Roger Mendoza was born in Galveston, Texas on March 12, 1937, the youngest of seven children of Felipe and Soledad Hernandez Mendoza. His high school years were spent in Detroit with his oldest brother, Samuel Mendoza, M.D., where he graduated from Cody High School and maintained life-long friendships with several classmates.
Roger attended Tulane University prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as a M.P. in San Diego, CA. Returning to Texas, he resumed his education at The University of St. Thomas in Houston, graduating in 1963. During those four wonderful years, he met his future wife Ellen McGowan, and enjoyed the friendliness and intellectual stimulation of his fellow classmates and devoted teachers. When Roger and Ellen married in 1965, Rev. Alfred Caird, CSB, superior of the Basilian Order, and Rev. Joseph Meyers, head of the biology department, officiated at their wedding in Dallas, TX.
Dr. Mendoza graduated from the University of Texas Dental School in 1967, opening his office that summer in the Aldine, TX area. He practiced there for 40 years, and at the time of his retirement was caring for the grandchildren of some of his original patients. He took great pride in being an ethical and gentle dentist, and in his younger years was a regular volunteer at the San Jose Clinic dental department. He was a Life Member of the American, Texas and Houston Dental Associations.
Roger and Ellen enjoyed traveling, with London, Madrid, Sydney and San Francisco as favorite destinations. They also shared a love of cinema (ranging from The Sound of Music to Tombstone to Pulp Fiction) and for decades has season tickets for live theater productions, Roger’s favorite being Evita.
In his later years, Dr. Mendoza combined his manual dexterity and creativity by obtaining his certifications from the Gemological Institute of America in diamonds and colored stones. He enjoyed designing and making jewelry for his wife, sisters and nieces; commercially, his work was displayed and sold at Shannon’s Fine Jewelry in north Houston.
Roger spent his last months at home under hospice care for cancer. He passed away peacefully in the loving presence of his wife, two sisters, brother and oldest niece.
Roger is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ellen, his beloved sons Roger Christopher of San Francisco, CA and David Michael of Austin, TX, his sisters Connie Garza and Teresa Vargas, his brother Al Mendoza, many dear nieces and nephews and cousins, and brother-in law Patrick McGowan and wife Tricia. He was predeceased by brothers Sam and Jake and sister Tanna.
Services for Dr. Mendoza will be held Saturday, June 25, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home, 3028 Broadway in Galveston, TX. Visitation will be from 10am to 11am, memorial service at 11am followed by internment at the mausoleum Phase III at Calvary Catholic Cemetery on 65th Street in Galveston, TX.
Donations in Dr. Mendoza’s honor may be sent to the San Jose Clinic, 2615 Fannin, Houston, TX 77002, Attention: Development Department.
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am