Kenneth Charles MITCHELL

Born: Wed., Aug. 4, 1937
Died: Fri., Oct. 20, 2017

Private Committal

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Mitchell, Colonel (ret) Kenneth C. , CD, BASc, MEng, PEng.

On 20 October, 2017 peacefully at home in Picton, Ontario in his 81st year, family at his side.

He is survived by Virginia, the love of his life and best friend for 56 years, sons Eric and Dean, and grandchildren Jennifer and Kevin, and brother Tom.

Born in Ottawa in 1937, he graduated from the High School of Montreal in 1956. In 1961 he graduated from the Royal Military College, Kingston, in 1962 from the University of Toronto (BASc), in 1967 from the US Navy Test Pilot School (flight test engineer) and again in 1971 from the Royal Military College (MEng). He had a good Cold War. As a junior RCAF engineer officer on his first posting he saw to the arming of #3 Operational Training Unit CF-100 training airplanes at Bagotville, Quebec so they would be set to launch against the commie rascals during the Cuban crisis of 1962. Early in his long and varied career he was a technical intelligence analyst, then an airplane and engine production project manager, and later he engineered flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base, California and at Cold Lake, Alberta. He was Base Technical Services Officer at Bagotville, Quebec, followed by a tour as Chief Instructor at the technical school at Borden, Ontario, and was base commander at Canadian Forces Base St Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. He served as military attaché in Prague, Czechoslovakia from 1984 to 1987 with all of the high adventure that that entailed. He led Canada’s first arms control inspection of a Czechoslovak Peoples’ Army divisional exercise in June 1989 under the aegis of the Stockholm treaty. Then the Berlin Wall came down followed by the Velvet Revolution in Prague. Watching the television news drama of the Czechoslovak people peacefully freeing themselves from a repressive regime was an emotional time. With the cold war over, in 1991 Ken began a delightful retirement to Prince Edward County helping Virginia operate her B&B for a few years and chairing the Picton Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee and later the Community Economic Development Corporation board.

Thanks to Dr. Matthews and the terrific gang of nurses at the Kingston General Hospital and the Napanee Cancer Centre who took such good care of him until the leukemia caught up with him. As he put it, he did not so much battle the disease as engage in a prolonged period of peaceful co-existence with it. Special thanks to everyone who provided end-of-life care, especially Dr Blanchard and Dr Beach, and nurse Ann Robinson.

Known by all for his integrity, decisiveness, creative problem-solving and keen wit, Ken was also a charming and brilliant raconteur. We shall all miss the many humorous retellings of stories from his seemingly bottomless reservoir of riveting anecdotes. Night after night his tales, always entertaining and instructive, kept everyone at the table long after the meal was over, but of course, glasses were never empty. He had a splendid run and had more fun and high adventure than he could have hoped for.

Ken requested that there be no religious services or ceremonies. The party’s over now. A private interment of ashes will take place at the National Military Cemetery, Beechwood Ottawa. Memorial Donations to Hospice Prince Edward would be much appreciated.

Arrangements entrusted to the Hicks Funeral Home, 2 Centre Street, Picton.

Charitable donations may be made in Kenneth's memory to the following organization:

Hospice Prince Edward
40 Downes Ave., Picton, ON K0K 2T0
Tel: 613-645-4040 fax 613-645-3025

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Condolence Booklet

National Association of Federal Retirees Quinte Branch
   Posted Wed October 25, 2017
On behalf of the National Association of Federal Retirees Quinte Branch, our condolences of Kenneth's passing. Col. Mitchell had been a member of this association since November 1994.

Joan Rockburne

Macaulay Heritage Park 'Friends'
   Posted Wed October 25, 2017
Dear Virginia and Family

You and Ken had so many experiences upon which to build a garden of memories. May they comfort in the short term and bring many smiles and rays of sunshine in the future.

Our collective thoughts are with you.

Mark and Margaret Macnamara
   Posted Thu October 26, 2017
Dear Virginia, our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Ken will be missed by many ,having met so many people during his illastrous carreer.
Thinking of you during this sad time.
Mark and Margaret

Dorothy Holdaway
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
Mitchell family,
On behalf of my fellow Comrades at RCL Br. 78, Picton, please accept our deepest condolences as you travel this very difficult journey. You are in our thoughts.

LCol (Ret'd) Ken Newnham
   Posted Sat October 28, 2017
Dear Virginia, my deepest condolences to you and your family on your great loss. It was my immense good fortune to have worked for Ken in Toronto in the early 90's. His leadership and integrity, under often trying circumstances, were an absolute inspiration. We are all much better people for having known and worked with him, and he will live on in our memories and actions.

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