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Gary W. Mitchell

Obituary for Gary W. Mitchell

April 10, 1938 - September 3, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 81


Gary W. Mitchell, age 81, passed away on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Gary was born and raised in Eldora, Iowa. He attended the University of Iowa and graduated in 1961 with a degree in music. While at the university, he met his beloved wife of 59 years, Joan Marie Coon. Gary entered the U.S. Air Force and served proudly for more than 20 years, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His service began at Keesler AFB in Mississippi, where he was conductor of the famed Keesler Male Chorus. Subsequent assignments were at Evreux AB in France, Bentwaters AB in England, Drake University in Iowa, Maxwell AFB in Alabama, Tan Son Nhut AB in Vietnam, Offutt AFB in Nebraska, and Randolph AFB in Texas. Gary also held a Master's degree from Drake University and advanced graduate diplomas from the USAF Air University and the National War College. Upon his retirement from active duty, Gary worked for the USAF as a civilian until 2005. His work at the USAF Services Agency positively impacted thousands of airmen and their families. Gary served many churches as a beloved musician, singer, and choir director, including Windcrest United Methodist and Holy Trinity Presbyterian in San Antonio. Later in life, he enjoyed singing and playing in his bluegrass band, and loved cheering for the San Antonio Spurs and his Iowa Hawkeyes.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Alice Mitchell; sister, Janice Faye Mitchell; brother, Darrell Mitchell (Peggy); and daughter, Kelly Marie Mitchell. He is survived by his wife, Joan; sons, Michael (Lori Newman) of Rochester Hills, Michigan, and Craig (Katherine Chiarello) of Austin; granddaughter, Olivia Mitchell of Austin; brother, Orlan Mitchell (Verlene) of Grinnell, Iowa; sister, Marilyn Cakerice (Maurice) of Eldora, Iowa; brother, David of Marshalltown, Iowa; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. A beacon of kindness and service, Gary will be missed by all who knew him.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Gary's name to the San Antonio Symphony.

A Memorial Service for Gary will be held Tuesday, September 10, at 1PM at Madison Square Presbyterian Church, 319 Camden Street, San Antonio.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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