William Lawrence “Larry” Mitchell, 84, born January 26, 1938, of Washington (formerly of Rogersville), passed away Tuesday, January 10, 2023, in his home, with his family by his side. Born and raised in Nineveh, the son of the late T. Carl Mitchell and the late Ruth (Keigley) Mitchell, Larry was the second of three children. His sisters are the late Ruthann (Raymond) Goodwin, and Joan (Roger) Durbin of Beulah. Shortly after graduating from Waynesburg High School in 1955, Larry enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Company B, 1 st /110 Infantry. After a short tenure in the Guard, Larry enlisted in the U.S. Navy, completing Boot Camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois in August, 1956. Larry served four years in the Navy, the last two in Atsugi Japan. His rating was Aviation Structural Mechanic, with the rate of Petty Officer Third Class (E-4). Upon return from the Navy, Larry met and courted the love of his life, Ella Mae (Crouse) Mitchell. They were wed on January 27, 1962, sharing just shy of 61 years of marriage. Larry had three children, the first from a prior relationship, the late Jed (Judy) Howard of Houston Texas, formerly of Waynesburg, PA. Kelci (Evans) Kuster is Jed and Judy’s daughter. Larry and Ella’s two children are Doug (Trish) Mitchell of Morgantown, WV, and Jan (Bill) Britton of Washington, PA. Billy Britton of Carnegie, PA, Aaron Britton of California, PA, Abby Mitchell of Morgantown, WV, Jayme Britton of California, PA, and Cam Mitchell of Morgantown, WV, are Larry and Ella’s grandchildren. Larry also had many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
Larry worked for Plasteel, in Washington for 23 years, until the company dissolved. After working at Fox Ford in Waynesburg for a short time, Larry completed his work career, retiring from PennDOT.
Upon retirement, Larry enjoyed his routine in Rogersville, including getting the mail at the post office, visiting with cherished neighbors, and walking to Rush’s Grocery for coffee and gossip with his pals.
Larry loved Westerns, having watched many of the movies and television shows over and over. Other than family and friends, Larry’s passion was all things motor. His favorite brand was Ford, with the Model A and the 1932 being his top picks. He also liked other American brands. He and Ella bought a new, bright orange 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger and kept it pristine over the years. It remains in the family. He loved heavy trucks and machinery, particularly when he heard a “good gear jammer” running through the gears and the sound of a Jake break. He also loved the sound of a loud exhaust on a Ford truck or a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Larry was an accomplished truck driver himself. Additionally, Larry had the long-term goal of stepping foot in all 50 states. He accomplished his goal when he was 80 years old. Larry was one of the local men in Rogersville who organized the Center Township Fire Department, in 1963. He served many years in the department and held leadership positions including Secretary, Treasurer, and Assistant Fire Chief. He retired as an Honored Member. Larry was a longstanding member of the Rogersville United Methodist Church.
Larry’s immediate family will receive family and friends at the Kesterson-Rush Funeral Home on Saturday, January 14, from 3:00 P.M. to 7:00 PM. A fireman’s service will be conducted at the funeral home at 6 PM by the Center Township Fire Department. A second visitation will be on Sunday, January 15, from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. A funeral service, officiated by the Pastor Cynthia Deter, will follow at 1:00 P.M. at the funeral home followed by graveside services at the Rosemont Cemetery, with full military honors conducted by Active Duty US Navy and Greene County Honor Guard. A reception meal will then be served at the Center Township Fire Department fire hall.
On behalf of Larry, the family acknowledges and appreciates the outstanding care, competence, and compassion of Dr. Midhun Malla and entire care-team of the WVU Cancer institute, as well as the care-team of the Washington Amedisys Hospice.
In lieu of flowers or other memorial items, the family requests that donations be made to the WVU Cancer Institute.