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John A. Mundell, Jr.

June 20, 1923 May 1, 2011
John A. Mundell, Jr.
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Obituary for John A. Mundell, Jr.

John A. Mundell, Jr., a prominent admiralty attorney and Captain, USNR-Ret., died May 1, 2011, in Royal Oak. He was 87 years old. John was born on Father�s Day, June 20, 1923, in Chicago, Illinois to the late Matilda Ellen Paterson Mundell and the late Reverend Dr. John A. Mundell, Sr., Pastor of Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit.

He graduated from Royal Oak Dondero High School in 1941, and attended Alma College from 1941-1942, where he was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame for track and field. John was a 1946 graduate of Oberlin College where he was an NCAA All-American in track and field.

During WWII he served in the United States Marine Corps as a decorated member of Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) #21, and Navy Frogman, predecessor to the Navy S.E.A.L. program which participated in several landings in the Pacific. John was among the first Naval personnel to go ashore in Japan in 1945, clearing the beaches where others would follow. For his efforts, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

From 1946-1947, John served with the U.S. Diplomatic Courier Service, U.S. State Department traveling throughout the world delivering top secret documents. He received his Juris Doctorate and Masters of Law as a 1949 graduate of the University of Detroit Law School.

John was recalled to active duty for the Korean War and served in the Office of Naval Intelligence, Washington DC. Upon being released from active duty in 1953, Captain Mundell served as Officer-in-Charge Naval Intelligence Unit 9-1-2 in Detroit for three years and for two years was the Commanding Officer, Naval Reserve Intelligence Division, Great Lakes. John remained with the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1983. His wartime experience was recently recorded for the Library of Congress by Senator Sander Levin.

John joined the Detroit based law firm of Foster Meadows and Ballard in 1953 as an associate, later partner and President as an Admiralty and Maritime law specialist. He was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Detroit in Admiralty and Maritime Law. Some of his career highlights include arguing a case on behalf of Ford Motor Company in front of Chief Justice Berger for the Supreme Court of the United States in Vella v the For d Motor Company and numerous cases in front of the U.S. Federal Appellate Court; former outside Counsel Ford Motor Company, Boblo Island Boat Company, State of Michigan; Special Assistant to Attorney General Kelly � State of Michigan; and was instrumental in bringing Japanese car company, Isuzu to the United States. He retired to private practice in 1983.

As a long time member of the Kirk in the Hills, John served as an ordained Elder, Trustee, and founder of the Acolyte program. He was also past president and founding member of Stonycroft Hills Club in Bloomfield Hills.

John is survived by his wife of 56 years, Evelyn Colleen Robson Mundell, son, John A Mundell III, and four grandchildren, Caroline Ellen Mundell, Katherine �Lily� Elizabeth Mundell, John �Jack� A. Mundell IV, and Ellen Grace Mundell. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. John was a beloved father, son, brother, grandfather, friend, and mentor to many people.

A Memorial Service will be held at Kirk in the Hills, 1340 W. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, Saturday, May 21st at 1pm. There will be a private family ceremony at a future date, in his final resting place � Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Memorials appreciated to Kirk in the Hills or UDT-Seal Museum, 3300 North Highway, Suite A1a, Fort Pierce, Florida.


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