Wendell W. Mitchell

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wendell W. Mitchell

Wendell W. Mitchell passed away following an extended illness on Saturday, February 4, 2012, surrounded by his family. Mitchell’s life was characterized by a life of public service having served the 30th District in the Alabama Senate for 28 years. He was devoted to higher education having served Faulkner University as a board member, Law Professor and Dean of the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.

Mitchell was born in Montgomery on September 4, 1940 and was raised in Luverne. He received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama.

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Mitchell was married to Rosalind McBride Mitchell of Greenville for 47 years. After law school, they lived in Gadsden and then Washington D.C. before returning to his hometown of Luverne. While in Washington, he served as the Chief of Staff to both Alabama Congressman Tom Bevil and later to United States Senator James B. Allen. In 1974, Mitchell won the state senate seat for the 30th District and served his district with a resonating slogan “I’ll go with you or I’ll go for you.” Mitchell earned the nickname “Walking” Wendell for walking from Dothan to Montgomery early in his political career.

As one of the most longstanding members of the Alabama Senate, Mitchell served as the Deputy President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 2007-2010. During his legislative career, he chaired or served on almost every committee in the Senate, ending his career as the chairman of the standing committee on Governmental Affairs. He was named “Legislator of the Year” by numerous organizations, and he was chosen six times by his peers to serve as Alabama’s chief spokesman in the Southern Legislative Conference and the Council of State Governments, two of the leading national legislative organizations.

Mitchell was an active member of the Luverne Church of Christ and later, Vaughn Park Church of Christ where he served as a Sunday School teacher of the “auditorium class” for a number of years.

Mitchell was preceded in death by his parents, Furman G. and Pearl Mitchell of Luverne. He is survived by his wife, Rosalind McBride Mitchell of Greenville; his children, Peter Maury Mitchell (Pamela) and Wendelyn Mitchell Ahrendt (Scott), both from Montgomery, and Shelly Mitchell Sowell (Steven) of Palos Verdes, California. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and his bother, Peter Wayne Mitchell (Kay) of Penscola, FL, and his sister, Annette Sikes of Montgomery.

Funeral services will be held Friday, February 10 at the Vaughn Park Church of Christ in Montgomery. The family will receive visitors from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and the funeral service will begin at 2 p.m.  A private graveside service will be held at a later time. Donations may be made to Agape of Montgomery, the Vaughn Park Church of Christ Family Care Fund or Faulkner University in his name.  Condolences may be offered at www.alabamaheritagefh.com.  Alabama Heritage Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Wendell W. Mitchell.