Skiing 02

James A. Mitchell

July 15, 2020

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Obituary

James A. Mitchell (August 1950 - July 2020)

Born August 28, 1950 in Tucson, AZ, Jim passed away peacefully July 15, 2020 after an 18-month battle with cancer.  The consummate outdoorsman, Jim embraced his love for skiing, golf, horses, bike riding, and travel with an unmatched zeal.  To all people he touched, his sense of humor, wisdom and joy of living will long be remembered.

Jim was preceded in death by his grandparents Joseph Leslie Mitchell and Mary Van Voy Mitchell of Pennsylvania, and his parents Joseph Mitchell and Mary Lou Mitchell of Riverside, CA

Jim, a recent transplant to Taos from Bend OR, received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in recreation and began a long career in ski area, golf course and town management. He served as Ski Patrol Director at Mt. Bachelor OR, Mountain. Manager for Crystal Mountain. WA, and Manager of Homewood ski area NV. In addition, he also worked as the Town Administrator of Orting WA. In 1980, Jim completed a solo bike ride across country from Oregon to Massachusetts in less than two months.  He was married to Michelle Gritton in 1986 through 2000. 

Arriving in Taos in 2017, Jim became actively involved in a number of civic projects. As a member of the Taos Rotary Club, Jim’s strong leadership lead him to be appointed to the director of the Club’s major fund raiser, The Chile Challenge. Until health became an issue, he was also active with the Taos Saddle Club riding his beloved horse, Jose. Jim was a great storyteller and weaver of tales that brought all who knew him joy, laughter and provocative reflection and afterthought.  From California, Maine, Oregon, Washington, to his final place rest in Taos, he had many friends who worked and loved him.  Jim was truly one of the great ones and will be truly missed by all who knew him.  He was a "gentle giant of a man" with a huge presence and an enormous voice, hoping to get into acting when he learned of his disease.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Christus Saint Vincent Cancer Center, Santa Fe, NM in his memory

The family of James A. Mitchell has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos. www.devargastaos.com 1-866-657-4019.

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