Robert W. Mitchell of Pittsboro died Friday at Hendricks Regional Health in Danville following a brief illness. He was 79.
Mr. Mitchell was a graduate of Rochester High School, enjoying band participation, and being a cheerleader for the “Zebras.” He attended Indiana University in Bloomington, and lived at the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He attended Florida Southern in Lakeland, Fla.
He worked two years as a sales engineer in Chicago and later moved his family to Rochester where he operated the Rochester Auction Barn. He later moved to Florida where he was a featured Disney World performer in children’s activities with his creative balloon sculptures. He was a popular performer for numerous events. After years of touring with his wife, Treeva, and doing benefits for the Red Cross, he retired and founded Gourmet Popcorn and Candy shops in DeBary and Longwood, Fla.
Some years later, as a widower, he returned to a Rochester High School reunion and rekindled his friendship with Janice Durkes Newcomb. They were later married and moved to Pittsboro, where they enjoyed many years of shared church and family activities.
Survivors include his wife, Janice Durkes Newcomb Mitchell of Pittsboro; a son, Curtiss Mitchell of Florida; daughters Jennifer M. Shepherd of Warsaw and Stephanie M. Augustin of Burlington, Ky.; stepchildren David Hensen of Debary, Fla., Lt. Col. Jon Hensen of Rapid City, S.D., Cathie Lukens of Rochester, Kent Newcomb of Brownsburg, Laura Titus of Brownsburg, Scott Newcomb of Salem, and their spouses; seven grandchildren and 16 step-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and sisters Elaine Mitchell VanLue of Winter Springs, Fla., and Carol Mitchell Bennett of Fort Wayne.
Preceding him in death were a son, Robert Mitchell Jr., and half-sisters Marguerite M. Frost, Maxine M. Lemler, and Phyllis Mitchell.
Services are 1 p.m. Wednesday at Matthews Mortuary in Brownsburg.
Calling at the mortuary will be for an hour prior to the service.