Michael Eugene Mitchell, my first cousin, passed away Saturday evening May 26, 2007 at the home of his mother in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana. He was 62 years old. Mike was the son of Phyllis Elizabeth Phend and Walter Eugene Mitchell and was born November 1, 1944 in Noble County, Indiana. Mike attended school in Columbia City, where he lived for most of his life. On June 4, 1966 he was married to Sharon Marie Ball. He is survived by three children and five grandchildren as well as his mother, a sister, and two brothers. He was preceded in death by his father, a brother, and a still-born child.
Although Mike was one of the "older" cousins, he was usually good with us younger kids and willing to play with us and spend time with us when we visited his home while growing up, and that was nearly every weekend! Our parents would play cards, usually Euchre, on Saturday nights. While they played cards, we'd pop corn, watch television, play games and just have a good time. As he got into high school, he didn't spend as much time with us and he did tease us mercilessly, but it was generally good-natured fun.
Mike enjoyed taking care of his potted plants and had a collection of old bottles he'd inherited from his father that gave him a great deal of pleasure. At the past couple of Phend Family Reunions he volunteered to be the auctioneer for the "White Elephant" auction fund raiser that helped pay for the expenses of the reunion. He had a lot of fun with it and did a good job too.
In the past 10 years or so, Mike has had health problems, dealing with back pain among other ailments. A couple of years ago he was injured in a car accident and his health has gone downhill ever since. Several weeks ago he was diagnosed with lung cancer but I don't think that was the cause of his death. Saturday afternoon Mike went with his mother and sister to visit the gravesite of his father and little brother. They had talked about many of the people they had known who had passed away. When they got back home, they had a piece of rhubarb pie. Mike was tired and went into the bedroom to take a nap. He never woke up. May he rest in peace.
Visitation will be Wednesday, May 30th, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home in Columbia City. Services will be held there at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 31st.