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SMITHFIELD -- Robert Sylvester "Mitch" Mitchell, 72, died Wednesday after a courageous battle with cancer.

The funeral, with full military honors, will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Parrish Funeral Home in Selma. Burial will be in Selma Memorial Gardens.

Mr. Mitchell was the son of the late Vejar Jane Ingram Mitchell and Ruffin Mitchell of Kenly. He graduated from Princeton High School, where he played basketball and was fondly known as "Mule Train." He joined the United States Air Force in June 1952 and retired in 1973, having served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

After his discharge from the military, he worked with the North Carolina Department of Correction until he retired in 1996. During that time he also graduated from Fayetteville State University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Police Science.

He was a member of the Selma Original Free Will Baptist Church where he had served as a deacon, and Selma Masonic Lodge #320 and the Selma American Legion post 141.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Christine "Chris" Mitchell; one daughter, Pamela Mitchell Withrow of Norman, Okla.; one son, Robert Steven Mitchell of Clayton; six sisters, Myrtle M. Lassiter of Altamonte Springs, Fla., Juanita M. Rowe of Kenly, Joan M. Edwards of Pikeville, Irene M. Jordan of Clayton, Linda M. Jones of Princeton and Vera M. Rains of Pikeville; and five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and nine step-great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial donations be made to Selma Original Free Will Baptist Church Building Fund, P. O. Box 224, Selma, NC 27576 or to WilMed Hospice, 1705 Tarboro Street SW, Wilson, N.C., 27893-3428.

The family will receive friends on Saturday night from 7 until 9 at Parrish Funeral Home in Selma.

Published in Obituaries on December 17, 2004 1:47 PM