ORONO AND BANGOR – Richard Arlen “Dick” Mitchell, 86, a resident at the Dirigo Pines Retirement Community in Orono, passed away on Sunday, February 21, 2016 ,with his family by his side. Richard, was born on August 16, 1929, in Bar Harbor, the son of Edna Walls Megquier and Lawrence Mitchell.
Richard, better known to others by Dick, attended schools in Bar Harbor, graduating in 1947 from Bar Harbor High School before attending Washington State Normal School, now known as University of Maine at Machias, for three years majoring in Elementary Education. Richard completed his Bachelor’s Degree and obtained his Masters Degree in Administration at the University of Maine at Orono. Dick began his teaching career in Bangor before being drafted into the Army. Richard served two years and was stationed in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Upon returning to Maine, Dick, with his wife, Frances, settled in the Bangor area. Richard taught sixth grade at the Vine Street School, was a teacher/principal at the Larkin Street School and then became Principal of Vine Street School, where he remained until his retirement in 1984. Richard spent twenty years working for the University of Maine system supervising student teachers in elementary education in schools in the Bangor and surrounding areas during his retirement. Richard was a lifetime member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bangor. He served in many capacities and on many committees. Dick with his wife, Frances, especially enjoyed serving as Eucharistic Visitors for the church visiting members that were homebound or in nursing homes. He so loved singing the hymns each Sunday in church. Richard was a member of the Penobscot County Retired Teachers Association and enjoyed attending the monthly meetings. Dick has attended every single one of his high school reunions since 1947. That would make 69 of them and he so loved to sing the Bar Harbor School Song each year. This past reunion he and his sister, Jackie, attended together in August and celebrated his birthday as well and that will always be a special memory. Family and friends were Dick’s love and joy. He was always working and taking care of his camps at Sugarloaf, USA and especially at Branch Lake moving rocks. He spent many hours working alongside his son, David, building rock walls or planting flowers and shrubs. Working outside was his passion and was always proud of his accomplishments. Dick had the ability to connect with anyone, young or old, sharing his love of life and many experiences. He and Frances enjoyed attending so many University of Maine Hockey and Basketball games, where he would see and talk with friends.
Richard is survived by his loving wife, Frances (Lawson) Mitchell of Orono; his daughter, Jody Benson and her husband, Jeff, of Auburn; son, David Mitchell and his wife, Marcia, of Bangor; sister, Jacqueline Hanf of Laconia, NH; and grandsons, Josh Benson and wife, Hannah, of North Wales, PA, Josh Clement of Bangor and Jordan Clement of Bradford. He leaves behind sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, many special nieces, nephews, and caring friends who were all dear to his heart. His wife’s sister, Alice, holds an extra special place and was loved so dearly by Dick. Dick was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Elaine Washburn; and grandson, Jamie Benson. The family of Dick Mitchell wishes to express their gratitude to the staff at Dirigo Pines who were such good friends to him and cared for him these last several months.
A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, February 28, 2016, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 225 French Street, Bangor, with the Rev. Canon Marguerite A.H. Steadman, rector, officiating. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor. A reception immediately following will be held at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center Street, Bangor .The family would like to extend a special invitation to all to come and share memories and have refreshments while honoring Richard “Dick” Mitchell. Those who wish to remember Dick in a special way may make gifts in his memory to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 234 French St., Bangor, ME 04401 as Dick so loved the music, and/or Special Olympics Maine, 125 John Roberts Rd., Suite #5, South Portland, ME 04605, in which he and Fran supported and enjoyed attending the competitions of the Special Olympic Athletes. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.