Former Lewisburg Councilman Willie J. Mitchell was honored June 11 at a surprise birthday party and catered dinner given by his family and friends. This occasion was also an acknowledgment of his community involvement and good deeds.
Relatives from California, Chicago, Ill., Kansas City, Mo., Louisville, Ky., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich. traveled here for the occasion, as did family and friends from Nashville, Lewisburg and surrounding areas. Even former Mayor Bob Phillips arrived and spoke about Mitchell's insight and vision for the future while serving as a councilman for 12 years when the Lewisburg Recreation Center was built.
The party included stories from former athletes beginning with his son, William Robert Mitchell who played football at Jones High School and later played his college career under Hall of Famer Eddie Robinson at Grambling. From Grambling, William Robert played three years with the Washington Redskins and was coached the first year by another Hall of Famer, Vince Lombardi. Other athletes who followed in their acknowledgments were: Roy Dukes, Craig Michael, Stanley and Bill Murphy, Gregory "Buster" Johnson, and Jeffery Anderson.
The evening ended with City Manager David Orr's presentation of a framed proclamation from Mayor Barbara Woods setting June 11, 2011, as Willie J. Mitchell Day.