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Friday, January 28, 2022
5:00 - 7:00pm
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Starts at 11:00am
Frank Mitchell, 98, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away Monday, January 24, 2022, at Atlantic Specialty Care.
Frank Sylvester was born on June 11, 1923, in Elwood, Kansas, the son of Estell and Mabel Ellen (Wilson) Mitchell. Frank graduated from Elwood High School in 1942. Following graduation, he served in the United States Navy on active duty from 1942 – 1945, and later in the reserves until his honorable discharge in 1956.
While taking classes at the local community college Frank worked at F.W. Woolworth where he met his future wife, Susan Garrison. A coworker named Mike, whom Frank was close to, teased him saying, “Look at her, she is so pretty; if you do not ask her out, I will ask her out for you.” Finally, he did “ask her out,” and on March 14, 1947, they were united in marriage at the Atchison County Courthouse in Kansas. Following their wedding, they lived in Elwood, KS. In 1953, the family moved to Robinson, Kansas, and in 1957, to Kansas City, Kansas, where they lived for the next 18 years. During this time Frank taught school and worked part-time at Western Auto. In 1973, they made the decision to own their own business and purchased the Western Auto store in Atlantic, Iowa. The couple worked side by side from that day forward; Frank always was quick to say that Sue owned the place. In 2001, when Western Auto went out of business Frank and Sue made the decision to continue the part of their establishment that had the most interest. The Bicycle Store has been a staple of the Atlantic community ever since.
There was never a doubt that when you entered The Bicycle Store door that you would be greeted with a smile and a, “How can I help you today?” The notes posted on the store telephone changed from time to time, however the current one reads, “A key to life is an eagerness to learn and willingness to change.”
Frank never missed an opportunity to teach; always making sure he took the time to explain not only the bike itself but he also encouraged the young ones to count out the money to him themselves (that they had brought) to pay for their own bike. When it came to customers paying for a random bike part he would ask, “What’s it worth to you?” or “You can have it for an Iowa quarter.” Frank took the time to have conversation with all who stepped foot inside his store and was delighted to meet new people; always gentle, cautious, and respective in his response.
Family camping and fishing trips were abundant and created countless memories to reminisce on through the years. Frank was always cooking up something delicious on the outdoor griddle and everyone looked forward to his pancakes; making it fun by making a tic-tac-toe board with the batter and asking if they wanted the X’s or O’s. He looked forward to spending time with his family and always said when he would watch the grandkids that he was “enjoying them, not baby-sitting them.” He was also quick to say that, “you couldn’t afford what I would charge anyway.” His children would describe Frank as a hardworking family man; doing what he needed to do for this family and always doing the right thing.
Frank will be deeply missed by his children, Dianna Mitchell of Atlantic, Donald (Debora) Mitchell of Council Bluffs, Dennis (Jerilyn Main) Mitchell of Olathe, KS, Douglas Mitchell of Atlantic, and Danita (companion, Neil Booher) Story of Lewis, Iowa; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; Susan’s siblings, Bill Garrison, Paul (Mary) Garrison, Joe Garrison, Charlene (Bill) Keck, and Gloria Davenport; and many nieces and nephews.
Frank is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Susan Mitchell; and all of his siblings, five brothers and four sisters.
Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Friday, January 28th at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 29th at the First United Methodist Church in Atlantic. Burial will be in the Atlantic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Cass County Relay for Life; an organization that Frank made donations to for many years through the donated bikes he sold at the store.
Roland Funeral Service is caring for Frank’s family and his arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.