James Lee Mitchell

Birth: August 3rd, 1927
Death: April 15th, 2018
Age: 90 years

James Lee Mitchell died peacefully on Sunday, April 15, 2018, from a variety of health complications. He entered this world on August 3, 1927, in Franklin, West Virginia, which was his historical and sentimental home. He moved to East Lansing at an early age until marriage, but considered Saginaw as home after arriving in 1977. His wife of over 60 years, Barbara Lee (Service) predeceased him on 24 July 2009 and their daughter, Marie Elizabeth, on 1 May 2014.


Surviving are his adult children: Kristen Deborah (Dane) Fuelling of Otsego, MI; Phillip Lee (Barbara) Mitchell of Camus, WA; James Lee III (Beth) Mitchell of White Cloud, MI. Also surviving is a brother, Samuel J. (Karen) Mitchell of Traverse City, MI. His older sister, Katherine K. Hagen, of Traverse City, MI, died on 24 July 2006. Younger survivors include four grandchildren, David, Elizabeth, Brian, and Jennifer; five great grandchildren, Parker, Emily, Tyler, Lucas, and Gillian; many nephews and nieces.


After high school, James served in the Army of WWII and then graduated from Michigan State University in 1950 with a BA degree. He spent nine years in Lansing in a family business engaged in land development, residential construction, and real estate sales. He returned to MSU in 1959 to obtain MBA and DBA degrees to prepare for a career in college teaching. He married Barbara on December 18, 1948, at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lansing, MI. After marriage, they lived in Lansing, Ypsilanti, and Kalamazoo before moving to Saginaw in 1977 to join Saginaw Valley State University as professor of accounting and in 1979 as Dean of the College of Business and Management. He retired as Dean from SVSU in December of 1992. Until recent years, James was active in many local organizations: The Advisory Board of the Salvation Army (past Treasurer), The Saginaw Choral Society (past President), SVRC Industries (past Chairman of the Board), The SVRC Foundation, The SVRC Transition Academy (past Secretary-Treasurer), and has remained active in the First Congregational Church, and has served on its Board as Secretary and President, and The Saginaw Rotary Club of Downtown as President and Treasurer. James is fondly remembered as a loving husband and father, and as a kind, considerate, and willing volunteer. He is sadly missed.


Visitation will be held Friday, April 20, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Fischer Family Funeral Home, 504 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, MI 48602. Visitation will continue at First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Avenue, Saginaw, MI 48607, on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. Private entombment will take place at Oakwood Mausoleum, Saginaw.


In lieu of flowers, those interested are asked to consider a memorial to the Barbara Lee Mitchell Endowed Scholarship in Vocal Music, the James L. Mitchell Endowment for the College of Business and Management, or to First Congregational Church, care of the church.


For information, please call (989) 755-8277. For online condolences, please visit www.fischerfuneral.com.

Please contact the Funeral Services Provider if you wish to report any errors in this notification, or if you would like any additional information.


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