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Judge John Winship Mitchell

Male 1947 - 1999  (51 years)

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  • Name John Winship Mitchell  [1
    Prefix Judge 
    Born 25 Aug 1947  San Augustine, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 13 Jul 1999  Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • "Judge John Mitchell Dies On Mexico Vacation"...SAN AUGUSTINE TRIBUNE Vol XC, San Augustine, Texas Thursday July 15, 1999 (page 1)

      State District Judge John W. Mitchell, who grew up in the shadow of County Courthouse and the State Capitol, died in a swimming accident Tuesday afternoon while vacationing on the West Coast of Mexico.

      Judge Mitchell, of San Augustine, the sitting Judge of the 273rd District Court, which serves San Augustine, Sabine and Shelby Counties, and his family were vacationing at a popular Mexico West Coast resort when the accident occurred. They were accompanied by two friends of their teen-age children.

      Funeral arrangements are pending at the Wyman Roberts Funeral Home in San Augustine.  It was not known at mid-day Wednesday when his body would be released from Mexico.

      Judge Mitchell's brother, District Attorney Charles Mitchell, and Mrs. Mitchell, were enroute to Dallas DFW Airport Wednesday afternoon to meet Judge Mitchell's family, who were flying home and were returning to San Augustine Wednesday night.

      Funeral plans will be announced from Wyman Roberts Funeral Home.

      Judge Mitchell was born into a family of jurists and statesmen. His grandfather, Judge W. C. Ramsey was County Judge and District Judge. His uncle, and former law partner Gov. Ben Ramsey was Lieutenant Governor of the State longer than any other man at that time, and served as State Representative, State Senator and Railroad Commissioner in a career covering nearly 50 years.

      Judge Mitchell was a graduate of San Augustine High School (Note: he was Valedictorian in 1965), graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (1972), practiced law with his uncles, Ben Ramsey and C.S. Ramsey, succeeded his uncle C.S. Ramsey as San Augustine City Attorney, was appointed and later elected County Attorney; was appointed to the State District Judgeship 273rd District to succeed Judge J.L. Smith of San Augustine and has been elected to two successive terms on the State bench.

      Judge Mitchell's Court sat for regular semi-annual terms in the three counties jurisdiction, and held numerous special settings in each county.

      In addition to his full load as a jurist, Judge Mitchell was a devoted family man, devoting much time to his children at school and extra-curricular activities, and was devotedly attentive to his aging parents, Lou Ramsey Mitchell and the late Rudy Mitchell. He was supporter of the 4-H and FFA and FHA programs and was a visible buyer at the annual (auction).

      In a follow-up article dated Thursday, July 22, the Tribune reported that: "Funeral services for Judge Mitchell were held Saturday, July 17 at 11:00 o'clock at Christ Church Episcopal in San Augustine with burial in the San Augustine City Cemetery, Father Reginald Milburn Church's (conducting) services for the burial of the dead. Some 100 family and friends gathered inside the historic church building while over 500 friends gathered on the shaded lawn for the services. The Texas Department of Public Safety provided an Honor Guard for the services and they were joined by local and visiting police officers, sheriff's officers and officials from the three counties of the 273rd District. A flag folding ritual by the DPS team at the Cemetery presented the Casket Covering Texas Flag to Judge Mitchell's mother, Lurette Ramsey Mitchell at the end of the service. Judge Mitchell is survived by his wife, Lucy Meyer Mitchell; son Jody Mitchell, daughter Ginny Mitchell all of San Augustine.......

      Pallbearers were family members, Pierre M. Stine, Ben S. Ramsey, Gray B. Jolink, William C. Ramsey, C. Fred Meyer, John P. Seale, Kenneth B. Meyer, Joseph F. Meyer IV. Honorary Pallbearers were the Go-Texan Committee, of which he formerly served as Ambassador, Mike Adams, Vic Ettridge, Roger Holt, Billy Archer, Jamie Doherty, Dan Fussel, Jack Nichols, Norrell Thomas, Richard Hardy, Rod McLerran, Jimmy C. Morris, "Raggy" Stripling.

      Judge Mitchell's service to the County and State is varied, and he served the Democratic Party as County Party Chairman for eight years, 1978 through 1985, an elective party office. He served the City of San Augustine for 16 years as city attorney, 1973 through 1989 and served the County of San Augustine as County Attorney for three years (1989-1992) before being appointed to the State District Court bench (in September 1992. He was) elected as the Democratic Candidate in 1994 and 1998. "

      This article included other professional and civic organizations that Judge Mitchell was active in, too numerous to list. It also included 15 or so pictures related to Judge Mitchell, highlighting his judicial and civic activism. A related article entitled "You're a Young Old Timer....if You Remember"  pointed out that "too often we take those we see every day for granted and I'm afraid that's what we did to John Mitchell. I'm afraid we saw him every day and failed to recognize his greatness..." Finally, a related pictorial shows the various buildings around San Augustine that flew their flags at half-mast on the day of the funeral in Judge Mitchell's honor.

      The announcement of Judge's Mitchell's accidental death was at around the same time as the announcement of the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr. in a plane crash off Martha's Vineyard.
    Person ID I1118  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 1 Oct 2014 

    Father Luther Burton "Rudy" Mitchell,   b. 31 Jan 1908, Sabine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Aug 1998, San Augustine, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Mother Emma Lurette Ramsey,   b. 30 Jan 1911, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Nov 2009, San Augustine, San Augustine County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 98 years) 
    Married Dec 1933  Newton, Newton County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • Luther (Red) Mitchell and Lurette Ramsey were married at Newton, Texas.

      San Augustine Tribune, Thursday, May 4, 2006
      Decade of the Great Depression 1933 by Harry P. Noble p 10
    Family ID F775  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Living 
     1. Living
     2. Living
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2006 
    Family ID F780  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 25 Aug 1947 - San Augustine, San Augustine County, Texas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 13 Jul 1999 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Documents At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.

  • Sources 
    1. [S342] San Augustine Tribune, weekly, 807 E. Columbia, San Augustine, TX, (San Augustine Tribune, USPS No. 479-040, Published every Thursday at 807 E. Columbia St., San Augustine, Texas 75972 Stephen Hays & Arlan Hays, Publishers. Postmaster: Change of Address notice should be made at P.O. Box 539, San Augustine, Texas 75972. The Tribune is a continuation of the Texas Chronicle moved from Galveston to San Augustine in 1837 and published as the Redlander.).

    2. [S336] The Sabine County Reporter, P.O. Box 700, Hemphill, Texas (Published Weekly), (Founded in 1883, The Sabine County Reporter (USPS 474-660) is published once a week on Wednesday. The Reporter is Published by Sabine County Reporter, Inc. Postmaster: Send change of address to P.O. Box 700, Hemphill, Texas 75948-0700. The Sabine County Reporter and The Rambler merged March 1, 1988. Member National Newspaper Association and Texas Press Association.), December 2, 2009, Page 14 (Reliability: 3).