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Remembering Jim Mitchell: Area officials offer tributes to Johnston City's late mayor

  • Jim Mitchell

    Jim Mitchell

By John Homan
Managing Editor
updated: 1/4/2019 12:26 PM

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS -- The tributes from area mayors were rolling in Wednesday and Thursday for Johnston City Mayor Jim Mitchell, who passed away from a lingering illness earlier this week. Here is a sampling of messages we received at The Marion Republican:

• "Mayor Mitchell was a true public servant. He always held public service in high regard. He cared about his community, family & friends. He was a great colleague and friend. He will be truly missed."

-- Sesser Mayor Jason Ashmore

• "Mayor Jim Mitchell was a special person. He was one of the first mayors to contact me and congratulate me on being elected mayor of Benton. He told me to contact him anytime if I had a question and he would try to help me. I took him up on that offer more than once. He was always kind, considerate and very wise with his answers. Mayor Jim was very humble and a role model other mayors and me who knew him. I will definitely miss Mayor Jim, but I will never forget his kindness and friendship. Rest In Peace, my friend."

-- Benton Mayor Fred Kondritz

• "Mayor Mitchell was fundamentally a good man. He loved being mayor and thus did a great job. He always had a smile on his face and something good to say. We will miss him."

-- Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry

• "On behalf of the City of Marion, I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family of Mayor Mitchell in their time of need and to the people of Johnston City. We stand by you in this most difficult time."

-- Marion Mayor Anthony Rinella

• "Mayor Mitchell was dedicated to his community and was willing to get his hands dirty in order to understand the issues facing his residents. His leadership will be greatly missed."

-- Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens

• "Jim was my cousin. He was 14 years older than me as he grew up in the 1950s and I grew up in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We had a large family. His side of the family was from Johnston City. Later on in life when we got together, we discussed city business and the different problems we faced -- from finances to politics at the local, county and state level. We had a little thing that we did when we talked on the phone. He would call me 'Mayor Mitchell' and I would call him 'Mayor Mitchell.' Jim cared so much for his community because he was a Johnston City boy through and through. And the only reason he ran for mayor was because he wanted to serve the people of Johnston City. It was that simple. He got into politics for the right reason. Not everybody can say that. A lot of people don't realize how much work goes into the job. You can't delegate as much responsibility when you are mayor in a small town. Jim did an awful lot for his community and will most definitely be missed."

-- Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell

• "Mayor Mitchell loved Johnston City and its citizens, who he served for many years. Our community offers its deepest sympathy to his community and family who all dearly loved him."

-- Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi

• "Had a brief call from Mayor Jim Mitchell this past Saturday morning, saying congratulations on the success that we have had as a community and for our mutual efforts and friendship. Jim and I had a good working relationship and we were friends. He was a great guy - a quality person and always had the best interests of his community at heart. RIP Jim ... you are a true class act and shall be missed."

-- Herrin Mayor Steve Frattini

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