82, of Santa Rosa, California passed away on March 30, 2014. Joel was born in Oakland, California on April 10, 1931 to Getulio A. Mendoza, Sr. and his wife Eugenia. Getulio served in the U.S. Navy, and Eugenia was a homemaker and business owner. The family-including Joel's older brother Getulio Jr.-lived in the Philippines from 1934 to 1940. On their return to the States, they were interred at Angel Island for two weeks. The family settled in San Mateo, California. The boys went to public school, attending San Mateo High School where Joel did track and field (low hurdles, high jump and shot put). After graduating high school, Joel enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1949. He fought in the Korean War and later served as a drill instructor. After discharge, he enrolled at UC Berkeley. In 1957 he began working for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. NACA became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the following year. In 1958 Joel married Fay Asuelo from Santa Rosa, and they settled in the South Bay Area, first in Mountain View and then in Sunnyvale. They started a family and had three boys: Joel Mark, Kevin and Douglas. Joel worked for NASA for 37 years as an Aerospace Engineer. His achievements include a team award for detailing the signature of the sonic boom. For this and related studies, he put models of supersonic aircraft, including the space shuttle, through tests in the wind tunnels at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, California as well as at Ames. In 1995 Joel retired from NASA with the rank of GS13, and he and Fay moved to Santa Rosa in 1997. He became a tutor of Physics and Math at Santa Rosa Junior College. Helping young people in the sciences was something he truly enjoyed, a job he held until earlier this year. In his retirement, Joel and Fay pursued their love of travel, visiting the Philippines, South America, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Russia, Canada and Alaska. Joel always had a wide range of interests: science, history, sailing, soccer, target shooting, Tai Chi, judo and fencing. He played the trumpet and loved music-everything from jazz standards to the Beatles. Joel is survived by his wife Fay; sons Joel Mark, Kevin and Douglas; granddaughters Grace, Mitsuki and Sophia; and his brother Getulio Jr. Services will be held Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Daniel's Chapel of the Roses, 1225 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa (707-525-3730). Visitation from 1 p.m-4 p.m., Rosary and Remembrance from 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
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Daniels Chapel of the Roses
1225 Sonoma Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Apr. 6 to Apr. 9, 2014