Plans have been finalized regarding two of Culver’s giants who passed away earlier this summer: Robert B.D. Hartman and Channing Mitzell. Both men, in addition to their classroom and coaching work, spent a significant portion of their Culver careers serving the alumni. Combined, their service to Culver spanned over 85 years. Updated information is in each man’s obituary.
Robert Blaydes Duerson Hartman, Academies historian and archivist, died Friday, July 28. He was 86.
Born June 13, 1931, in Blacksburg, Virginia, the only child William of Tyler Hartman and Elizabeth Duerson Hartman, Bob came to Culver in 1958, intending to fulfill a promise to his father that he would stay in his first teaching job for two years. He retired in 1994 after 36 years, having considered his pledge honored. Retirement was short-lived, however, and he returned to work as historian and archivist in 2000.
Hartman authored a number of books including Pass in Review, Culver: A Century in the Making; Boots and Saddles, the History of the Black Horse Troop; The Grand Parade, A Collection of Historical Vignettes; and Lest We Forget: Two Great Wars and the Years Between. He has also written on the reminiscences of Gen. Leigh Gignilliat and Col. Robert Rossow. Hartman was a frequent guest of Culver Clubs throughout the nation and spoke before alumni groups in more than 25 cities.
Originally a member of the History Department, Hartman followed a varied Culver path: Counselor, Dean of Admissions, Alumni Director, and Special Assistant to the President. He also served as the Executive Secretary to the 1994 Culver Centennial Commission. He was the holder of the MacMillen Family Chair of American Heritage and coach of the Company A football team.
Bob believed his greatest honor was “to have served the Academy.” His career and contributions were honored with the introduction of the endowed Robert B.D. Hartman Chair for Excellence in Teaching in 2013, a gift of Chairman of the Culver Educational Foundation Board of Trustees Miles White ’73, his wife Kim, and their sons, and the CMA ’62 Bob Hartman Scholarship, established in 2017 by the Class of 1962.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Charleston; a Masters in Education from the University of Virginia, and an Education Specialist degree from Indiana University.
A memorial service, led by The Rev. Thomas E. Haynes, will be conducted at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 9, in the Memorial Chapel. A reception will follow. Memorial contributions may be made to the CMA ’62 Bob Hartman Endowed Scholarship Fund, 1300 Academy Road #153, Culver, Indiana 46511.
Channing Eugene Mitzell passed away at his home in Culver on Tuesday, Aug. 1.
Born in York County, Pennsylvania, to the Rev. Charles and Kathryn Mitzell on May 28, 1928, Channing chose to be an educator and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree at Dickinson College and an MA at Western Maryland.
He moved his young family to Culver in 1961 for a teaching position at Culver Military Academy in the history department. In his early Culver years he also was counselor for Battery B and coached baseball with Dave Nelson. He earned the rank of Master Instructor in 1970. From 1974 through 1987, Channing served as Director of Development at Culver. During his tenure in that role he led three highly successful development campaigns and received several CASE awards. Channing was named Assistant to the Superintendent for External Affairs in 1976. From 1987 to 1992, Channing assumed the role of Special Assistant to the President, with a continued focus on fund raising and development. After a devoted career and earning the respect of a large alumni base, Channing retired in 1992.
He was fortunate to live at home in his later years and be visited by countless alumni whom he taught, counseled, and coached. The bonds he developed were lifelong. Channing was preceded in death by his beloved wife Dolores, who passed on Sept. 23, 2015.
He is survived by three children: Cathy Mitzell Duke ’70, Channing ’74 and Craig ’76, in-laws Vincent Duke and Sallie Jo Mitzell, and four grandchildren: Kemmie Mitzell, Katie Mitzell Fagan ’06 and husband Kevin Fagan, Ashton Duke, and Channing (Jack) Mitzell ’12. He leaves his family with a rich legacy and love of learning, history, the Arts, and political conversation and debate.
Channing Mitzell was buried in a private ceremony in Culver. Gifts in memory of Mr. Mitzell may be directed to Culver’s Fine Arts Department. Gifts may be sent to the Culver Educational Foundation, 1300 Academy Road #153, Culver, Indiana 46511.