James Donald Mitchell

August 7, 1940February 21, 2021

James Donald Mitchell, age 80, of Knoxville, Tennessee passed away on Sunday, February 21, 2021. Don was born on August 7, 1940 in Knoxville to Sherrill and Fannie Mitchell.

He graduated from Young High School in Knoxville and later attended University of Tennessee where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Arts. After college, Don joined his family business Knoxville Scenic Design Studio where he designed stages and backdrops for over fifty years.

Don was an avid bowler and was a member of Smoky Mountains USBC Hall of Fame. He bowled for sixty years.

Don is predeceased by his parents and his daughter and son-in-law, Sheryl and George Sampson. Don is survived by his wife of 24 years, Jackie R. Mitchell, his son James Donald Mitchell II of Nashville, his stepdaughters Pam Monroe (Dan) and Lynn Jenkins (Mark), grandchildren Lauren Bowman (Matt), Burton Sampson (Rachel), Michael Sampson, Steven Sampson, Kristen Sampson, Clark Mitchell and Graham Mitchell. He is survived by his step-grandchildren Sam Monroe, Alex McMahan (Andrew), Trey Foster and one step great-grandson Kit McMahan. Don is also survived by his sister Lynn Montgomery.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at Berry Highland Memorial Funeral Home at 5315 Kingston Pike in Knoxville, TN 37919. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm in the Chapel at Berry Highland Memorial Funeral Home followed by a committal service in the Berry Highland Memorial Cemetery.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations be made in his memory to East Tennessee Foundation at 520 Summit Hill Drive Suite 1101 Knoxville, TN. 37902 or through their website at


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021


James Donald Mitchell

have a memory or condolence to add?

George and Brandy Cooper

February 24, 2021


I am heartbroken at the loss of Don. I will always have fond memories of him. It just won’t be the same bowling without being able to beat him. I will miss him terribly.

Jaime & Stephanie Forbes

February 23, 2021

We were both saddened to hear of Don’s passing, he was such a sweetheart and we will treasure the moments we had together bowling. Please accept our deepest and most heartfelt condolences at this challenging time. Continued prayers for you and your family.

Freddie /Sharon Tipton

February 23, 2021

Jackie we love you and will continue praying for you. Don was a great man and a great friend. I remember him buying me a candy bar when I started bowling bad which was a lot. I can see him separating his m &m’s by colors. So sorry we love you. If you need anything we are here.

Tabitha and Kevin Miller

February 22, 2021

J.Don, I will miss you greatly. You were such an important part of my life. Thank you for all the laughs and hugs.


Janet Hendrix

February 22, 2021

I knew Don for a long time. He bowled with my dad for many years. We all travelled to bowling tournaments and had many laughs along the way.

I will remember with fondness all the times we sat at Bullfeathers watch UT football and basketball games eating wings and drinking beer while Don had his diet coke and spiced rum.

Gonna miss you J. Don ... RIP