Walter Mitchell, known as old man Mitch to most people, doesn’t just sit around his house. Even though he is 99 years-old, he finds the motivation to get out every day… and help people.
Every day, Mitch goes to the supermarket and waits to offer shoppers a ride home. He is out there most days, filling his days with purpose and giving others a helping hand.
“That’s why I’ve lived so long,” he says. “If I wasn’t doing this, I probably would have been dead a long time ago.”
Mitch sits in the parking lot of the Supremo Food Market on Springfield Avenue in Irvington. He’ll wait all day to give someone a ride. The best part? He does it for free. He’ll accept tips, but he doesn’t want to make anyone pay for a ride home.
As a young man, he worked in naval yards, completed a tour in the South Pacific and worked at an electric company. He finally retired in 1978, which was when he started driving people. At first it was sporadic He got sick, then he had to take care of his wife of 66 years, who died about 11 years ago. Now, he lives with their son.
Mitch drives six days a week. On Sundays, he’s in service at Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, where he is a member of the usher board.
Mitch is going to turn 100 this year, and although he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be doing this, he certainly never stopped loving helping others.