William Mitchell Obituary, Death – Mitchell, William “Bill” David 3/19/1948 – 3/30/2023 Bill passed away on March 30, 2023, after a several-year fight against the effects of ALS. Bill is survived by his husband, Ray Martini; and three sisters, Ann (Lyle) Mather, Janice Mitchell (Robert Wilson) and Linda (Bruce) Rockwell. Bill and Ray were together for almost 45 years, and they were legally married in November 2014.
Bill was beloved by many as a husband, brother, uncle, son, friend, and even travel agent. In the last few months of his life, when ALS was weakening his body, he and Ray had a steady stream of friends from both near and far coming to spend time with them. These friends brought love and comfort to him in his final months. Bill was born on March 19, 1948 in Indianapolis, IN when his parents were students at Indiana University.
After several family moves, Bill grew up in Saginaw, MI, then attended Albion College. It was during college that Bill discovered he had inherited a passion for travel from his paternal grandparents and great aunt, who were all world travelers. A college semester in Grenoble, France was all it took to start Bill on a lifetime of travel and international friendships. Bill’s love of travel eventually led him to his career as a travel agent. He worked for over 30 years in this profession and used all his travel knowledge to help clients plan extensive trips, as well as organizing many of his own interesting trips.
He had a special love for France, especially Paris and The Pyrenees. He maintained a 50-year plus pen-pal relationship with his French friends. This pen-pal relationship was a continuation of a connection that began when his grandmother supported a young French girl whose father was killed during WW I, making that connection now over 100 years old. His frequent visits with this French family grew his relationship with them as though he were one of their family.
Bill’s list of travel destinations is extensive. Some of the trips were his and Ray’s own planning, but others were trips sponsored for travel agents so they could become familiar with the destination. These trips to France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Africa, Germany, Thailand, Alaska, Transatlantic cruises on the QM II from New York to England, and many US locations kept expanding his desire for travel. Bill was also an excellent cook and somewhat of a “foodie.”