Larry Duane Mitchell was born in Atkinson, NE to Adrian and Eva (Syfie) Mitchell on August 26, 1936. He was later joined by a sister Sharon Mitchell and a brother Ronnie, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1957 at the young of 16.
Larry graduated from Butte High School in 1953. He grew up on a ranch North of Atkinson where he resided until his health and battle with diabetes forced him to spend his final days at Atkinson Good Samaritan Center. Growing up he had a love for speed and built his own race cars. He joined the Army in 1956 when he was 18. While in the Army he worked as a Military Policeman and told stories of boxing there too. He was honorably discharged in 1957 when his brother Ronnie was killed. After returning from the Army Larry got his pilot’s license in South Dakota. He worked as a crop duster, commercial pilot, and an instructor. His passion for flying became his livelihood. One could fill up pages of his adventures in the sky.
In 1961, Larry met the love of his life, Jo Ann Putnam, and they were married. To this union 3 children were born, Todd, Bar b, and Suzanne. He taught his son Todd to fly at a very early age; Todd had his pilot’s license before his driver’s license. Todd and Larry spent thousands of hours in the plane. Barb and Suz were part of the ground crew that kept the planes fueled and loaded with chemical. Larry’s face glowed when he talked of his Grandson Dalton Leu who is now a pilot.
Larry loved his grandkids; he always found time to spend with them. He had a love for Vizsla Dogs. His dog, Junior, could be found in the co-pilot seat in the plane. He also loved his horses, the last being Duke. They had a battle of wills with each other on a daily basis. Duke would join Larry and Jo Ann on the deck for a bit of molasses and coffee in the mornings.
Larry had many friends spread across the United States and some in other countries. He always was willing to help anyone in need. Hiring hitch hikers, or anyone down on their luck, some were pretty questionable!
Larry is survived by his wife Jo Ann of Atkinson; children Todd Mitchell of Atkinson, Barb Leu and her husband Randy of Columbus, NE, and Suzanne Mitchell and her friend Josh Erickson of Butte, NE; Grandchildren Natasia, Natina, Dalton, McKenzie, Parker, Sierra, Sydney, and Maggie; and a sister Sharon Mitchell and her husband Bob of Atkinson. He was preceded in death by his parents Adrian and Eva, and a brother Ronnie Mitchell.
Memorial Services on Saturday April 29, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Presbyterian Church in Atkinson
Memorial Visitation Saturday April 29, 2017 from 9 am until the funeral hour at the Presbyterian Church in Atkinson, NE