Cover photo for Donald Ray Mitchell's Obituary
Donald Ray Mitchell Profile Photo

Donald Ray Mitchell

April 30, 1945 — May 31, 2023

Longview

Donald Ray Mitchell

“You are reading in the newspaper that I am dead. Do not believe a word of it, for I am more alive than ever before.” This quote is borrowed from evangelist D. L. Moody so you also can rejoice in the good news of Donnie going home to Jesus, his Lord and Savior!!

Donald Ray Mitchell, 78, of Longview, Texas, left this world on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, with his loving & devoted daughter, Kimberly, holding his hand. Donnie was born on April 30, 1945, in Pittsburg, Texas,to Ganaway William and Lily Jane Griffin Mitchell. He fought with all he had during the many health struggles he faced over the past several years.

Donnie graduated from Mt. Vernon High School where he played basketball and football. He played football during his time in college as well. Donnie was a member of the Army National Guard. He was a welder by trade and worked many years for Schlitz Brewery after moving to Longview. He also started an insulation company and later a heating and air conditioning company. Anyone that knew him well knew there was not much that he could not build or fix. He could fix any kind of engine and once even built a boat. He loved working on just about anything in his backyard shop and could be found doing so often following his “retirement” and always with his music blasting. One thing he never did was slow down. He continued working on many of his son’s construction projects over the years where he was best known as Pepa or Papa and was always greeted with a hug by the guys.

He was very artistic and could weld anything as evidenced by the many pieces that he made for family, friends and customers. He dearly loved teaching many young men about welding as well as passing down all of his hard earned knowledge to another generation. There really was not much that he couldn’t do, however, he most definitely could not paint.

Beyond his love for his family and continually working on something while wearing his signature overalls, his other passions were singing gospel music and fishing. He sang as often as he could. He loved fishing and going on hunting trips just so he could cook a big breakfast for everyone.

He married his wife, Gayle, 57 years ago on October 30, 1965. His family meant everything to him and there was nothing that he would not do for them. He showed that in many ways by the everyday little things he would do for each of them. And being Pepa to his grandchildren was one of his most favorite roles!

He is survived by his wife, Gayle; his son, Kevin and wife, Shelley, grandchildren Ethan and Erin; daughter Kimberly and husband, Rex, grandchildren Hunter; Riley; Lauren and husband, Stephen; Luke and wife, Meagan; great grandchildren Owen and Olivia; son Kristopher and wife, Rebekkah, grandchildren Alexis and husband, Austin, Lygia, Harper and Kyndra, as well as so many more loved ones.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Jerry.

He was very tenderhearted towards the homeless. Any donations can be made in his memory to the Highway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview, Texas.

Please come celebrate Donnie’s life with us! The visitation will be at noon on Monday, June 5, 2023, at Croley Funeral Home in Gladewater, Texas, and the funeral service will follow at 1 pm. Burial will be in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, at East New Hope Cemetery following the service. All are welcome.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Ray Mitchell, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, June 5, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

Croley Funeral Home - Gladewater

401 N Center St, Gladewater, TX 75647

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, June 5, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

Croley Funeral Home - Gladewater

401 N Center St, Gladewater, TX 75647

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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