Posts Tagged Carnell

A Sad Passing but a Joyful Life – Mitch Carnell

Claude Mitchell “Mitch” Carnell, Jr., Ph.D., 88, of Charleston, South Carolina, entered into eternal rest on Monday, January 30, 2023. His Funeral Service will be held Saturday, February 4, 2023, at the First Baptist Church, 61 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401 at 12:00 pm. Burial will follow in Live Oak Memorial Gardens, weather permitting. The family will receive friends on Friday, February 3, 2023, in the J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. West Ashley Chapel, 3360 Glenn McConnell Pkwy, Charleston, SC 29414 from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm.Mitch at Sunset - Dad

Mitch was born April 27, 1934, in Woodruff, South Carolina, the son of the late Claude Mitchell Carnell, Sr. and Edith Ila Gossett Carnell. He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Suzanne Smith of Murfreesboro, TN; son, Claude Michael Carnell of Charleston, SC (Nancy); grandchildren, Christopher Smith (Raven), Christina Carnell, and Colin Carnell; sister, Jean Wallace (Bunky); as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Mitch was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of his children, Elizabeth Jean Frei Carnell; and later by his wife, Carol Spurlock Carnell.

He earned his associate degree from Mars Hill College, bachelor’s degree from Furman University, Masters’s from the University of Alabama, Doctorate from Louisiana State University, and an honorary doctorate from Lander University. Over the years he also taught for Webster University, The Citadel, Charleston Southern, College of Charleston, MUSC, Trident Technical College, and many other institutions both large and small.

Mitch was the Director, President, and CEO of Charleston Speech & Hearing Center for well over 30 years. He was a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, a member with honors of the South Carolina Speech Language and Hearing Association, and a member of many other professional organizations. His career was spent in the service of others and is sprinkled with innumerable awards, citations, and board memberships.  In 1998 he received The Order of the Palmetto from the state of South Carolina.

Mitch is the author of “Say Something Nice, Be a Lifter!“, “Speaking in Church Made Simple: A Step-By-Step Guide“, “Development, Management, and Evaluation of Community Speech and Hearing Centers“, and the editor of “Christian Civility in an Uncivil World“. In the past, he had been a regular columnist for the Charleston Post & Courier. He also authored a wealth of articles in both professional journals and general interest publications. Mitch Carnell looking ahead, looking over the railing

In 2006, Mitch’s work in communication and good works was officially recognized when the mayor of North Charleston, South Carolina proclaimed June 1 as “Say Something Nice Day” in recognition of Mitch’s communication efforts. Since that time many other municipalities, businesses, religious organizations, and community groups have come to recognize Say Something Day across the country.

He was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church of Charleston where he had served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and leader or member on many committees. In 1992 he organized and served as chair of the John A. Hamrick Lectureship in Baptist history. This series was held annually in Charleston for many years.

In his more personal life, he loved spending time with his family and friends, especially over a good meal. He also was an avid traveler and had visited all fifty states at least once and many more than once. He also traveled extensively overseas even going so far as New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and Russia. These were trips he took with his family and friends so that he could share the experience. He glowed in joy at the success of his grandchildren Christopher, Christina, and Colin. There was no greater joy to him than the happiness of “the kids.”  He also reveled in spending time with the extended family of neices, nephews, cousins, spouses, friends, and the occasional pest. All who knew Mitch will deeply miss him.

Memorial donations can be made in Mitch’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association, the Music Fund of the First Baptist Church of Charleston, or the SC Speech and Hearing Foundation, P.O. Box 1763, Columbia, SC 29202.

A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at

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Christmas on the Mill Village*

When mother and dad still worked at Abney Cotton Mill and we lived on Woodruff Street, Christmas was very special.

Every year my sister and I were in the Christmas pageant at Northside Baptist Church just a few doors away from our house. There was always a huge Christmas tree in the sanctuary. I was always a shepherd or wise man which required wearing my bathrobe.  One year while waiting to go to the church, I got too close to our heater and burned a hole in my shepherd’s bathrobe. It didn’t matter to anyone but my sister who was in charge of me. I knew that she wouldn’t tell our parents.

After the pageant and the congregation singing of a lot of Christmas carols, Santa Claus came and everyone from the oldest to the youngest received a present. It was great fun. As we walked home everyone was laughing and talking. Children were told to hurry to bed because Santa would not come to their houses until they were fast asleep.

Christmas was hard for mother and dad because dad was sick most every winter, a combination of asthma and allergies to cotton dust. Money was tight and the Second World War was still raged. There was no metal for toys, but Christmas mornings were exciting. The boxes we put out for santa were filled with fruit and nuts and one or two toys. We were soon outside playing with the other kids. Some years there was a smattering of snow.

By early afternoon the entire family, except for those away in service, were gathered at grandmother Carnell’s for Christmas dinner. It was a grand feast. Everybody brought something. Aunt Alice always made homemade rolls and ambrosia. Mother brought a fruitcake which she had soaked in grape juice for weeks. Dan Stone, a friend of my grandmothers, came early and made real egg nog. I never understood this, but it was a tradition. Tee totaling Baptists could drink spiked egg nog once a year at Christmas.

Of course grandmother was the focus of attention. My grandfather Carnell died years before I was born. There was usually some kind of drama with Uncle Wells, dad’s brother. One Christmas I was fascinated that he had driven a rental car from Gastonia, North Carolina. I was fascinated. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a rental car.

Everyone gathered in the living room for the handing out of gifts: chocolate covered cherries, candies of all sorts, jewelry, cheap perfume, pen and pencil sets, toy cars and books. One year I got a book about the Lone Ranger with print too small for me to read. Another year it was a cardboard horse racing set. These were grand events. We were a very close family.

Our family left the gathering early enough for us to go to my other grandparents who lived in the country about five miles away. The same exchanges would take place but on a much smaller scale because there was less family. Mama and Pop Gossett, mother’s parents, had very little money, but the food was always wonderful. I loved their big two story house with its log burning fireplace in the combination living dining room. There was a huge ice box on the side porch. Uncle Jim, mother’s brother, and his family were usually there. Uncle Jim and Aunt Norma had four children. They were a fun loving group.

One of the best parts of the season happened before Christmas when the mill gave generous baskets or bags of fruit and nuts to each employee. Since both mother and dad worked in the mill, they each received a basket. It really was a wonderful gift. Looking back I am sure that is the only Christmas extras that some families had but I was not aware of the more human conditions at that time. Life in our small town was good. Our family was happy and together. It was a wonderful time and place to grow up. Our lives revolved around family, church and school.

President Roosevelt died while at Warm Springs in Georgia on April 12, 1945. The reaction to his death was so strong that one would have thought that he was a member of our family. The war also ended that year. Uncle Jack and other family members came home. Dad left the mill for a job in town. In 1946 mom and dad bought a house about a mile away and we moved away from the mill village. I changed elementary schools and my sister, Jean, was in high school. Nothing would ever be the same.

*Reprinted from 2020.

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Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter at Work 2nd. Edition Is on Amazon

David Moulton has put my book, Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter at Work 2nd. Edition, on Amazon. You can also read the first ten pages at Dave has his own publishing company. In addition to being a world renowned bike builder, he is also a writer and song writer. He heads up our West Ashley Writer’s Group that meets at Barnes and Noble on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Dave designed the cover of my book. He has talent running out his ears. Mary Ogden Fersner helped with the proof reading. She is a terrific writer and reviewer of rock music. William Kelly Welch is another talented writer in the group. He has a wry sense of humor. Check out his book, Pink Cigarette. Faith Stanley writers delightful children’s books about her dog, Riley.

Everyone needs encouragement from time to time. If you are a writer or even a want to be writer, check us out. Maybe you will be lucky enough to be there when Dave plays and sings one of his songs.

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Is Your Workplace Verbally Toxic?

Is your workplace verbally toxic? Are you bullied at work? You are not alone. Help is available. Today’s workplace is more verbally toxic than ever before. The daily news is filled with stories of adult bullying. To combat today’s verbally toxic workplace, interpersonal and organizational communications expert, Dr. Mitch Carnell, has released the second edition of, Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter at Work. The book greatly expands the first edition.

“The ruckus nature of the recent presidential campaign gives rise to a need to combat the effects of bullying tactics,” Carnell said. “Some people feel that they now have a license to verbally abuse others.”

The small book gives directions on how to give and receive compliments. It lays down a brain map for those not accustomed to giving or getting compliments. There are examples that are ready to use and there are concrete suggestions for creating your own.

Carnell says that there is no work environment that cannot profit from being a more accepting, healthier place to work. On the other hand, compliments must be honest and timely.

Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter at Work is available from the author at 2444 Birkenhead Dr. Charleston, SC 29414 for $6.00 each plus postage . It will also be available on line at or www.Barnes&

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