In Memory

Spandward T. Mitchem - Class Of 1952



Spandward Mitchem

April 7, 1932 - Jan. 10, 2019

SOUTH BEND, IN - Spandward T. Mitchem of South Bend, IN passed on Thurs., Jan 10, 2019 in his home, surrounded by family. Span was born April 7, 1932 in Morrilton, Arkansas to Scipio Sr. and Irene Mitchem, both deceased.

Span grew up on Fillmore Road in the “Country.” He graduated from Washington High School in 1952. While in high school, he met and dated the love of his life, Alease Murphy. They were married September 19, 1953 and remained so for over 60 years until Alease's death in 2013.

Their marriage resulted in four children: Rickie (Kathy) Mitchem of Round Lake Beach, IL, Ronald G. Mitchem, Sr. and Judy (Freddie) Owens of South Bend, IN, and Lynn Mitchem of Buffalo Grove, IL. Ms. Span was blessed with seven grandkids: Linnea Vance, Ronald G. Mitchem Jr., Alisa Owens, Rochelle (Marcus) Smith, Hannah Mitchem, Rebecca Owens, and Denzel Mitchem. He enjoyed 5 great-grandkids: Dakota, RJ, Camryn, Javion, and Karter.

Span was preceded in death by daughter Judy Owens; two siblings, Scipio Jr. Mitchem and Viola (Strong) Mitchem; and parents.

Span served our country as a paratrooper in the Army. He was Honorably Discharged in 1955. Returning to South Bend, Span worked in construction and also banquet halls as a bartender and waiter.

As a founding member of the South Bend Minority Police Association and through his efforts and others, the city hired an abundance of minority officers. Span received civic awards culminating with The Key To The City of South Bend.

Span's base for living was entrenched in his love of God. He was an active member of Laymen Chapel Church, serving in many capacities.

There will be a wake at Palmer Funeral Home - West Chapel, 2702 Lincolnway West, South Bend on Fri., Jan. 18, 2019 from 6-8 pm. Services will be as follows: Viewing at PFH - West Chapel on Sat., Jan. 19 from 9:30-10:30 am; Funeral Services to immediately follow at 10:30 am at the funeral home. Online expressions of sympathy may be left at

01/16/2019 JFC