By Rosemary Pollock
Former Ecuador Mission President Mitchell Dies
MEADOW VISTA, CALIFORNIA -- Placer County attorney, Jack Mitchell,
died Thursday after canoeing off Lake Combie in front of his home.
The cause of death was listed as "pending" by the Placer County
Sheriff's Department, after his body was recovered from the lake.
Mitchell, a Meadow Vista resident, was 67 at the time of his death.
A beloved husband and father, Mitchell was an active member in the
Auburn 2nd Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mitchell and his family moved to Ecuador in 1978, where he served as
a mission president for the Church.
He is fondly remembered by his associate, Irv Scott, a Sacramento
attorney. "He gave up his practice, went to South America and then
came back three years later and started over. How many lawyers would
do that for their church?"
William Johnson "Jack" Mitchell was born in Ventura on July 7, 1933,
the son of Lael Johnson and Marvin James Mitchell. He graduated in
1951 from Ventura High School and met his future wife, Helen Johnson
who was also a student at Fresno State College. He later graduated
from the UCLA School of Law.
Mitchell was a prosecuting attorney in Oxnard from 1962-1965. He
entered private practice in Roseville, where he did criminal defense
work and personal injury law. It was in 1996 that Mitchell
successfully prosecuted a wrongful-death lawsuit alleging that Ronna
Rose Franklin was killed by her husband to collect $1.89 million in
life insurance benefits.
"Jack's the one who got the ball rolling," said Ron Howard, a Loomis
real estate agent and the father of Ronna Franklin. "Jack played an
awfully big part in getting the case to where the DA could do
something with it."
Obituary: Lawyer Jack Mitchell put faith ahead of job
Sacramento CA Bee 3Apr01 P2
By Steve Gibson: Bee Staff Writer