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Victor Mendoza Leija


1921 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Victor Mendoza Leija Obituary
Victor Mendoza Leija September 1, 1921 - June 13, 2012 Victor Mendoza Leija was born on September 1, 1921, and passed away on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Victor passed peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Victor was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Maria V. Leija; son, baby boy Leija; parents, Cirilo and Santiaga Leija; brother, Merced Leija; sisters, Antonia Saldana and Petronila Castaneda; and son-in-law, Aniceto Z. Tapia. Victor was born in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. After many years of successfully owning a shoe manufacturing company, Victor and his wife, Maria, along with their nine children, immigrated to the United States to seek a better future for their family. After leaving all behind, they settled in Bakersfield, CA, in December 1957. Within five years of moving to Bakersfield, Victor and his wife added three more children to their already sizable family. Victor exemplified discipline, perseverance, good work, and moral ethic. Soon after relocating to Bakersfield, he worked full time as a field laborer and migrant worker. In 1963, Victor branched out on his own and became a successful farm labor contractor. Victor was able to work with many local farmers throughout Kern County until his retirement in 2003, at the age of 82. Victor always fondly recalled many of the employers he worked with throughout his contracting business, including Mazzie Farms, Frank Icardo of I & I Farms, Jack Fry, David Cerrino, Don Valpredo, and Tapia Brothers, just to name a few. To those who held him in high esteem, he was affectionately known as "Don Victor." Victor also succeeded in accomplishing the goal of acquiring property to built and establish his own convenience store, which he expanded to include a feed store and recycling center. He was sole proprietor of Vic's Food Mart, Vic's Feed Store, and Vic's Recycling until his death. Victor is survived by his four sons, Frank and Sandra Leija, Victor Leija, Larry and Kimra Leija, and Ricardo Leija; and his eight daughters, Connie Tapia, Narce Leija, Juana Sanchez, Rosa and Ray Gomez, Carmen and Carlos Goicoechea, Leticia Leija and fiance, Jose Cruz, Margarita and Tito Salinas, and Berta and Danny De Leon; 25 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-grandchildren; and sister, Lupe Saldana Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a Rosary starting at 6:00 p.m., at Greenlawn Southwest Memorial Chapel, 2739 Panama Lane. Catholic Mass will be held on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 601 E. California Ave., followed by a graveside service at Greenlawn Southwest Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be his grandsons: Danny Sanchez, Juan Tapia, Raymond Leija, Fernando Salinas, Danny De Leon Jr., and Larry Leija Jr. Honorary pallbearers will be grandsons: Andy Tapia Jr., Victor Leija, Marco De Leon, Sergio Salinas, Victor Salinas, and Ricardo Leija Jr. As the family patriarch, Victor leaves many to mourn his passing. Dad, you instilled your work ethic and family devotion to your children, which we all highly admired. No words can ease the empty place in our hearts, but it gives us great comfort to know that you always loved us all and never forgot to ask for each and every one of us by name. May you and Mom finally be together again. For condolences please visit www.greenlawnmortuaryandcemetery.com. Greenlawn Southwest www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian from June 16 to June 17, 2012
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