1924 ~ 2012
Carmel Valley, CA - Mendek Rubin passed away on September 16, 2012. He was a wise, kind and gentle man, whose humor and good nature touched many lives. Mendek was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. No one in his family can remember him ever speaking a harsh or hurtful word. Even as his Alzheimer's progressed over the past 15 years, he spread his cheerfulness and light to everyone around him.
Mendek was born in Jaworzno, Poland in 1924. He was a WWII holocaust survivor, and as a teen he spent three years in concentration camps, where his entire family perished except for one sister. After the war, he came to America, settled in New York City, and was soon drafted into the Korean War. After his tour of duty, Mendek apprenticed in the jewelry business until he and his cousin co-founded the jewelry companies, Du-All and RuGel.
Inventive and mechanical by nature, in the early 1960s Mendek revolutionized the jewelry industry by conceiving new, improved designs for bracelet clasps and devising machinery for their highly efficient production. His innovations received multiple patents; and the clasps he designed are now standard for bracelets everywhere.
In the mid-1980s Mendek was instrumental in the successful start of Earthbound Farm - the business his daughter and son-in-law founded - with his construction of a mechanical system to wash and bag salad before any such machinery existed. He created ingenious contraptions with items he found at the junk yard.
Mendek was also a prolific writer and artist. He wrote extensively on the subject of transcending suffering and finding joy in life. He authored a collection of poetry, Why Not Now? (Philosophical Library); and self-published a practical guide, I'm Big, i'm small, that uses words and imagery to help, "stop the mind in its stream of repetitive, self-critical thoughts" by focusing on the positive, expansive self. He gifted hundreds of copies to prisons and was gratified to hear from inmates who were experiencing more inner freedom through his writings.
Mendek has said that his biggest success was finding his wife of 51 years, Edith, whom he knew only nine days before marrying. He and Edith retired in Carmel, California in the early 1980s. In the last two decades, the white-haired pair could be seen walking around town holding hands, or sitting and talking with one another at bus stops waiting to journey to their favorite spots around the Monterey Peninsula.
Mendek is survived by his beloved wife, Edith; his two daughters, Ruth Rubin and Myra Goodman; sons-in-law, Steve Harmer and Drew Goodman; three grandchildren, Marea Goodman, Jeffrey Goodman, and Nina Harmer; and his sister, Bronia Brandman, who resides in New York.
If you wish to contact the family, you may send a message to: email@example.com.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Sept. 27, 2012