On May 20th, 2023, Mona Mendiola of Fruitland, Idaho passed away peacefully at the age of 89 at her home surrounded by her family. Mona was born in Ontario, Oregon on March 18, 1934, to Frank Smith and Dorothy Woodward. She was raised in Westfall, Oregon, and attended school in Harper, Oregon. Mona married the love of her life, Paul Mendiola, in 1950. They moved to Nevada for work and later moved to Harper, Oregon. In 1956 they moved to Ontario, Oregon where they began a lifelong career of farming and raising 6 children. Her grandchildren were one of the greatest joys in her life and the memories created will never be forgotten by any of them. She loved watching western movies, cooking, and baking. Every child and grandchildren will be the first to say that she was the best cook - especially her fried chicken and homemade rolls. Another passion that many will remember her for was her outstanding cakes. Whether it was for a wedding or a birthday, you could always count on Mona’s cakes to be not only beautiful but delicious! She cared deeply for her family and neighbors. She was always the first to offer help and take meals to the home of the sick or upon a family losing a loved one. All her children and her grandchildren could always have friends join them for dinner, everyone was always welcomed, especially on the holidays. She made sure to have Christmas gifts for anybody extra that stopped by. Christmas decorating, baking, and giving gifts were her favorite things to do. Mona belonged to the Hyline Solana Club when she lived on the Oregon Slope, she was also a lifetime member of the Ontario Basque Club. Club meetings and the lifelong friendships that were formed were a highlight of her life.
Mona is survived by her children, Dennis Mendiola (Glenda), Steve Mendiola (Kim), Paula Fritts (Steve), Pam Morris (Jeff), Patricia Perrin (Jeff), John Mendiola (Terrie), 15 grandchildren, Tim (Debbie) Belisle, Jason Mendiola, Jennifer (Glenn) Deveney, Michael (Taylor) Jacobs, Luke (Bradi) Fritts, Cassandra (Karl) Stelljes, Tiffany (Dan) Vannoy, Callie Jackson, Amanda Perrin, MariJo (Shawn) Maybon, Juliann (Dane) Edmunson, Pamela (Michael) Schlager, Adam (Kashlee) Mendiola, Ty (Christina) Ingram, , Jacqueline (Benjamin Palmer), 43 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren; brother Sonny (Judy) Smith, brother-in-law George (Carol) Mendiola, sister-in-law Dottie Mendiola, and sister-in-law Joan Anderson; numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Mendiola; her parents, Frank and Dorothy; a granddaughter, Katie Fritts; a son-in-law, Jack Walchel; a brother, Dick Smith; a sister, Mildred Arriola; a brother-in-law; Danny Arriola; a brother-in-law Larry Mendiola; a brother-in-law Bob Anderson and a nephew, William Arriola.
Special thanks to Steve and Paula Fritts for the loving care of Mom these past years.
A viewing will be held on May 29th at Lienkaemper Funeral Home from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday May 30th at Lienkaemper Funeral Home, 78 NW 1st Ave. Ontario, Oregon, at 10:00 a.m. Burial to follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario, Oregon. A lunch reception will follow at the Train Depot in Ontario. The family asks that memorials be made to Malheur County Fairgrounds and The Ronald McDonald House.