Cruz Mendez, age 95 died on Sept 5, 2021, in Van Horn, Texas. A veteran of World War II, he received a letter of commendation by President Harry S. Truman.
Cruz was born on May 3,1926 in Van Horn, TX to Jose and Maria B. Mendez. At the age of 17, he joined the United Sates Navy and was assigned to the U.S.S. Chickasaw and the U.S.S. Granger where he served almost two years in the Pacific Ocean as a Gunner’s Mate. Cruz worked at the talc mines in Allamore for many years, worked for Union Pacific Railroad and worked for the Garren Family as a ranch hand for many years. Cruz finally retired from the Pioneer Talc Co. in 1990.
Cruz married Maria de Jesus H. Mendez in Allamore, TX in 1949. He was a father, uncle and grandfather to all that he knew him and they knew him as “Popo.” He was a teacher that taught us how to deal with adversity and taught us how to work and help anybody that needed help. While his wife and daughter Frances were away for long periods of time in Galveston, he was Mr. Mom. He enjoyed “hunting” with his brothers in law, nephews and close friends. He always kept the fire going for hot coffee and kept the beer cold. He had a sense of humor and a kind heart.
He is survived by his sons, Cruz Jose Mendez, and wife Veronica of Van Horn, TX, Jesus Mendez and wife Jeri of Rankin, TX, Encarnacion Mendez and wife Gracie of Abilene, TX. Daughters Ana Ramirez and husband Sam of Clint, TX, Margarita Mendez of Allamore, TX, Imelda Willis of New Home, TX and Olivia Legarreta and husband Kelly of Van Horn, TX. Sister Petra Talley of Van Horn, TX, he had 24 Grandchildren and 29 Great Grandchildren.
Cruz was preceded in death by his wife Maria Mendez, daughter Francisca Mendez, Brothers Jesus “Chune” Mendez, Espiridion “Quine” Mendez, Eleno “Leno” Mendez, Valentine “Tin” Mendez and sister Irene Balcazar.
Rosary will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church on Friday Sept 10,2021 at 7:00pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday Sept 11,2021 at 10:00am. Burial will follow in the Van Horn Cemetery, under the direction of Heritage Funeral Services. Pallbearers are Daniel Mendez, Matthew Mendez, Christopher Mendez, Emilio Mendez, Nathan Willis, Jose Luis Tarango, Joshua Mendez and Anthony Corralez. Honorary Pallbearers are Jonathan Mendez, Andy Mendez, Philp Mendez, Ethan Willis, Christian Legarreta, Noah Sanchez, Aiden Escajeda, Fernando Tarango, Christopher Tarango, Jay Adams, Andruw Garcia, Jadyn Garcia, Liam Garcia, Brock Alegre, River Mendez and Alexander Mendez.