LEVERETT “TINK” MITCHELL, a lifelong resident of Bath, had his hand in many parts of the city in which he grew up. Mitchell worked at Bath Iron Works and was a firefighter who eventually became fire chief. He served a number of terms on the city council and volunteered with several local organizations, including the Bath Lodge of Elks to the VFW.

LEVERETT “TINK” MITCHELL, a lifelong resident of Bath, had his hand in many parts of the city in which he grew up. Mitchell worked at Bath Iron Works and was a firefighter who eventually became fire chief. He served a number of terms on the city council and volunteered with several local organizations, including the Bath Lodge of Elks to the VFW.

BATH

Bath City Councilor Leverett

“Tink” Mitchell died last week at the age of 68, but he leaves behind a legacy of service and dedication to his community.

Mitchell, a lifelong resident of Bath, had his hand in many parts of the city in which he grew up. Mitchell worked at Bath Iron Works and was a firefighter who eventually became fire chief. He served a number of terms on the city council and volunteered with several local organizations, including the Bath Lodge of Elks to the VFW.

It’s hard to find an organization or person on which Mitchell didn’t leave an impression.

“He is an original son of the city of Bath. Period. End of story,” said his son, James Mitchell. “He was the way he is because of my grandparents.”

Tink Mitchell grew up with deep roots in Bath. His grandfather arrived as a stowaway from Prussia in 1907, and his father worked at BIW his entire life. His mother was a full-time volunteer, offering her services to both the church and the city. According to James, it was their devotion to the city that instilled in him a strong belief in community service.

After graduating from Morse High School in 1967, Mitchell joined the Navy and served two tours in Vietnam, earn- ing a Bronze Medal.

James traces his father’s desire to become a firefighter to his time in the Navy, during which he served as a Damage Controlman — essentially the Navy’s version of a firefighter.

Upon returning home, Mitchell worked at BIW for eight years before joining the Bath Fire Department. He rose through the ranks — serving as the fire chief for four years before retiring in 2002. In his 27 years with the department, he pushed to advance public education and Emergency Medical Services.

“As soon as they started introducing EMS, he started getting involved in that. Dad really drove that,” said James. “I can’t tell you the number of people that are either firefighters now, in EMS, or are somehow related to community service who were impacted by my dad and his fire prevention.”

Moreover, he worked hard to educate the public on safety and fire prevention.

“Tink was very instrumental in public education here in Bath,” said current Fire Chief Lawrence Renaud, whose time at the department overlapped with Mitchell’s. “ He had already modeled the program for the fire department when I had got here, and we have just built upon that over time.”

“What he prided himself on the most is that fire department. The community. The kids that he touched with fire prevention,” said James.

Renaud noted that Mitchell’s commitment to the department continued even after he retired in 2002.

“He was an advocate for the fire department (on the city council), but he was also a realist,” he said. “I believe he balanced being a fireman by profession and being a representative of the city as a whole.”

Mitchell won his first race for city council in 2002, and would go on to win reelection in 2005. After a brief break from city government, he returned with a vengeance, winning a three-way race in 2012 and winning re-election again after that.

“He was totally devoted to the citizens and the city, and what could make the city better for the citizens that live here,” said City Clerk Mary White. “ He always had that in his heart.”

At City Hall, Mitchell was known for his hands-on attitude. Mitchell came by City Hall every day, noted White, just to see what needed to be done and to offer his assistance.

“He was such a fighter for the city of Bath,” Council Chairwoman Mari Eosco told The Times Record earlier this week. “He worked so hard for the council. He did so much behind the scenes. … What he did on a daily basis — people didn’t realize.”

“He was the head person that got the flag pole in and the monument down here at the South End Park,” said White. “He literally went down and shoveled the dirt. That was Tink. If it needed to be done, he did it.”

Ultimately, Mitchell leaves behind decades of public service and a legacy of community involvement, touching the lives of people throughout the city — whether they know it or not.

“Dad’s mission was this city. He gave so much to them, and he gave so much to me and he gave so much to his family,” said James.

In addition to James, Mitchell is survived by his wife, Diane, a daughter, two stepsons and one stepdaughter, as well as 12 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Visiting hours will be 5-8 p. m. Saturday at Daigle Funeral Home, 819 High St., Bath. A celebration of life will be Sunday at 1 p.m. at the funeral home with fire department and military honors. A gathering of family and friends will follow at the American Legion Hall, 200 Congress Ave. in Bath. Burial will be in the spring at Oak Grove Cemetery in Bath.

Memorial contributions may be made online to the Diabetes Association search for a cure or mail to 260 Cochituate Road, #200, Framingham, MA 01701 or to the Veterans Hospital in Togus, c/o Activities Fund, 1 VA Center Drive, Augusta, ME 04330.

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