Cover photo for Raymond William Mitchell's Obituary
Raymond William Mitchell Profile Photo
1935 Ray 2024

Raymond William Mitchell

January 31, 1935 — March 5, 2024

Indianapolis, IN

Mr. Raymond W. Mitchell passed peacefully in his sleep on March 5, 2024. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 31, 1935. Ray married his wife of more than 70 years, Nancy Joaquina Valdes Gallo/Diego, on April 11, 1953, and she preceded him in death on June 3, 2023.  

Ray joined the Naval Reserve in 1949 at the young age of 14 (his mom had changed his birth certificate when Ray was nine so that he could get a job). He went to boot camp, where he shaved for the first time, and became active in 1952, serving on the USS WASP aircraft carrier during the Korean War. After he was discharged from the Navy, he joined Sperry Univac, working on the installation and support of some of the first computers at major corporations and military bases in the Midwest.

Ray and his family moved to Indianapolis in 1969 so he could be the branch manager for Indiana and portions of the neighboring states. A few years later, Ray embarked on his second career as one of the city’s primary experts and volunteers on employment issues, including minority hiring practices. During this time, Ray served on various state and city task forces on employment, such as those implementing CETA and JTPA. He also served as a board member on several civic organizations like the Indianapolis Urban League, the Central Indiana Health System Agency, and other organizations focused on advancing career and leadership opportunities through training. These activities led to several awards, including the Indiana Jefferson Award and his being a member of the 1st Lacy Executive Leadership Class.

During the 1970s, Ray also began his 45-year relationship with Kiwanis, which included helping found the Kiwanis Club of Northwest Indianapolis. This club still serves the community to this day with various programs that provide opportunities for students through its Key Club and opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in community activities. Upon retiring from the computer world in 1990, he embarked on two of what he would call his most significant achievements. That year, he helped form the Business and Professional Exchange to assist those in career transitions. BPE mentored hundreds of people to help get their lives back on track. At the same time, he joined Kiwanis International as Director of a Worldwide Service Project in partnership with UNICEF and James Bond himself - Roger Moore (007) - to work towards the virtual elimination of the world’s leading preventable cause of intellectual disabilities, iodine deficiency. Over most of the next decade, Ray traveled the world (including many third world countries) with 007 on a project that improved the lives of thousands of people.

Once he truly retired, he embarked on another phase of his life: supporting people who just need a kind thought or a smile on their face to start the day. Ray’s Daily blog went out to thousands of people worldwide with anecdotes, quips, and thoughts for people to consider in their day ahead. This blog not only kept Ray in touch with his many friends made over the years but also served to extol the virtues of volunteerism and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. During this phase of his life, he became one of the Salvation Army’s most dedicated bell ringers throughout the holiday season.

Ray is survived by daughters Debi Mitchell (Bob Williams) and Terry Buckman (Jeff), son Tracy Mitchell (Jennifer), seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. 

A Visitation will be held Thursday, March 14, 2024, from 5 PM until 7 PM at Flanner Buchanan – Broad Ripple, at 1305 Broad Ripple Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220. A Service will be on Friday, March 15, at 10 am at the same location, with additional Visitation time starting at 9:30 AM.

Memorial contributions can be sent to the Kiwanis Club of Northwest Indianapolis, 3544 Inverness Blvd, Carmel, IN 46032, or the Salvation Army at https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/.

Ray’s family could not be prouder of his achievements or of the fact that they could call him Dad. WE LOVE YOU, DAD!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Raymond William Mitchell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, March 14, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Visitation

Friday, March 15, 2024

9:30 - 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 15, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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