Leland Mitchell

Leland Mitchell

7/8/1950 — 7/30/2018

Leland "Lem" E. Mitchell Sr. went to be with his ancestors on Monday, July 30, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was born on July 8, 1950, to Claire Johnson and Ed Mitchell.

He attended Lapwai High School and graduated in 1969. He participated in football, basketball, baseball and boxing. As a proud member of the Nez Perce Boxing Club he went undefeated, winning various tournaments and the Idaho State Golden Gloves in 1967.

After high school, he was drafted by the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971. He was located at Fort Lewis, Wash., and Fort Carson, Colo. He married Sylvia Penney on Aug. 21, 1971, at Mason Butte, Idaho. They resided in Glasgow, Mont., for a short period of time, then returned to the Lapwai area to raise their four sons.

Being a skilled, hard worker, he provided for his family working many jobs, starting from his early days in forestry, on to truck driving for Lime Stone Enterprises, and construction. With his love and pride for the Nimiipuu people and land, he joined the National Park Service as a ranger and interpreter. He was stationed at Spalding, Big Hole and Lolo Pass. He also showed great passion working for the Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries Program at Imnaha, Dworshak, Kooskia and Clearwater.

In his later years, he decided to attend Lewis-Clark State College to finish his education. Due to his health, he was a semester short of receiving a bachelor's degree in Native American studies. Growing up with his friends, who were like brothers, they competed in baseball with the Stroken Tetokens, in softball with "The Boys" and Blue Mountain Bombers, in basketball with the Nez Perce Nation, Thunder Hill Rainbows, Spin City, and The Renegades. With his experience, he went on to coach youth baseball and basketball. One of his highlights was winning the B.A.A.D. Tourney (Basketball Against Alcohol and Drugs) three years in a row. With the next generation, he took joy in watching his grandchildren, Victoria and Silky Smooth, and Lydell and the Warriors, traveling the Pacific Northwest to basketball tournaments.

Recently he was honored by the Chief Looking Glass Band at the Chief Joseph Memorial Powwow with a Pendleton blanket.

More than anything in this world, he loved to spend time with his family: his wife, four sons, grandchildren and great-grandson. He showed them how to live in harmony with Mother Earth. He taught them all of the sacred places in the mountains and rivers, to hunt, gather and fish. Being a strong, spiritual man, he shared his knowledge of his ancestors through storytelling and the way of the sweat lodge.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Lucy and Bill Johnson; his parents, Claire Johnson and Ed Mitchell; and his sister, Marta Mitchell.

He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Mitchell; children Leland (Sonya) Mitchell Jr., Casey (Joni) Mitchell, Robert Mitchell and Bradley Mitchell; brothers Robert (Ruby) Lopez, Jack Mitchell, Ed Mitchell of Portland, Ore., Ed Mitchell of Coeur d'Alene, and Dave Johnson; sister Naida (Frank) Flores; grandchildren Victoria (Levon) Konen and Lydell Mitchell; and great-grandson Cash Konen.

The dressing and viewing will be held at 2 p.m. today at Malcom's Brower-Wann Funeral Home in Lewiston. Open denomination services will follow at 6 p.m. at the Pi Nee Waus in Lapwai. Wahlasut services to follow at 7 p.m. Sunrise burial will be held at 7 a.m. Thursday at Webb Cemetery.

Service Information

Date & Time
Thursday, August 2, 7:00 AM
Location
Pi-Nee-Waus Community Center
99 Agency Rd.
Lapwai, ID 83540

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