Saturday, Mar 8, 2014
Former Christopher Resident Honors Community in His Will
CHRISTOPHER -- A former Franklin County resident has left behind a special donation for his old community.
Three Christopher departments will soon get $5,000 each thanks to the last will and testament of a man who seems to be a mystery.
Christopher Mayor Gary Bartolotti says this summer the city received notice from a Florida bank that a former Christopher resident named John Mitchell left money in his will for the city. The documents showed that Mitchell left $5,000 each to Christopher's library, fire, and police departments.
"I guess he left after he got out of school," says Bartolotti. "I mean, no one really knew him."
The mayor says the donation is great, but who Mr. Mitchell was seems to be a mystery.
"Asking everybody if they knew a John Mitchell and I said, the only thing that I could think of is Aud Mitchell's son," he explains.
News 3 was unable to reach the few cousins Mitchell has left in the area, so we checked the yearbooks at the library. There was no luck there, but we were able to find his wife Ruth's obituary online.
We found out John was a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and a special FBI agent. Mitchell died in 1999, but the trust money wasn't available until after his wife died in June of this year.
"I'm shocked," says Library Board President Leon Jourdan. "We have several people that have left $100, $200, up to $500, but nothing like $5,000."
Jourdan says the money will be a big help funding their book exchange program. The police department may use the funds to update their computers. The fire chief says he's looking into purchasing some new gear for their trucks.
"We really appreciate his thoughtfulness to give back to this community," the mayor insists.
Mr. Mitchell may not be known, but his good deed won't go unnoticed. Bartolotti expects the funds to be distributed in the coming weeks.
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