Mitzel (1928 - 2010)
Gene Mitzel died in his home on September 8th, 2010. He was 82. He was born August 18th, 1928 to George and Arabella Mitzel in Boonville, Missouri. He came to California in 1936 settling in Oroville, California. He came to Red Bluff, California in 1944 where he attended Red Bluff Union High School. He excelled in baseball and football and graduated with the class of 1947. He received a scholarship to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to participate in their football program but decided instead to sign a professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals farm system located in Willows, California. He also played in Fresno, California. He was drafted in 1951 and served in the US Army during the Korean War.
He returned to Red Bluff and married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Brainerd in 1952. They moved to Oroville, California where he began working for Butte County Road Department, and where their three sons were born. He became Road Foreman over the Paradise Road District and moved there with the family in 1964. The family remained there until his retirement in 1982. When his wife retired in 1991 they built a home in Lake Almanor West in Chester, California and remained there until 2004 when they returned to Red Bluff. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, but his passion was his family. He will be greatly missed by family and his many friends.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, sons Michael and wife Joyce Mitzel of Red Bluff, William Mitzel of La Verne, California, Robert Mitzel of Folsom, California, grandsons Kyle, Steven, Christopher and Peter, granddaughters Susan and Michelle, great-grandson Henry, sister-in-law Barbara Phipps of San Jose, brothers-in-law James Brainerd and wife Audry of Simi Valley, Robert Brainerd and wife Erin of Red Bluff. He was preceded in death by his father, mother and brother Paul.
The family is especially grateful to his sister-in-law Barbara Phipps, St. Elizabeth Home Health and Hospice staff, and Dr. David Dahnke who helped provide care and comfort during his final days. Services were held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Red Bluff on September 11, 2010. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in Lake Almanor. Donations in his memory may be made to St. Elizabeth Hospice, Juvenile Diabetes Association or the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.