Chadd grew up in California and was trained as a surgical tech in the Army. He moved to Goldendale several years ago and worked at Goldendale Aluminum, where he was a union shop steward. Goldendale is where he met his partner Tana, and they have a four year old daughter together, as well as one child each from previous relationships ages 14 and 16. When the aluminum plant closed 6 years ago Chadd got re-certified as a surgical tech and then came to work at Klickitat Valley Health here in Goldendale. That’s where he and I helped organize a union, and became best of friends. After securing the contract, the hospital started making noises about cutting back on surgical services, and Chadd possibly losing a significant amount of income. So he had just taken the wind power job in early July in order to have better wages and benefits to support his family. He was very happy with his new job, felt very appreciated, loved working outdoors and being more physical. He had also decided to run for Hospital District Commissioner, and asked me to run his campaign. He was looking foward to winning the election in November after making it through last Tuesday’s primary.
He was called in to do some OT this Saturday, doing routine maint. at the Klondike faciltiy just across the Columbia River in Oregon. We got the news he died about 4:30 pm, and I can still hardly believe he’s gone …
I see a bright new star tonight
A little light all filled with soul
A part of earth for just a while
A little gem to crown the sky
In Loving Memory of Chadd Mitchell, Nov 16, 1972 – Aug 25, 2007
Chadd and I count the ballots for a union at KVH.
A portrait I took of Chadd outside my house.
Chadd inspiring his co-workers during a tough night of negotiations.
Chadd in a cropped picture from meeting with Washington’s governor.
The contract is ratified.
Chadd with his surgical team.
Petitioning management for better respect on the job.
Early victory party in the dining room.
Remembering Chadd at the wind tower site yesterday with select KVH employees and family