Ben Faye Mitchell Jr, 69, of Klamath Falls, Ore., passed away on January 8, 2024, of natural causes.
Ben was born on May 19, 1954, in Klamath Falls to Ben and Betty Lou Mitchell. He was the first of six siblings born. After graduating from Klamath Union High School in 1972, Ben attended Central Oregon Community College in Bend, OR. Upon leaving COCC, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service fighting fires on the Helitack Crew and at the old Chiloquin Mill. Ben enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping. He especially enjoyed playing basketball in various local leagues and traveling to All-Indian Basketball Tournaments throughout the Northwest. Ben would mostly play for the Sprague River Ducks or the Beatty Hawks with local tribal members.
In 1976, Ben met Kathleen J. Eitner, and in 1977 they married. They had one son, Kiota N. Mitchell. Ben worked for Sherm’s Thunderbird Market for close to 30 years as the Night Manager. After leaving Sherm’s, he found a job he truly loved, being a Medical Transporter for Klamath Tribal Health and Family Services. Ben enjoyed helping his people and their families.
In 2019, after an accident forced Ben to retire, he enjoyed reading and could finish novels in a few short days. He had a lifelong love of watching and collecting movies. Ben enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends and enjoyed seeing new sights. He often watched or attended live
sporting events, both local, College, and Professional. Ben enjoyed attending Tribal Celebrations, especially the Klamath Restoration Celebration and the All-Indian tournaments and was able to attend The Gathering of Nations in New Mexico. Ben would attend and take part in various Klamath Tribal Ceremonies. Each of Ben’s grandparents was a member of four different Tribes, including the Klamath, Modoc, Confederated Tribes, and Bands of the Yakima Nation and Pitt River Tribes. Ben was a proudly enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes.
Ben was pre-deceased by his parents, Ben Mitchell Sr and Betty Lou Underwood/Shuey Mitchell; and foster parents Bill and Winona Rentz; Siblings Bryan and Gale Mitchell; Grandparents Ben Faye Mitchell and Bessie Eads-Mitchell Woodrow ‘Woody’ Underwood; and Mabal Ball-Shuey; and foster sister Betty Case.
Ben is survived by his wife, Kathleen Mitchell; son, Kiota and wife, Jessica Mitchell of Klamath Falls, OR; brothers Jeff and wife Kathleen Mitchell of Chiloquin, OR; Marc and his wife Robin Mitchell of La Grande, OR; sister Gwendolyn Mitchell of Klamath Falls, OR. And foster siblings Rosie Duran, Billie Rentz, and Joe Hood Sr. Ben is also survived by many nephews, nieces, and cousins from the Klamath Tribes, Pitt River Tribe, Yakima Tribe, and Siletz Tribe who were very dear to him. He is also survived by lifelong friends Randell Whiting, Ed Rodgers, and Mike
Ben asked that his remains be held for cremation in a manner consistent with tribal custom and tradition. An Honoring Celebration and Gathering will be held for Ben later this Sqo/Spring in Chiloquin, Ore., followed by a Burial Ceremony at Schonchin Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the
family requests donations be made to local service providers, Tayas Yawqs, Klamath Falls, Ore., Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Bolder Col., or to the charity of your choice.