Colonel G. Thorpe Mitchell USAF Ret

May 13th
Colonel G. Thorpe Mitchell, United States Air Force
Colonel G. Thorpe Mitchell, United States Air Force (USAF), husband to Karen Mitchell, father to Brad Mitchell and son of Gerald and Marcia Mitchell, passed on December 11, 2016.  Born April 2, 1938 in New Kensington, Pennsylvania.
Thorpe grew up along the East Coast and moved to Wilmette, Illinois, in 1954, where he later graduated from New Trier High School.  In 1960, Thorpe graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU), Delaware, Ohio.  While at OWU, Thorpe was in the USAF Reserve Officer Training Corps, member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and lettered four yours as the goalie on the varsity lacrosse team. 
Upon graduation, Thorpe was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAF; later graduating from flight school.  In 1962, Thorpe married the love of his life, Karen (Boyd) Mitchell, 54 years.  They were assigned to several USAF bases within the United States and Tachikawa, Japan, where their son, Brad was born.  Captain Mitchell earned the Air Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Vietnam Service ribbon, flying the C-124 Globemaster.  
Upon returning to the United States in 1967, Thorpe briefly left the military to pursue a business career and earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago in 1969.  However, his love of flying quickly lured him back to military aviation and Grissom Air Force base, Indiana.  While there,  and later with the Indiana Air National Guard (Fort Wayne Baer Field), Thorpe flew the A-37, F-100 and F-4 Phantom II and in 1980, he earned “Top Gun” honors for the 122nd Tactical Fighter Wing.  Thorpe and Karen lived at Lake Tippecanoe in Leesburg, Indiana, from 1977 to the present.  
In 1985, Thorpe was ordained by Dr Lester Sumrall of Lester Sumrall Evangelical Association (LESEA).  Thorpe and Karen pastored the Northern Lakes Cathedral of Praise in North Webster, Indiana from 1983-2003.   Thorpe served as LESEA’s chief pilot, and flew the Cessna Citation, Falcon 20 and the C-130 Hercules.  Thorpe’s proudest accomplishment was running LESEA’s missionary outreach, Feed the Hungary program in the early 1990s.  Mission trips included flying into formerly restricted areas of the world, including Iran and many of the former Soviet Union countries as well as in Eastern Europe. Thorpe retired from the Air Force (Reserve) as a Colonel at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in 1990.  
Thorpe is survived by wife Karen, son Colonel Brad Mitchell (US Army, Retired), Daughter-in-law Dr. Jeanne Mitchell and grandchildren Andrej, Allison and Mark.  A Memorial will take place, Saturday, December 17, 2016, from 1-2 PM at the Faith Christian Center, 1801 W. Clinton Street, Goshen Indiana.  Interment, with Full Military Honors, will be at Arlington National Military Cemetery on Wednesday May 17, 2017 11 AM Fort Meyers Chapel.

Leave a private condolence for the family below