John Joseph "Joe" Mitchell, Jr of Columbia SC died on March 31, 2019. He was predeceased by his caring parents, Joe and Grace Phillips Mitchell.
Joe is survived by his cherished wife and very best friend, Emil Burns Mitchell, to whom he genuinely and daily called "THE love of my life!" The deep love shared by Joe and Emil for over 28 years is a beautiful example of true friendship, respect, and devotion between two soul mates. He is survived by two beloved children, daughter Marianne Mitchell Warren (John) of Spartanburg, son John J Mitchell, III (Joy) of Irmo, grandsons Michael Dickson (Shannon), Mitchell Dickson (Courtney), and John Warren (Kaylynn), and granddaughters Hope Marie Mitchell, Nicole Quinlan (Rick), and Jennifer Gallo (Tyler), and great grandchildren Addilynn Dickson, Gray Dickson, and Brenton Dickson.
Joe graduated from Union High School, Wofford College (AB, Mathematics), The University of North Carolina (Masters, Mathematics), did additional graduate work at the University of South Carolina and Harvard University, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sungshin University, Seoul, Korea. He was honored twice by the National Science Foundation with academic grants in mathematics.After teaching mathematics at Eau Claire High School, he was a US Army Lieutenant and code breaker followed by 38 years at Columbia College holding positions of Associate Professor of Mathematics, Dean and Vice President for Enrollment Management, and Vice President for Business Affairs. After retiring, Joe was awarded the Columbia College Medallion for his service and leadership.
Joe's interests and hobbies have included remote control model aviation, stock market analysis, golf, tennis, snow skiing, biking, traveling with Emil, music (from Rachmaninoff to Eric Clapton to George Jones), roses, observing nature, and gathering with friends. In retirement, he could usually be found at 11 am, meeting for conversation and laughter with "The Crew" who dubbed him "Mayor of Starbucks." Joe never met a stranger and delighted in sharing his smile, wit, and ideas. Joe loved living to the fullest and issued that challenge to others. Of his various volunteer services, Joe is most proud to have been a Prisma Health Hospice volunteer and a Trustee on the Board of The Methodist Credit Union where he was Chairman for three years. He was a United Methodist and member of Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. While Joe personally questioned many of the traditional creeds and teachings, he was deeply spiritual and never judged those with different beliefs, interpretations, or faiths.
"Beloved family and friends, grieve not my death, for I am but one breath away from you. Shed tears if you must, but quickly punctuate them with smiles and laughter. That you included me in your life means that my spirit remains with you. My love for you in life has no end. Rejoice now and celebrate, knowing that because of YOU, my life was wonderful and abundantly blessed beyond all of my expectations. The Miracle of the Creation continues forever to bind us together."
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Emil Burns Mitchell and J Joseph Mitchell Jr Endowed Scholarship Fund at Columbia College, 1301 Columbia College Drive, Columbia, SC 29203; to Prisma Health Hospice Foundation, PO Box 7275, Columbia, SC 29202; Wofford College, 429 N Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303; or to the ALS Chapter-South Carolina, 7499 Parklane Road #144, Columbia, SC 29223.
Joe and Emil have deep thanks and appreciation for family, friends, ALS Chapter-South Carolina, and care providers including but not limited to Dr. Martin Hester, Dr. Sandlip Jain and Nurse Practitioner Suzy Hobbs and the ALS team at the Prisma Health Greenville ALS Clinic, Dr. Hart Parker, and Prisma Health Hospice staff, Dr. Aye Aung, Dr. Cedric Rivers, Angie Graham RN, Kelly Hane RN, and Joye Jones LMSW. You made this journey lighter by the love and care you provided.
Following a private memorial service for the family, a celebration of life in honor of Joe for family and friends will be held at 5:00pm on Friday, April 12, 2019 at The Hall, 320 Senate Street, Columbia, SC 29201.