May 22, 1925 - November 12, 2019
On May 22, 1925 in Baltimore, Maryland, Mary Jane Stewart and Levin Hill welcomed into the world fraternal twins, David Henry (the oldest by 15 minutes, he was told) and his brother, Joseph Levin. Much of his first five years of life were spent at 1211 Edmondston Avenue in the city with his Aunt Belle.
In 1930, David along with his twin brother and their sister, Flora, came to Cape Charles, 612 Peach Street, to be raised by his beloved Aunt Sally Nottingham Mitchell and Uncle Jesse Mitchell and his cousins whom he regarded very dearly as his sister and brothers.
David was educated and graduated from the Cape Charles Elementary School “over the hump” which is recognized as one of the historic Rosenwald School in the United States.
Always industrious and desiring to earn an honest dollar and be a productive contributor to his family, David worked in a variety of jobs as a young man. He worked as a milker, bottler and delivery man at the Gladstone Dairy, Heckle and Kellogg Ice Plant (the present site of Rayfield’s Pharmacy) both in Cape Charles. He cut pulpwood for Mr. James Davis, who also had a taxi service transporting people to the Kiptopeke Ferry. He later became a custodian at the Virginia Ferry Corporation Northern Terminal and at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District Administration Building. He was later given a position as a short order cook at the Ferry Terminal. In 1964, when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel opened, while serving in current capacity, he was observed for his great work and was called into the office and offered a new position. He became the first African American law enforcement officer in the security division. He held that position for 21 years and proudly retired in 1987 after a total of 37 years of service.
In 1952 David received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He was born again, baptized and became an active member of the First Baptist Church Cape Charles under the pastorage of the late Saint Elmo Pugh. He was ordained as a deacon in the late 1960s and was elevated to Chairmanship under the pastorage of the Reverend R. W. Wilson. He remained chairman until his passing. Devoted to serving God and his church was immeasurable.
On Christmas Day, 1957, he united in holy matrimony to the former Mabel Chapman. They were married in Norfolk, VA by the late Saint Elmo Pugh who had relocated there. From this devoted, faithful, and loving marriage two children were born, Laurie and Darren. They celebrated 61 years, 11 months and 12 days together.
Deacon Mitchell was blessed awesomely with very good health for the majority of his long life. Through God’s amazing grace he allowed him to survive four strokes over the past two years.
He enjoyed a God-inspired relationship with Pastor Sessoms that extended past their leadership roles to a very special personal friendship for the past 17 years. The relationship strengthen even more during his final days and as he transitioned home.
David was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings: Joseph Mitchell, Flora Fields, Alice Mitchell Sample, Willis Mitchell, Robert Mitchell, Milton Stewart, Nathan Stewart, William Stewart, Marion Grant, and Marcella Stewart; and his only son, Darren Craig Mitchell.
On Tuesday November 12, 2019, Deacon Mitchell peacefully slipped into eternity to be with xthe Lord with his wife, daughter and niece by his side at the Heritage Hall Nursing Facility, Nassawadox, VA. He leaves to cherish so many beautiful memories of his life with his loving and devoted wife, Mabel, his daughter, Laurie, one sibling, Ruby Washington, New York; a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins, friends, the Cape Charles Community and his beloved First Baptist Church Family.