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Phillip E. Mitchell, WWII vet, Orchard Park police officer; June 7, 1926 -- Jan. 1, 2011

Phillip E. Mitchell, of Orchard Park, a retired Orchard Park police officer, died Saturday in Mercy Hospital. He was 84.

Born in Island Falls, Maine, he served in the Army in Europe during World War II and was a truck driver before moving to the Buffalo area in 1952.

Mr. Mitchell joined the Orchard Park Police Department in 1957, retiring as a patrolman in 1988.

In retirement, he was a shuttle driver for West-Herr auto dealerships until 2004. For 20 years, he also did excavation work for A.F. Keafer Construction Co.

"Nobody could move a pile of dirt like that man," said a daughter, Kathleen M. Todd.

An avid snowmobiler, he was a member of the Quaker Snowgoers Snowmobile Club. He also was a member of the Orchard Park Police Benevolent Association.

Surviving are his wife of 58 years, the former Betty Murcin; a son, David P.; another daughter, Barbara L. Hartman; and a sister, Helen Sherman.

A memorial service will be at 7 p.m. Saturday in Quinn Southtown Chapel, 6170 W. Quaker St., Orchard Park.