It is with tremendous sadness that we share that Jon Michael Leon (Mike) Mitchell, 82, of Pickerington, Ohio has passed away.
Born March 10, 1941, Mike grew up in Arapaho, Oklahoma where he lived with this grandparents, Ethel and Elza (Lon) Mitchell. Active leaders in their community, they instilled in him a sense of civic responsibility, a relentless work ethic, and a love of learning. Mike excelled in school – a member of the state honor society, president of the science and math club, a member of the debate team and the Glee club – attending all state chorus. Always a veracious reader, throughout his life he would read thousands of books with an emphasis on science, history, and politics.
After school, Mike entered the United States Airforce – which brought him to Ohio where he was stationed at Lockbourne (now Rickenbacker). In Ohio he met the love of his life, Maureen Janet (Jann) Adams. They enjoyed a 50-year marriage – raising a family, traveling, and navigating the highs and lows of life with grace and laughter. When Jann was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, he proved a patient and compassionate caregiver – and even when she could no longer remember his name, her eyes always lit up when he walked in the room.
A naturally charismatic figure, he worked in sales and always enjoyed meeting new people, learning about their lives and backgrounds, and debating the current events of the day. He continued to work into his 80s. An avid sports fan and life-long athlete – he was a dedicated runner and even had the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Torch Relay leading up to the 2002 Olympics.
In the words of his niece “He was a giant of a man, made the biggest impression, had the best laugh, and had so much capacity and desire for knowledge. He will be missed.”
He is survived by his daughter, Marsha and son-in-law, Jason Pierson; his niece, Tara and her husband, Stacy Munoz; his nephew, Mike McCarthy; his grandchildren: Emma, Elise, and Owen Pierson, and Craig Gayheart; his great nieces: Alissa and Antonia Munoz, and Casey McCarthy; and his great nephew, Travis and his wife, Rachel McCarthy. He was proceeded in death by his mother, Opal Dunn; his father Bryan Mitchell; his grandparents, Elsa and Lon Mitchell; his wife, Jann Mitchell; his daughter, Jennifer Mitchell; and his grandson, Cory Stamper.
Friends may call on the family from 5:30 – 7 on Thursday, May 4 at the Cotner Funeral Home, 7369 East Main Street, Reynoldsburg, with a memorial service to begin at 7 pm.
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