Lorton Mitchell - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Obituaries

Lorton Mitchell

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Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2015 10:27 am

With the passing of Lorton Mitchell comes great sadness, as a family and community loses an admired businessman, a selfless friend, and a loving husband and father.

Lorton Lewis Mitchell was born on May 23, 1959 in Greenville, South Carolina to Ralph and Flonnie Mitchell. He spent his first five years living in Mexico City until moving to Coronado in 1965. Settling down there, Lorton enjoyed an ideal upbringing playing little league baseball, surfing regularly, and graduating Coronado High School in 1977 where he participated in football and tennis. He then attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and graduated in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in Construction Engineering. It was in January of that same year that he met his future wife Carolyn Johnson.

Immediately after graduation, he returned to Coronado to begin his career as a professional homebuilder. The company began with just two other employees and grew into Lorton Mitchell Custom Homes Inc., a business that is now recognized for building some of the finest homes in Coronado. The team’s work has been acknowledged in various trade magazines with one home receiving LEED GOLD certification for its environmentally friendly design. Along with an outstanding team, Lorton’s success in custom home building began at an early age while witnessing his mother and father building their home on J Avenue. It was this experience that influenced his desire to not only help others capture their unique vision for a home but better the community as a whole by doing an excellent job.

Lorton’s character is the greatest attribute that will be missed by many. He lived his life with integrity and generosity as he built homes and contributed greatly to the community of Coronado. As a coach to his children and classmates in baseball, softball, soccer, and surfing he enabled a space for not only athletic success but also great character building and joy. He offered his time to their lives and genuinely appreciated every minute of it. He especially treasured moments at Tidelands Park where he made his “job-site milkshakes,” a version of dessert drinks made with power tools. He was also generous in his knowledge of building, lending a hand in community projects like the renovation of Bradley Field and participating in various town committees.

He also had a great love and respect for the ocean. He valued every opportunity he had to explore it with his family, taking surf trips to the Indonesian Islands, Kauai, Mexico, and Costa Rica. He was also a passionate fisherman and took many fishing trips with friends to the Coronado Islands, Mexico, Panama and Alaska. It was the authentic beauty and unique excitement that drew Lorton to the ocean and his loving character to want to share it with everyone he knew.

Even towards the end of his life, Lorton was filled with sincere appreciation and the ability to make people laugh. He was an amazing storyteller, bringing people to joy-filled tears as he hit the punch line. Even on his last day with us, he was cracking jokes and unable to pass up an opportunity to comfort others with laughter.

Lorton passed on March 18, 2015, surrounded by his loving family. He had an extremely rare type of cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. It is with profound grief that we learn to live with only Lorton’s memory, knowing he was loved and respected by so many people but especially by his entire family, whom he loved most of all. A paddle out and celebration of his life will be held in May.

In lieu of flowers and those wishing to contribute, Lorton’s family is in the process of setting up a memorial fund. Donations can be made to the Lorton Mitchell Cancer Research Fund that will go towards finding a better treatment/cure for this aggressive type of cancer.

Lorton is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn, their three children Christopher Lorton Mitchell, Taylor Marks Mitchell and Mallory Elizabeth Mitchell as well as five heart broken brothers and sisters; Ralph Mitchell, Kent Mitchell, Scot Cunningham, Ann Stevenson and Belle Mitchell Wood. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews who all adored their Uncle Lorton.

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