Kurt Davis Mitchell

July 24, 1952July 1, 2020

Kurt Davis Mitchell, 67, passed away July 1. A freelance artist and writer, his work graced the pages of the Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Sun-Times among others. He also worked in video game development.

In later years he self-published over a dozen comic books, graphic novels and short story anthologies. Among the better-known are Cannon Boy, Tao of the Stubbie Pencil, Scratched from Dreams, and a revised version of his children’s classic Poor Ralph. An Oak Lawn Community High School graduate, he held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millikin University, where he was in the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Hobbies included music (clarinet and tenor sax), toy collecting, genealogy, and wines.

He is survived by his brother Jon, sister-in-law Ester, nieces Monica and Lydia, and nephew David. A service will be held Friday, July 17th at 11:00am at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home, 4727 W. 103rd Street, Oak Lawn 60453.

In consideration of the safety of our guests and associates, Blake-Lamb Funeral Home will adhere to the current gathering restrictions in the state of Illinois, which allow 50 or fewer guests at services. Proper social distancing must be practiced and all guests will be required to wear face masks at all times. Thank you for your cooperation.


Kurt Davis Mitchell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Brad France

October 3, 2020

Sorry to see that such a talented and kind person has left us.
As a grade school classmate I recall Kurt always sketching. I am grateful to have known him then. He was pleasant and considerate to all

Carla Winterbottom

August 16, 2020

I’ve know Kurt through the Chicago art world for many years. His dedication, talent, style and friendliness were impressive. Many good conversations. Missed and remembered

Angel Contreras

August 8, 2020

My teacher at Ray college, my mentor in art. Many years after Graduation and the process of life, Kurt and I made contact again. I reached out to him and invited him to visit. He came to a gig at which I was drawing caricatures and stayed to watch and talk. Teacher and student reunited. I then invited him to my house and we sketched together and talked trade and the journey life had taken us.
After some time we came to talk about faith. He related his history of being a Lutheran and his struggle in faith. I invited Kurt to join me at Bible Study Fellowship. His faith flourished and I was honored to listen to him share his insights into Scripture and witness his gentle devotion to Jesus Christ. He asked riveting questions (always the gadfly), challenged me to think thoroughly through propositions just as much as he would challenge me to think through my drawings. Kurt and I had many spirited conversations on art and faith, my life is richer for it.

Kurt loved Christ deeply. Trusted Him with his soul and was faithful even when struggling with loneliness and pain. I’ll miss my friend. I look forward to seeing him again in our Father’s house.

Joe Gaske

August 3, 2020

God bless you brother. AEKDB.

Laurie Winkelman

July 13, 2020

I am sad to learn that Kurt and his many talents are no longer with us. I remember in early grammar school Kurt being a standout artist, even then. At OLCHS, he was a topnotch student and an exemplary friend to those in his academic, artistic and musical circles. To me, Kurt was high school royalty, and I admired him from afar.
My sincere condolences to Kurt's family and friends.

Ray Cioni

July 12, 2020

Kurt was an extremely talented, thinking person’s artist and a loyal friend. No one could touch his Prismacolor pencil skills. He’d dump a fresh set from Brudno Art Supply into a basket of pencils worn down to a nub, and transform a blank sheet into a whimsical oversized portrait of a shifty-eyed gangster or proud chef.

Kurt was my first ‘Artist in Residence’. Together we turned our passion for publishing into a mission. Whether illustrating the story of Jonah as a mouse or ‘Poor Ralph’ a fable of faith, book projects let Kurt’s skills shine brightly.

We pushed each other to do better. He told me once that to make up for his drawing inadequacies, he piled on layers of detail. With time he made the switch to digital and kept busy.

His love for the Lord led him thru a life creating art in his unique style. Not long ago he boasted that he reconnected to a faith group he loved (and loved him.)  

If the Renaissance masters are assigned work in heaven, Kurt will be joining them soon, pencils in hand.

slug signorino

July 10, 2020

in the late 70's early 80's kurt and i had lunch at the same asian
restaurant alot, on one lunch the waitress chewed us out for eating too many crushed peanuts from the condiment tray.
we had many laffs together !

rest in peace kurt

slug signorino

David Mitchell

July 9, 2020

I remember one night in which Kurt and I had a long and heartfelt conversation. I listened as he told me about the loss of his cat, about how he had begun to pray with his cat when that impending loss became apparent, and how the cat had learned his routine of prayers and psalm readings and began situating himself accordingly, as if he was reminding Kurt to pray.

"Dogs are your buddies, your pals," he told me. "Dogs touch your heart. But cats touch your soul. There's something spiritual about cats. The ancient Egyptians understood that."

It was such a fascinating observation that I felt compelled to use this line a short story I wrote later on. A year or two later, when Kurt read the story, he said to me, "Wow, that was a great line. 'Dogs touch your heart, cats touch your soul'. Where did you get that from?"

I told him, of course, that he had said those exact words to me. He was astonished.

Frank Schaeffer

July 9, 2020

I met Kurt through our friend Ray Cioni in the 1970s. Kurt illustrated and designed the cover for my first book "Addicted to Mediocrity." He contributed to several film projects I was also working on. Kurt was a great artist, a great person, a true gem. It was my privilege to know and work with him.

Heinz Schuller

July 4, 2020

Sincere and heartfelt condolences to all of Kurt's family for your loss. I worked with Kurt closely on two video games and several prototypes back in the mid-90s, and considered him a good friend and mentor. He was a pure, kind soul, a subtle but powerful teacher, yet eager to learn. His deep sense of humor and easy going demeanor helped keep me sane when things got stressful. His mastery of art styles and mediums was an inspiration, and his amazing body of work cannot be understated. Peace and love Kurt, you are already missed.