Larry Mitchell


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 Service

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


Online Condolences


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John Amen

Years ago I looked forward to annual hunting trips to spend time with Larry and Todd. My condolences.

 Posted April 29, 2017 - 8:54am
Dennis & Roxanne Ryan

Dear JoAnn and family,
Our sincere sympathy and prayers; Larry was a one-of-a-kind nice fellow...
cherish all your memories.

 Posted April 28, 2017 - 11:18am
Sean & Julie Putnam

JoAnn and family. Please accept my most heartfelt condolences and sympathies on the passing of Larry. I have many fond memories of time spent with your family and with Larry. He was a great man and certainly went out of his way to include our family in yours and to that I am very appreciative. My thoughts are with your family at this time of your loss.

 Posted April 27, 2017 - 9:18pm
Connie Schaaf

Joann and sorry to hear of the passing of Larry. Leon always had lots of stories of their times together. Praying and thinking of you during this difficult time.

 Posted April 27, 2017 - 3:36pm
Leroy Wiekamp

My sympathies to all of Larry's families. I remember him from the O'Neill airport when I worked there in the summers taking aerial cropland photos. He was always good to me and that goes for JoAnn and Todd as well. I remember him talking about cropdusting rice fields in Louisiana. He had a long flight history and many good stories. Sometimes there is no place else to turn but to the Lord and it is my hope you are doing that during this very tough time in your lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you

 Posted April 26, 2017 - 2:10pm
Boyd MItchell

Joann and family, very sorry to hear about Larry. He was larger than Life and will be missed by many. If your last name is MItchell you were always asked how you are related to Larry no matter where you were! We are certainly thinking of all of you at this time and our sympathy goes out to you.

 Posted April 25, 2017 - 11:28am
Gerry Coburn

Joe Ann and family: It is with much sadness that I read this morning of Larry's passing. It doesn't seem possible it has been sixty plus years since Larry and I shared so many good times while we were going to high school in Butte. I remember Larry and his love for cars even then and how he was always looking for someone to play pool with him. It was even Larry who after I had welded a straight pipe for his Ford convertible talked me into going to Atkinson one Tuesday night where I first met my future wife, Norma. Rest in peace Larry and I will always remember those good times.

Gerry Coburn

 Posted April 25, 2017 - 10:07am
Karen Reiser

JoAnn and family - our most sincere sympathy to you. Larry was one-of-a-kind and will be greatly missed. May God comfort you in your loss. With love, Virgil, Karen & Vanessa Reiser

 Posted April 24, 2017 - 3:34pm

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