JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — *The above video was originally published June 25, 2019 when Mr. Mitchell turned 101.
The City of Jacksonville made a sad announcement Tuesday, saying one of its oldest citizens, 104-year old Sollie Mitchell, had passed away, according to a Facebook post.
Mr. Mitchell was nothing short of an icon in the Jacksonville Veterans community and will be tremendously missed, the statement said.
"My most sincere condolences on the loss of the legendary Staff Sgt. Sollie Mitchell," said Mayor Curry. "Very few can fathom the sheer history that Mr. Mitchell experienced in his 104 years. He was nothing short of an icon in the Veteran Community and the entire city joins in mourning this loss."
Born in Jacksonville in 1918, Mitchell attended the old Stanton High School, then fought in WWII. He was the only African-American soldier to work in the office of General Douglas McArthur.
Following his military service, Mr. Mitchell returned to Jacksonville and began to work on the railroad as a Pullman Car Porter.
His mother-in-law introduced him to a friend of hers, Civil Rights Icon A. Phillip Randolph, Sleeping Car Porters President, who helped end segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Mr. Randolph became his mentor and Mitchell played an important role via the railroad in the 1963 March on Washington as the only Pullman car porter on the 1963 Freedom Train that took passengers from Jacksonville, Florida to the 1963 March on Washington.
Mitchell worked for the railroad until his retirement in 1981.
Our thoughts are with the Mitchell family and the entire Jacksonville Veterans community as we mourn Sollie's passing. He will be greatly, greatly missed, concluded the statement.