Obituary of Mary Charlene Mendoza
Mary Charlene Mendoza ("Charlene") peacefully passed away surrounded by loved ones on October 22, 2023. She was 82 years old. Charlene bravely fought brain cancer for nearly two years. She and her beloved husband, Gilbert, were married 65 wonderful years at the time of her passing. They were inseparable lifelong partners whose unwavering love for each other was clearly evident by all who knew them.
Charlene was born at San Diego's Mercy Hospital on December 12, 1940, to Harry Stewart of Comanche, Texas, and Mary Theresa Ruiz of San Diego, California. Her older brother, Tony Manasse, preceded her in death. She is survived by her younger brother, Woody Stewart.
On March 12, 1957, she met her husband, Gilbert, at a dance in Balboa Park's War Memorial Building. The relationship flourished and in August of 1958, after graduating from high school, they were married.
The marriage produced 5 children (4 girls & 1 boy); Christina (and Ramon), Gilbert (and Letty), Tamra (and Colin), Mardene & Andrea (and Matt). Charlene was blessed to be a full-time wife/mother/homemaker. Celebrating holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, baptisms, pool parties and other special occasions were her favorite moments to enjoy family & friends. Her family continued to grow through the years, resulting in her becoming a grandmother to 47 grandchildren... this includes four great-great-grand children. She enjoyed and thrived being a mother & a grandmother. Her unyielding love graced her family & friends.
Charlene and Gilbert cherished their 65 years of marriage together and the staggering amount of incredible memories they would share together. Gilbert retired in 1991, which provided them 32 years to enjoy vacations, cruises, trips and motorhome travels together. Their travels allowed them to spend time and create "forever" memories with their children, grandchildren and many other friends & family.
Charlene was devoted to her Catholic faith and now rests in heaven with her Heavenly Father as she reunites with those family & friends who passed before her. She will be missed by all who knew her while her legacy will live on with us all.
Charlene Mendoza's services will be held November 14 at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church at 2766 Navajo Rd, El Cajon CA 92020. A Rosary Service will commence at 11:30am immediately followed by a Funeral Mass at noon. There will be a reception after mass held nearby at the San Diego Elks Lodge #168 at 7430 Jackson Dr., San Diego CA 92119.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks instead that donations be made to either:
· St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/)
· National Brain Tumor Society (https://braintumor.org/To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Mendoza, please visit Tribute Store