Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

January 4, 2014

William Thomas Mitchell

TAZEWELL, Va. — William Thomas “Bill” Mitchell, 52, of Tazewell, VA, passed away on Thursday, January 2, 2014. Bill was born in Tazewell on August 10, 1961.

A gifted high school athlete and member of the Green T Singers, he graduated from Tazewell High School in 1979. He attended Southwest Virginia Community College before transferring to Bluefield State College in Bluefield, WV and graduating in three and one-half years with an Early Childhood Education B.S. in 1983. After graduation, Bill began a thirty year career with the Tazewell County School System starting at Abbs Valley Elementary and Pocahontas High School, then North Tazewell Elementary School, and ending his career with 25 years of service at the Tazewell Middle School where he was the most senior faculty member at the school when he retired. To many of his students, Bill was “Coach Mitchell,” because during his career, he was an active supporter of youth athletics coaching multiple teams from little league to the Tazewell High School Boys Junior Varsity Basketball Team, the Tazewell High School Varsity Women's Basketball Team, Tazewell High School Track & Field, and Pocahontas High School Football, as well as multiple Tazewell Middle School girls and boys basketball teams. A fierce competitor, he was fond of saying while winning and losing were important, the relationships built from a coaching career mattered the most. Bill took great pride in the success of his athletes on and off the playing field. Many of his players were offered college athletic scholarships. Four players were 1000 career point athletes on the Tazewell High School Girls Basketball team, and, during the 2005-2006 girls basketball season, Tazewell sent its first girls basketball team to the state finals basketball tournament. However, his greatest joy in sports was watching his daughter play softball for VIC while wearing his number, 22, in his honor.

An avid outdoorsman and hunter, Bill loved bow hunting and fly-fishing. He could often be found somewhere outdoors or talking about being somewhere outdoors. Bill also served as a Trustee of Tazewell County Moose Lodge #198.

 Bill was preceded in death by his grandparents, Howard William and Florence Lilly Davis and Garfield Thomas and Maggie Lee Stinson Mitchell, and by uncles and aunts, Clayton Mitchell, John Mitchell, Jim Mitchell, Howard Davis, Hyter Davis, Wanda Davis, Ruby Robins, and Robert Davis.

Bill is survived by his wife of 23 years, Tami Shortt Mitchell originally of Cedar Bluff, VA; daughter, Katelyn Emileigh, who is currently a senior at Virginia Intermont College and her special friend JK Goins of Bluefield, VA; parents, Howard Leslie Mitchell and Irma Davis Mitchell of Tazewell, VA; brothers, Howard Leslie Mitchell, Jr. and his wife, Kathy Riley Mitchell of Tazewell, VA and Jeffery Keith Mitchell and his wife, Allison Bourland Mitchell of Blacksburg, VA; nieces, Leslie Mitchell, Elizabeth Grace Mitchell, and Hannah Hearl; and nephews, Travis Mitchell, Joshua Shortt, Jacob Shortt, Cory Shortt, Christian Hearl, and Eli Hearl. He is also survived by aunts and uncles, Faye Mitchell Brown of Frederick, MD, Fred and Joann Plaster of Newport News, VA, Alan Mitchell of Springville, VA, Carl Mitchell of Jewell Ridge, VA; Mac Davis of Winchester, VA, and Edith Davis Stephens of West Jefferson, NC. Bill is survived by many special cousins. Bill is the son-in-law of Harold and Charlene Shortt of Cedar Bluff, VA and brother-in-law of Mickey and Jennifer Shortt of Abingdon, VA, Rick Shortt of Cedar Bluff, VA, and Vicki Hearl of Richlands, VA. The medical team that provided such skillful and compassionate care over the past two years collectively enabled Bill and his family to face his illness with dignity and courage. After being diagnosed with cancer, Bill took the news as a gift- the push to make each new day count, and to never let a friend or family member pass by without grinning and saying, “I love you.”

On Saturday, January 4, 2014 visitation will be held from 6-9 p.m. at Peery & St. Clair Funeral Home of Tazewell, VA with a celebration of Bill's life held on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at Peery & St. Clair Funeral Home beginning at 2:00 p.m. Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery in Tazewell, VA. Pallbearers will be Travis Mitchell, Jacob Shortt, Buck Peery, Danny Willis, Tony Yost, Keith Kinser, Robbie Davis, and JK Goins. Honorary pallbearers are Willard Akers, Don Dean, Allen Mitchell, and Bob Sparks.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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