We are sad to announce the passing of Mitch Libster on Saturday January 15, 2022. Learn more and share a memory here.

Who was Mitch?

Mitch worked for over thirty years as the managing attorney for the Marion Branch of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. He retired in 2013, but still worked for Legal Aid on a part-time basis. In addition to his legal work, he was involved with many community organizations, including The Boys and Girls Club of Marion. Additionally, he served on the Children Services Board of Directors, the Marion Metropolitan Housing Authority board and was appointed by the former Governor of Ohio to serve on the Board of Trustees of Marion Technical College.

When a Bridges Out of Poverty program formed in Marion, Ohio, he became active in the organization “Marion Matters.” This experience led him to facilitate numerous Getting Ahead classes in the Marion Community.

Marion Matters formed a Felony Assistance team to look at barriers to returning citizens from making a successful reentry. Mitch and Getting Ahead while Getting Out co-author Michelle Wood became co-chairpersons of the team. Through the team’s work, the community and employers were educated about the importance of giving citizens returning from incarceration an opportunity to obtain employment.

This led to a team meeting with the Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, where ideas were discussed about bringing Getting Ahead classes into a state prisons. The Director supported the idea, which subsequently led to Michelle and Mitch facilitating three series of classes at the Reintegration Camp of the Marion Correctional Institution, a state prison located in Marion. More recently, the Marion County Adult Probation Office contracted with Michelle and Mitch to facilitate Getting Ahead classes at a Community Based Correctional Facility in Marysville, Ohio.

In addition to facilitating classes, Mitch was appointed by the Marion County Common Pleas Court Judges to serve on the Governing Board of the West Central Community Based Correctional Facility (where he also facilitated classes).

Mitch’s Credentials

Mitch was a 1972 graduate of the Ohio State University and graduated from Capital University Law School in 1976.

Mitch’s passions?

For over 30 years, he devoted his working career to serving the legal needs of low-income residents of Marion, Delaware, Union, and Morrow Counties. Toward the end of his career, he spent much of his time working with returning citizens.

Mitch lived with his wife Cindy in Marion, Ohio, and is survived by four children and seven grandchildren living in the Columbus area. He liked to run, play bridge, garden, and travel.