April 25, 1935 — March 8, 2023
Alexandro “Alex” Mendoza Sr. journeyed on from this life on March 8, 2023 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Alex, as everyone knew him, was born in Silver City, New Mexico on April 25, 1935. He grew up in Silver City where his mother Josefa Flores labored night and day to raise Alex and his two brothers and two sisters.
He attended parochial schools (where the priest and nuns instilled in him his lifelong love for the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. Go Irish!). He went on to run track, play baseball and star in basketball at Silver City High School. He played guard and was a sharp shooter from beyond the arc, before there was an arc. He liked to say (jokingly?) that he would have scored 50 percent more points had there been a 3-point line in his day. After graduation, he tried his hand at Saint Michael’s College in Santa Fe but soon enlisted with the United States Marine Corps instead.
He proudly served in Korea with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, “E” Company “Fleet Marine Force,” out of Camp Pendleton, California. He went in as a Private, earned a Sharpshooter Medal as a rifleman and was promoted to Corporal by the end of his active duty, two years later (with his Company Commanders begging him to enter DI (Drill Instructor) school. Of the Marines, he would say that his service made him the man that he was. Semper Fi.
Within three years he married his first and only love, the love of his life, Aurora. They “left the big city,” he’d say, and moved to Las Cruces. In Las Cruces he got a job as a letter carrier for a short time until finding employment at White Sands Missile Range, where he dutifully climbed the Government Services ranks until he reached as high as civil service allowed a person to go without a college degree. He retired from WSMR in Facilities Management, after 35 years of service.
He was a no-nonsense man but quick to laugh at himself, a good joke/situation or situation-comedy. He LOVED good music, whatever the genre, big bands, mariachis, crooners, like Andy Williams, Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Eydie Gormé and Dionne Warwick, country-western, Patsy Cline, Johnny Rodriguez, George Strait, even pop, with Linda Ronstadt, Elton John and the Doobie Brothers. He was also a HUGE sports fan, with the Aggies, the Fighting Irish and his beloved Silver and Black Raiders baby! He could talk any sport with anybody and frequently did.
His 60+ years love affair with his wife Aurora was constant, strong and true. Their love for their five children was boundless. Their children always came first. Together they worked and sacrificed everything for the children and insisted that they (1) always do their best, (2) learn to play an instrument, (3) follow the Golden Rule — with ALL people, and (4) graduate from college. Every one of their children strove to fulfill those requirements. Every one of the five graduated from LCHS (go Bulldogs!) and New Mexico State University (Go Aggies!).
Though he kept mostly to himself, Alex was “a hale fellow, well-met” and a “class act.” He was always looking forward to tomorrow, ever mindful that any day could be his last. He was a stunningly fair and decent person who led not by words but by example. He will be sorely missed.
Aurora predeceased Alex in 2019. He was also predeceased by his parents, Josefa and Henry as well as brothers Frank, Art and Henry.
Alex is survived by his daughters Lillian (Jerry) and Susan (Mike), sons Alex Jr. (Tami), Michael and Alfred (Carrie); his grandchildren, who were his PRIDE AND JOY: Madalyn, John, Joseph, Lauren, Vivian, Mike, Kristen, Ryan, Sydney, Amanda, Lindsey and great-grandson Theodore; his brother Eduardo, sisters Rufina and Elvira, sisters-in-law Gena, Rose, Ellie, Carmen, Jenny and Gloria and many nephews and nieces and their children.
Services will be held on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mass will be held at Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, located at 131 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe, N.M., 87501, beginning at 11 a.m. Following Mass, Interment will take place at Santa Fe National Cemetery, located at 501 N Guadalupe St., Santa Fe, N.M., 87501, beginning at 12:30 p.m.