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Steven Wayne Mendenhall was loved and admired by those who knew him. He was the sixth child born from the union of Lauren D. and Anna L. Mendenhall on December 1, 1959 in Fredericktown, Missouri.
In 1960, his parents divorced and his father, Lauren met and married Paula June Spiro in 1961. Paula raised Steven and his minor siblings. Lauren and Paula had a total of eleven children collectively. Being a part of a large family had its rewards. He enjoyed planting crops with the family in the Spring and harvesting them in the Fall to sell to the community. Having that entrepreneurial spirit at such a young age - - Steven realized that hard work can reap great rewards, because his parents would use some of the profit from the farm harvest to take, he and his siblings to Disneyland.
In 1966, at the age of seven, Steve’s parents moved most of the family to Bangkok, Thailand (Thai) for a job opportunity. This was an interesting and very significant transition for the entire family as they moved to Thailand. Steven attended Elementary School at the International School of Bangkok. Life changed substantially for the entire family as they immersed themselves in this new and exciting culture. Servants were hired to care for the family to take care of responsibilities previously assigned to the children. This experience challenged and encouraged Steven to learn as much as possible about the Thai language, culture and explore the possibilities of other cultures. While in Thailand, Steven became an Eagle Boy Scout which helped to mold his future. Steve’s thirst for knowledge and travel resulted in extensive and exciting travel adventures which were led by his mother, Paula. In 1972, the family moved back to the United States to Midwest City, Oklahoma.
During his childhood, Steven appreciated the simple things in life, such as eating “Goldenrod Egg Sandwiches” on Easter morning, playing tennis with their grandfather, making Christmas presents for the family, gathering around the organ in the evening to sing Christmas Carols and when the weather was warm, they loved playing hide and seek, kick the can, several sports and numerous board games.
At age sixteen (1976), Steve joined and began serving in the United States Navy. This was an exciting and remarkable time for him as he held numerous responsibilities: Aircraft Logbook Yeoman, Aviation Maintenance Administrativeman, Data Analyst, First Class Petty Officer, Informix/Unix Data Base Administrator, Production Control Supervisor. In his service: Awarded Two Navy Achievement Medals. Tours: Desert Storm Veteran.
While in the military, Steve met and married Debbie Rivers and from their union they had three children (Steven, David and Michelle). After twenty years in the Navy, Steve and Debbie divorced. Recognizing that he had to actualize his academic dreams, he pursued and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University and he also became an Ordained Minister.
In 2009, Steven met Richelle Glascoe. They instantly recognized they had much in common. Both were seekers of education, wisdom and persons who sought to pursue excellence in what they sought to accomplish, as well as to encourage others to identify the very best in themselves. They had almost fifteen years together. Richelle loved Steven Wayne Mendenhall profusely and felt so blessed to have found him!
Steven was a walking Dictionary and/or Encyclopedia. Whenever there was a question, he generally had the answer. Outside of his love for God, Richelle and his family, Steven loved the New York METS baseball team. Because of his love for baseball, Steve was excited about his children (Steven, David, Michelle, William), grandson (Santino) and great-grand daughter (Alayna) playing t-ball/baseball. He also coached on several of the teams.
Not only was baseball a major part of Steve’s life but as an Eagle Boy Scout, Steven was proud that his son, William, “followed in his footsteps” and became a Boy Scout as well.
Steven loved teaching. He loved his students. He loved the academic environment but more important, the students loved him. After twenty years of teaching for Duval County Public Schools, Steve did an exceptional job helping his students excel. He had a charismatic and funny personality that people were drawn to. He also enjoyed playing Santa Claus at Christmas and riding on the trolley in St. Augustine waving at everyone saying “Ho-Ho-Ho”.
The kids would get so excited and so would Steve. His goal in life was to be a God-fearing man, provide security and stability for his family, travel, laugh and enjoy life to the fullest with his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He was affectionately referred to as “Steven Little Wayne” and “Dad” via his children, “Crampa” and “Grampie” by grandchildren/great grandchildren and “Hubby” by his wife, Richelle. Steve was an exceptional man who was a wealth of knowledge and loved to share his love for history. He was a true comedic and the Mendenhall home was filled with love and laughter. His favorite pastime was reading, watching documentaries, traveling, “telling dad jokes/puns”, dancing and having fun which led to laughter from those around him! He will be missed!!! Steven was a rare jewel!
After a long and hard-fought battle with health issues, Steven passed away on Saturday, November 18, 2023. He leaves to mourn his wife, Richelle Mendenhall; children, Steven Mendenhall (Paulina), David Mendenhall (Sarah), Michelle (Mendenhall) McCarthy; bonus children, Carey Seymore, William Seymore and Cailyn Stewart; grandchildren, Makayla Mendenhall-Smith (Antonio), Alissa Mendenhall, Steven Mendenhall, Santino Brooks, Giselle Christopher, Brielle Christopher, and Ryker Christopher; great-grandchildren, Alayna Kogut and Antonio Smith, III; his mother-in-law, Betty Glascoe; siblings, Cherlene Golitz, Bruce Mendenhall (Zecely), Darrell Devore (Debbie), Dennis DeVore, Sandra Davis, Glenn Mendenhall, Lorna Rogers (Larry), and Todd Mendenhall (Valerie). Other family and friends who celebrate his life are Shem Israel, Carletta Reid and Lori Ann Bradford; god-daughter, Nancy Slay; adopted granddaughter, Amy Vidacak; nieces, nephews, cousins, many other family and friends. Proceeding Steve’s passing were his parents, Lauren Mendenhall, Anna Mendenhall, Paula Mendenhall; and brothers, Gary Mendenhall and Mark Mendenhall.
Just know STEVEN WAYNE MENDENHALL IS RESTING IN THE ARMS OF GOD THE FATHER!!!!!
Sarah L. Carter's Funeral Home Southside is serving the Family.