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William F. Mitchell ’53

Published in Dec. 6, 1989, issue

Bill passed away of a heart attack on June 21, 1989, in Bainbridge Island, Wash., where he had lived for the past several years.

After leaving school, Bill worked as a translator of scientific journals from Russian and Chinese into English. His firm, Spectrum, produced translations for the government, universities, and other organizations. Bill came to Princeton from Erasmus Hall High School, in Brooklyn, and although he graduated with the Class of 1954, 1953 was his class. Bill majored in philosophy, graduated with high honors, and was awarded the coveted Dickinson Prize for his efforts. One of many outstanding talents Bill possessed was his ability to play the cello. On many an evening, the room resounded with his classical renditions. Bill could have been the first cello in many orchestras.

A friend of the poor and disfranchised at a time when it was not fashionable, Bill continually sought and found the rich in spirit and intellect among those who could never attend Princeton but should have. Bill loved the university for all the right reasons. If Bill ever had a complaint, we did not hear it, in spite of hip replacements and other physical disabilities.

To his daughter Anne, his granddaughter Jessica, his mother Helene, his brothers David and Jim, and his sister Jane, the Class of 1953 send its deepest sympathy. Bill, you were one of a kind. You will be missed.

The Class of 1953

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