Brigadier General Bob L. Mitchell (Retired)

October 7, 2022

CHARLOTTE – Brigadier General Bob L. Mitchell (Retired), 86, died Friday, October 7, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.  Bob, affectionately known as GrandBob, was born in Wellington, TX on September 23, 1936. He was the only son of Leroy and Willie Mae Mitchell.

Bob spent most of his childhood in Odessa, TX and graduated from Odessa High School in 1955. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Hardin Simmons University in 1959 and a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1971.

After graduating from Officer Training School in 1963, he entered pilot training and received his wings at Williams Air Force Base (AFB), AZ in 1965.  During his 30 year career in the U.S. Air Force he piloted C-130 transport planes, was in Space & Missile Systems Command, and flew rescue and recovery helicopters in Vietnam.  His distinguished career included Commander of the 41st Tactical Airlift Squadron of Pope AFB, NC; Wing Commander of the 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing, Scott AFB, IL; three tours of duty at the Pentagon, and culminated as Wing Commander of the 89th Military Airlift Wing at Andrews AFB, MD.  He received many awards including numerous Meritorious Service Medals, The Bronze Star, The Distinguished Flying Cross, and The Legion of Merit.

In addition to honorably serving his country, his greatest joy in life was spending time with his family.  He was a selfless, loving, and kind husband, father, and grandfather.  Bob was known as mentor, helper, and friend to all those who were fortunate enough to know him.  He was a loyal member of Kiwanis International and Order of Daedalians, a professional order of American military pilots.  Even as Alzheimer’s disease robbed him of so much, it never succeeded in taking away the core of his being - LOVE.  Until the end, two phrases which he never forgot were “I love all my kids” and “We have to help people.”

His family would like to express their deepest thanks and gratitude to all of Bob’s loving caregivers from Edith’s Angels, memory care units, and Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region.

Bob is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, Molly Jackson Mitchell; beloved daughters, Melissa Walker and her husband, Todd and Melinda Moore and her husband, Dave and five adoring grandchildren, Kate, Lauren, Lee, Mitchell, and Molly.

A memorial service to honor Bob’s life will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, October 14, 2022 at First United Methodist Church in Waynesville, NC.  The service will be livestreamed at: for those unable to attend in person.  His inurnment with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Bob to Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter, 4600 Park Rd Suite 250, Charlotte, NC 28209 ( or Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 7845 Little Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28226. (

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at

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  • Everett DeWolfe

    I was General Mitchell’s executive officer at the 89th Airlift Wing in 1992 and 1993. I learned more about leadership in those two years serving with him that I had in the previous 19 years from college ROTC through Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College. At first, I thought he was a tough boss and that was only because he insisted I do my job the right way the first time. He taught me not to accept less than the best from myself and others. Though he insisted on excellence, fortunately for me and a lot of other people, he was patient with imperfect people. He allowed us time to learn and grow. Gen Mitchell was the first wing commander to reorganize an airlift wing under what turned out to be the Chief of Staff’s failed composite wing structure. Through that he demonstrated, and I observed and learned, how to enthusiastically fulfill duties even though you might not agree with the plan. Well done, Sir! I am grateful for the time God loaned you to us.

  • Jean Hall

    What a beautiful, honoring time of remembrance of the humble, gracious man that Bob was. I am blessed to have been a part of his family, albeit as an in-law of sorts. I “knew” of some of his many accomplishments, but now know what an exceptional man he was in every facet of his long and distinguished life. Bob was just cousin Bob to me and my late husband David. He and Molly hosted us (and our friends) in their lovely Lake Junaluska home on several occasions. The epitome of gracious hosts, they always made us feel at home. I am grieved for his beautiful wife and family who will always miss him, but greatly comforted by his faith and love for the Lord. All my love, Molly and to your children and grandchildren.

  • Linda & Bill Comstock

    To Molly, Melissa and Melinda and your kids:
    I am truly heartbroken about the loss of your husband, dad and granddad. He was quite the man: tough and gentle, kind, fun-loving, with a strong faith and love for his family. I loved being around him when we were younger. And his smile - was sweet, bright and filled with love and joy. I always loved visiting your home in SP or on Pope, spending time with your parents was easy.
    As you walk through this season, supporting your mom, sister, children, nieces and nephews, take heart in knowing he is healed. He is walking beside his Savior, Jesus Christ, and helping out up there just as he did down here. He will always be with you, watching over you all as husband, father and Grandbob.... laughing with you when you are joyful, wiping your tears when you are sad, bringing you peace when you remember special moments.
    You all are in our thoughts and prayers. We are sending prayers for peace and comfort, for strength and support, for faith and love. ??????

  • Jimmy and Sandra Pennell

    Dear Molly
    Be assured of our heartfelt sympathy and prayer support. We are grateful for our memories of our friendship with Bob. We send our love.

  • Cele Bryant, Lynn and Laura

    Our deepest sympathy and love to Molly, Melissa, Melinda and your whole family for the loss of this wonderfully kind, smart, and generous man. We have so many special memories with our families through the years to even the most recent visits we've shared together, and Bob's smile was a constant. We are sending prayers for comfort and peace during this very difficult time.

  • Bill and Sheila Dobbins

    Dearest Molly,
    We are saddened to hear of the passing of sweet Bob. Please accept our sincere condolences.
    Bill & Sheila Dobbins
    LBTS Friends

  • Shirley Oltman

    I remember Bob and Molly faithfully attending the Asheville Symphony Orchestra concerts. I also had the high honor of singing in the outstanding Waynesville, First United Methodist Church choir with Molly. I am wishing Molly and her wonderful family, God's Peace at this very difficult time. We are sending all our LOVE, Dwight and Shirley Oltman

  • Diana Foederer

    A true gentleman who always greeted me with a smile. He was a very important part of the Lake Junaluska community and will be greatly missed. RIP Bob.

  • Harry and Pat Turner

    Molly, we celebrate with you Bob's release. You and all your family have been so very loving, patient, and full of the same depth of care that Bob gave all of you through the years. You gave him dignity and love. What wonderful memories and stories you have. Know that all the Turners are smiling with you through the tears. Bob can now hold and enjoy all the babies he wishes. Love you all. Pat and Harry Turner

  • Sid and Ruth Driggers

    It was our privilege and honor to get to know Bob and Molly when we stayed in their home some years back. We knew them through our good friends, David and Jean Hall. Kindness and graciousness were definitely something that both Bob and Molly exhibited. We loved the stories Bob relayed about his experiences while in the service. Our hearts are saddened at his passing. May his family be richly blessed by the memories of this gentle and caring man.

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