PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Today, Charles Mitchell, of Parkersburg, will be celebrating his 100th birthday with friends and family at the West Virginia Masonic Home, at 3826 Murdoch Ave.
“We will be having a big birthday bash for Charles; he is a very happy member of our family,” said Carmen C. Leavitt, superintendent of the West Virginia Masonic Home.
Mitchell is the oldest living former Parkersburg High School Big Red Band member. He has been a musician most of his life.
“I am very proud to be a member of the PHS alumni. I loved being in the band in high school,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he played the sousaphone in the PHS band. He can also play the violin, piano, organ and other instruments that he mastered over the years. Mitchell graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1934.
When asked what advice he would give to students thinking of joining the band, he said, “Never be late for practice, study hard, and practice even at home.”
Mitchell has worked as a professional musician, at various businesses across the country, and retired from working as a railroad conductor.
Mitchell attributes his long life to staying active, being happy, not stressing over the little things, and living a good clean lifestyle.