Cover photo for David E. Mitchell's Obituary
David E. Mitchell Profile Photo
1924 David 2019

David E. Mitchell

July 31, 1924 — February 22, 2019

David Eugene Mitchell, 94, and formerly of Mason City, IA passed away February 22, 2019 at The Gardens of Cedar Rapids. Visitation will be held Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 5 until 7 PM at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 North Pennsylvania Ave, Mason City, IA. Funeral services will be held Friday, March 1, 2019 at 10:30 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 119 South Georgia Ave, Mason City, IA. Interment will follow in the Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery.

David Eugene Mitchell, son of James Wesley and Ara Laurie Mitchell, was born July 31, 1924 on the family farm home near Orient, Iowa. He attended Orient Consolidated School, K-12 and graduating in 1942. He attended Central College in Pella, IA prior to enlistment into the Armed Forces in June 1943.
David received anti-aircraft artillery and Air Force bomber crew training before being reassigned to the Army Infantry. David served overseas during WWII in France and Germany with the 70th Infantry Division, 276th Regiment, Company F mortar squad at the rank of Staff Sergeant. He proudly held the Combat Infantry Badge.

After being honorably discharged in 1946 he resumed college at the University of Iowa where he received his BA and MA degrees in Education. He met his future wife Arlene V. Sindt at the Wesley Center at the University of Iowa and were united in married June 1948 at the Methodist Church in Arlene’s home town, Rock Rapids, IA. Upon graduation he began his teaching career in Mason City in 1950, retiring from teaching in 1987.

David and Arlene raised three beloved children: son Monty Mitchell and wife Kathleen McGinn of Bettendorf, IA and their children Tyler Mitchell of Bettendorf, IA and his daughter Ava Chesney of Estero, FL; Hunter and Devon Spreen of Bettendorf, IA; son Mark Mitchell and wife Nancy of Vicksburg, MI and their children Jeff Mitchell of Arlington, TX and Katherine Mitchell of Detroit, MI; and daughter Ann Finneman and husband James of Cedar Rapids, IA, and their children Grant and Ross Finneman of Cedar Rapids, IA. David’s life was centered around his wife Arlene, their three children and seven grandchildren and he treasured his time spent with his family at the cottage in Clear Lake, IA.

During his distinguished teaching career, he organized and directed Mason City’s first all-city Science Fair in 1958. David also helped design and taught the early accelerated science classes and served as judge for numerous Science Fairs. He was also an active member of local teacher organizations.

David regularly updated his science background by attending National Science Teacher summer institutes around the country. During the summers of 1968-70 he planned and conducted a popular Lake Ecology class at Clear Lake, IA. David also served as Program Manager of the Junior Achievement program in Mason City for several years.

David completed a Specialist in Education degree in 1973. He was also selected as an Alternate from the State of Iowa in NASA’s Teacher in Space program in 1986. David was a charter member of the Mason City Evening Lions Club, serving as club president in 1978-79.

Many later years were devoted to real estate sales. David and Arlene visited several Elder Hostel programs in various states. He was a past member of the Phi Delta Kappa education fraternity, a life member of NEA, American Legion and VFW.

David was a life-long active member of the First United Methodist Church. He had a strong interest in outdoor activities, enjoying camping, skiing, biking, gardening and was very appreciative of music, the natural world and environmental issues. David enjoyed playing the flute in the high school band and the New Horizons Band at the Music Man Square. David was a proud participant in the Honor Flight to Washington DC in October 2009.

David was preceded in death by his sisters Lida Ruth Mitchell of Orient, IA and Louise Engesser and husband Will of Plainview, MN; and brother Charles Wesley Mitchell and wife Marjorie of Wichita, KS; and grandson Drake Finneman of Cedar Rapids, IA. He is survived by his wife of 70 years Arlene, now of Cedar Rapids, IA and sister Mary Caroline Inlow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the David E. Mitchell memorial scholarship fund or to the First United Methodist Church of Mason City, IA.

To send flowers to the family in memory of David E. Mitchell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 28, 2019

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Friday, March 1, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

119 S. Georgia, Mason City, IA 50401

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