Vivian Paul Mitchell, a resident of Dothan, Alabama, also known as “Bud or “Buddy” to his family in Pennsylvania and “Mr. Paul” to family and friends in Alabama passed away Saturday, January 15, 2022 at his home. He was 71 years old.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date.
Paul was born in Ligonier Pennsylvania on August 23,1950 to Ida Cornelius Snyder Mitchell and Charles Mitchell. His Mother passed away when he was 9 months old and then was raised by his mom’s sister Nellie and her husband Bill Gindlesperger. He attended a military school at Milton Hershey school in Hershey Pennsylvania, and graduated on June 6, 1968 before enlisting in the US Airforce. During his time in the military, he lived in South Dakota where he met his then-wife Cristie Jones Hayes and her children that he took under his wings and raised as his own. They all moved to Turkey for some time while Paul was stationed there and then came back to South Dakota before moving to Dothan, Alabama where they divorced but remained friends. Some years later he met Josephine “Jo” Short, they became inseparable, doing all the things they loved together. Paul had trades of all kinds and worked many jobs. One of his greatest qualities was his work ethic and being such a hard worker without complaint. He handed this quality down to his four children teaching them, guiding them, and loving them with all his heart.
Paul had many hobbies and interests. He loved his animals, without a doubt they were his family and the more the merrier. He was a great bowler back in his younger days and having a 300 game was his normal. He loved putting together model cars and later on he started collecting and displaying diecast cars. He loved going to flea markets back in the day, where you could find him on his days off looking for good deals and treasures. When he was ready to relax he would turn on his favorite westerns, sit back and enjoy.
Paul had suffered from type 1 diabetes for many years, which had taken its toll on his body and life. He lost one of his legs and needed a prosthesis, he recently just received his new prosthesis and was so happy. People would say he had 9 lives, or even more in his case. He always would come back from near death raring to go and ready for whatever awaited him. Paul was a very proud man and did not like to ask for help, but when it came to Uly he would let him help. Over the years he spent a lot of time with Uly, he would help him around the house, help with the animals and just hang out together. Paul cherished his time with Uly, they were the best of buds and he meant the world to Paul.
Mr. Paul will be missed by so many. His contagious laugh could always cheer you up and make you laugh. His sense of humor along with his greeting of hello when you called could make you smile and will always be etched in our memories. The love for his animals, the love and wisdom he gave his children. As a dad, husband, brother, son, and friend he meant so much to so many and will never be forgotten. Until we meet again, fly high in the clouds.
Paul was preceded in death by his wife of 12 years, Josephine “Jo” Short; his parent; two sisters, Betty and Marty; one brother, Bill.
He leaves behind to cherish his memories a sister, Joyce Theodore Gatz; two Brothers, Charles “Bill” W. Mitchell (Maude) and Jim Gindlesperger; four children, Rick Runge, Troy Runge, Rhonda Runge Gately, and Shawn Runge; seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren; a cousin, Ida Mae Close; Josephine’s daughter, Jamey Graham Jenkins and her son Ulysses “Uly” Jenkins along with many more friends and family.
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