Maiden Name: n/a
Willard Mitchell, 85, of Hillsborough, North Carolina, passed away at his home on May 14, 2006. He was born March 15, 1921, in Blanchard, Oklahoma, on his mother’s Choctaw land allotment; but, he lived most of his youth in Foster, Oklahoma. In his early teen years, he moved to Manteca, California, where he worked on the farm of Swedish immigrants. He joined the Army in Sacramento in 1941.
Mr. Mitchell was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving during World War II in the European Theater. Through the military, he settled in Durham, North Carolina, where he married and raised his family. For the past 35 years he lived in Hillsborough. He retired from Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company and was a member of the American Legion, Unit 1981, and VFW 2740. Although a devout Baptist, he attended his daughter’s church, Palmer’s Grove United Methodist, in his latter years. In his younger years, he enjoyed boating and water skiing. He was an avid gardener with a very green thumb raising squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn every summer. He had his last small garden of tomatoes the summer of his 84th year. He loved to raise peonies and roses for his wife, Ruth. There are many peach trees that he sprouted from seed and gave to his granddaughter, Kim, and grandson-in-law, Tim, and friends. He also loved to do lawn work and cut the grass at Palmer’s Grove UMC for several years in his late 70s. Many folks at the church said it was the best the lawn ever looked.
Mr. Mitchell was the great-grandson of Choctaw original enrollee Rhoda Tolbert McCurley (Curley) and Mac McCurley.
He was preceded in death by a son, Gary Willard Mitchell; his mother, original enrollee Arizona McCurley (Curley) Mitchell; his father, Jasper Newton Mitchell; sisters, May Mitchell Owens, Ada Mitchell Bailey, and Rhoda Ann Mitchell Manus; and brothers, J.M. Mitchell, Carl Mitchell, Robert Mitchell, Roy Mitchell and Russell Mitchell.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth Dunn Mitchell; daughter, Barbara Mitchell Seago, and son-in-law, Jerry R. Seago, Hillsborough; son, Russell E. Coffey, and daughter-in-law, Teena Coffey, Bangor, Maine; sister, Daisy Hundertmark, Coxsachie, New York; brothers, George W. Mitchell, Orland, California, and David Mitchell, Reno, Nevada; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews from California to New York who loved him very much.