Thomas “Tom” Cavell Mitchell
Hardworking Man Who Loved Life -
Thomas “Tom” Cavell Mitchell, age 98, of Mechanicsburg, passed away on Friday, April 27, 2018. Tom was born on Sunday, November 23, 1919 in Linn Flat, TX to the late James Walton Mitchell and Jessie Azlee (Birdwell) Mitchell. Tom was the widower of Betty Jane (Morris) Mitchell, whom he married on
April 27, 1946, and who died on December 31, 2011. In addition to his parents and wife, Tom is preceded in death by his 10 siblings: Curtis Mitchell, Pauline Youngblood, Opal Beaver, Chesley Mitchell, Ruby Bane, Emma Jo Myers, Cecil Mitchell, Maxine Wedgeworth, Maudel Mitchell, and Jesse Mitchell.
Tom’s survivors include his daughter, Jessica Hart and her husband, Victor, of Mechanicsburg; his two grandchildren: Laura Hart, MD of Philadelphia, Thomas Hart, Ph.D. of Lancaster; and many nieces and nephews.
Tom was born on his family’s farm in Linn Flat, TX. At the age of two, his parents moved the entire family to Nacogdoches for educational opportunities that resulted in eight of their children obtaining college degrees. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin Demonstration School as part of the class of 1937 and from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science, where he majored in biology and minored in math. Tom began teaching for a brief period of time before World War II broke out and he enlisted in the Army Air Corp. He was stationed in New Cumberland where he met his future wife, Betty. Tom then shipped out to fight in the war and ended up in New Guinea on the B25 Medium Bomber Squadron as an instrument specialist. In November of 1944, he was on a transportation ship in Leyte Gulf when a kamikaze attacked. Tom was on the deck and tried to shield himself from danger behind an oil drum. The drums exploded and Tom sustained injuries of which he was awarded a Purple Heart. During his time in the war, Tom participated in the Battle for New Guinea, Battle of Leyte Gulf, Battle of Bismarch, Battle of Archipelago, and Battle of Southern Philippines. As a result, he was also awarded a Good Conduct Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, and Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with 3 Battle Stars. He was the discharged from the military in 1946.
Tom married his love, Betty, and the two settled in Harrisburg before moving to Mechanicsburg. He retired from Dun & Bradstreet in Harrisburg, after 36 years of service working as a credit analyst. Tom was a longtime member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Mechanicsburg. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion Post #109 in Mechanicsburg. After retirement, Tom and Betty traveled all over the world together with their friends, Hyman and Charlotte Sigel. The two also traveled with their family and went on 20 cruises. Tom enjoyed being outside and taking in all the nature around him, especially when he got to feed the birds. He was always reading and wanted to learn more. Tom was a hardworking man who just loved life and found joy in the simple things. He was very proud of his grandchildren and loved them deeply; Tom cherished every moment they spent together.
All are welcome to join Tom’s family at his gathering on Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at 1:30 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 203 South Filbert Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; with Reverend Hoshik Kang officiating. Burial will follow in Mechanicsburg Cemetery, where military honors will be presented by the Cumberland County Honor Guard. Honored to be pallbearers are: Laura Hart, Thomas Hart, Victor Hart, Kara McDonald, and Stephen Morris.
Contributions in celebration of Tom’s life can be made to Wesley United Methodist Church, 203 South Filbert Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.
Tom’s family has entrusted his care to Myers – Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421. Read Tom’s full obituary, view his memorial video and portrait, and sign his official guest book at Buhrig.com.