WILLIAM F. MITCHELL

November 25, 1928-October 5, 2020

Captain William F. Mitchell, U.S. Navy, Retired, died October 5th 2020 at Home.

Captain Mitchell was born November 25, 1928 in Lake Forest, Illinois. He lived in San Diego from 1929 until 1947 when he earned a presidential appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in a competitive examination. He entered the Naval Academy in June 1947 and graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and a commission as Ensign, U.S. Navy. He earned a Master of Science in Management Degree from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California in 1961, and he pursued further graduate studies in national and international resources management at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C. in 1971-1972.

During the Korean conflict, Captain Mitchell saw action there as a division officer in an amphibious force ship and as a department head in a destroyer. He then went ashore to set up warehouses and shop issue facilities at a new special weapons base near Las Vegas, Nevada; directed award winning food service operations at the Naval Station, Guam; and served at the Navy Supply Corps School as an instructor and curriculum branch head teaching supply management courses to newly commissioned officers. In 1963 he returned to sea as department head in a guided missile cruiser, leading five officers and 150 men in providing the ship’s financial management, inventory control and storage of 33,000 line items of repair parts and supplies, food services for the crew of 1,000, retail and personal services, and payroll. Returning ashore, he served as assistant for logistics for the Manager, Anti-submarine Warfare Systems Project Office, Washington, D.C. in the development and production of the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare sensors and weapons. In 1968 he began direction of all operations of the Navy’s Piers 90-91 naval station and ocean freight terminal complex in Seattle. In 1972 he was assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, where he directed a staff of over 600 to conduct the Academy’s business affairs including accounting; purchasing; inventory control and warehousing; payroll; midshipmen’s food service; midshipmen’s store, bookstore, retail services, personal services; and, the Academy’s dairy farm. His last duty was a joint service assignment as director of a systems analysis office recommending comprehensive improvements for Department of Defense logistics systems for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Installations and Logistics.

Transferring from active duty to the U.S. Navy Retired List in 1978, Captain Mitchell returned to the Seattle area where he managed the financial, administrative and business affairs of a Seattle law firm. He and his wife moved near Plain in 1983 where he contributed his services for five years as Chelan County Fire District 4 Commissioner, Chief, state training instructor, training officer, firefighter and emergency medical responder. Introduction of effective radio communication, the 911 alarm system, firm financial management, investment of District funds, a rigorous training program, the training and equipment to fight interior structure fires, protective clothing that met standards, an emergency medical response capability, and an automatic alarm response agreement with adjoining fire districts that came from his leadership as Commissioner and Chief improved community protection and were instrumental in gaining an improved fire protection rating for the Fire District.

Captain Mitchell was a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and the U.S. Naval Institute. He was a past member of the Seattle and national Associations of Legal Administrators, the American Bar Association Legal Administration Section, the Washington Fire Commissioners’ Association, Washington State Fire Chiefs’ Association, and the North Central Washington Fire Chiefs’ Association.

Captain Mitchell was preceded in death by his wife, the former Patricia Ann Tuthill of Seattle. He is survived by daughter Dr. Betsy Jo Mitchell and her husband, Dr. Wayne Sousa, of Berkeley, CA; daughter Lori Mitchell and her husband Patrick Marsolek of Potomac, MT; son Peter Mitchell and his wife, Lila, of Ocosta WA; stepdaughter, Leslie Snyder and her husband, Richard, of Chelan WA; stepson Russell Stenquist and his wife, Joni, of Alpine WY; his sister, Betty Kosmas; and grandchildren Chelsea Jo and Joseph Mitchell, Nick and Lauren Scafturon, Shawn and Andrew Truesdell, Russell Lon Snyder, and Jake and Evan Sousa. His father, Dr. Frederick William Mitchell passed away in 1956 and his mother, Donna Marie Mitchell in 1991.

 

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