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Chester County Press

Their beautiful father

The Chester County Press first became aware of Mitchell Raymond Otho Bacot in the autumn of 2021, when it published a story about his family in its November 21 edition entitled, “Mitchell and Jenamarie Bacot: A Thanksgiving Story.”

The article placed its emphasis on the components of Mitchell’s life that meant the most to him -- his wife, his six children and his unwavering faith – as well as that which served as his horrible burden to bear in his life -- the Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a rare genetic condition that he was diagnosed with when he was a teenager living in Landenberg that confined him to a 350-pound motorized wheelchair. 

The article served as a mere imprint to what Mitchell’s friends and family already knew about him – that he was led by an indomitable spirit that saw power in prayer but also drew inspiration from the infinite art of mathematics, a subject he taught with the same zeal as the faith that fed his soul. Wheelchair be damned; after he graduated from Gallaudet University, Mitchell earned a master’s degree in secondary education for the deaf from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and became a mathematics teacher at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at RIT.

Despite a steady schedule of intensive physical and occupational therapy, Mitchell lived with severely limited mobility and dexterity, but within that fragile body lived the courage of one thousand soldiers.

“Mitchell walks through his storms very calmly,” Jenamarie said during the time of the article. “Through the grace and power of God, Mitchell has a very strong faith, and his relationship with Christ is what keeps going, and it’s God’s grace that sustains him. Through all of this, he has not been mad once, and I don’t knot know how someone walks through the valley he walks through and doesn’t become bitter or angry.”

Instead, he and Jenamarie approached each day in the way an innocent young girl discovers that a butterfly has just landed in her palm. 

“We are only given this moment, and that’s all we get, and I can spend my time being sad and wondering about the future, or I can spend this time saying ‘Wow, Lord, thank you for allowing us to get pumpkins today,’” Jenamarie told the Press. “’Thank you that we get to see the autumn colors. Thank you that Mitchell is able to see, and that his mind is sharp and clear.’”

Mitchell Bacot -- a son and grandson, a brother, nephew, husband, father, and a child of God -- died on March 14, just six days short of his 43rd birthday. He leaves behind Jenamarie, and children Abishai, Micah, Hezekiah, Shiloh, Joah and Ezra, as well as his mother, Karen, his sisters, several nieces and nephews, his grandparents, and countless friends.

He also leaves behind a legacy that is currently being written that will be contained in “Beloved Mitchell’s Legacy Book.” The family is asking those who knew and loved Mitchell to send their memories and photos to [email protected].

“May these stories allow them to know and remember their beautiful father,” his obituary read.

In the yearly spin cycle business of publishing the news, those who write it are introduced to the stories of hundreds of those who collectively make the news, and therefore they should be forgiven for not remembering every story that meets a deadline. Such is the accepted circumstance of the industry, and we apologize for it.  Rare and wonderful and lasting are the times when the stories that we write puncture the toughened veneer of an industry where the precision of facts are sacrosanct. 

The life of Mitchell Bacot is one story that got through and remained, so consider this an entry in the book that will preserve the legacy of the man, for his children to read.