Donnie Gene ‘Don’ Mitchell Sr.
1946-2024

Donnie Gene ‘Don’ Mitchell Sr., 78, passed away Tuesday night, March 12, 2024, at the Elmwood Assisted Living, New Bremen, Ohio surrounded by his family. Don was born February 11, 1946, the second son of the late William Marlow ‘Pat’ and Edna Mae (Phillips) Mitchell on the Mitchell Family Farm near Plain City, Union County, Ohio.

Don is survived by his current wife, Kimberly Schnell Mitchell as well as his two sons and their spouses: Jeffrey D. and wife Karla (Burns) Mitchell (Plain City) and Don K. and wife Melissa (Esposito) Mitchell (Plain City); five grandchildren: Amber (Mitchell) and her husband, Derek Bradley (Marysville); Coleman Mitchell (London); Payton Mitchell (Utah); Hayden Mitchell (Montana); Joel Riley Mitchell (Plain City) and two great-grandchildren: Flora Bea Bradley and Jackson Robert Bradley (Marysville). Also surviving is a brother and sister and their spouses and a brother-in-law and spouse: brother R. Carl and Betty (Smith) Mitchell (Plain City); sister Regena L. Mitchell and Major Philip Gates (Plain City); father-in-law, Paul Schnell (Wapakoneta), mother-in-law, Janet L. Schnell (Jackson Center), a nephew, Paul Schnell (Delaware), and a niece, Sara Schnell (Dublin).

Don’s first job, after he left the family farm, was working for Sullivan Equipment in London, Ohio, setting up and delivering farm equipment for $1 per hour. In 1971, Don moved his family to Wisconsin, where he worked for Howard Rotavator (Harvard IL) as a sales representative and field engineer. In 1975, Don had the opportunity to be the distributor for Howard Rotavator in Ohio and Michigan and they moved back to Plain City to establish Mitchell Equipment. In 1977, he began importing farm equipment from Italy that was branded in the USA as Multivator. In 1982, John Deere Corporation approached Don to be an agricultural and turf dealer in Plain City. He established JD Equipment in Plain City. In 1983, they purchased the John Deere dealership in London, Ohio from Harold Boeger. In 1992, a new store was built in London to combine both operations and at the time, was known as the single largest John Deere dealership in the USA. Over his career with Howard Rotavator and JD Equipment, Don received many awards for pioneering leadership in Agriculture. Don set up a farm equipment export business that exported equipment to Mexico, Israel, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, and many other countries, all over the globe. He and Kim also enjoyed farming in Dalhart, TX together.

Don was known as an exceptional marketer and negotiator, and some may remember the “flipping of the coin” to finalize a deal. Most importantly he will be remembered for his charming personality and willingness to help someone else in need. He was always helping someone to get a head start or to get out of a tight spot.

Services are planned for Spring/Summer 2024 and private burial will be in the Mitchell Cemetery, Union County.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to your local chapter of F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America).

EICHHOLTZ DARING & SANFORD FUNERAL HOME, JACKSON CENTER is honored to serve the Mitchell family and encourages anyone to share a fond memory or message of condolence at www.edsfh.com.