Tributes & Stories

 

Obituary (CA): Robert Clifford Mendell '55

Posted on 07/15/2018

Robert Clifford Mendell  (December 17, 1931 - June 29, 2018)

It is with incredible sadness to share that my father Robert Mendell left us Friday June 29 in the afternoon surrounded by my mom, myself and my sister in thought. He was my role model, my hero, my dearest of friends. His last years included many health challenges. While some only knew of his recent limitations, his family and many longtime friends knew him as the strong, brave and independent man that he was. An athlete who became an "All City" baseball and football star for Oakland high school and then at the Naval Academy. A pilot who lead anti-submarine patrols along the coasts in massive sea planes and later heroically saved many men as ground crewman after a crash by jumping into the icy waters of the north Atlantic during a February storm to pull them from the ocean. His love for sports lead him to spend 40+ years as an official in his spare time for high school / college football, basketball and baseball. He brought me to his games every Friday night where I got to be the coolest kid around by getting to be ball boy or line judge as I watched my idol on the field / court. As an Oakland native, he grew up watching the Oaks vs the Seals... and he and I later shared season tickets and a love of the Oakland A's for 20+ years 5 seats off the grass between the dugout and the bullpen. He led by example to teach us honor, loyalty and the importance of nurturing lifelong friendships that were dear to him until the very end.

He did so many things... was so many things... but most importantly. he was always there. He loved his family and was my constant rock. Until his last day, he is who I looked up to... I didn't want to say goodbye... I love you dad... and pray you are at peace.

Robert was born December 17, 1931 and lived to reach 86 passing June 29. 2018. He is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Claudia Mendell of Walnut Creek, daughter Dr. Dorie Mendell & son-in-law Dr. Julis Gyorfi along with their daughters Danielle and Haley of Chicago as well as son Marc Mendell, daughter-in-law Lourdes Mendell and their children Brandon and Leyla. He is also survived by his brother Bill Mendell and wife Shirley Mendell of Martinez niece Laura and husband Charlie Scharff of Walnut Creek.

Published in East Bay Times on July 15, 2018