Edward Allen Mendell passed away peacefully of natural causes as a result of dementia on the morning of January 3, 2018 with his family at his side. He touched many lives as a teacher, businessman, and athlete.
Ed was born at Fort Lewis, WA, the son of a military family. He was well indoctrinated with Army life. As a typical Army brat, he traveled the world and attended school in at least three different states, excelling wherever he went. He finally ended his pre-college education in Florida, graduating from Miami High School. With a family history of service he grew up with the desire to serve and to do so as an officer in the United States Army. West Point was his goal. He sought and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy, qualified for entrance, and was accepted. Early in June 1951 he traveled to West Point, where he joined the West Point Class of 1955. After surviving New Cadet Beast Barracks, he was assigned to Company M-2. As a cadet he excelled in the classroom and as an athlete...throwing the javelin for the Track Team and as a heavy weight boxer on the Boxing Team. He did well in academics and had time for the football program as well. His companymates in Company M-2 recall Ed as a 'versatile boy from the far West...when not occupied by his favorite pastime of sleeping, still managed to win a boxing title or two and keep up with the best in academics. With his unmatched sense of humor and intellectual potential, 'Punch' should contribute much to the service as an officer.' He graduated from West Point and received his diploma from President Dwight D Eisenhower.
Ed selected Infantry as his initial branch of service, and after three years with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 1st Cavalry Division he decided to pursue his lifelong dream of being a school teacher. After receiving his Master of Arts at San Jose College and his Doctor of Philosophy at Stanford, he began his teaching career. His first teaching position was at Ravenswood High School in East Palo Alto, CA. From there he went to Woodside High School, before finishing his teaching career back at Ravenswood. In 1968 Ed took a sabbatical from classroom teaching and went to Stanford University, where he received his Doctorate in Education.
In 1960 Ed took the long step when he married Nancy. Three children resulted from this marriage: sons Glen and Dale and daughter Diana. For the next 58 years this family would travel the world together.
School took up much of Ed's time; however, he did find time to hone his handball skills and to lend his expertise to the Palo Alto Elks Club. There he met many of his long time friends and was instrumental in keeping the club alive when it ran into financial trouble. His efforts earned him the position of 'Exalted Ruler of the Elks,' a position he cherished for life.
Ed also found time to volunteer as a little league soccer coach and to compete in various handball tournaments, including several with his oldest son. Together they won many tournaments, and at age 80 he won his final handball championship. Ed also enjoyed fishing trips to Alaska, where he was highly successful, so much so that he would donate his catch to the veterans hospital in Palo Alto.
At 6 feet 3 inches, and with a very muscular build, Ed could be an intimidating figure, especially to those who were aware of his West Point boxing background; however, he had a soft spot for children, and he often found humor when least expected.
Duty, Honor, Country were Ed's guidelines. He served his country, his, community, and his family with great service, with sincerity, and with devotion. The Long Gray Line gets longer yet stiffer. Be Thou at Peace.
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