Albert (Ben) Mitchell, 79, of Carmi

Albert Benjamin (Ben) Mitchell, 79, of Mount Vernon, Ill., passed away on Thursday, March 4. Born June 15, 1941 in Mount Vernon, Ill., Ben was the youngest child of Q.B. and Harriet (Young) Mitchell. In addition to his parents, Ben was preceded in death by brothers Q.B. (Bud) Mitchell, Jr., Andy Mitchell, Johnny Mitchell and sister, Betty Jane Mitchell.

He grew up in Carmi, playing basketball, football and track, and served as president of his high school class. He spent summers working in the oil rigs for his family’s business. Ben stayed close with his high school friends, coordinating regular reunions for the Carmi High School class of 1959 for over 50 years. After marrying Cynthia (Cyndy) Glenn on Nov. 21, 1962, and graduating from the University of Tulsa, he returned to Illinois with his new bride to attend law school at the University of Illinois.

Following law school, Ben began his 54-year law career in 1966 with the Craig & Craig law firm in Mount Vernon, Ill. In 1978, he branched out and began an independent law practice which evolved into Mitchell Law Practice, PC. His work focused on estate planning, coal, oil and gas, real estate and small business law. He enjoyed a reputation as a hard-working attorney, and was recognized by Leading Lawyers and Crain’s Chicago Business as a top Illinois lawyer. Ben was also awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating, an honor bestowed on only 5 percent of lawyers in America. He was finalizing client work in anticipation of retirement when he received a cancer diagnosis in late January 2021.

Ben was a strong supporter of his community, serving on the boards of the Jefferson County Development Corporation, the District 80 Grade School, and the Mount Vernon Township High School. He was a member of JCCC (Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce), Jaycees, the First United Methodist Church and several civic organizations. He was a recipient of the JCCC President’s Award.

Ben’s passion for salmon fishing is well-known. He spent summers fishing Lake Michigan for over 40 years on his boat, the Great Escape. As a boating enthusiast, he not only taught his own children and grandchildren to waterski, but over the years he introduced scores of family friends and their kids to waterskiing on Rend Lake.

He was a generous man with a quiet sense of humor. He loved his family immensely and enjoyed spending time with his three grandchildren.

Ben is survived by his wife of 58 years, Cyndy; daughter, Jamie Carroll and husband, Ted of Carmichael, Calif.; son Mark Mitchell and wife, Sarah of San Jose, Calif.; his brother, Jim Mitchell of Carmi; grandchildren, Katie Mitchell, Gigi Mitchell and Hayden Carroll; his mother-in-law, Lou Glenn; sister-in-law, Sammeye Winesburg of McAlester, Okla. and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

A graveside service will be held at Oakwood Cemetery on Saturday, March 13 at noon. Interment will follow. Please remember to observe social distancing at this time. Wearing a mask is required to attend this service. They will be made available, upon request. For those who wish to watch the service from afar, it will be available via Zoom. Go to zoom.us/join and enter the Meeting ID: 868 7460 4710.

Should you wish to remember Ben, memorial contributions may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org), Jefferson County CASA (www.jeffersoncountycasa.com) or the Freedom Fishing Foundation (www.freedomfishingfoundation.com).

Call Hughey Funeral Home at 618-242-3348 or visit HugheyFH.com for more information.