W est Pawlet, Vt. — Jackie Dale Mitchell passed away on June 18, 2012, at Rutland Regional Medical Center from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
Jackie was born on February 5, 1936 in Electra, Texas and his parents were William Glen and Ester Lou Mitchell. Besides his parents, Jackie was predeceased by a brother, Bobby Glen Mitchell, of Arcola, Missouri and a half-sister, Nellie Jean Mitchell, of California.
Jackie has left behind, for a while, his loving wife of 54 years, Dorothy Sherman Mitchell and two caring daughters, Adelle L. Seamans of West Pawlet and her companion Michael Santwire, and Carmen A. Dodge of Granville, New York, and her husband, Dale M. Dodge. He also had five wonderful grandchildren; they were, Ryan M. St. Lawrence, Cassandra F. Dodge, Skyla R. Seamans, Logan M. Seamans and Aaron D. Dodge. He also left behind many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Jackie’s family were farmers in Oklahoma during the “Dust Bowl” in the depression of the 1930’s and lost their farm. They were in the great migration of “Oakies” to California in search of work. There his father worked in the fields, harvesting crops, to feed his family. They started back east and ended up in Claypool, Arizona. When Jackie was 15 his father died and he went to work in the copper mines, where he eventually became an electrician. One day he decided he wanted a change and he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After basic he was transferred to a radar station on Long Island, where he met and married Dorothy. While he was in the army he also attended Barber’s school and received a license for New York State. In their many travels after that, he was a barber in Missoula, Montana, a life insurance salesman in Denver, Colorado, a short-term dairy farmer in El Dorado Springs, Missouri, a car salesman, factory worker, and worked for the school system and finally at REA and the railroad in Kansas City, Missouri. Finally, they moved back east and ended up in West Pawlet and Jackie went to work at General Electric in the Hudson Falls and Fort Edward area. His last and final job was a security officer with Castleton State College. You could say he was a “jack-of-all-trades.”
During the last 25 years he also was an artist in painting, carving wood, slate and marble, and sculpturing in metal. He sold many pieces through the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vermont.
Jackie was proud of his Indian Heritage. His Indian roots go back to the “Trail of Tears”, in 1835-1837, when the Cherokee Indians, in a forced march by the U.S. Army, where taken from their rich fertile lands in Georgia and the Carolinas to poor land in Oklahoma. His great-great grandparents were in this forced march and his great grandmother, Annie Davis; (her American name) was his link to Cherokee.
He was always proud of who he was and of whatever job he was working at. He was a steadfast believer in the total value of the blue-collar worker in this country and the unions that raised their standard of living.
Following Jackie’s wishes there will be no calling hours or funeral. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Jackie may be made to the Haynes House of Hope or West Pawlet Fire Department.
Jackie was loved and he loved, he was a good man, led a good life and we will see him again one day. The bridge between life and death is love.