John R. Mitchell
It is with considerable sadness that the ANS announces the death of long-time guard and good friend John Mitchell, who died February 13, 2005. Almost anyone who has visited the ANS within the last three decades will certainly have met John, a man who quite exceptionally never missed a day of work at the ANS, and whose charm and good nature were hard to overlook.
Born in 1938 and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, John joined the US Army in 1973 and rose to the rank of sergeant in the 618th Quartermaster Battalion, part of the 77th Readiness Company. Receiving an honorable discharge in 1976, John continued to serve in the Army Reserves well into the 1990s; he received full military honors at his funeral. His experiences in the Army, particularly his time spent on bases in Germany, were always a source of humorous anecdotes, and at times, fond recollection. It was shortly after his discharge that John came to work for the ANS. He never lost the discipline that he learned in the military: ever loyal, and always more than willing to undertake any task happily (even unasked), John was exceptionally hardworking. Despite such grit he was also a gracious and giving person, often presenting small gifts to staff members for no reason other than to see a smile, often stopping work for a moment to tell a joke. For those of us who worked with John every day, his presence is sorely missed.