Frank Mendoza Florez, age 92, entered eternal peace on July 8, 2020 with his family by his side and is now reunited with his beloved wife, Mary Martinez Florez, his parents Juan and Paz, his brothers Carlos, Ramiro, Juan Bautista, and his sister Leonor Martan. He is survived by his two sisters, Delia Buczek (Carl) and Olga Erickson; his six children, Jacque Florez-Ball (Todd), Frank (Cindy), Gene (Christine), David (Betty), Gail Ybarra (Albert) and Diane Dona (Jack); 15 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
A native Arizonan, Frank was born and raised in Hayden, AZ. His athletic skills, intelligence and determination served him well. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1948. While on active duty, he earned his Golden Gloves by winning the heavyweight boxing title in 1948. He admired and respected all servicemen and took pride in being a veteran. After the Navy, he attended the University of Arizona College of Mines and graduated in 1954 with a B.S. degree in mining engineering. He was hired by Magma Copper Co. in Superior, AZ where he and his wife, Mary, raised their family. He earned the respect of his peers and worked his way up the ranks to General Manager. His imposing size and strong voice earned him the nickname “El Oso” (the bear). He retired after 40 years in the mining industry. He was well respected in the industry and the community of Superior.
Frank was also known for his quick wit and dry sense of humor that would make anyone chuckle. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and instilling family traditions. He had a specialty of preparing barbacoa and cooking it underground with mesquite coals and provided his culinary skills for the Los Reyes Social Club and the annual Little League BBQ. He would also make his mother’s “cocido” soup recipe every Sunday for all of us to eat, even during the summer. He especially enjoyed the annual multi-family camping trip in the Apache White Mountains North Fork area. He was proud of all his children and grandchildren and always encouraged us to do our best, continue our education and to pass on family traditions.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a celebration of his life will be held when we are free to share our hugs and stories. The family appreciates all the phone calls, text messages, cards and Facebook comments.