Luvenia Griffin Mitchell was born in Tampa, Florida, on December 28, 1932 and was raised primarily by her grandmother in Tampa. After graduating from Middleton Senior High School in 1952 she decided to join the Women in the Air Force (WAF).
Mitchell was sworn into the WAF on 12 August 1952 at Jacksonville, Florida. She attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas, and then was stationed at Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for three months of supply school. She returned to Lackland in 1953, where she worked in the PX (post exchange) doing inventory control.
Mitchell was discharged in 1955. She used the GI Bill to study nursing at the Hampton Institute in Virginia for two years, and then married and raised a family. Later she attended Gibbs Junior College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she studied business. Mitchell worked with Urban League and then in the early 1960s began work in juvenile detention, which she continued until her retirement.