The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Francis J. Mitchell


November 3, 2021 | View PDF

Francis J. Mitchell, age 93, of Chappell, NE, passed away Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at his home in Chappell.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 in the First United Methodist Church in Sidney, NE, with Pastor Corey Jenkins officiating. Interment will be in the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery in Alliance, NE at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Services will be recorded and available on our website for viewing. Friends may stop at the Gehrig-Stitt Chapel on Monday from 1-6:00 P.M. to sign Francis’s register book and leave condolences for the family. Family will be present from 4-6:00 P.M. Memorials can be made to the family for future designation.

You may view Francis’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at

Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service, LLC is in charge of Francis’s care and funeral arrangements.

Francis was born in Brownson, NE, on April 1, 1928, to James and Selma (Anderson) Mitchell. He left home at a young age to work on various farms and ranches in Cheyenne County. Many life long friendships were made during this time. Among those were the Rapp family, Wilson family, Olson family, Childers family and Kraupie family. He dearly loved all his family.

In October 1950, he joined the US Army serving in the Korean War until July 1952. On January 14, 1956, he married Alice Benzel in Sidney, NE and they were happily married for 65 years. They lived in various places including Norton, KS, Sidney, Dalton, Potter, Sunol and finally Chappell, NE. From the early 1960’s through the 1970’s, they operated a family trucking business hauling various livestock and hay. Francis continued hauling livestock and stayed self-employed until the day he passed away. He also managed several service stations, cement plants, was an employee for the City of Chappell for twenty years retiring in 2002, Chappell night patrol officer, assistant with Kraupie Auction Service and a ring man at various sale barns. He was also an active member of the American Legion for 58 years and VFW. He traded horses and ponies all his life.

Francis is survived by his loving wife, Alice, sons Dale John and wife Ronda of Chappell, Gale Francis of Lodgepole, Billy Joe of Chappell, Keith Alan and wife Susan of Lodgepole and daughter Donna Kay Temple and husband Will of Julesburg, CO, 16 grandchildren - Alicia, Tim, Sandy, Heather, Josh, Dustin, Lucas, Ashley, Celeste, Keifer, Katie, Bryce, Stefanie, Desmond, Janell, Alana, Jade, Aarika and 19 great grandchildren – Alexis, Parker, Kylie, Shaylee, Brayden, Lance, Emma, Natalie, Kensley, Colt, Ashlynn, Sofia, Camille, Ember, Alexis Grace, Dawson, Elijah, Deric, Ellis. Sisters Pearl Wood of Sidney, Ruby Jung of Potter and Irene Young of Morrill. Extended adopted family Paul & Millie Wilson and family.

Francis was preceded in death by his parents James and Selma, brothers, James, Richard, Robert and Kenneth, sisters, Ruth Bonser and Ester Christensen.


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