Nia Mitchell remembered her husband, Karl, as someone who showed “extravagant love.”
To the Rev. Karl J. Daigle, Karl Mitchell was a man of three passions. Those remembrances crossed paths Tuesday afternoon at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shreveport, as Karl Mitchell, the father of lacrosse in Shreveport, was memorialized.
Karl Mitchell died Friday morning of a heart attack at age 48. He is survived by his wife, sons Brooks and Ian and daughter, Valentina. Brooks and Ian Mitchell served as pallbearers for their father, while Valentina walked side-by-side with her mother when the services ended.
Before they did, Nia Mitchell euologized her husband at the end of the funeral Mass.
“While it was his heart that ultimately failed him, everyone knows there was not a flaw in Karl Mitchell’s heart,” Nia Mitchell said. “From his heart, in everything he did, he gave generously and with both hands. To his players, he would like to remind you that he also wants you to scoop with two hands. He loved me. He told me that every day. He told me every day that I am beautiful, that I am smart, and, most of all, whatever I was facing, he said, ‘You can handle this.’ That is why I can stand in front of you today in this extraordinary moment in our lives and talk about him, because he’s assured me I can handle it.”
Mitchell’s life was dispersed through his three passions — his family, lacrosse and playing the drums.
Mitchell brought a love for lacrosse to Shreveport from his Baltimore upbringing, a young life that also led to him naming his eldest son after Orioles legend Brooks Robinson.
“I was OK with that, but I put my foot down when he wanted to name our second son after Boog Powell,” said Nia Mitchell, whose voice never quivered during her 10- to 12-minute address.
Mitchell’s lacrosse ties were visible, with several pews reserved for his Yellow Jackets players, who showed up in their purple and gold. There were lacrosse players from other schools who came to St. Joseph to pay their respects to Mitchell, who coached the first high school lacrosse game in the state of Louisiana in 1995.
Though Mitchell wasn’t a faculty member at Byrd, he took the mantle of one through the game of lacrosse and through his work at St. Joseph
“He was truly a teacher at heart,” Daigle said. “He loved to share what he learned so that others can grow as a person in relationships and their walk with the Lord. Within our parish family, Karl and Nia were a dynamic duo who touched the lives of so many people by their participation in the married couples group and their leading of the engaged ministry”