Mitchell Espe

Mitchell Espe, 60, formerly of Kanawha passed away Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

Memorial services for Mitchell Espe will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 1:30 PM at the United Church of Christ Congregational, 115 3rd Avenue North West in Clarion.

Visitation will be held prior to the memorial service beginning at noon.

Mitch was born on July 24, 1956 to Lawrence and Lois (Lein) Espe and grew up on a farm south of Kanawha, Iowa.

His mother encouraged him to play trumpet in school but he chose to play guitar with the High School Jazz band. His high school band director, Stan Wierson, supported his music passion (and cured him of his stage fright) by entering him several times in the Bill Riley Talent Search.

At Drake University in Des Moines, Mitch remained involved in music. After graduation from Drake with a “safer-than-music” degree in liberal arts, he continued to pursue his music by playing in Des Moines with the funky band Flipside and with the jazz group Miget-Miget. He was also involved in many other music-related projects, including recordings with Paul Micich and the group World Port. Mitch traveled overseas with a musical group on two military tours.

He later moved to Los Angeles and became a jack of all trades when he used his skills at staging and sound for television, movies and special events. He also took on side jobs, including guitar gigs and decorating Los Angeles Malls with Christmas lights and Santa’s.

Mitch married Christine Farrell on March 21, 2004 in Clarion, Iowa and became a stepfather to Madison and Maegan. Their daughter Maya was born in 2006.

Mitch was hard-working, tender, creative, compassionate, talented and a devoted father. He never gave up on his beloved Vikings (some might consider this a fault).

Mitch is survived by his wife Christine and daughters Madison, Maegan, and Maya; brothers Roger (Nancy) Espe, Steve (Gail) Espe, Jim (Jill) Rodriguez, John (Lorene) Rodriguez, and sister Judie (Joel) Rodriguez Thompson; stepmother Alice Espe and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Lois Espe.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be directed to the Drake University Music Department scholarship program.


Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Where: United Church of Christ Congregational – Clarion
121 3rd Avenue Northwest, Clarion, Iowa 50525
Get Directions


Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017
Time: 1:30 pm
Where: United Church of Christ Congregational – Clarion
121 Third Avenue North West, Clarion, Iowa 50525
Get Directions

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