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Donald E. Mitchell, 96

FREEDOM — Donald Edgar Mitchell of Freedom, NH passed away following a period of failing health on January 30, 2014, two days shy of his 97th birthday. He resided at Ledgewood Manor in Windham, Maine.

Don was born February 1, 1917 in Freedom, NH, the only child of J. Harold and Eva Mae (Young) Mitchell. He graduated from Parsonfield Seminary in 1934 and School of Fine and Applied Arts in Portland, Maine. It was here that he met his future wife, Pearl Rackliff. They were married May 25, 1940.

Don and Pearl lived for several years in the house he built in Freedom until his work as Chief Dispatcher at the State Police and Department of Highway took him to Lancaster, NH. During this time, he and Pearl also managed Weeks Memorial State park. He later managed several other state parks including Lost River Reservation and Natureland in Woodstock, NH.

Don was known for his sense of humor and kind heart. He had a way with animals and was never without a horse, dog, bird or other pet, wild or domestic. His most recent being a miniature donkey named J. D. (Just Donkey).

Following Pearl's death in 1975, Don married Jane Harriman of Casco, Maine. He was predeceased by Jane in 2000. He was also predeceased by a stepdaughter, Nancy Long and a dear friend, Ethel Eastman.

He is survived by his daughter Gail, and husband Fred of Winnisquam, two grandsons, Kevin Washburn and wife Pamela of Tilton, and Mark Washburn and companion Kelly Welch of Loudon, five-great grandchildren and his sister-in-law and dear friend, Hilda Carver of Steep Falls, Maine. He is also survived by his extended family Kim Mowatt, her daughter Kallie, and Lloyd Bennett, with whom he lived for several years. He was loved and will be missed by all.

The family would like to thank the staff at Ledgewood Manor for the excellent care provided and for helping make Don's last years as happy and comfortable as possible.

A private celebration of Don's life will be held at a later date.

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