Lewis Melvin “Bud” Mitchell, 68, died Jan. 10, 2020, in Montana. Lew was born May 29, 1951, in Harmony in Iredell County to Rachel Shatley Mitchell and the late Frank Mitchell.

He was raised on the family farm with his brother, Vernon. After graduation from North Iredell High School in 1969, he attended Virginia Computer College, earning his degree in computer programming. He went to work for Ithaca Textiles briefly before being drafted by the U.S. Army in 1971. Basic training was in South Carolina and he was transferred to Colorado Springs, Colo., where he fell in love with the Rocky Mountains, the outdoors and riding motorcycles.

He worked for the Forestry Service for 32 years, which provided him the opportunity to move around the Rocky Mountain states. During his time working in Wyoming, he met the love of his life, Gwen. They were engaged in Montana and married in 2002, settling in Tooele, Utah. In 2005, Lew retired and they moved to their happy place, southwest Montana. Lew never met a stranger. He had friends across the U.S. and will be missed by them.

Survivors include his wife, Gwen, of Anaconda, Mont.; his mother, Rachel, of North Wilkesboro; a brother and sister-in-law, Vernon and Brenda Mitchell of Millers Creek; a niece, Natasha Mitchell Nielsen, and husband, Kris, of Mechanicsville, Va.; a great-nephew, Landen; three stepdaughters and nine step-grandchildren who called him Grampa Woo. Also surviving are his special aunts, Edith Johnson and Margaret Walker of Winston-Salem and Nancy Privette of Statesville, and numerous cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Frank Samuel Mitchell; several aunts and uncles; his brother-in-law, Geoff Miller; and a step-granddaughter, Tobie Ann Robson.

A celebration of life service will be held in North Wilkesboro at a later date.

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