Grandpa David Mitchell | 1938 – 2010
Grandpa David was an incredible man, and the inspiration behind naming our agency after the original Mitchell’s Garage- which is still standing today in Steptoe, Washington.
One day, while working around the house, Derrick found an old saw that Grandpa David had given him. On the silver metal case was riveted a familiar metal tag that grandpa used to put on things that the shop manufactured. It said, “Manufactured by Mitchell’s Garage.”
As soon as Derrick saw that tag, something sparked inside of him and he knew we had to rename our agency in honor and loving memory of Grandpa David. After a quick phone call to Derrick’s Grandma to see what she thought, a new domain name was purchased and we set off with a new vigor and restored vision for our agency.
Mitchell’s Garage | Creative Media Chop Shop is a boutique web development and branding company that specializes in creating one-of-a-kind solutions for businesses large and small. We are excited about cultivating lasting working relationships and helping our clients achieve success within their industry.
The following is Grandpa David’s obituary, in loving memory.
72, life long Steptoe mechanic, died at his Steptoe home on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010. Funeral Services will be held Thursday, Dec. 30th at 10:00 am at the First Baptist Church in Colfax. Burial will follow at Bethel Cemetery, Steptoe. Viewing will be Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-5 at Bruning Funeral Home.
David was born March 18, 1938 in Colfax to C.S. “Dell” and Edith Mae (Bartlett) Mitchell. He grew up in Steptoe and was a member of the last full graduating class at Steptoe High School in 1956 before the school closed. David attended Washington State College in Pullman for a time before changing to Eastern Washington and completing a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts.
He married Mary Ann Sommerfeld of Colfax November 18, 1961. They lived in Seattle for a couple of years where each worked for the Boeing Co. Once they started their family, however, they decided to move back to Steptoe and David took over the family business. “Mitchell’s Garage” has been a fixture in Whitman County for nearly ninety-years. David and his dad specialized in customer service – day or night – with the wrecker service and repair. Local farmers could always count on them. David later went to radiator school and the shop began to specialize in radiator repair.
Through the years, David kept busy with several other hobbies and interests. In 1998 he retired as Lt. Col. with more than 27 years in the Washington Air National Guard. He served well over 50 years as a member of the Steptoe Volunteer Fire Dept and had served as Assistant Chief and as Fire Chief and at the time of his death was serving as a Fire Commissioner for Whitman County Fire District 11. David volunteered many hours over the years cooking hamburgers at the fireman’s fair booth where his familiar smile was known to many.
He was honored with a parade by the Steptoe Community at one of their celebrations. His “shop” has been his hobby and over the years he has kept busy with a number of projects from creating home and garden artwork made from old radiator and automotive parts to cutting figurines out of wood and hand-painting them. He could fix anything and make it run.
David was active in the Colfax Elks and had served as its Exalted Ruler not once, but twice. He enjoyed the outdoors and especially liked fishing, hunting and camping. He and Mary Ann would often travel to the Pendleton Round-up in their motor home and had made many friends there over the years. They enjoyed watching their grandchildren’s various activities and were always proud supporters of all of them.
David wasn’t one to sit idle and even after selling his radiator business in 2007 he kept busy with numerous projects.
He will be missed by his wife of nearly 50 years; Mary Ann, at their Steptoe home; his daughter, Dr. Christine Mitchell of Pendleton, OR; and son Cary Mitchell and his wife Valarie of Spokane; his four grandchildren, Derrick and wife Jennah, Brittney, Crystal and Taylor and his three great-grandchildren, Jaylin, Audrey, and Evelyn, and his sister Joan and her husband Sam Durante of Spokane as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.