John Clark Mitchell, a retired city housing authority manager who also owned an Ocean City apartment house, died of pneumonia complications Friday at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Towson resident was 89.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Maryland Avenue in Charles Village, he attended SS. Philip and James Parochial School and was a 1936 graduate of Loyola High School. He earned a bachelor's degree at Loyola College.
Mr. Mitchell served in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps until 1945 and did background checks on military personnel who had access to classified material.
After the war, he worked at the Baltimore Housing Authority; he retired in 1980 as an executive manager.
Mr. Mitchell also had several businesses. He owned a liquor store in Mount Vernon and the Majestic Apartments in Ocean City, which he co-owned with his brother-in-law, Howard Fitzgerald. Mr. Mitchell ran the Majestic until 1983.
"My father could oftentimes be found with a paintbrush in hand or tinkering on a project at the Majestic," said his son, J. Paul Mitchell of Lutherville. "He was convinced the world could be repaired and cleaned with WD-40 and paint thinner."
In 1960, Mr. Mitchell, his wife and a partner purchased the Dunes Club, another Ocean City business, on 85th Street. They converted it into the Carriage House Nightclub and Restaurant. A March 1962 storm destroyed it. They later participated in the development of the Antigua Condominiums in Ocean City.
Family members said Mr. Mitchell was a reader of history and a "fabulous mixologist, always happy to open his bar to family and friends." He also prided himself on sharing the same birthday as former President John F. Kennedy, whom he admired.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home Inc., 6500 York Road, Rodgers Forge.
In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 65 years, the former Edith Maria Ariosa; a daughter, Katharine "Kit" Mitchell Ulgen of Mays Chapel; three grandchildren; and two great-grandsons.