LORETO MENDOZA, JR.
April 23, 1956 - June 14, 2022
Loreto Mendoza, Jr. went home to be with our Lord Jesus Christ on June 14, 2022, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He was 66.
Larry, as he was fondly called by family and friends, was born on April 5, 1956 to Juanito Mendoza and Juliana Dawana, in Maria Aurora, Quezon in the Philippines. He is the 5th child in a brood of 12, and he is also the eldest son.
Immediately after high school, Larry, entered the military service in the Philippines as part of the Philippine Navy, and eventually with the Philippine Coast Guard. He served his home country for 13 years, and it was during that time when he obtained his degree in Business Administration.
On December 27, 1982, Larry married Abel Tabelisma, a nurse, who was his classmate in grade school. Five years into their marriage, Larry decided to leave the military service and settled in Maria Aurora to start their family. They were blessed with three sons: Abelor, a mechanical engineer; Jebelor, an electrical engineer and Michael Jay, also an electrical engineer.
In 1999, Larry answered the call to be a minister of the Gospel. Rev. Loreto Mendoza obtained his Master in Divinity at the Wesley Divinity School in Cabanatuan City, Philippines. As a pastor of the United Methodist Church, he served 4 congregations in Aurora district for 11 years, including a short stint as the District Superintendent, before he and Abel moved to Norwalk, Iowa in 2012. Since then, they were active members of the Norwalk United Methodist Church.
Since 2013, Larry worked at the Regency Care Center on High Road, here in Norwalk. For 9 years, he endeared himself not only to his co-workers, but most specially, to the residents who will remember him as the guy who greets them every morning with the biggest smile and who would sing for them in their rooms while he did his job. Being the dedicated and caring worker that he was, he was given the Employee of the Month Award numerous times, which he was so proud of.
Both he and Abel became naturalized US citizens in 2018, and they were both looking forward to having their sons here in Iowa when Larry was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.
Larry was preceded in death by his father Juanito, mother Juliana, sister Letty and brother Jose. His life of service will forever be cherished by his wife, Abel, his 3 sons: Abelor (Julie Ann), Jebelor (Hannah) and Michael Jay (fiancée Judy Ann). His grandchildren Aleli Joy, Aiden Jorge and Jacob Hovan, his brothers and sisters and his brothers- and sisters-in-law and numerous nephews and nieces, as well as his numerous friends, associates and colleagues in the ministry.
"Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart"
- Here I am, Lord (Dan Schutte)