William B. Mitchell – known as Bruce to his family and Bill to his friends and colleagues – died January 26 at Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers after a brief period of declining health. Bruce was born November 11, 1930 to William H. and Marguerite Mitchell in Melrose. He was raised in Malden and as a youth spent summers at Great Neck, Ipswich, where he developed his lifelong love for boating and the ocean. As a teenager, he taught himself to ski on the roof of the family garage, and skiing became a pastime he would enjoy with his family for many years at Burke Mountain in Vermont.
After serving in the Air National Guard and Army, Bruce met his wife Elizabeth (“Betty”) Carter in Ipswich, obtained an Aeronautical Engineering degree from Boston University, and settled on Great Neck to start a family, eventually moving to Andover. Always on the go, he built the first three houses he owned while working full-time and helping raise the family. He became a fixture on Ipswich Bay and New England waters, powerboating and sailing with his family and friends, and he won his share of sailboat races at the Ipswich Bay Yacht Club.
Bruce was a successful entrepreneur and business executive in the electronics industry, co-founding National Semiconductor Inc. in Methuen and eventually retiring from Unitrode Corporation in 1987 after serving as COO. He also served on several corporate boards. Upon retirement, he and Betty moved to Stuart, FL to enjoy golfing, boating and fishing trips to the Bahamas. They later returned to Ipswich, organizing regular friendly golf matches with many friends at the Ipswich Country Club. Most recently he resided in Rowley.
All who knew him enjoyed Bruce’s smart, quick sense of humor and ability to make others laugh in nearly any situation. He was gregarious, generous and a skilled problem solver. He worked hard, played hard and knew how to enjoy life, which he lived fully.
He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Betty; sons Craig and wife Susan Mitchell of Palm Coast FL, Brian and wife Mary Mitchell of Ipswich and their sons Jake and Dean, and Barry and wife Angela Mitchell of Boxford and their son Andrew and daughter Hannah; and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sister Leora Mitchell.
A service will be held Thursday February 2nd. at 11:00 A.M. in the Morris Funeral Home 45 North Main Street, Ipswich. Visitation will be Thursday from 10:00 A.M. until the hour of the service, relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Burial is to be private. In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Bruce’s name to a charity of your choice. To send a letter of condolence to the Mitchell family please go to: MorrisFH.com .
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