He was born Dec. 8, 1926, in Oklahoma City, son of the late Clay Alexander and Lucille Proffit Mitchell. Following graduation in 1944 from Sikeston High School, Mitchell served with the U.S. Air Force. He first attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and then continued his education at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, where he played on the 1946 championship football team.
In 1948, Mitchell returned to Sikeston where he founded Mitchell Insurance Inc. A past member of the Traveler's Insurance Advisory Council, he was named Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1959, was inducted into the Sikeston Public Schools Hall of Fame in 1996 and was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.
Mitchell served as president of several area organizations, including the Sikeston Jaycees, Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, Sikeston Board of Education where he was a member for 12 years, Sikeston Lions Club and SACC Industrial Development; and was also a member of the Missouri Delta Medical Center Board of Directors. He helped organize the Sikeston Little League Baseball Program and was one of the founders of the KMPL Radio station.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Sikeston, where he had also served in several capacities. A member of the Church Council, he also served as chairman of the Staff Parish and finance committees, Sunday school teacher and as secretary of the building committee for the present church. He was also a 50-year member of Masonic Lodge 310 AF&AM in Sikeston.
On June 23, 1945, at Gulfport, Miss., he married Betty Jo Heath who survives of the home.
Also surviving are one son and daughter-in-law, Robert L. and Kathy Mitchell Jr. of Sikeston; one daughter and son-in-law, Sally M. and Dan Lape of Sikeston; one brother John P. "Jack" Mitchell of Sikeston; three grandchildren and their spouses, Elizabeth and Joe Johnson, Deke and Jill Lape and Clay Lape of Sikeston; and two great-grandchildren, Collin Lape and Jay Lape of Sikeston.
Preceding him in death were two brothers, Clay A. Mitchell Jr. and Charles M. Mitchell; and one sister, Jane M. Malone.
Visitation is from noon Monday until service time at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church. The Rev. Bill Koch will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Jonathan Cooney and the Rev. Harold Norton.
Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of the Nunnelee Funeral Chapel.
Memorial contributions can be made to the First United Methodist Church New Building Fund, 1307 N. Main St. or Missouri Delta Medical Center Foundation, 1008 N. Main St. in Sikeston.