Antonio Miner Mendiola 06/02/1931-07/24/2020 Our beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away on July 24 th , in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty in Tacoma, Washington. He recently celebrated his 89 th birthday in the presence of his loving family. He was preceded in death by his wife Elsie and he is survived by his sister Guadalupe DeDeaux; 4 children, Antonio Jr. (Ledena), John (Molly), Linda, Diane (William); 6 grandchildren, Jason (Keisy), Erin (Urbon), Sean, Daniel, Austin, Megan; 3 great-grandchildren, Samuel, Elsie and Cecelia. Antonio was born on the island of Guam in the south pacific and as a child, survived the occupation of Guam by Japanese forces and the subsequent liberation by the Allied forces during World War II. After turning 18 he joined the US Army spending 20 years in the service and achieving the rank of Major. He served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars earning various commendations including the Bronze Star for meritorious service during hostile counterinsurgency operations. He served in the Army's elite Special Forces known as the "Green Berets" and was part of clandestine operations including combat search and rescue operations as part of the 5 th Special Forces Group under Project Delta, the highest decorated unit in Vietnam. During his time in the service, he was routinely recognized for his leadership and ingenuity, always leaving a situation far better than when he found it. A notable linguist, he was conversation fluent in 5 different languages. While in the military, he met the love of his life Elsie, whom he married on January 20 th , 1954 and spent the next 45 years together until Elsie's passing in 1999. While building a life in the Tacoma area, he went on to have a 20-year career working for the Port of Tacoma and retired in 1993. He helped establish the Guam Club of Washington to create a social structure for Chamorros living in Washington, serving as their inaugural President. Antonio loved to work outside during his free time, always coming up with projects to fill his time. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and in the past few years, his great-grandchildren, who affectionately called him "Pops". Viewing will be at Mountain View Funeral Home in Lakewood, WA on Thursday July 30 th and Friday July 31 st from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Funeral services will be held at Mountain View Memorial Park in the Valley Chapel on Saturday, August 1 st at 1:00 pm. Graveside service will follow at approximately 2:30 pm.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Jul. 28, 2020.