William Franklin Mitchell, Jr., 73, formerly of Due West, SC, died September 25, 2021, at his home in Summerville, SC. He was born March 29, 1948, in Statesville, NC, to the late Rev. William Franklin Mitchell, Sr., and Mary Elizabeth Gibert Mitchell.
A 1966 graduate of Clinton (SC) High School, Mr. Mitchell earned a BA in Mathematics from Erskine College, Due West, SC, in 1970. In addition, he completed a Masters degree in Education at Clemson University.
Mr. Mitchell spent his entire career in education, first teaching physics, math, and computer science at Belton-Honea Path High School. In 1976, he began his employment with Erskine College, where he developed their computer system from the ground up and served as Computer Operations Supervisor. In 1985, he was named Director of Computer Services, a position he held until 2003. His final years of teaching were spent at Northside Middle School in Greenwood, SC, where he used innovative methods to bring science to life. During that time, he had the privilege of attending Space Academy for Educators in Huntsville, AL.
Franklin had a life-long interest in technology, especially electronics, building a crystal radio from a kit in his youth. He was also an active ham radio operator (WB4BWK) for years. Franklin enjoyed soccer, coaching youth soccer in Due West and keeping score for Erskine College home games. He also taught friends and family members to snow ski. Franklin learned about Romania from friends he met in Due West and at “Space Camp,” and made several trips to that country. At home, he collected vintage computers and stray cats.
Mr. Mitchell was an active member of the Due West ARP Church, serving as a deacon and managing the sound system for years. After moving to Summerville, he enjoyed worshipping with Scots Kirk ARP Church.
Mr. Mitchell was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his children, Rev. James “Jim” Mitchell (Crystal) of Summerville, who provided care in their home for him as his health declined, Amanda “Mandy” Gaston (Kyl) and Emily Mitchell, both of Greer, and William “Bill” Mitchell (April) of Spartanburg; grandchildren, Emmy, Lydia, Rhett, and Paxton Mitchell, Abby, Aidan, and Alec Gaston, William and Adam Mitchell; sisters, Jane Mitchell of Rock Hill and the Rev. Kathryn Dudley (David) of Sanford, NC. He is also survived by many friends, including those who provided special assistance in his transition to Summerville,
Florica Saracut, Tiberius “Tibi” and Juliet Botescu, and Dr. Jimmy “Doc” Wilkinson.
Funeral services will be held 2:00PM, Wednesday, September 29, 2021, in Due West ARP Church, with interment in the church cemetery following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the George Franklin and Ethel Williams Mitchell Seminary Scholarship Fund, Erskine Seminary, PO Box 338, Due West, SC 29639.
A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting www.harrisfuneral.com.
Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Abbeville is assisting the Mitchell family.