Roland E. Mitchell, 92, of Traer, formerly of Buckingham, passed away Friday, September 2, 2011 at Covenant Medical Center. A visitation was held on Tuesday, September 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. and one hour prior to services. A memorial service was held Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at the Geneseo United Methodist Church. Military Rites were conducted by the Traer American Legion. Burial will follow at Geneseo Cemetery.
Roland E. Mitchell was born at the farm home in Geneseo Township, Buckingham: the son of Claude and Sara (Burr) Mitchell on December 18, 1918. He attended and graduated from Geneseo High School in the spring of 1936. Roland worked for three years on the farm and started to attend Iowa State Teachers College in the fall of 1939. In the summer of 1941, he took a government sponsored flying course, ground school at college and flying at Livingston Airport of east of Waterloo. Roland was married to Mary Kerr in 1941; they had two daughters, Sharon and Cynthia. They divorced in 1967. He then married Darlene Reasoner in 1969; they had a son Judd Roland. Darlene died of cancer in 1997. In June of 1942, Roland signed up for the Army Air Force, but was not called to active service until December 29, 1942. He finished Iowa State Teachers College except for his practice teaching quarter. He studied Business Administration. Roland was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Force on October of 1943. Roland also took a course in B-17 Bombers at Roswell, New Mexico then another advanced course in the B-17 with a full crew at Sioux City. Roland flew his own B-17 Bomber to England in the spring of 1944. While in England, he flew full tour of 30 missions of which he was group leader on 23 of 30 missions. He received the Air Force medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross while in England. Roland was also advanced to First Lieutenant Captain. After the war, he farmed in Eagle Township in Black Hawk County. Roland served on the Board of Directors of the newly formed Coop of Hudson, grain elevator and lumber yard. He served as a boys 4-H leader for two years and was executive secretary member of the local school board until they became part of a consolidated district in the early 1960's.
Roland passed away on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Covenant Medical Center at the age of 92. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife Darlene; two brothers: Robert and Frank Mitchell and two sisters: Fanny and Edith Mitchell. Roland is survived by a son Judd Roland Mitchell of Waterloo; 2 daughters: Sharon (Pete) Wetrich of Waterloo and Cynthia (Paul) Wendt of Yuma, Ariz.; 6 grandchildren: Todd (Beth) Taylor, Jennifer (Robert, Jr.) Cak, Wendy (Dave) Barnes, Sherry (Greg) Lyons, Ava Mitchell and Ian Stelken; 8 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren and 3 brothers: Norman (Doris) Mitchell of Waterloo, Herald (Elsie) Mitchell of Dysart and Philip Mitchell of Buckingham. Roland will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Memorials may be directed to Geneseo United Methodist Church.