Photo:  William Mitchell of Marseilles

William “Bill” Mitchell, 77, of rural Marseilles, passed away October 23, 2020 at the Joliet Area Hospice Home after a battle with a recent diagnosis of ALS.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Monday, October 26, 2020 at Seals-Campbell Funeral Home in Marseilles. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 27 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Seneca with Fr. Alexander Millar officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Seneca.

Bill was born on February 26, 1943, in Ottawa, to Marion and Rita (Trompeter) Mitchell. On August 31, 1968, Bill married the love of his life, Carol Swanson of rural Morris, whom he had just met five months earlier. It was love at first sight, and the two became lifelong soul mates, raising four children and recently celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary.

Bill was raised on the same farm where he devoted most of his life and peacefully spent the majority of his final days. He attended the one-room Mitchell School in Manlius Township until it closed after his third grade year. He then attended Milton Pope Grade School and eventually Seneca Township High School, from which he graduated in 1961. He was a member of the United States Army Reserves from 1966-1972.

Bill was the 5th generation to occupy the Mitchell Home Farm, established in 1848 just north of Seneca, Illinois. Agriculture was always Bill’s true passion, and he farmed his entire life, just like his father, until passing most responsibilities over to his two sons in 2009. He strongly valued family, hard work, religion, and community service. He was a long-time school board member at Milton Pope Grade School, was a charter member and served countless years as the secretary/treasurer for the Seneca Fire Protection District and was a lifelong faithful member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Seneca. Bill was a talented mechanic and fabricator and was an avid collector of antique gas engines, farm tractors, and various other antiques. He was a proud member of the Sandwich Early Day Engine Club. He and Carol spent many summers traveling around the country visiting family and friends and attending fairs and antique shows of all types. He enjoyed raising various farm animals as a hobby and truly loved his dogs. There was always a Collie, St. Bernard, or random rescue breed playfully roaming the farm and waiting to immediately dart to Bill’s side when he walked out the door in the morning.

Bill will be best remembered for his incredible work ethic, his business mind, his peaceful yet stoic demeanor, his faith in God, and his true love for his family and farm heritage. His memory will live forever on Mitchell Farms.

Bill is survived by his wife, Carol; his four children, Sheri (Brian) Schubbe, and their three children, Kristen, Luke (fiancée, Susannah Marevka), and John of Peotone, IL; Mark (Julee) Mitchell, and their two children, Mason and Myles of Marseilles; Laurie (Rick) Mullen, and their two children, Victor and Charles of Ottawa; Daniel (Kelly) Mitchell, and their two children, Jace and Josie of Marseilles; his two brothers, Larry (Connie) Mitchell and Randy Mitchell, both of Marseilles; and his sister-in-law, Karen Mitchell of Oro Valley, AZ.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Marion and Rita Mitchell, who tragically lost their lives in an airplane accident in 1978; and his younger brother, Jim Mitchell (Oro Valley, Arizona), who passed away in 2017.

The Bill Mitchell Family would like to give special thanks to Panoptic Health Services Inc., Joliet Area Community Hospice, and Leo (caregiver) with United Senior Services Inc. for the amazing love and support that they all provided during very challenging times.

His grandsons will be pallbearers.

Memorial donations may be directed to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Seneca (local building and expenditures fund) or Joliet Area Community Hospice.