David Wolfe Mitchell
June 23, 1940 — August 21, 2011
Dave Mitchell, poet and translator, died peacefully in the arms
of his wife, Barbara Mountrey, August 21.
Dave was born in Brooklyn and raised in Yorktown Heights,
NY. He met his wife in 1958, and they remained close friends
ever after, finally reuniting in 1997 and marrying in 2003.
Dave was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007, but was able
to live at home until May 2011. He then moved into The
Victorian Residential Care, where he received loving care and
comfort. In June he was placed under the care of Heartland
Hospice, who kept him calm and comfortable until he
succumbed to the effects of Alzheimer’s, exacerbated by COPD
and heart damage from rheumatic fever at the age of 7.
Dave’s one book of poetry is now out of print, but most of his
poems can be found at motherbird.com. He was always
amazed by evidence of worldwide respect for his poems, such
as finding that they had been translated into Estonian. He was
also excited to have some of his poems used in state
graduation exams, because they would be read by thousands
of students, an audience few poets achieve.
Dave taught himself to read Russian and became a translator
of technical journals. He was quite proud of having translated
documents related to decommissioning a Russian biochemical
Dave also supported the work of many other writers, artists
and photographers by publishing Talus and Scree, an
international literary journal.
He is survived by his sons Timothy Keene deWard Mitchell,
Christopher Daniel Mitchell and Joshua O’Keeffe; his brother,
James Duane Mitchell (Katherine); brother-in-law and friend
William Mountrey; and former wives Jeanne deWard and Polly
He was predeceased by his parents, James and Helene
Mitchell, and by his brother William and sister Jane Meri.