Gail D. Mitchell, Sr.April 17, 1937 ~ May 27, 2021 (age 84)
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Gail D. Mitchell, Sr., age 84, of Fairview Heights, IL, born on April 17, 1937 in East St. Louis, IL, died on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at Mercy Rehab and Care Center, Swansea, IL.
Gail was born in East St. Louis Illinois. His family moved to Red Bud and then settled in Ava, Illinois. Gail was the second youngest of 10 siblings. He left home at a young age and moved back to East St. Louis to look for work. Gail began working at General Motors and retired, after 32 years. He served in many capacities but was most proud of his time protecting the workers as Committeemen of UAW Local 25. Gail married Vera in 1956 and started a family. Gail and Vera soon set up a residence in Fairview Heights, Illinois where they remained. Gail loved the city of Fairview Heights and all its amenities. Gail, through public service as an Alderman for 8 years and Mayor for 20 years, played an important role in making the city what it is today. Gail was an active member of the Optimist Club and Democratic Club and served as President in both. He served as President of the Southwestern Illinois Council of Mayors and Vice President of the Illinois Municipal League Board. Gail was also an active member of the Fairview Heights Rotary Club. Gail helped build the play area at Moody Park. He started the Kids Fishing Rodeo, at what is now known as Mitchell Lake, while a member of the Optimist Club and continued the fishing rodeo during his tenor as Mayor. He purchased or received through donations hundreds of bikes as prizes for the children of Fairview Heights. Gail provided and delivered food and gift baskets during the Christmas holiday to families in need. He was a Mason, Shriner, and member of Elks Lodge #664. Gail’s love of hunting and fishing started at a young age. He earned the coveted award of Mr. Bass from the Illinois Bass Anglers Association and was also a member of Midstate Bass Anglers Association. Most of all Gail loved his wife Vera of 65 years, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He had strong sense of family and loved attending his grandkids school and sporting events. He was loved and respected by many and will be deeply missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Nina, nee Lyon Mitchell; and his siblings, Kate Berrong, Earl “Paul” Mitchell, Johnny Mitchell, Jim Mitchell, Margie Mitchell, Nina “Mickey” Lowry, and Ted Mitchell.
Gail is survived by his loving wife, Vera Mitchell, nee Burgess; his children, Gail D. (Chris) Mitchell, Jr., of Troy, IL, Gary D. (Susie) Mitchell of Bowling Green, KY, Cindy L. (James) Fietsam of Belleville, IL, and Angie M. Vehlewald of Fairview Heights, IL; his grandchildren, Jamie Mitchell (Kevin Krausz), Sara (Doug) Cox, Alex (Brook) Mitchell, Ryan Mitchell, Kimberly Mitchell, Megan Fietsam, Jimmy Fietsam, Miranda Vehlewald, Spencer, Vehlewald, Gabby Vehlewald, and Grant Vehlewald; his great-grandchildren, Camden, Iris, Eden Riley, Levi, Cooper, Baker, River and Nora; his brother, Jerry Mitchell of Ocala, FL; and his Goddaughter, Hannah Raab. Gail is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Condolences may be made to the family at www.kasslyfuneral.com.
Memorials may be made to Shriner’s Hospital or to Elk’s Lodge #664, Fairview Heights, IL.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL., with a Masonic Service at 7:00 p.m.
Visitation will also be held Wednesday, June 2, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd. Fairview Heights, IL.
Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Hal Santos officiating. Interment will be held in Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.
Shriner's Hospital for Children
Elk's Lodge #664
Fairview Heights IL 62208