Unsung Hero #132

It might sound strange to call Bill Mitchell an Unsung Hero.

The public face of Mitchells of Westport — son of founders Ed and Norma, brother of Jack, father and uncle of the 3rd generation to lead 8 upscale men’s and women’s stores, on the East and West Coasts — his generosity is boundless.

He and the entire Mitchell family open their stores, their checkbooks and their hearts to a breathtaking variety of organizations and causes. Very quietly too, they help countless individuals, in any kind of need.

They’ve been honored often (though not enough) for all they do. But this Saturday (January 25, 6:30 p.m.), a special event will be particularly meaningful.

The Conservative Synagogue of Westport holds a “funraiser” — and Bill Mitchell is the guest of honor.

Bill Mitchell

The reason dates back 25 years. Founders were trying to get permission to build a synagogue on Hillspoint Road. Though near the Post Road, the zoning was residential. Some neighbors opposed the plan.

Unsolicited, Bill stood up at several meetings. He’s not Jewish — his family has long been associated with the Saugatuck Congregational Church, and he’s a longtime supporter of various Catholic charities — but he talked about the importance of the synagogue.

After he spoke, the Planning & Zoning Commission passed the proposal. Unanimously.

Bill’s support of The Conservative Synagogue did not stop there. On the High Holidays, he opens Mitchells’ parking lot to congregants.

He and Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn have become great friends. It’s a good bet that when the rabbi offers “mazel tov” on Saturday, Bill will not be at a loss for words.

In Hebrew.

13 responses to “Unsung Hero #132

  1. Bill Mitchell is the best!

  2. Bill is a very special man!!!

  3. Rabbi Robert Orkand

    One of the first people I met when I moved to Westport in 1982 to become Temple Israel’s rabbi was Bill Mitchell. His kindness, his willingness to be of help in his usual quiet way, and his embrace of me personally and the Jewish community knew no bounds. He became, and still is, a treasured friend. I remember him saying that when his mother she wanted me to participate ins the funeral, which I did. I am thrilled he will be honored by the Conservative Temple and, by extension, the entire Jewish community of Westport. and Weston.

  4. Great choice..Bill Mitchell absolute class act. Congrats to Bill for all you do and have done.

  5. Gil Ghitelman

    This guy is no unsung hero. Just ask anyone who knows him. His kindness and generosity knows no bounds. Truly a mensch!

  6. Bill is a Class Act … He’s one of the Rare Good Guys

  7. Dana Mccreesh

    Bill is a special person, quietly supportive, honest to a fault, a man who knows “everyone” yet remembers and somehow understands the smallest things about each person who crosses his path. Although I’ve known him for 25 years, I’d never heard this story, yet it does not surprise me at all. What a good man he is.

  8. Bill Mitchell is a hero in many ways, only some of which are known to the public. Wish we had many more Bill Mitchells around here, but I think he is that rare breed of class act you don’t see too often.

  9. Alan Phillips

    Thank you Bill Mitchell! An honor so well deserved.

  10. I worked at Mitchell’s for a couple of years about 25 years ago. Bill was just about the nicest person I’ve ever worked with. He was kind, funny, charming — I could go on, but I think you’ll get the message. I think any honor bestowed upon him is well deserved.

  11. Amazing human. Thank you Bill,

  12. Bill has done so much for so many – including everyone at Jewish Senior Services – The Jewish Home. He is still the number 1 referral source for those who need short-term rehabilitation or any other service!! MAZAL TOV Bill and thank you for all that you do!!

  13. Bob Weingarten

    Always makes you feel welcome. A person that should be recognized.