Charles Mitchell Minges, 65, passed away at home on the 2nd of December in Naples, FL. Mr. Minges lived and worked for many years in both Valle Crucis and Boone, N.C., as founder of Hospitality Mints.
He remembered fondly his time spent in Watauga County, and his much adored friends. He was born in Fayetteville, NC, on the 23rd of December 1954, to Mr. Charles Robert Minges and Mrs. Virginia Minges. The early years of his childhood were spent in Lumberton, NC.
From a young age he was immensely curious and found great enjoyment in books. He would often recall days spent pouring over pages, and the consequent emergence of his pronounced interest in architecture and history, two interests that would remain constant throughout his life.
He spoke often of the guiding influence of his father, whom he adored, and his kind and diligent manner. He graduated from high school at the Butler Institute in Mexico, and had a brief spell studying at Boston University. He was, from the beginning, a wholly gentle, kind-hearted person, as well as a consummate autodidact. He left Boston University and embarked on a now infamous camping trip in Mexico that lasted far longer than intended and which coincided with a change of direction in his own life.
Not long after recuperating from his weeks long journey and the several ensuing medical afflictions, about which he’d proudly relate his doctor saying, “ I haven’t seen anything like this since the war”, Mitchell Minges began teaching himself about confectionery. He started working, single-handedly hauling immense and scalding copper pans. He pursued the project, as he did each thing he set his mind to, with a real sense of urgency and thorough determination.
He eventually seized upon the idea of customized labeling for butter mints, educating himself through every step of the process. Though his interests were so varied, he could direct his focus and energies with a singular dynamism. He traveled extensively for many years on relief work with his dear friend Ken Isaacs of Samaritan’s Purse, motivated constantly by his interest in people.
After stepping back from work in the early 2000s, he took up residence in Gloucestershire, UK, before later moving to Naples, FL. He took the opportunity in both places to return to some of his old interests, most markedly, architecture. His time in Naples was complemented by a great passion for tennis, and the number of dear friends he made through the sport.
Mitchell Minges had a singular love for people and life, to a degree that could scarcely be replicated. He was constant in his good-will and thoughtfulness toward others. Bearing grudges was foreign to him, as his curiosity about life made him all too aware of the difficulties each person might quietly face. He took delight in seeing others happy and well, whether they be strangers or friends.
His love for people was so notable for the simplicity of its origins and aims, for it was directed not towards himself or determined by his relation to others. Instead, his love was one of great compassion for living beings, and ultimately one that improved the lives of those who knew him for just having witnessed it.