John “Johnny” Claiborne Mitchell Jr., 78, of Ocean Springs passed away on April 18, 2023 at his home surrounded by family after a long battle with lung disease.
He was born on November 4, 1944 to the late John and Georgia Shell Mitchell in Biloxi. After John graduated from Ocean Springs High School in 1963, he went on to study at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Hotel Management. His spirit of adventure took him back packing through California and Europe after graduation.
John went on to work as a bellhop at the Buena Vista then he joined the ranks of Civil Service workers on Keesler Air Force Base. In 1976, John married Kathy Elaine Sullivan, and they settled down in Ocean Springs. During this time, he also began an exterior house washing business known throughout the community as “Mitchell’s House Washing,” one of the first of its kind on the Gulf Coast. He continued his Civil Service career until he retired in January of 2003.
After retirement, he devoted his time collecting stamps, guns, and an array of memorabilia. His personal collection of Early Casino Memorabilia is on display at the Harrison County Library. He also volunteered with his mom as a Pink Lady at Ocean Springs Hospital and was an active member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Georgia Shell Mitchell; sister, Sue Mitchell Ray; and brother-in-law, Rawhide Ray.
He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy Sullivan Mitchell; sisters, Laurie Mitchell Gollott and Cindy Mitchell (Bob) Peters; daughters, Wendie Hawkins and Denise (Jeff) Webb; son, Clay Mitchell; grandchildren, Paige Webb (Allen) Hut, Morgan Webb (Shay) Hodges, Madison Webb, Nicholas (Asia) Hawkins, Anna Grace Webb, Emily Mitchell, Trevor Hawkins, and Braxton Hawkins; niece, Tammy Toche (Robert) Harrison; nephews, Jonathan (Stephanie) Toche and Aaron Peters.
The family would like to extend a thank you to the Singing River Hospice of Light for their dedication and beautiful service to the family.
A Mass will be held at 2pm on Monday, April 24, 2023 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 502 Jackson Ave., Ocean Springs. Friends may visit from 12pm to 2pm.
Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of John Mitchell, Jr.