In memoriam: Jack Mitchell
John Douglas “Jack” Mitchell, BSc’41, died Oct. 9 in Burnaby, BC, aged 93. He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Mildred Anne “Mid” (Dougherty), BA’40, and his eldest son Michael. He is survived by his children Judy Erickson and Stephen Mitchell, four grandchildren, one great-grandson, and extended family. Jack studied Mining Engineering at Queen’s.
He also played on the basketball team, and worked as Science Editor for the Journal. He was also a member of the (then all-male) cheerleading squad at Queen’s. Jack and other cheerleaders went to the Women’s Dean and got permission to have some female students join them, marking the start of co-ed cheerleading at Queen’s.
A highlight of his campus time was meeting Mid, the love of his life, whom he married in 1943. His classmate Raymond McKeown, BSc’41, was his best man. Jack and Mid made lifelong friends at Queen’s, and they enjoyed returning to Kingston for class reunions.
Jack served his country during WWII in the Royal Canadian Navy (1941-1945), finishing his service with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. For most of his career, he worked as an executive for Dominion Engineering Works Ltd. in Montreal. Jack enjoyed skiing, golfing, traveling, martinis and good jazz. In 1980, he and Mid retired to the west coast. (They wrote to the Alumni Review that year that they were “shacked up on Salt Spring Island.”)
In retirement, Jack lived life to the fullest, maintaining his sharp mind and his daily passion for The Globe and Mail. In 2006, Mid passed away. The following year, Jack and his family returned to Kingston to dedicate an Ivory Silk Tree Lilac in her memory. The tree is planted near the Grey House on Bader Lane, near the former Queen’s Crescent location of Goodwin House, where Mid had lived as a student. The plaque on the tree reads, “Their romance began at Queen’s in 1937/Mildred A. (Mid) Dougherty, Arts 1940/ John D. (Jack) Mitchell, Science 1941/Lovingly remembered by their family.”