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Mr. Riley Oscar Mitchell (R.O.)

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Mr. Riley Oscar Mitchell (R.O.), age 87, passed this world and relocated to his Heavenly home to be with his Lord and Savior on March 4, 2020 at 7:30pm.  He passed away at Baptist Medical Center’s Community Hospice Center in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Mr. Mitchell   was born on August 4, 1932 in Coffee County, Georgia and was the son of William (Bill) Mitchell and Bessie Carver Mitchell of Douglas, Georgia.  Mr. Mitchell graduated from Upton School in Coffee County and entered the U.S. Army in 1950.

Following his honorable discharge from the Service, he began his employment career with the State of Georgia Highway Transportation Department as a Warehousing and Procurement Manager until his retirement.

Mr. Mitchell married Mary Elizabeth Summerour of Oscarville, Georgia in Forsythe County on August 4, 1954. They were married for 65 wonderful years. The couple had one child, a daughter, Alice Rebecca Mitchell Cribbs. Mr. Mitchel was preceded in death by  his sister who died at birth, his father, William Mitchell, mother, Bessie  Mitchell and sister Helen Durden(Clark), Survivors include Daughter, Alice Rebecca Cribbs (Jack), Grandson, Lane Burkhalter(Maranda McElhaney), Great Grandchildren( Graden McElhaney and Laney McElhaney, Nephews, Russell Durden(Olivia), Al Durden, Gisele Houston(Alan), Great nieces and nephews Rusty Durden, Case, Clark, Brittany Wooten, Family Friend, Debbie Lankford.

Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell were very active in their civic and religious organizations/duties:

Mr. Mitchell was a Steward and Deacon for the First Congregational Christian Church located on Madison Avenue in Douglas, Georgia. They were charter members of the church and played a major role in its evolution from meeting in homes in 1948 to building the original church in 1950 where, as a teenager, Mr. Mitchell helped his dad lay the foundation blocks for the original church. The church went through several expansions in which Mr. Mitchell was very involved as a Deacon and worker. The church has just recently built a new church whereby Mr. Mitchell at the age of 85 was on the property lifting boards up to the carpenters as the new church was being built. He had a fall while helping and finally decided he was just a little out of shape to be doing the younger fellas work (he decided to retire from such strenuous work).  Being a former State Transportation worker, he had a difficult time walking away from such hard, hot, sweaty, dirty work! He used to joke about how hard those State Highway boys worked and about all those shovels he wore out (by leaning on them,).

Mr. Mitchell was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of Georgia lodge # 386 in Douglas.  He was an Ambassador of the Shriner’s lodge # 386 and a member of the Shriner’s Clown Club. He loved driving the clown bus to many, many parades throughout the State of Georgia.  Mr. Mitchell was also a member of the Eastern Star Lodge # 325 of Douglas, Georgia. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #515 and the Woodmen of the World. He was also a volunteer fireman with the city of Douglas for 25 years.

In the mid-fifties, Mr. and Mrs. Mitchel formed the Coffee County Sippers camping club. There were many members and many memories as they traveled all over the Southeast camping and enjoying each other’s friendship and company.

Later, Mr. Mitchell was appointed to the State of Georgia advisory Board on the camping and State Parks and Recreation committee.

He and Mrs. Mitchell enjoyed traveling to their homes in Fernandina Beach, Hiawassee, Georgia and Lake Eufaula, Alabama. In each port of call, they always had their favorite group of friends and coffee sippers who would meet at the McDonalds and Hardees restaurants to have fun joking around with each other. They truly enjoyed life and R.O. would have a favorite nickname for each friend. They in turn would reciprocate and tag him with a nickname also. All was in fun and jest with nicknames like “Trouble”, Blondie”, “Mr. Jackson”, etc. Unfortunately, these nicknames stuck and you were forever known by whatever R.O tagged you with. Mary and R.O. truly love all that crossed their paths and they never met a stranger They truly loved everyone as God has commanded.

Funeral services were held on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2:00pm at First Congregational Church with Rev. Matt Rutland and Pastor James Mitchell officiating. Interment followed at Rocky Pond Church Cemetery. Pallbearers were Russell Durden, Ricky Bullard, Huey Sears, Danny Grantham, Calop McNab and W.L. Grantham.

We would like to take this time to personally thank Dr. Candido Rivera and his PA, Alex at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville’s Hematology and Oncology Department for their loving dedicated service in attending to our Dad and attempting to extend his life through various chemotherapy treatments with minimal pain. Mayo is a great institute whom we thank for giving us an extra two years to be with our loving Dad during those trying times.

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