Major General (Retired) Robert J. Mitchell, age 77, of Jasper, Indiana, passed away at 9:35 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, 2014, at home.
Robert was born on November 4, 1936 in Petersburg, Indiana to Robert D. and Charlotte (Stewart) Mitchell. He married Carolyn Ward on May 29, 1964 at Winslow Christian Church in Winslow, Indiana.
Robert was a retired Major General of the Indiana National Guard. Robert began his military career when he enlisted in the Army Reserve on 15 September 1953 and served as a military police officer with the 341st Military Police Company. From 1955 to 1959, General Mitchell served on Active duty as an operations specialist and a communications chief with the field artillery. He served in the Individual Ready Reserve then enlisted in Company D, 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry.
General Mitchell attended the Indiana Military Academy and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 12 July 1964.
His first commissioned service was as a Weapons Platoon Leader for Company B, 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry. He served the next 14 years in the 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry in a variety of command and staff positions to include Liaison Officer, Company Executive Officer, Headquarters Company Commander, C Company Commander, Battalion Operations and Training Officer (S-3 Air), Operations and Training Officer (S-3), and Battalion Executive Officer.
He then served as Operations and Training Officer (S-3) for 76th Brigade, 38th Infantry.
In 1979 he returned to 1st Battalion 152nd Infantry, again as the Battalion Executive Officer.
Subsequent duty assignments included Director of Industrial Operations at Camp Atterbury; Executive Officer for Camp Atterbury; Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion 152nd Infantry Military Support Officer, Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment STARC, Indiana Army National Guard; Commander 2d Brigade 38th Infantry Division, Assistant Adjutant General (Army) for the State of Indiana, Assistant Division Commander, 38th Infantry Division; and Deputy STARC Commander, INARNG.
He assumed Command of the 38th Infantry Division (Mechanized) on August 7, 1995. He was promoted to his rank of Major General on August 7, 1995.
In January 1997, he was appointed by Governor O’Bannon as the Adjutant General for the Indiana Army and Air National Guard.
He also worked in the coal industry and was a lobbyist for the Indiana and Illinois Coal Council.
After his retirement, he served as an Army Advisor to the Country of Georgia to prepare the Georgia for admission into NATO. He was also an honorary member of the General’s Club in the country of Slovakia.
He was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash twice; He was also awarded the title of “Kentucky Colonel”.
He has an honorary doctorate from Oakland City University.
In later years he was an associate professor in mining technology for Vincennes University.
He was knighted a member of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem
He was a lifetime member of the Petersburg VFW Post #3587
He enjoyed traveling and reading
The General is survived by his wife, Carolyn Mitchell of Jasper; one daughter, Robyn Mitchell of Cincinnati, Ohio; three sons, Robert C. Mitchell of Bloomington, Ryan Mitchell and his wife Angela, of Charlotte, N.C. and Richard Mitchell and Kelli, of Ft. Campbell, Ky.; two grandchildren, Emma and Aaron Mitchell; one brother, Fred Mitchell and his wife Linda, of Petersburg.
Preceding him in death were his parents.
Funeral services for Robert Mitchell will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 9, 2014, at the Indiana National Guard Armory in Jasper, Indiana, with entombment to follow in the Fairview Cemetery Mausoleum in Jasper. An Army Chaplin will officiate. The Military Department of Indiana Ceremonial Unit will conduct military gravesite rites.
Friends may call from 2:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at the Indiana National Guard Armory in Jasper, Indiana and again from 10:30 to 12:30 on Friday, May 9, 2014, at the Indiana National Guard Armory in Jasper, Indiana.
Memorial contributions may be made to a favorite charity.
Online condolences may be made at www.becherkluesner.com.