Our Beloved McKinley Calvin Mitchell, son of the late Felix and Mattie Mitchell was born Sept. 2, 1926, in Praco, Ala. McKinley Calvin Mitchell, a servant of the True and Living God, quietly went from life to eternal rest Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. At an early age, he accepted and committed his life to Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at St. James Baptist Church, in Powhatan, Ala. McKinley was a graduate of Praco High School class of 1943, in Praco, Ala. Thereafter, he attended Booker T. Washington Business College in Birmingham, Ala., where he received an associate's degree in business administration. In February of 1945, he was inducted into the United States Army, where he held the position of staff sergeant at the Fort Bragg, N.C. After his service to his country, he returned to Bessemer, Ala., and traveled daily to Powhatan, Ala., where he was employed with Franklin Mining Company. During this time, he married and fathered two beautiful daughters, Billie Joyce and Gloria Ann Mitchell. In his desire to provide for a home that would be financially stable and comfortable, McKinley traveled to Pittsburgh in 1953, where he obtained employment with the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital. McKinley, believed and lived out the scripture that, "if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). From this biblical concept, he held various positions of employment in multiple areas of Pennsylvania such as automobile mechanic with Kelley Chevrolet, in Verona; Shehab Motors, in New Kensington; and Nick Chevrolet, in Tarentum. As he expanded his career, he later attended trade school where he was trained as a certified welder. After receiving his certification, he obtained employment with Pullman Standard, in Butler; Alan Processing, in Tarentum; and Apollo Fabrications, in Apollo. McKinley met the love of his life, Rowena Andrews, affectionately known as his "Honey Dew" and he as her "Mitchell" married Aug. 31, 1956. Their union was a match made in Heaven. They had a cohesive relationship that was a true representation of a godly marriage. From this marital bliss two amazing gifts from God were born, Elder Calvin Drew and Michelle Lynn Mitchell. Together they built their family on spiritual values and principles centered on their love for Christ. McKinley's passion and deep love for his family, community and commitment to God led him to serve in various churches. As a young adult, he became a member of the Sixteen Street Baptist Church, in Birmingham, Ala., under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Luke Beard. McKinley loved the church and loved to worship. He especially loved singing the songs of Zion, particularly the old hymns of the church. As he traveled, his servitude continued in a leadership capacity along with his wife as "Deacon" and "Deaconess" in the Lord's Church under Pastor Wilson T. Hill at the Vermont Baptist Church in Creighton. He and his family worshipped at this branch of Zion for many years. Later, McKinley united with the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, in New Kensington, and served on the Diaconate and Music Ministries under the leadership of Rev. Asa W. Roberts. In his quest to draw closer in relationship with God, he faithfully attended Bible study. He loved reading and studying God's Word and at Mount Calvary realized his calling to teach God's Word. He later attended Mount Ararat Baptist Church, in Pittsburgh, under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. William H. Curtis, where he worshipped until the Lord called him from labor to reward. McKinley and Rowena frequently visited their children in Baltimore, Md., and through their children they were introduced to the ministries of New Psalmist Baptist Church, First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church and Morning Star Baptist Church. He loved to hear Bishops Walter S. Thomas, Oscar E. Brown and Dwayne C. Debnam preach the gospels and would attend worship service every opportunity he had. He forged a strong relationship of love with Bishop Oscar E. Brown of The First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church, whom he would consider as his "Baltimore" Pastor. McKinley, a man who lived a life full of strength, tenacity, integrity and humility. Many of those who knew him, considered him to be a "Quiet Giant". He was conservative yet sharp in statue and in mind. He was a man with impeccable work ethics, discernment and optimism. He was driven and dedicated to his mission of serving God, his family and community. McKinley loved collecting model trains and he built an elaborate model train layout in the basement of his home. He also had a love for sports, particularly fishing, University of Alabama, "Crimson Tide" football and Los Angeles "Dodgers" baseball. He had a special place in his heart for all things beautiful especially his family and grandchildren, whom he cherished above all. He enjoyed countless moments of creating vibrant and special memories with his family. His everlasting love for people will forever live in the tender hearts of all who knew him. McKinley was preceded in death by his beloved wife and "Honey Dew", Rowena Andrews Mitchell, and his only sister, Anne M. Mitchell-Campbell. He leaves to cherish his fond memories to his darling children, Billie J. Burke, Gloria A. Mitchell, Calvin D. Mitchell (Sheri D.) and Michele L. Mitchell-Collins (Joseph W.); beloved grandchildren, Rolanda A. Burke, Stephanie L. Patton, Alexis D. Hardy (K. Marco), Avery P. Mitchell, Sydney V. Mitchell, Warren J. Mitchell-Collins and Faith L. Mitchell-Collins; and adored great-grandchildren, Milan, Alexandra, Kairo and Kenneth M. Jr.; and a host of cousins, family and extended family. Viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 9, 2023, in ROSS G. WALKER FUNERAL HOME LTD., 217 Freeport Road, New Kensington. A service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 10, 2023, in Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 1150 Asa W. Roberts Way (formerly Fourth Avenue), New Kensington. Anyone attending the service is asked to go directly to the church. Burial will follow in Greenwood Memorial Park, Lower Burrell.
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