Larry Craig Mitchell, age 65, of Crystal River, Florida, passed away peacefully surrounded
by his loving family on August 16, 2019 after complications from an automobile accident 19
months earlier. At the time of his death, he was under the care of VITAS hospice in Lecanto,
Florida. The world lost one of its wittiest jokesters and a man who just knew how to make
people smile. Larry was born on February 17, 1954 in Washington, Pennsylvania, the first
child of Bernard and Thelma (Craig) Mitchell. He would graduate from Chartiers-Houston
High School in 1972 and was an instrumental player on his high school football team
winning the WPIAL Football Championship in 1971 and 1972. Not
to be pigeonholed as a baller, Larry was also an award-winning Golden Gloves Boxer. Larry
sought adventure after graduation, when he served in the US Air Force Security Police for
20 years which took him to bases in Italy, North Carolina, Hawaii, and Wyoming. He
completed his EMT in North Carolina, became Scuba Certified in Hawaii, and earned his
pilot’s license in Wyoming. In addition, he earned Associates degrees in Criminal Justice
and Computer Applications, as well as a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from
Southern Illinois University in 1986. Larry was the US Air Force Investigator of the Year
for 1991 and was also owner of Centurion Investigative Services in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
During this time, he never missed an opportunity to take his kids with him on routine
stakeouts and security checks. Upon the end of his military service, he returned back to
Washington County, Pennsylvania, where Larry was the Zoning Officer, Planning Director,
and Building Inspector for Chartiers Township from 1993 to 2000. He meandered back to
his sports roots when he was a Chartiers-Houston Assistant Football Coach for the 1994
season. Larry was also a Distribution Manager at the Washington Observer Reporter from
1994 to 1999. Larry and the family moved from Meadow Lands, Pa. to Citrus County, Fl. in
2000 to escape the Pennsylvania winters. He was then a licensed fishing boat Captain for
the Nittany Sea Lion Fishing Team of Crystal River, Fl, and was also the Distribution
Manager for the Citrus Chronicle in Crystal River, Fl from 2005 to 2017. At the time of his
passing, Larry was a member of St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Crystal River, Fl.
He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Andrea (Bradley) Mitchell from Crystal River,
Fl; two children, daughter Jennifer (Mitchell) Bennie and her husband, Scott from Erie, Pa;
and his son, Larry Mitchell, Jr and his wife, Tiffany from Citrus Springs, Fl. Six
grandchildren, Sastia, Jackson, Blyth, Tanner, Madison and Sagan. Larry is also survived by
his mother Thelma (Craig) Mitchell of Houston Pa, and five younger brothers Bernard of
Houston Pa, Randy and his wife Monica of Canonsburg, Pa, Jeffery, Bruce both of Houston,
Pa, and Bryan and his wife Ann of Castle Rock, Co. Larry is also survived by his “life of the
party” sister-in-law Suzanne Orsogna, and her husband Mario of Edison, NJ, as well as 21
nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his aunt Loretta (Craig) Moffat and her
husband Wayne, as well as over 20 cousins.
Larry was preceded in death by his father Bernard Mitchell, his maternal grandparents
James and Virginia (Bazzoli) Craig, his paternal grandparents James and Stella
(Hakranovich) Mitchell. His uncle James Craig Jr and wife Terri, and uncle Nick Rellich and
wife Romanie. He was also preceded by his fishing buddy and brother-in-law Alfred
Bradley, and wife Camille.
Larry will be remembered for his fierce loyalty to his family, his contagious laughter, and
his absolutely unforgettable sense of humor. He loved the outdoors, from camping to
hunting to fishing. He was a most gifted marksman easily hitting an antelope or a deer on
the run from 300 yards with a 30.06 rifle. He would joke that he only needed to bring one
bullet when he hunted, he was that accurate. Larry could not help falling in love with the
first female security police airman stationed with him at Aviano Air Base in Italy and they
were married within 4 months of dating in NYC on November 16, 1974. He was dedicated
to his children, Jennifer and Larry Jr, that arrived 3 and 5 years later. He was committed to
attending every one of their sporting and school events bestowing upon them all his energy
before their performances. A professional kitchen dancer, he never missed the chance to
do the Tango with his kids which always culminated in the most graceful dip. His pride was
abundant when both of his children graduated from Penn State University, married and
became parents themselves. A devoted family man till the end, he adored his 3 grandsons
and 3 granddaughters having been present at all of their births. He loved to tinker with
electronics and computers, always being one of the first people to invest in the latest
technology. If his eye wasn’t on his grandkids or his fishing bobber, it was studying the
motherboard of his latest computer building project. A lover of movies, he made sure his
children were well versed in all types of cinema especially the work of John Wayne, and
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although he would tell you he is only resting his eyes, the world is
a little darker without him in it, but he left sparks of himself behind in all his family and
friends he delighted in spending time with.
A Memorial Service will be held at First United Presbyterian Church, 102 N Main St,
Houston, PA 15342 at 10am on Thursday, August 29, 2019 immediately followed by an
entombment at Forest Lawn Gardens Cemetery, 3739 Washington Rd, McMurray, PA 1531.
All that knew him are welcome to partake in a Celebration of Life to eat, drink and be
merry, that will take place at Chartiers Township Community Center, 2013 Community
Center Drive, Houston, PA 15342 at 3pm, also on Thursday, August 29, 2019. Please wear
Pittsburgh Steelers attire. We look forward to friends and family attending to hear stories
of Larry, jokes he told, adventures he had, and recalling memories of a life well lived.
In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to the Trump Presidential campaign or the
American Diabetes Association. A celebration of life in Florida will be at a later date.
To send flowers to Larry C. Mitchell's family, please visit our floral section.