William R. Mitchem
William “Buddy” Ralph Mitchem of Mathews died Tuesday, March 3, 2009.
He was born May 31, 1917. Born and raised on Gwynn’s Island, he resided there all of his life.
He started fishing nets when he was a young man. Later he was employed by Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News. He retired from there in 1979 after 30 years, and started fishing again, which was the life he enjoyed.
He was a member of Gwynn’s Island Church of the Nazarene.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Virginia; and daughter, Betty Close.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Lydia E. Mitchem, who stayed by him in all of his sickness; four children, Sandra Robins and her husband John Arthur of Hartfield, James Ralph Mitchem and his wife Elaine of Gwynn, Ronnie Mitchem and his wife Sue of Mathews, and William Sidney Mitchem of Mathews; son-in-law, Dean Close of Gwynn; sister, Sarah Bing of Mathews; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.