Donald Frances Mitchell of Vineyard Haven died peacefully at Massachusetts General Hospital on Wednesday, September 25, with many family members by his side. He was 87.
Donnie was born in the Hancock/Mitchell farmhouse in Quansoo on August 4, 1926, with historic family roots reaching back to John Hancock. He was one of five children born from Delbert Mitchell and Iva Mae West Mitchell. Donnie attended Chilmark School, and he worked at the Mayhew farm till he was 15. He attended Vineyard Haven High School and worked as a deckhand for the Steamship Authority on the Nobska and the Nantucket for a short time, until he joined the Seabees branch of the naval service at the age of 17.
He met his wife Hilda, in Oak Bluffs Bowling Alley in 1946. After two years she finally agreed to go out with him. They were eventually married in Oak Bluffs. They would have been married 62 years on October 6.
Donnie was honorably discharged from the service in 1946. He returned to Martha’s Vineyard and went to work on the commercial fishing boat, the Southern Cross. Donnie later joined the Larsen family to fish on the Christina and Dan, the Chilmark Sword, and the Chilmark Voyager. After leaving the commercial fishing business, Donnie also worked as a carpenter, boatyard worker at Maciel Marine and Burt’s Shipyard, and maintenance supervisor at the West Chop Club.
Donnie is survived by his wife, Hilda Correira Mitchell of Vineyard Haven, and several nieces and nephews. A graveside service was held at Sacred Heart Cemetery on Monday, September 30.
Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs, ccgfuneralhome.com.