Donald Frances Mitchell of Vineyard Haven died peacefully at Massachusetts General Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 25 as family members remained 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 of Delbert Mitchell and Iva Mae West Mitchell. Donnie attended Chilmark School and worked at the Mayhew farm until 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 the 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 Oct. 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 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, Sept. 30.
Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.