Obituary for Alvin Mitchell
BEVERLY – Alvin C. Mitchell, 92, passed away Saturday, July 2, 2011 at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester after a brief illness. Born and raised in Beverly, he was son of the late Eldridge C. and Mary (Manuel) Mitchell.
Al was a graduate of Beverly High School Class of 1937. He was a member and past Deacon of the First Baptist Church in Beverly. As an athlete, he held the record for best time in the 100 yard dash, and in 2007 was inducted in the Beverly High School Sports Hall of Fame. Al joined Manuel’s Black & White Orchestra in 1937, and has been a well known musician around New England all his life. He directed shows for the Archdiocese and most recently played at local nursing homes and rehabs. During the “Big Band” era, Al played along with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington & Tommy Dorsey. A lover of entertainment, Al owned and operated Al Mitchell’s Dance Studio in Beverly for 79 years. He loved to teach children to play music and dance. He was also well known for being the Play Ground Instructor for Ward 3 in Beverly, and was on the Beverly School Committee for 16 years. Al also helped start and operate Camp Mitchman in Essex and Beverly. Al received the Beverly YMCA Service to Youth Award and was the first recipient of Beverly’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award. He was also a Justice of the Peace for 28 years and received an Honorary Doctorate from Endicott College in 2002. He was always an advocate for children, and a man who loved his family.
Al is survived by one sister: Olive Boccia and her husband Joe of Beverly; one nephew: Joe Boccia and his wife Cindie of Beverly; one niece: Joyce Hersey and her husband Wayne of Essex; four great nieces and nephews: Bethani and Jamie Boccia of Beverly, and Kara and Kendall Hersey of Essex; and a brother-in-law: Richard Williams of Beverly. He is predeceased by his half sister Margaret Williams.
A Funeral Service will be held at First Baptist Church, 221 Cabot Street, Beverly on Saturday at 10:00 am. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours will be at the Campbell-Lee, Moody Russell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly (North Beverly Location) on Friday from 4 to 7pm. Burial will be in Central Cemetery. Memorial Donations may be made in Al’s Memory to the Camp Mitchman Scholarship Fund, c/o Beverly Cooperative Bank, Cabot Street., 254 Cabot St., Beverly, MA 01915. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com