John Edward Mitchell

Published 10:44 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

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John Edward Mitchell, a physician and father, died on September 13, 2021, following sudden complications from prosthetic valve endocarditis.

John was born at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham to David Garfield Mitchell and Marjorie RuthMay Murray Mitchell in 1954 and was 67 years old. He is survived by his children, Gerald “Jerry”(Emily), Evan (Kara), Alice Summers (Joseph), and Mark, step-daughter Christy Jo Hardwick and 6 grandchildren: Jonah, David, Samuel, Brooklyn, Nathan, and Isaiah; siblings: Susan Evans (Jonathan), James (Amy), David (Hideko), Joseph (Vivian), and Carol. He was predeceased by his parents, David and Marjorie Mitchell, his sister, Marjorie Lott, step-son John Michael Hardwick, and his wife, Betty Jo.

John graduated from Berry High School in 1972, attended Asbury University through 1974, and graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham Southern College in 1976. He then attended University of South Alabama Medical School, graduating in 1983, and completed his residency in Selma. He practiced medicine in Rolling Fork and Anguilla, Mississippi, subsequently joining medical practices in Dothan, Rainbow City, and Selma. For nearly 15 years, he was a faculty member in UAB Selma’s Residency program.

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John was a compassionate physician and a gifted pianist and trumpet-player, talents fostered by his musically-gifted parents. Influenced by his Eagle-Scout father, John pursued scouting for several years. His mother’s Christian faith inspired him to become a devout Christian in his youth; during his teens John went on various mission trips, including a summer spent in ministry to Native Americans in New Mexico. Through the vicissitudes of life, John was capable of great generosity and would share food, cash, and—sometimes literally–the clothes off his back to those in need. One could say that John found a second-calling in teaching. The residents he taught for years remember him as “a wonderful man,” a “great teacher with an exceptional sense of humor,” and a compassionate physician “whose patients loved his wonderful bedside manner.” As one resident said, “Dr. Mitchell always had a way of making us smile!”

A private celebration of life will be held at a later date. Those who wish to honor John’s memory are requested to donate or volunteer at any homeless shelter or charity.