Charles Hugh Mitchell, a 43-year resident of Colville, passed away on June 27, 2011, at the age of 90. Charles, (Chuck), was born on Feb. 18, 1921 in Sparta, Tennessee, the son of James and Lina Mitchell. Chuck was raised and attended school in Oklahoma. He graduated from high school in 1940. Following high school, Chuck spent a year in a CCC camp digging irrigation ditches and building fences and another year at a NYA radio school learning repair and transmissions. In 1942, Chuck joined the United States Navy and following boot camp he became one of the first members of the unit that opened the Farragut Naval Station (North Idaho) to process recruits. Mitchell met his future wife Mary Jane while stationed there. They were married August 25, 1946. A medic, Mitchell joined a mobile hospital unit and starting with the early Pacific campaign on Guadalcanal, he spent the rest of World War II following the operations on various islands in the South Pacific. Returning to Oklahoma in 1946, his brother, Lloyd, encouraged him to go to college and that fall, Mitchell enrolled at Oklahoma State University. He also attended the University of Oklahoma and eventually earned his degree in pharmacy at Washington State University in 1950. As a member of the naval reserves, Mitchell was recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict, serving as a pharmacist at the Tongue Point Naval Hospital in Astoria, Oregon. Released from active duty in 1952, he eventually moved to Kellogg, Idaho, then Sandpoint, Idaho, where he worked as a pharmacist for Ross’ Rexall Drug Store until coming to Colville. Although working for different companies provided an income, it was always Chuck’s dream to own his own store so he could be his own boss and be independent. With a large family, accomplishing this goal took a lot of planning and a golden opportunity. That opportunity came in May 1968, when Chuck purchased Kohlstedt’s Pharmacy in Colville. The pharmacy will be fondly remembered for its soda fountain, where many birthday milkshakes were served and interesting conversation took place over a good cup of coffee and a slice of pie. Chuck was known as an honest, hard-working businessman who offered help to those who needed it. He would go out of his way to fill and deliver a prescription, no matter what time of night or day. Chuck served his community as a member of the Kiwanis Club, and volunteered as a Little League Umpire. In addition, he was elected president of the Shoshone County Pharmaceutical Association and of the National Retail Druggists’ Association. Chuck was an avid golfer, reader, and bowler. He belonged to the Colville Bowling League for many years. He also loved to walk, fish, play ping pong and tennis. Chuck was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane; by his daughter, Shelley, and by his brothers, John and Don. He is survived by his brother, Lloyd, Oklahoma City; sons, Jeffrey Mitchell and wife Laurie, Deer Park; Scott Mitchell, Seattle; Michael Mitchell, Carbondale, Colorado; and by his daughter, Merikaye Thamm and husband Tim, Big Lake, Alaska; three grandchildren, Ryan Thamm, Kelsey Marre and husband Casey and Emily Mitchell. Funeral service for Charles Mitchell will be held on Thursday, July 7 at 11 a.m. at the Colville Church of God.
Danekas Funeral Chapel has been entrusted with the arrangements.