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Lloyd Andrew Mitchell

June 27, 1923 January 14, 2012
Lloyd Andrew Mitchell
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Obituary for Lloyd Andrew Mitchell
Always a Family Man

Lloyd Andrew Mitchell, 88, of Sugar Springs in Gladwin, Michigan, passed away at home with his wife, Clara Julia (Toth) Mitchell at his bedside, on January 14, 2012. Lloyd had been in a long state of recovery after suffering a third mini stroke on June 16, 2010. Born on June 27, 1923 in Flint, Michigan, Lloyd was the son of the late Johnston A. Mitchell and the late Cecilia F. (Zeilman) Mitchell.
Lloyd married his sweetheart, lifelong companion, and later teaching colleague, Clara in Atlas, Michigan on June 21, 1947. They met when his first cousin, the late Marguerite (Zeilman) Hill, Atlas, Michigan, invited him to be the second chaperon at her high school dance. He was a secondary school teacher, after working as a U.S. Department of Agriculture dairy inspector. His teaching career spanned 27 years, from 1957 – 1984. in the Flint (Michigan) Kearsley School District, where, he taught life sciences, specializing in biology. As the only biology teacher in the school, every one of his students came to know his now infamous joke: Q: “What did one toe say to the other toe?”A: “There’s a fungus among us.”Lloyd attended the University of Kentucky from1950-1953 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. He later received his Masters of Education degree in 1965 from the University of Michigan. Prior to meeting his wife, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His greatest love was his family, which he and Clara cared and provided for as their first priority. Growing up during the Great Depression, he learned how to be frugal and stretch a dollar a long way. One of his lifelong passions was tending to his own grapes and vineyard, so that he could make and enjoy his own reserve.
When he and Clara took their children to California in the summer of 1968 to see his brother - Melvin, wife - Rachael and their two sons, the two Mitchell families visited Tijuana, Mexico. When it was time to buy two chessboards from a street vendor for his children and two California nephews, the price was stuck at 15 dollars… until two American cigars were added. Dad missed those two cigars.
As an early advocate for a greener planet and the environment, Lloyd lead the charge in the Flint area in helping pass the Michigan Beverage Containers Initiated Law of 1976. It was part of his commitment to the environment and our country’s bicentennial celebration. To promote the passing of the law, he had neighbors drop off beverage cans and bottles that became a pile some 10 feet high. When a local opponent drove his car through the pile and scattered it one evening, the Mitchell children raked up the pile again and Lloyd posted a sign the next day that said, “Last of the Litter!” Lloyd was also a driving force in forming the Formar Nature Preserve in the city of Burton, Michigan. Formar represented one of the early commitments by a benefactor to convert a family estate and farm into a conservancy. As a father and teacher, Lloyd also loved his garden. Asparagus was his favorite crop and vegetable. His climbing red rose bush at the Mitchell home was a site to cherish each summer.
During his years of teaching at George Daly Junior High School, he turned a vacant lot into a garden. His students posted a huge sign, naming it “Lloyd’s Garden.” He loved to fish, and always rowed the boat for whoever accompanied him. As an avid golfer, he modeled his swing and gait after Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer. Every March Madness for college basketball had Lloyd rooting from the edge of his chair for his alma mater, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. During retirement in Sugar Springs with his wife, Clara, eagle watching became a hobby. One day he and his sons spotted several eagles resting in a tree on an island across from their lakeside home. Upon driving there, the eagles perched and looked down. All were not sure who was more amazed. Lloyd and Clara had six children and raised seven: Lloyd Thomas – 1948, Cecilia Florence – 1951, Julia Anne – 1953, Marguerite Michele – 1955, Johnston Mark – 1956 and his wife – Brenda, James Christopher – 1957 and his wife – Cheryl, and granddaughter Natasha Roselae – 1983. Lloyd Andrew Mitchell is survived by his wife, Clara, all six children, his younger brother – Melvin and his wife – Rachael of San Clemente, California, 10 grandchildren (Shannon, Lloyd Andrew II, Christopher, Katie, Alyssa, Jessica, Helene Claire and Flora June Mitchell, Natasha Hunter and Katrina Searcy) plus seven great grandchildren. Flowers can be sent to the Sisson Funeral Home, 135 North Silverleaf Street, Gladwin, Michigan, tel. (989) 426-7751. In lieu of flowers, you may make a scholarship donation in the name of Lloyd A. Mitchell to the University of Kentucky’s School of Agriculture by sending an email to William Sheets, Director for Advancement, or Kearsley Student Scholarship Fund.  Visitation for Lloyd Andrew Mitchell will be on Wednesday, January 18, from 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Sisson Funeral Home, and Thursday  from 10 am until services at 11 am at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 331 Clendening Road, Gladwin, Michigan, where Lloyd and Clara are members. The service will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will be officiated by Pastor Timothy Verity.

Wednesday 1 to 8pm Sisson Funeral Home
Thursday 10 am until time of services at 11 am Our Savior Lutheran Church
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