Remembering Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell

There is no place like home … and for William R (Bill) Mitchell his wish was granted. Bill passed away on March 7, 2019 in his home surrounded by family and all his treasured collection of just about everything.

Bill was born on April 14, 1949 in Shreveport, LA to Thomas Mitchell and Annette Bessner. Brother Paul arrived a year later, and the family returned to Anacortes in 1951. In 1956 Mark completed that chapter of the family.  In 1968 Tom married Phyllis King and two more brothers, Rick and Lane and sister Diele became part of the Mitchell clan. Bill's life took a turn, that he later credited for saving his life and putting him on a more creative path. An auto accident claimed his ability to walk and he was confined to his wheel chair for 48 years. This allowed him to turn his focus to his art and set him on a course that will continue to grace Anacortes for years to come. Amazing accomplishment for an artist who had also lost the use of his fingers.

His roots were deep, and his love of all things Anacortes fueled Bill's passion to preserve and honor the rich history on Fidalgo Island. Always one to champion saving a cherished building and hoping to spruce up the community, Bill created the Anacortes Mural Project. The first mural was mounted May 3, 1984. The project generated a life of its own and currently there are over 160 murals on display and several that were still in the planning stages. Bill loved parades, mermaids, cars, pirates, WWII mementos, to name but a few and never taking no for an answer. He would share his vision and enthusiasm with everyone who took the time to listen. His impact will remain within all of us.

Bill graduated with the AHS Class of 67 and he loved adding his artistic touch to their class reunions. His classmates speak fondly of his efforts and his many stories and antics.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Rick and Lane Mitchell. Bill is survived by Paul & Aaron Mitchell; Mark, Vicki & Bethany Mitchell; Phyllis Mitchell; Diele & Stuart Harrold; Danielle, Tryg & Wylder Littlefield; Kirsten & Bryan Cox; Josh, Chelsey, Carter & Ari Harrold; Seth Harrold; Keisha & Garrett Masaoka, extended family and dear friends.

The family would like to thank all the caregivers at Island Hospital, Peace Health, Skagit Hospice and especially Jo Graf.

Service date and time of Bill’s Memorial Celebration are yet to be determined. An announcement will be made in the papers as well as the Evans website when they are finalized.

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