Juanita H. Mendoza passed away peacefully at home on Good Friday, April 19, 2019. She was born on January 15, 1927, to Ventura and Antonia Hernandez in Aguas Calientes, Mexico, coming to live in the United States as an infant. Juanita attended school in Palm Springs until she left to work to help the family. As a waitress at the Palm Springs Tahquitz Hotel and Restaurant, she met and married the love of her life, Juan Mendoza, and raised a family. They were married for 47 years.
“Jay” as she was fondly called by her family, was an excellent seamstress and supervised at the old Banning Shirt Factory and then Pantsmaker West until their closures. Juanita then returned to waitressing at Sergio’s Mexican Restaurant, finally retiring in 1992. As she worked and took care of her family, she also served on the Board for Banning Little League. Besides sewing, cooking for her grandchildren and attending their games, watching sports on TV with her husband and brothers, Saturday night poker with her brothers gave her great joy.
Juanita is survived by her children, Rosemary Soto (Alfred); Gilbert Mendoza (Janet), Richard Mendoza (Alice); Teresa Mendoza; Blanca Ramirez (German); Johnny Mendoza, and raised granddaughter, Jessica Starnes. She had 26 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and godchildren. Siblings are Margarito Hernandez (Margaret, RIP); Lola Owens (Ned); Lupe Chavez (Joe, RIP), Joe Hernandez (Patsy), Clara Dominguez (Bennie); Rachel Lara (Danny, RIP), and Connie Hernandez (sister-in-law). In addition to her husband and parents, Juanita was preceded in death by Toni and Boy Sanchez (daughter and son-in-law), Michael Rios, (grandson); Sarah Avila (sister), and Bernardo Hernandez (brother).
A viewing will be held on Monday, April 29, 2019, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, with the recitation of the Rosary at 7:00 pm. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at 10:00 am. All services will be held at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church, 157 W. Nicolet Street, Banning, CA, where she was a life-long member. Interment will follow immediately after mass at the San Gorgonio Memorial Park in Banning, CA.