Michael Rodney Mansell, age 59, passed away at his home in Gainesville, Florida, on Sunday morning, December 9, 2018. Mike was preceded in death by his father, Elmer Rawden Mansell, and his mother, Hilda Norton Mansell. He is survived by his wife, Debra Lee Mansell, and his son, Mitchell Rawden Mansell.
Mike was born on October 20, 1959, in Huntsville, Alabama. Mike’s father worked for GE for many years and was often transferred, so Mike and his mother moved with him back and forth between Alabama and Florida until they finally settled in Gainesville in the early 1970s.
Mike attended one of the first classes at Fort Clarke Middle School when it was brand new. He was a very proud 1978 Bobcat baseball player and graduate of Buchholz High School, and finally attended Santa Fe College. Mike’s career started out with various high school jobs at a furniture store and the gas station and tool department at Sears, before he settled for many years working in a laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering, Inc. He moved from there to become a software installation trainer for Info Tech, Inc. He retired early in 2009 and spent the next few years beautifully remodeling his parents’ house by hand.
After meeting, on the softball field of course, Mike married Debbie on May 18, 1991. Mitchell was born on October 28, 1995.
Mike practically lived on a baseball field from the time he was a child to all the way up into his late 40s, where he played co-ed softball. When he stopped playing, he became a coach for many of Mitchell’s baseball, basketball, and football teams. Always a fan, he hardly ever missed a Gator sporting event either in person or on television. Mitchell was even teaching him to enjoy soccer.
Those who knew Mike will remember his loves of the sun, sand, rum and Coke, parties, dancing, laughing, naps, and good southern cooking.