Luis A. Mendez, Jr. Scholarship Fund
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Luis Mendez was a gifted pianist that performed with legendary entertainers, big bands and musicians from his early days in the U.S. Army and over the next six decades. While he loved to play music, his passion in life was to share his talent as a music educator. Luis impacted the lives of countless individuals throughout his 50 years of teaching choral and instrumental music in El Paso Texas, Mansfield, Ohio and Polk County, Florida. He could spot students with special talent and worked to develop their abilities and deepen their love of music. Numerous protégés have gone on to perform in venues across the world. Humble, witty and kind, Luis loved his students and maintained relationships with many of them throughout his entire lifetime.
Luis committed his life to serving others. In addition to providing for his wife of 59 years and their four children, he challenged his community to work together for the benefit of all. He held leadership positions in veterans’ service associations, business and labor groups, and numerous civic organizations. He was an elected public school board member and founded the Ontario, Ohio Safety Town, a program for pre-Kindergarten children that endures more than 40 years later.