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Charles "Charley" Mitchell '50 May 18, 2022 4:56 PM updated: May 18, 2022 5:00 PM

Charles "Charley" R. Mitchell
July 12, 1923 - December 24, 2021

Charles Ray Mitchell was the kindest, most caring and grateful gentleman you could ever hope to meet. He passed away peacefully at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve, December 24, 2021, joining his loving wife, Jackie, in a better place. Charley was 98 years old.

Charley was born in Dallas, Texas, on July 12, 1923, the youngest of four children raised in a Travis Street boarding house by his parents, Charles C. and Abigail Viola Mitchell. Tall and rail thin with rippling red hair, Charley was the favorite little brother of his sisters, Euline and Dorothy, and his big brother, William. As a boy, Charley worked very hard to keep his grades up and contribute to the family's Depression Era household, helping his mother with boarding house chores, delivering newspapers, and scooping ice cream at the Texas State Fairgrounds. Charley graduated from Dallas Technical High School in 1941 and began working as a pressman and type setter at Southwest Tablet Company. And as soon as he was able, Charley followed the path of so many others in the 'Greatest Generation' by joining the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving as an Aerial Engineer in WWII, including eighteen months overseas in North Africa, Egypt, France, England and Brazil.

After the War, Charley took advantage of the G.I. Bill of Rights in two important ways that would shape and influence the rest of his long and happy life. First, he accessed these important benefits to attend Texas A&M College, receiving a Bachelors' Degree in Petroleum Engineering in June of 1950. Charley used his petroleum engineering degree to build a highly successful career in the oil and gas industry, working at Cities Service Oil Co. and Occidental Petroleum until his retirement in 1989 as Occidental's Vice President of Exploration and Production. In addition, the young newlywed and veteran used the G.I. Bill to finance the purchase a small tree farm in east Texas that he found while working at the Carthage Gas Plant in Panola County, Texas. Charley taught himself the art and science of forestry, eventually becoming a proud gentleman farmer of some of the most regal Loblolly Pine Trees in the entire state of Texas.

In 1949, during one of his visits home from A&M's College Station, Charley's sisters fixed their little brother up on a blind date with a girlfriend of theirs, a raven-haired firecracker named Jacquelyn Treuer. Jackie and Charley loved to go dancing together. Jackie quickly stole Charley's heart and after graduation and gainful employment were secured, Charley asked Jackie to marry him. They had four children together, built a beautiful life full of love and laughter, and never stopped dancing until Jackie passed away just shy of their 60th wedding anniversary.

Charley loved A&M football, slow grilled barbecue chicken, and fresh sliced, home-grown tomatoes. He also loved his family, deeply and dearly. His grateful family includes daughter, Cindy Noland and her husband, Michael of Tulsa, Oklahoma; son, Charles "Chip" Mitchell and his wife, Kim of Centennial, Colorado; daughter, Melissa Barrett and her husband, Joe of Denver, Colorado; and son, Michael Mitchell of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Charley adored his eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren, all of whom will miss him terribly.

Charley's family would like to thank all the many caregivers for all their help and support over the last several years. Charley's enormous heart and generosity of spirit touched so many people during his lifetime. We were so blessed to have had him in our lives for so long. Due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, no memorial service is immediately planned. The family will notify loved ones when services can be scheduled at a safer, more secure time.

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