Obituary for Ismael Mendoza

Ismael “Smiley” Mendoza, entered into rest on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 at the age of 89.  He was born on Nov. 15, 1931 in Morenci, Arizona to parents Epifanio M. Mendoza and Elena H. Mendoza, with siblings Epifano, Reynaldo, Margarito , Ernesto, Dimas and Yolanda.

He attended and graduated from Morenci High School,  joined the United States Marine Corps and later, worked as a copper miner.  On June 5, he married the love of his life, Maria Natalia Gonzales at St. Rose of Lima Church in Safford, Arizona. They were blessed with four children.

Ismael “Smiley” Mendoza

He loved the great outdoors, camping, spending time with his family, woodworking, playing the guitar, and attending church. Smiley took pride in his family and all of their many activities. He had a great sense of humor, never met a stranger, was outgoing as they come, and was always happy. Laughter was a must. His favorite saying was “Yo creo que si George”.  He was a hard-working man that loved his family and his Catholic Faith.

Smiley is survived by his three children, Dolores (Oscar) Cardenas, Ismael Mendoza, and George Mendoza; his grandchildren, Rhiannon M. Morales, Selina Mendoza, Annissa (Jennifer) Mendoza, and George Ismael (Brandi) Mendoza, and his great-grandchildren, Clarrissa, Franky, George E, Walter, and Lucy.

 A viewing and visitation were held at McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel located at 112 E. Main Street, Safford, Arizona on Wednesday, Jan. 13, beginning at 9 a.m., with the recitation of the Rosary at 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Rose of Lima at 11 a.m. The interment at Bunkers Cemetery in Morenci followed services. A live stream video is available on Mcdougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel Facebook Page for those who could not attend.

Arrangements were under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.  Online condolences may be extended at

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