The Coast News Group

Obituary – Donard Wade Mitchell

Don W. Mitchell

In Loving Memory of  Donard Wade Mitchell                                  June 22, 1928  –  January 19, 2022

Don W. Mitchell passed away peacefully while surrounded by family members on January 19, 2022 in Carlsbad following a courageous and lengthy battle with Parkinson’s.

Don was born at his grandfather’s farmhouse in Mt. Perry, Ohio on June 22, 1928 to Ralph and Sara Mitchell (Sterrett). 

Upon graduation from Glenford High School, he immediately enlisted in the Naval Aviation Midshipman program.

It was a nine-year commitment: 2 years of college, then 5 years of active duty as a Navy pilot, followed by 2 more years of college that allowed you to obtain a degree in any profession you chose.

The oldest of four boys, all of whom served in the military, he was the first person in his family tree to graduate from college. 

He earned an undergraduate degree in accounting in 1954 and a J.D. in 1957, both from the University of Colorado (CU), while also flying in the Navy Reserves Program during his schooling.

While at CU, Don met the love of his life, Susan Brown of North Hollywood, also a CU student. They were married in 1956 and relocated to San Diego, CA before moving to Cardiff, CA in 1958.

Don joined Ward Kimball’s law practice in downtown Encinitas, CA in 1962 where Kimball & Mitchell was born; they may have been the only lawyers in Encinitas at the time.

Don was involved with Toastmasters, Encinitas YMCA and the Encinitas Community Resource Center. He was elected to the San Dieguito Union High School Board of Trustees, where he served from 1964-1979, and was the Board President from 1966-1972.

He was proud of the fact that his total lifetime campaign contributions came out of his own pocket and amounted to the cost of two postage stamps, which were required on the envelope containing his submission to run for office.

He was a member of the Scripps Memorial Hospital Foundation for many years, and also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Scripps.

Don was a member of the Rotary Club of Encinitas and greatly enjoyed the relationships established and nurtured over every Wednesday lunches for 50-plus years. 

He had a wonderful group of friends that he played poker with once a month where the night’s “big winner” would be lucky to take home $5. 

He was an avid runner, starting with a YMCA supported program in the 60’s called “Run For Your Life”. He entered a countless number of 10K events and was actively running past age 75.

After 40 years of the active practice of law, Don retired at the age 70. He continued to act as a trustee, executor and fiduciary for clients and charitable trusts who requested that of him until age 85.

Through it all, Don was most focused on his family.

He was a man of incredible patience, honesty and good temperament. He was a good listener, filled with wisdom and had a wholesome, positive spirit born from his family-first mid-western roots. 

He laid a strong foundation for family members to follow. He will be missed, but his legacy remains secure with those he touched and forever loved.

Don is survived by his wife of 65 years, Susan Mitchell; two children, Scott Mitchell (Lisa) of San Clemente, CA and Laurie Owen (Brad) of Carlsbad, CA; and three grandchildren, Kelsey Mitchell of San Clemente, Sam Owen of San Diego and Matt Owen of Chicago, IL.

Charitable donations in his memory may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of San Dieguito, where he served as a trustee of the foundation.

A celebration of Don’s life will be held on Friday, February 11 at 10:30 am at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, where he was a member since 1959.