Gober Lee Mitchell Dies

Mitchell raised American Quarter Horses for more 70 years.

Amarillo Globe-News

Gober Lee Mitchell died in his hometown of Canadian, Texas, on June 21. PHOTO: Amarillo Globe-News

Gober Lee Mitchell of Canadian, Texas, just completed an amazing 102-year, 11-month journey.

Gober’s trek through the 20th century spanned a horse and buggy commute with older sister Josephyne to a tiny one-room schoolhouse in Wichita County, to surfing the internet, ranch management via text messages and reveling in Facebook posts.

He died Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Canadian.

When Gober was born, Woodrow Wilson was President. Gober witnessed the Great Depression as well as numerous oil booms and busts. He was in a Wichita Falls movie theater in December 1941 when the film was stopped and a Pearl Harbor announcement was made. He met Dwight Eisenhower when the President visited the Panhandle in response to a crash in the cattle business.

This odyssey’s true highlights were his friends. How many people enjoy great friendships with five generations of the same family? Gober spoke of outliving his doctors, his family and so many friends. But new friends and relationships became treasures with each passing decade.

The son of Thomas Franklin Mitchell and Sue Wigley Mitchell, Gober was born July 13, 1913, on his mother’s birthday in Wichita County, Texas. He was the youngest of seven children. A graduate of Amarillo High School, he played football—or as he would say, “sat on the bench”—for the legendary coach Blair Cherry. He attended Amarillo Junior College.

On October 14, 1932, on the way to an Amarillo Sandies football game in El Paso, he eloped with Lisbeth Wilson Mitchell. She died 67 years later. Their son Tommy died in 1997.

In 1941, Gober, his mother, and brother Herman, bought the Yokley Ranch in Hemphill and Roberts counties. A year later he moved his wife and young son, Tommy, to Canadian. For the next 75 years, he worked to improve Mitchell Ranch, where he ran Angus/Hereford cattle.

Gober raised American Quarter Horses for more than 70 years, including working stock for ranch operations, showing and racing. In the name of Mitchell Ranch, he bred runners that tallied 199 wins, including 10 stakes wins and three Superior Race Horse awards. In partnership with Burnett Ranches, he bred 37 winners that tallied 105 wins and 13 stakes wins, including one Superior Race Horse Award. Drip Dry Dash, Lil Spit Curl, Perrys Spittin Image and track record-holder Wash And Wear each won multiple stakes. For the show ring, Mitchell Ranch and Reed Hill bred AQHA Champion Red Star Bar.

Gober was a member of First Baptist Church of Canadian since 1942.

Gober was civic-minded, helping found the Edward Abraham Memorial Home. With Tom Abraham and Bill Grist, he organized the first Hemphill County Junior Livestock show. He served as president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Panhandle Livestock Association and the Golden Spread Quarter Horse Association.

Gober was a Master Mason for more than 75 years and served as Lodge Master twice in Iowa Park and twice in Canadian.

Gober leaves behind his granddaughter, Robin Mitchell of Canadian; his grandson, Mike Mitchell of Dallas; nieces, Billye Faye Neuhardt of Midland, and Artie Magee and husband Carol of Bentonville, Arkansas; and nephews, Steve Wilson of Paradise, Dennis Wilson of Dallas, David Wilson and wife Pat of Plano, and Tom James and wife Bobbie of Celina.

Let us give thanks and praise for Gober’s life—a life well lived, and a life that lives on in each of our lives for having known and loved him.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 2016 at the First Baptist Church with Ben Mathers, officiating and Rev. Matthew McCurley, assisting. Burial will follow in Edith Ford Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Hughs Funeral Home of Canadian, TX.

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