James Trubie Wain Mitchell died early Sunday morning, October 14, 2001, at NHC Healthcare, Bristol, Virginia. He has resided at 323 Brookwood Drive, Bristol, Tennessee, since 1979, when he and his wife moved from the Spring Garden community near Chatham in Pittsylvania County, Virginia after retirement. He was born January 14, 1904, on the Henry Franklin Helvey farm in Bland County, Virginia, the son of Esca Mitchell and wife, Minnie Flora Belle Miller Mitchell, who later owned a farm just east of the Hollybrook community in Bland County.
Trubie graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1934 with a B. A. in Psychology & Education. There, he met and later married his wife, Mary Elizabeth Helvey, daughter of Rev. John Watson Helvey and wife Ella Maude Thomas Helvey, on May 2, 1936. The couple initially set up housekeeping on the second floor at Findlay Hall at Emory & Henry College, moved to Bethel, Washington County, Virginia later in 1936, and then to the Ceres Community in Bland County in 1938 during which time Trubie taught school in both communities.
In 1941, Trubie became the Vocational Agriculture teacher at Spring Garden High School located near Chatham, Virginia, where he resided and worked until retirement. He taught Vocational Agriculture to 8th through 12th grade students and was advisor to the Spring Garden Chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). He taught Young Farmers instructional classes in the evenings and also taught Farm Mechanics classes in conjuction with the farm shop at the school for farmers in the community. He was responsible for building a community cannery in the basement of the school building that opened Sept 3, 1943. Later, he was responsible for building an upgraded cannery in a separate building. He supervised the canneries during the summer and fall for the years he taught at Spring Garden. After that school closed in the spring of 1964, Trubie was head of a three-teacher department in the new Chatham High School building in Chatham, from which he retired in 1971.
Trubie was the President of the Virginia Vocational Agriculture Teachers' Association for 1 year; a member of the County, State and National Teachers Associations as well as the County, State and National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Associations. He was a Member of Carter Masonic Lodge in the Chestnut Level Community and advanced to the master mason degree. He was a member of the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church, Blairs, Virginia, and later, Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Virginia. He raised his family in the Spring Garden community and was a much loved and respected member of that community as well as the people of Bland County, Virginia with whom he kept in regular contact throughout his life.
He was preceded in death by his two sisters, Flossie Elizabeth Mitchell Carr Hart of Radford, Virginia and Lula Kate Mitchell Blankenship who lived on the family farm in Bland County, Virginia. He is survived by his wife, Mary Elizabeth Helvey Mitchell; a daughter, Joan Elizabeth Mitchell Keith of Bristol, Tennessee; two sons, John Esca Mitchell of Littleton, Colorado and Henry Helvey Mitchell of Chatham, Virginia; seven grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren. The family will receive friends at Weaver Funeral Home, 630 Locust St., Bristol, Tennessee, Thursday evening Oct. 18 from 7 to 9 pm, with funeral service Friday, Oct. 19 at Central Presbyterian Church, 301 Euclid Ave, Bristol, Virginia at 3 pm. Burial will take place immediately following at Tri-Cities Memory Gardens, Rt. 75, Blountville, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the scholarship fund, Emory & Henry College, P.O. Box 950, Emory, VA 24327.
This webpage is sponsored by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House B&B, Chatham, Virginia. (See also guides to Pittsylvania County, Chatham, and Danville.)
Copyright © 2001 Patricia B. Mitchell.