Cover photo for Mitchell John Cotrone's Obituary
Mitchell John Cotrone Profile Photo
1935 Mitchell 2022

Mitchell John Cotrone

January 15, 1935 — April 27, 2022

January 15, 1935 was a cold day in the windy city of Chicago when Mitchell John Cotrone made his entrance into the world. His father, Nunzio immigrated to America as a lad of 16 and married Loretta Nanna, who was born in Ohio to Italian parents. He was the third child in what would become a family of nine children.

Shortly after his birth, Mitchell’s parents came to know the Lord during a revival meeting in Chicago. Their faith grew strong. They regularly took their family to church and lived a life of holiness before their children. At the age of 5 Mitchell gave his heart to Jesus and his life would never be the same.

When Mitchell was 8 years old his parents left the dangers of city-life and moved to a 160-acre farm in rural Wisconsin to raise their children. With eleven mouths to feed, his parents worked hard, and each child learned the responsibility of chores on the farm. Mitchell learned early how to plow, plant, cultivate, and harvest. He helped his father overhaul old engines to keep them going a little longer and learned how to keep his mother’s little sewing machine running smoothly. He learned that rows must be as straight as an arrow, and nothing could ever be wasted. It was not easy growing cucumbers and beans for the local canning company, but Mitchell learned the value of hard work and a job well done and carried those values through his entire life.

After high school graduation Mitchell spent a year working the farm while his father returned to Chicago for a better-paying job. He wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, but God had different plans for him in the ministry. At the age of 17 he was sanctified at a church camp in Wisconsin and determined then to follow Jesus wherever that may be. Mitchell enrolled in Vennard Collage in University Park, Iowa and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Bible, with a minor in Missions. While there a Minnesota farmer’s daughter by the name of Ella Roland caught his eye, and in 1957 they wed. To the union was born one son, Gregory Paul. Mitchell was ordained in the Wesleyan Church and carried his membership in the Iowa/Minnesota District.

The Cotrones pastored two Wesleyan churches in Iowa until the Lord called them to the mission field. In 1966 they left for Colombia, South America where they spent 22 years. While there they added two Colombian children to the family, Joe Anthony (Tony) and Rosella Esther. Mitchell became fluent in the Spanish language and fervently carried the Gospel throughout the Andes mountains. He trained and mentored pastors as well as worked in the mission bookstore as a printer. He built what would become the largest Wesleyan Church outside the US and pioneered the young congregation. While in Colombia Ella developed cancer and went to be with the Lord in 1992.

After some time, Mitchell’s attention turned toward a single missionary nurse to Haiti by the name of Janice Cooper. The two wed on July 6, 1996. The newlyweds took a pastorate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and loved the people they had been called to serve. Mitchell led a number of souls to the Lord during the time they were there. But God had a different mission field for them, and in 1998 they left the U.S. for four years in Haiti. Mitchell quickly endeared himself to the hearts of the people and was a model pastor to the pastors and church workers. Two young Haitian brothers joined the family as sons, Philip Joseph and Joshua John. Returning from Haiti the Cotrones were called to pastor Hope Wesleyan Church in Naples, Florida, and for 6 years they worked diligently, establishing Haitian and Hispanic congregations alongside the English believers. In 2008 Mitchell decided to formally retire and the family moved to Mansfield, Missouri. Mitchell continued to fill the pulpit when needed. He constantly prayed for revival to sweep our land and our world.

There are few people who lived a consistent life of holiness as did Mitchell Cotrone. His passion was winning the lost and discipling them in the way of sanctification. One day he went to the junkyard for a part for his car. Never meeting a stranger, he witnessed to the owner and his son and led both of them to the Lord. Never missing an opportunity for an object lesson for a sermon he gave this simple yet profound illustration the following Sunday. When the Lord saves souls, He takes them out of the junkpile. When he sanctifies them, He takes the junkpile out of them! Mitchell never missed an opportunity to witness for His Lord and Savior, and he lived a life above reproach. He knew how to love and he loved well. Mitchell loved Janice with all his heart and he made sure everyone knew it. He also knew how to forgive. When the hard places and hurts of life came his way Mitchell never held a grudge. Instead, he readily forgave. He never missed an opportunity to plant a seed, offer encouragement, extend sympathy, mentor, preach, teach, and pray. He was a ready soldier of the Cross. His Bible was always within reach, whether in a sanctuary, a home, the hospital, or on horseback in the mountains of Colombia or Haiti. During the final months of his life he continued to share Jesus with caregivers who came and went from his home. One of them told him her faith had been renewed, and she knew it was a good night when she got a sermon at 2:00 AM! Whether Mitchell was overhauling a tractor, painting, building, restoring, playing his clarinet, preaching, teaching, praying, or witnessing, he lived his life to the glory of God, rejoicing that he was a child of the King and faithfully sharing the way of the Cross. At the time of his death, he was an ordained elder in the Wesleyan Church for 65 years.

At his home in Mansfield, Missouri in the early morning hours of April 27, 2022, Mitchell’s heart began to fail. His final spoken words were, “I love Janice” and then “Praise the Lord”! As the sun began to rise in the east Mitchell’s soul rose to meet the One he had loved and served so long and so well. He heard those wonderful words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord”. His race on earth was finished. Only God knows how many crowns Mitchell laid at the feet of Jesus. He is at Home with his Savior, awaiting that grand and glorious day when the trumpet of the Lord will sound and the faithful will be called to Glory.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Nunzio and Loretta (Nanna) Cotrone, sisters Rosette Brunner and Carmella May, brother Nunzio Cotrone, and his first wife Ella (Morgan) Cotrone.

Mitchell is survived by his wife, Janice, of 25 years; children, Greg Cotrone and wife, Veneice, Tony Cotrone and wife, Janelle, Rosella Gallo, Philip Cotrone, and Joshua Cotrone; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, and a host of dear and treasured friends.

May we all be as faithful in serving the Lord Jesus as was Mitchell John Cotrone.

A Celebration of Life service will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 6, 2022, in Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mansfield. Burial will follow in the Mansfield Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until service time.

There will be a memorial service for Mitchell on June 4, 2022, at Burr Wesleyan Church in Hillsboro, Wisconsin at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY OF HAITI: SCHOOL OF NURSING STUDIES Project: WM06-1420

Make checks payable and mail to: Global Partners 13300 Olio Road Suite 400 Fishers, IN 46037. Earmark Checks: Project WM06-1410 Wesleyan University of Haiti School of Nursing

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mitchell John Cotrone, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, May 6, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Celebration Of Life

Friday, May 6, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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