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1927 Valentine 2024

Valentine Mendel

June 14, 1927 — February 28, 2024

Valentine Mendel, aged 96, known as "Tío" or "Val" to family and friends, passed away on Wednesday, February 28th, from complications of pneumonia and Covid 19.

He was born June 14, 1927 in Mingo Junction, Ohio to Juan Mendel and Sara (Loredo) Mendel. Mr. Mendel lived most of his life in Ohio, spending summers in Mexico where he met the love of his life at the age of six, Carmen Mendoza. They eventually married 24 years later in her hometown of San Luis Potosi, Mexico and made their home in Youngstown.

Val attended Youngstown South High School. He was then drafted into the Army where he trained in explosives during the Korean War. It was at Ft. Benning that he lost part of his hearing due to an explosive device. He was in the 350 Infantry, 4th Army stationed in Austria. He remained a proud Veteran the rest of his life.

He worked as a baker, television repairman, and eventually as a rubber worker and instructor at Republic Rubber. He was elected treasurer of his union until his retirement. His war injury worsened over the years until it left him totally deaf in his 80s. 

Val was an active member of the St. Rose of Lima Church and especially cherished working the summer festivals. At St. Rose he was a founding member of Padres Para la Educación Cristiana awarding scholarships to deserving Hispanic students.

He was also on the Board of Directors of OCCHA, Youngstown’s Hispanic social service agency until his hearing loss forced him to resign. He was a founding member of Club Unidad Mexicana, a sports-related organization that sponsored the local Mexican soccer team in league play and the Sociedad Mutualista Mexicana, a Mexican social club.

Val was passionate about three things: bowling, golf, and the Cleveland Indians. He bowled in various leagues and was an active bowler up until the initial Covid shutdown of 2020. As a bowler, he passed along his skills and love of the game to his nephews and nieces, producing many school, state and national bowling champions in the family. He tried his hand at golf at Aeroquip and immediately began winning trophies and championships. A lifelong fan of the Cleveland Indians, he never missed a game on television and was able to travel to a game in Cleveland at least once a season.

Valentine Mendel loved to travel and to drive his family and friends in the family station wagon to Mexico, Canada, and around the United States. The road trips were often more fun than the destination! He also had the opportunity to travel to the Caribbean with his wife, Carmen.

He was widowed in 2005 after 47 years of marriage. He leaves behind to cherish his memory, his two children, Juan Valentín, also known as Johnny, with whom he made his home, and daughter, Elizabeth Patricia of Virginia, who provided for his care; and a sister, Esperanza Mendel of Youngstown. His other three sisters and their husbands preceded him into the afterlife, Carmen Rios of Girard, Concepcion Moncivais of Fresno, and Esther Zarate of Chicago. As the patriarch of the family, he leaves behind  a multitude of nephews and nieces, their children and children’s children scattered throughout the United States and Mexico. Three of his nephews, Bob and Abel Rios (who predeceased him) and Joe Rios, were more like the brothers he never had and closer than friends throughout his long life.

Val will be missed by all who knew him. He was a kind, gentle man who cherished his faith, celebrated his heritage, served his country, embraced his family, helped anyone who needed him, enjoyed a turn around the dance floor, Mexican music, a good subtle joke, and would savor the mild tones of an exquisite dark añejo tequila and the delicate classic aroma of a cigarette each night after dinner; his special recipe for a life lived to the fullest. Buen Viaje!  Safe Travels!

The Mendel family would like to thank the staff of the St. Elizabeth Hospitals and Windsor House Canfield for their kindness and compassion during these last few months. A special thank you to his niece, Debra Mettee, for her unwavering moral support and guidance.

Friends will be received from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at St. Dominic Catholic Church, 77 E Lucius Ave, Youngstown, followed immediately by a memorial service beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland. Please visit to send the family condolences. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Valentine Mendel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, March 9, 2024

9:00am - 10:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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