walker as Chuck was to him. Graham and Avery also both hope to coach youth church basketball one day and join Chuck in the Church Basketball Hall of Fame, an honor Chuck invented of which he is currently the only member!
Chuck also enjoyed visiting and hiking the National Parks of the great West such as Yellowstone and Canyonlands, but he dearly loved Paris Mountain State Park in Greenville. He enjoyed biking along the Swamp Rabbit Trail unless there were too many gnats. Chuck hated gnats.
As well as Debbie, Graham and Avery, he is survived by his precious grandson, Walker Mitchell, who brought him endless joy and happiness; daughter-in-law Janelle (Graham); sister, Dianne Blankenship (Joe); stepmother, Anna Mitchell; and many beloved animals, especially Ubi, his crazy and difficult Maine Coon cat ( Chuck claimed to be Ubi’s only friend) and his beloved terrier, Fuzzy.
In honoring Chuck’s remarkable life, friends and family will come together to celebrate his memory at a memorial service on Friday, October 20, 2023, at 2:00 PM at Paris Mountain State Park (Shelter #3). This serene location was dear to Chuck’s heart, as he found a second calling in life by spray-painting roots that he deemed dangerous tripping hazards.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests memorials be made to the Safe Passage Fund, which will help animals safely cross Interstate 40 in the Pigeon River Gorge, by visiting www.wildlandsnetwork.org/donate or to the Greenville Humane Society by visiting www.greenvillehumane.com/donate. The family would also like to sincerely thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center who took care of Chuck with such kindness and compassion during such a difficult time.
Friends are encouraged to share their favorite memories of Chuck with the family by clicking on the button labeled “Leave A Message, Share A Memory” below