Joseph M. Mitchell, Jr.

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“Dear Mitchell Family, We are all so very sad on Uncle Joe Mac's passing. You all wrote such a beautiful obituary that shows so clearly how much he...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: Teresa Mitchell - Auburndale, MA


Joseph "Joe" McPhail Mitchell passed away peacefully at home on December 23, 2014 in La Canada with his loving daughter, Mary Mitchell Calderon, by his side. Joe was born on May 26, 1931, in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Joe leaves behind his children: Thomas, Joe Jr., Mary, Stuart, and William, as well as seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His wife of 59 years, Nersa Alvarez Mitchell, passed in 2013 at 83 years and 7 months, the same age that Joe lived to be. Joe leaves behind two siblings, Buford Mitchell and Portia Mitchell Newman, of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. He was preceded in death by siblings Joyce Mitchell Sauls and Wallace Mitchell.

Joe was raised on a North Carolina tobacco and timber farm, and his father Joseph Mitchell Sr. also owned and operated Mitchell Chevrolet. Joe studied at Edwards Military Institute, where he met his wife to be, Nersa Alvarez Maceo of Puerto Padre, Cuba. Nersa was attending the sister school, Pineland College. He served in the Air Force and was stationed in Japan for 30 months during the Korean War, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Soon after, he bought a farm in Manati, Cuba, where he raised cattle and sugar cane. The Castro regime caused him to lose everything, and he was forced to flee with his wife and two children to Miami, and later to North Carolina, where he worked the family farm. Fully bi-cultural and bi-lingual, he later obtained the position of Regional Director of the Peace Corps for Costa Rica and Colombia between 1964 and 1969. After serving as a consultant, Joe left government work and spent his remaining career in the automobile business, thereby continuing the family connection with that industry.

Joe was an expert marksman and obtained numerous pistol shooting trophies. He traveled countless times by car to North Carolina to the annual family reunion, which has been occurring annually for 95 years. He was also an avid reader of military history, loved Cuban music, obtained his pilot's license in Colombia, was a talented photographer, a patriot, and had a large appetite for knowledge, especially regarding how people can heal themselves through nutrition. Most importantly, Joe loved his family, near and far. He will be missed by all that appreciated his intelligence, independent spirit, and hearty laugh. May he rest in peace forever.