Home Social Obituaries Business Sports Letters Events Entertainment

Mildred Lavina Mendenhall

June 19, 1929 ~ November 13, 2018
November 19, 2018
Mildred Lavina Mendenhall
Mildred Lavina Mendenhall, 89, passed away peacefully at Life Care Center of Sandpoint on November 13, 2018. Mildred was surrounded by family as she departed this world to go be with the lord. Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 24, at United Methodist Church in Bonners Ferry with Pastor Ken Hagler officiating.

Mildred was born June 19, 1929 in Grangeville to the late Wilbur Roy Willey and Roxy (Huntley) Willey. She was the sixth of ten kids.

As a young girl, Mildred loved riding horses and always looked forward to the gathering at her aunts’ and uncles’ homes for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, where they played games and had fun with her family. While growing up she worked with her mother and sister Dorothy, milking 14 to 18 cows during the summer, and six in the winter.

She attended her first three years of grade school at Highland School on Camas Prairie, until they added a bus route to Cottonwood, Idaho, where she continued grade school. She attended Grangeville High School, where she was actively involved in home ec and glee club, but Mildred’s grandchildren will always remember her chanting the cheers her and her peers did as they snake danced weaving in and out of businesses.

In 1944, when Mildred was 15, her parents moved after purchasing a ranch north of Kamiah in Caribel, Idaho. Mildred decided she wanted to continue high school, so took a job for room and board taking care of an elderly woman in Grangeville.

She continued high school until she married Harland Mendenhall on October 6, 1945, in Lewiston. Soon after that time they bought a place in Caribel, where Beloit, Eugene, Norma and Randy were born. In 1955, they sold their home in Caribel and moved to Bonners Ferry in search of a new life and better schools for their children.

After establishing their home in Bonners Ferry, they expanded their family by having Connie, Wesley, Larry and Laresa.

Once the kids were raised and in school, she started working at the IGA store sorting freight, she later worked the deli and wrapped meat in the meat department. It was at this time that she touched the community with her grace and sweet spirit. Mildred, who was a ray of sunshine to anyone who knew her, truly lived life to the fullest through simple pleasures.

Beyond being a devoted wife and mother, she was renowned for her cooking and baking skills. Other hobbies she enjoyed were tending to her flower and vegetable gardens, watching and feeding birds and playing pinochle with friends and family. Mildred’s favorite times were having all her kids and their families fill their home.

She devoted her entire life to Harland and their eight children, and she will continue to influence their lives forever.

Mildred was preceded in death by her husband Harland, son Larry Dee Mendenhall, parents Roy and Roxy, granddaughter Margene Mendenhall, granddaughter Krista Rae Mendenhall, great-granddaughter Baylee Elaine Mendenhall, siblings Norman Willey, Roy Willey, Gladys Simpson, Lucile Hopper, Juanita Willey, Dorothy Meyer and Leona Bowmer.

Mildred was a loving mother and is survived by her son Beloit (Marva) Mendenhall, son Eugene (Peggy) Mendenhall, daughter Norma Martinez, son Randy (Jeanna) Mendenhall, daughter Connie (Tim) Rosco, son Wesley (Holly) Mendenhall, daughter Laresa (Kevin) Cossairt, grandchildren David Mendenhall, Lisa Pluid, Ron Mendenhall, Rod Mendenhall, Jeff Mendenhall, Jose Martinez, Connie Watko, Chris Mendenhall, Justin Mendenhall, Jeremy Rosco, Jaime Bergen, Tristan Mendenhall, Madison Mendenhall, Savannah Mendenhall, Brianna Cook and Jacob Cook, siblings Burton Willey and Hazel Kilpatrick, and numerous great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

© Kootenai Valley Times
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83806