Mitchell N. Mullan Jr. “What A Wonderful World!” August 21, 1930 to April 19, 2016
Mitch was born on August 21, 1930, and peacefully joined his Heavenly Father on April 19, 2016. Devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Mitch is survived by Agnes, his loving wife and best friend of 64 years, and 6 children, Nancy (Jim), Mitch (Claire), Gary (Julie), Bob, David, and Cathy, as well as 5 grandchildren, Jessica, Nick, Shannel, Carson, and Isabella. A lifelong resident of Tacoma, he attended St. Patrick’s grade school, and Bellarmine Prep (class of ’47). After serving his country in the Korean War, Mitch returned to take over the family auto body business from his father, Mitch Sr., now called Mullan’s Collision Center. The business is still going strong in its 78th year and now under the 3rd generation stewardship of sons Gary and Bob. Mitch was a craftsman in life, as a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. His enthusiasm for life was present every day in how he brought joy to his family through the simple things in life. The Mullan house was always abuzz, generating memories of big family meals, cheering all his kids on in their sports and activities, swimming in the backyard pool, fishing on Puget Sound, and road trip journeys to the Washington coast and beyond. He would spend countless hours with Aggie tending the garden and house projects. For over 50 years Mitch and a group of friends were fixtures on Friday afternoons for lunch at Harbor Lights.
He was player-coach for the Mullan’s Fender Benders; perennial adult recreational basketball league champions for 24 years. One highlight was an 83-game winning streak over 3 seasons! Throughout his life Mitch was very active in St. Leo Parish. He was a leader in automotive trade associations at the local, regional, and national level. He also served in leadership roles for many civic organizations, including Rotary Club and Better Business Bureau.
Mitch was also a craftsman in the auto body repair trade. He instructed the auto body apprenticeship program in the evenings at Bates and Clover Park Vocational Technical Institutes for over 20 years. He counseled the graduating apprentices that becoming a journeyman was just the beginning of learning their trade. In Mitch’s words – “A craftsman not only possesses the knowledge and capabilities, but also has two other points that distinguish him or her. That is ENTHUSIASM while working and SATISFACTION when the work is completed. The ability to stand back and look at a completed job and say to oneself ‘I’ve done my very best. I’m satisfied with the result. I’m ready for the next job.’” Our family would like to thank the caregivers and staff at Life Care Center of South Hill for their compassionate care, and for adopting “Uncle Mitch” into their family! A celebration of Mitch’s life will begin with a funeral mass on Friday, April 29th, at 12:10 pm at St. Leo Church, 710 S 13th St, Tacoma, followed immediately by a reception at the Tacoma Elks Lodge #174, 2013 S. Cedar St. Tacoma. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made in Mitch’s name to St. Leo Food Connection, 710 South 13th Street Tacoma, WA 98405, or online at www.foodconnection.org. Please leave online condolences at www.gaffneycares.com. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home, 253-572-6003.