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Developer of Erskine’s computer system dies

Retired Erskine staff member William Franklin Mitchell, Jr. died Sept. 25, 2021.

A 1970 graduate of Erskine College, he majored in mathematics and went on to earn a master’s degree in Education at Clemson University. He taught physics, math, and computer science at Belton-Honea Path High School.

In 1976, he began serving his alma mater as Computer Operations Supervisor. He developed the computer system at Erskine from the ground up. “Franklin brought Erskine into the computer age, establishing its IT system and setting up the first mainframe computer at the college,” said Richard Haldeman, who served as Erskine’s public relations director for many years. Mitchell was promoted to Director of Computer Services in 1985. After retiring from Erskine in 2003, he taught at Northside Middle School in Greenwood, S.C.

An active member of the Due West ARP Church, he served as a deacon and managed the church’s sound system.

He had a keen interest in technology, especially electronics, and was a longtime ham radio operator. He also enjoyed coaching youth soccer in Due West and keeping score for Erskine College home games.

Survivors include his children, the Rev. James “Jim” Mitchell ’02 and wife Crystal; Amanda Gaston and husband Kyl; Emily Mitchell; and William “Bill” Mitchell and wife April; his sisters, Jane Mitchell ’66 and the Rev. Kathryn Mitchell Dudley ’77; and nine grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, at 2 p.m. in the Due West ARP Church, with interment to follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the George Franklin and Ethel Williams Mitchell Seminary Scholarship Fund, Erskine Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 338, Due West, SC 29639.

Please pray for the Mitchell family.

View the entire obituary here.

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