David M. Mitchell, 75 Was Skilled Bird Carver

David M. Mitchell, known as Mike, died peacefully at Miles Memorial Hospital in Maine on Sept. 20.

Mike was born on Feb. 11, 1929 in New Rochelle, N.Y., the son of Norman and Mildred Mitchell. He grew up in Norfolk, Ct., and Vineyard Haven. After graduating from Deerfield Academy and Trinity College, Mike started working at Stanley Tools before serving in the U.S. Army. Stationed in Newfoundland, he performed his duties and also found time to sail his boat in the surrounding waters. Receiving an honorable discharge in 1954, Mike returned to the states and began his career as an insurance broker.

He married Barbara Lea Butler of Orange, N.J., in April of 1955. Together for 49 years they forged many friendships and overcame many challenges. Living at first in Mamaroneck, N.Y., they moved to Rowayton, Ct., and in 1969 to South Bristol, Me. When they purchased the Coveside Inn, Mike had resigned from his job, taken his last commuter ride and traded in his train ticket for a new lifestyle in Maine. Working together the Mitchells expanded Coveside by adding the Dory Bar, a yacht brokerage and a real estate agency. Mike served on the planning board for South Bristol, as president of the Gulf of Maine Foundation, as a member of the Maine Marine Board of Trade and as a trustee of Gould Academy. He was a member of the Storm Trysail Club Inc. and a former member of the New York Yacht Club.

An avid sailor, Mike began racing at the age of five on Martha's Vineyard, first in smaller boats and eventually steering his Vineyard 21, Sea Biscuit, in many races. While living in Connecticut Mike raced on many yachts, sailed in eight Bermuda races and skippered Baccarat in the Transatlantic race to England in 1963. His love of sailing continued in Maine where he sailed his boat Gunga Din over neighboring waters.

After numerous surgeries, Mike took up bird carving. His touch seemed magical as he created spectacular shorebirds from blocks of wood, each feather carefully etched and painted. This hobby helped him during the recovery period, after his leg amputation in 1999.

He was predeceased by his parents; two sisters, Norma Chamberlain and Ann Byers; and two nephews, Chip and Peter Looram. He is survived by his devoted wife, Barbara; his beloved children, Mark, John and Lea Mitchell; Jim Cubbage, his dearly loved son-in law; and his cherished grandchildren, Erik, Ian and Eliza Mitchell.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church, River Road, Newcastle, Me. A reception will be held after the service; light refreshments will be served. All are welcome. Arrangements are under the direction of Coast of Maine Cremation & Funeral Service of Waldoboro.

More information and an opportunity to express memories of Mike will soon be available on the web at: working systems.com/mikemitchellslastsail.

To honor Mike's Memory and express gratitude and appreciation for the extraordinary ongoing health care Mike received, the family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial gifts be sent to Miles Memorial Hospital, care of the development office, 35 Miles street, Damariscotta, Me., 04568.