Jonathan Mitchell

Peace Corps Press Release:

September 5, 2018

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen is saddened to confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Jonathan Mitchell of Iron Mountain, Michigan. Jonathan, 25, died from an automobile accident in Togo on September 4, 2018.

“Jon was a wonderful Peace Corps volunteer,” Director Olsen said. “He was passionate about the projects he led, helping to protect the environment and improve food security, and he was dedicated to building strong relationships throughout his community. The entire Peace Corps family is grieving his loss. We send our heartfelt sympathies to Jon’s parents and siblings, and we hope they can find some measure of comfort in knowing how much Jon means to the Peace Corps and to his community.”

Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During his college years, he worked on a farm, taught English in Vietnam, and produced instructional videos in Kenya. In his free time, he enjoyed gardening, fishing, and photography. He took pride in coming from a family with a long tradition of service to others, and he looked forward to building on that legacy in Togo.

Before beginning his Peace Corps service, Jonathan wrote of his eagerness to experience new cultures and new perspectives. As a Peace Corps volunteer, he hoped to “gain knowledge of another culture that is different from what I am accustomed to” and in the process of this “invaluable experience,” he said, “I believe I will grow and learn new things about myself.”

Jonathan is survived by his parents, Carol and Daniel Mitchell; his siblings and their spouses, Benjamin and Cyprine Mitchell, Joshua Mitchell, Alyssa and Patrick Gehndyu, Danielle and Matthew Yu, Meeyom Mitchell, Andrew and Stephanie Mitchell, and Trang and Ross Neubauer; his nieces and nephews Jayden, Zoe, Annabelle, Olivia, Mason, and Addison; his grandmothers Helen Mitchell and Beverley Cuddy; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins in Vietnam.

From the Iron Mountain Daily News:

An Iron Mountain man who worked with the Peace Corps was killed Tuesday in an automobile accident in the west African nation of Togo.

The death of Jonathan Mitchell, 25, was confirmed Wednesday by Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen.

He had been an environmental volunteer in Togo since May 2017, working what usually is a 24-month assignment that can be extended, the Peace Corps press office said.

According to staff in Togo, Mitchell taught agriculture to middle school students and organized an environmental club. “He not only enabled the students to become aware that they need to protect their environment by preserving trees, but he had also established a permagarden at the school so the students could learn about vegetable gardening,” the Peace Corps statement said. “This activity provided Jon with an opportunity to speak with the students about the importance of balanced nutrition. Many of the students replicated the techniques learned at the school garden with their own family gardens.”

“Jon was a wonderful Peace Corps volunteer,” Olsen said in a news release. “He was passionate about the projects he led, helping to protect the environment and improve food security, and he was dedicated to building strong relationships throughout his community. The entire Peace Corps family is grieving his loss. We send our heartfelt sympathies to Jon’s parents and siblings, and we hope they can find some measure of comfort in knowing how much Jon means to the Peace Corps and to his community.”

Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During his college years, he worked on a farm, taught English in Vietnam and produced instructional videos in Kenya. In his free time, he enjoyed gardening, fishing and photography.

He took pride in coming from a family with a long tradition of service to others — his brother, Benjamin Mitchell, also had been in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso — and he looked forward to building on that legacy in Togo, according to the Peace Corps.

He is the son of Carol and Daniel Mitchell of Iron Mountain.

If you are a family member or friend of Jonathan’s and you would like to personalize this page, please reach out to We would like it to be meaningful to those who knew and loved him. – With deepest sympathy.

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37 Responses to Jonathan Mitchell

  1. Russell Haner February 8, 2019 at 1:17 pm #

    My deepest condolences for your loss. The world is a better place for your son’s presence and it is with great respect that I honor his commitment to service to others.
    Russell Haner, RPCV Animal Traction – Agriculture, Tohoun, Togo 1990-1992

  2. Todd Stewart September 12, 2018 at 7:07 pm #

    My deepest sympathy to Jonathons family and friends. My son and Jon met in Washington DC day one before they deployed to Togo. They were assigned to neighboring villages and regularly met for adventure and training. I have followed Jon’s Instagram from the beginning and had hoped to meet him one day. My son sends his condolences and promises to finish the adventure they started. Godspeed young man, you are going to be sorely missed…

  3. Carol L. Johnson September 11, 2018 at 5:31 am #

    Dear Dr. Mitchell and family……I have “good memories” of DCHS going back to the 1980’s and 90;s….I always respected you and surely you and your family are close…..Life is precious……God is in control of all…..thankful that I can write and express my thoughts of love to you all during this time…..from Crystal Falls, Carol L Johnson

  4. Perry Shulstad September 10, 2018 at 10:43 pm #

    Dan and Carol,

    We were saddened to hear about the loss of your son, Jonathan. We have fond memories of him as he grew up down the street. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Perry and Sandra Shulstad

  5. Zoe September 10, 2018 at 5:53 pm #

    My deepest condolences to Jonathan’s family. Know that PCVs all over the world are mourning his passing. Because even though I didn’t know this young man personally, as a recent RPCV I know the strength of character and resilience required to serve in Peace Corps. He was part of a special brother/sisterhood that has tremendous courage and empathy, and just enough craziness to try and make the world a better, more peaceful place. I would have loved to meet him at a Michigan RPCV event one day. I am grateful for his service and am so deeply sorry for your loss.

    Zoe Post
    RPCV Paraguay 15-17

  6. Laura Bishop September 8, 2018 at 8:04 pm #

    Dan and Carol – I enjoyed running into you in Vietnam last March in Hue but now am so saddened to hear of your loss. Please know I will keep the entire family in my prayers.

  7. Gladys Cojocari September 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

    I am so sorry to read of Jonathan’s death. He obviously was a person with a great heart and a generous spirit, I hope his family and friends are comforted by knowing that his life touched many people, and that he died in a place he loved to be, doing things he loved to do. Love never dies.

  8. Charles E. Steen September 7, 2018 at 5:24 pm #

    A beautiful remembrance of a terrific, committed and Godly young man! I know he will be deeply missed by all his family, friends and associates. My all be comforted in the mysterious working of the God he sought to serve among people so different whom he loved.

  9. Craig Hedges September 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

    Dan and Carol, we can’t truly understand your pain and loss but pray the God of all comfort will surround you and wrap you in His love, and that His promises and warm memories of Jon will sustain you.

    Craig and Rebecca

  10. Ginny Teel September 7, 2018 at 2:14 pm #

    Dear Dan, Carol and family,

    We first met Jon when he was a small child in Vietnam. He was bright and bubbly then and it seems that continued throughout his life from reading the comments below.

    Your family has been an inspiration to so many because you know Love and you have given love to so many. Jon was following not only in your family’s
    footsteps but in Love’s footsteps.

    May God’s Great Love hold you in this time of
    inestimable loss. May He give you His comfort and peace. Your family has been, is and will continue to be light and love to so many.
    We love you,
    Ginny Teel

  11. mike pirlot September 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

    jon was a great kid and good soccer player .i coach him in soccer when he was young.prayers for his family and i have no doubt hes playing soccer in heaven

  12. Kristin Edwards September 6, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

    Dr. and Carol Mitchell, and family,
    I have fond memories of Jon as an elementary student, full of curiosity and energy, who had the sweetest smile. I am so sorry for the profound loss of your loved son/ brother, who had such a positive impact on so many. May you be comforted by loved ones, and through the love and peace from our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Praying for you all.

  13. Jim and Blanche Sword September 6, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

    So sorry for your loss, Carol and Dan! Just by reading his obituary, I can tell that he was an incredible man. Prayers for your family during this difficult time!

  14. Marilyn Fazer September 6, 2018 at 6:55 pm #

    Dr., Carol and all the Mitchell’s. You are continually in my prayers during this time of lose. Because of Trang I have followed
    her family and met them at Trang’s wedding. May God bless all of you at this heartbreaking time.

  15. Debbie Gursky September 6, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Sending my love and prayers. With sympathy, Debbie Gursky

  16. Ruth Lanteigne September 6, 2018 at 1:10 pm #

    Dear Carol and Dan, It’s so hard to say goodbye to a child, even though we know it’s only for this life. It makes us wonder why we remain when that vibrant young one has gone on to be with the Lord. I hope you will be comforted by the family and friends who love you so much and all the memories of Jon growing up to be a good man. The Peace Corps tribute is beautiful.

  17. Alyssa September 6, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

    Mia, all of us are praying for you and your family. The entire peace corps community mourns with you. May you feel any comfort in this time.

  18. Jenelle Potvin September 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm #

    Dear Trang and family,
    Deepest condolences on the loss of your incredible brother. He sounded like an extraordinary person and I can’t imagine the void felt in his loss. I wish you peace during this time. With Love, Jenelle

  19. Jan Peterson September 6, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

    Dr. Mitchell, Carol, and family I am so sorry for your loss. Jonathon was an amazing young man. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you all.

  20. Christy Larson Harvey September 6, 2018 at 11:35 am #

    I was privileged to watch Jon grow into the man he became. He spent countless hours with my boys as they grew up together fishing, having paintball wars in our backyard, attending Pathfinders together, and just hanging out by the fire. He never minded including Kyle in his younger years along in their adventures and as they grew up Kyle became as much as a friend to Jon as Matthew. Matthew and Jon had a special bond from the first day they met on the soccer field when they were 6 and shared that through high school. Having a graduation party together and driving me nuts on their senior trip! Jon had a compassionate and loving heart. He was excited about his work. The last time I saw him, he showed me some of the videos he had done and talked about what he planned to do next in life. He always had a huge smile and when you were in his presence you could sense he was looking for that next adventure. He was deeply loved by all that knew him and he left this world a much better place because of what he accomplished in life.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  21. Judy Trethewey September 6, 2018 at 11:10 am #

    Dear Carol, Dan and Families~~ I’m so sorry for your loss. Jon was a wonderful young man. Please accept my condolences, prayers and hugs.
    With great respect, Judy Trethewey

  22. Joe Zingsheim September 6, 2018 at 11:05 am #

    Take comfort in the fact that he passed doing what he loved. (RPCV Honduras 65-67)

  23. Jay Hellman September 6, 2018 at 10:47 am #

    Jon was a perfect example of a “What would Jesus do” lifestyle. Such a good boy with a contagious smile and happy personality. I had the honor of teaching him at Pine Mountain Christian School in Iron Mountain, Michigan. We were always
    laughing. He will be missed by so many. He touched more lives than he could ever realize. Until we meet again Jon.

  24. JoAnn Sanford September 6, 2018 at 10:26 am #

    My deepest sympathy to Dr Dan and Carol Mitchell, former members of my church. Also know Dan from his time being on staff for the hospital I work at. Praying for your family.

  25. Stella Hansen September 6, 2018 at 9:43 am #

    Oh dear hearts your loss is our loss too. May God be with you in this difficult time.

  26. Laurie and Guy Michaud September 6, 2018 at 9:08 am #

    We are so sad to hear of your loss . We pray that You find comfort and peace in knowing that God has a plan in this . We may not understand but we will one day where we will be reunited. Until then I pray God’s love and peace be with you .

  27. Tony Burrows September 6, 2018 at 8:38 am #

    Thoughts and prayers with the Mitchell family, I knew Jon from college and had the privilege of being one of his roommates for the majority of it. To hear this is heartbreaking, but it should be known how much of a positive impact this man had on people’s lives even before he joined the peace corps where he continued his amazing journey of just wanting to help people. So many great memories with him and he will be missed by so many. Love you buddy and thank you for everything. Rest In Peace.

  28. Jonathan Ringel September 6, 2018 at 7:21 am #

    Prayers and sympathies to the entire Mitchell family. Treasure the happy memories with Jonathan and be comforted by the knowledge that he is rejoicing in heaven. His service to making the world a better place is so humbling. Remember that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us. Thank you Jonathan for making a difference.

  29. ROBERT Q September 6, 2018 at 7:14 am #

    Rest in the peace of knowing Jon was making the world better!

  30. Betty Jean Shreve September 6, 2018 at 7:01 am #

    I can only imagine how hard this must be. But God knows !! HE had to give up HIS SON for us. You are wonderful parents and I’m proud of you and ALL you have done for others and His Kingdom. Praying for you!! Love, Jeanie

  31. Kay September 6, 2018 at 6:54 am #

    Praying for your family. Your son was a precious gift from God.

  32. Cynthia Ramsey Moran September 6, 2018 at 5:24 am #

    Wrapping your family up in my most sincere and heartfelt prayers. I simply can’t imagine the walk you are on at this time. Please accept not only my condolences, but the condolences of each and every Peace Corps Volunteer and Parent.

    May His peace surround you.

    Cindy Moran
    Parent of RPCV

  33. Sheri LeBombard September 6, 2018 at 3:46 am #

    Dr. & Carol Mitchell – I was so saddened to come across this news tonight. Please know that my thoughts & prayers are with you and the rest of your family at this sad loss. This hits very close to home for me. On July 7 my husband and I were in a terrible car accident, too, and both the other driver and my husband were killed. I am grieving for my loss as you will for your son, but I know he is with our Lord and that I will see him again. May you have peace in your hearts and faith that you will also see Jonathan again, too. God Bless you all!

  34. Ashley Heesacker September 5, 2018 at 11:36 pm #

    I was blessed beyond belief to meet and be able to know Jon. He was one of those individuals with energy that was contagious. He could lighten up a room & make people laugh until it hurt. I am so proud of who he became and what he did with his life. He truly set out to make an impact and I believe that he has done just that. A great life taken too soon, but the big man must have bigger and better plans for you <3

  35. Luyen Shell September 5, 2018 at 10:38 pm #

    Very sad news… I just heard this news from the group who worked with him last year in my small farm ( in the north of Vietnam, Hoa Binh district ).

    Jon was very good to our team members who are mostly hearing impaired ( in Hanoi ) however, he prefered the countryside in Hoa Binh district where we grow vegetables. A young energetic and loving person who looked for the challenged interested life ahead !

    My team and I are sadden to this news ! We miss him…Our prayers are with the family.

  36. Luke Hueman September 5, 2018 at 10:12 pm #

    Jon was one of my best friends in life. He has inspired me to be a much better person and opened my eyes to the very diverse world we live in. He always made me see things from different points of view and I’ll never be able to thank him enough for that. Jon lived life with so much joy and he’ll always be with me.

  37. Kathy Dunbar September 5, 2018 at 10:04 pm #

    Dan and Carol, I can’t imagine your pain. I am with you in prayer, knowing that the God of all mercies will provide comfort for you and your family in the days and years ahead. He is such a gracious God and you have His promise that you will, someday, be re-united with Jonathan. At this moment may the Lord bless you, keep you and give you the peace which passes all understanding. Love you.

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