Harvey Michael Mitchell III died at home at Seclusion on Dec. 23 due to a long battle with the disease sarcoidosis, four days after celebrating his 60th birthday there with 20 close friends.
Michael was born in Charlottesville and raised in Cobham where he developed a love for all things outdoors, especially fishing. A gifted athlete, he graduated from Albemarle High School a consensus All-American football player.
Legendary football coach Hank Norton recruited him to attend and play for Ferrum College and that year the Panthers won the National Junior College Football Championship. Michael left the States for Vancouver and the British Columbia Lions.
A journeyman nose tackle/defensive end, he went on to play in the now-defunct USFL and in the NFL before hanging up his cleats to start Mike Mitchell Construction, an outfit specializing in carpentry and painting. He built two custom log cabins; the first in Barboursville and the second, his home in the Catawba Valley.
Michael is survived by the love of his life and wife of 20 years, Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Flanagan of Blacksburg; mother, Mildred Mitchell of Keswick; sisters, Judy Hoke of Macomb Township, Michigan and Phylissa “Lissa” Mitchell of Keswick; nieces Tanica Perry (Jeffrey); Tya Mitchell (Ray), and Briteni Hoke; nephews, Richard Hoke and Omari Mitchell Hoke; grandnieces, Nyasi Kelley and Summer Perry; grandnephews, Ryan Perry and Malachi Mitchell; aunts Mary Harris of Keswick, Jean Wilson of Charlottesville, and Gertrude Reid and Marion Jones of New York, New York; uncles Thomas Garland of Keswick and Robert (Rena) Garland of Gordonsville; and a pair of beloved Great Danes, Scarlett and Rufus.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016 at noon at McCoy Funeral Home, 150 Country Club Drive in Blacksburg.
The family will greet friends at the funeral home immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Ferrum College in Michael’s memory.