Long time Darien resident, Robert S. Mitchell a World War II  veteran who served as an officer on the USS YMS-349 in the Atlantic theater and on another minesweeper, USS YMS-117 in the Pacific and eventually ended his naval career as Executive Officer on the USS YMS-117 will serve as Grand Marshal and lead Darien’s 2018 Memorial Day Parade.

Lieutenant J.G., Mitchell was qualified as a navigator, gunnery, supply, commissary and communications officer. Born in Richmond Hill, New York, Mitchell graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree  in economics and spent two years at the USNTS at Princeton, New Jersey. and attended the Naval Reserve Midshipman School at Fort Schuyler, New York, and the Naval Training Center in Miami, Florida. Mitchell was awarded the American Theater Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

He and his family have lived locally since 1970. Married to Mary, they have three sons and four daughters, three of whom live in Darien as do 11 of their 20 grandchildren. Mitchell was for many years a Division Manager for Union Carbide Corporation, after which he became an independent marketing consultant developing and producing various brands of antifreeze products. Mitchell has served as Past President of the Darien Men’s Association and is active as a Eucharistic Minister, Lector and Financial Assistant at St. Thomas More Church.  Mitchell also served two terms as a Member of the Parish Council. He coached Girls’ Travel Soccer and was instrumental in making girls’ soccer a varsity sport at Darien High School.

This year’s Memorial Day parade will kick off promptly at 10 a.m.  from Goodwives Shopping Center where participants are asked to assemble by 9:30 a.m.. The Parade continues from the shopping center down the Post Road to Spring Grove Veterans Cemetery where a ceremony is conducted. Gold Star Mother, Patricia Parry is the guest speaker at this year’s ceremony.