The Obit For Paul Mitchell

Paul Leon Mitchell

Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on August 4, 2011

Services for Paul Leon Mitchell, 89, of Tyler are scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, 2011, at Eubank Funeral chapel with the Rev. Don Childress officiating under direction of Eubank Funeral Home, Canton.

Burial will be in Haven of Memories, Canton.

Leon passed away Aug. 1, 2011, in Tyler with his daughters by his side.

He was born Dec. 5, 1921, in Martins Mill to Lucien and Verbie O. Selke Mitchell.

He graduated from Martins Mill High School in 1940. He entered Tyler Junior College on a basketball scholarship. His Apache team only lost three games in two full seasons. In 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy. He served with the 31st Seabees in the invasion of Iwo Jima and played baseball for the troops. At the end of World War II, he attended The University of Texas on a basketball and baseball scholarship, which earned him a UT baseball letter. After two years of college, he signed a professional baseball contract and played three full years of minor league baseball for four different teams. In 1949, he entered the oil business in Wichita Falls as an independent operator.

He married Vinita May Gorman in 1949 and had two daughters, Jeannine and Jacquelyn. Leon continued his career in East Texas living in Van, Dallas, Canton and finally Tyler. In 1994, he married Margaret Gray Tunnell and enjoyed 15 years of her gracious companionship. He remained a member of First Baptist Church of Canton.

Surviving are daughters, Jeannine Morris and husband Mike of Wichita Falls and Jacquelyn Thompson and husband Dave of Nacogdoches; daughters of marriage, Peggy Tunnell Wooldridge of Dallas and Alice Tunnell of Collinsville; and son of marriage, James Farris Tunnell of Heath; sister, Maefayr Hooten of Canton; sister-in-law, Jackie Mitchell of Canton; grandchildren, Joni Morris, Matthew Morris, Michael Morris, Marshall Morris, Erin Wilson, Amber White, Andrew Thompson; and five great-grandchildren.

Leon was preceded in death by parents, Lucien and Verbie O. Mitchell; wife, Margaret Gray Tunnell Mitchell; brothers, Tom Prestridge, D.D. Mitchell, Lucien Mitchell Jr.; and sister, Helen Barber.

Pallbearers are nephews, Errol Barber, David Barber, Gerald Mitchell, Rick Hooten, Steve Mitchell and Marshall Morris.

The family would especially like to thank Tommy and Barbara Gilbreath and Darlene Kennington for their compassionate care and love.

Memorial gifts may be made to Hospice of East Texas, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, 75701; or First Baptist Church, 303 S. Athens, Canton, 75103.

Family will receive friends Friday one hour prior to service at the funeral home.

To view online or to sign the guestbook, go to www.eubankfh.com.