Mendoza was born on August 10, 1936, in Los Angeles, California, grew up in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipino Town, graduated from Belmont High School and UCLA, and took his inspiration from his father and many of the first generation Pilipino Americans known as the “manongs.”
For almost 40 years of his professional life and after retirement as the director of the Los Angeles County Refugee Service Center, Mendoza was recognized as an effective and dedicated community advocate and leader on behalf of human service organizations in the greater Los Angeles Pilipino, Asian and Pacific Islander American communities. He was one of the original founders of Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, Inc. (SIPA).
Affectionately known as “Uncle Al,” one of Mendoza’s enduring legacies will be his sage counsel as mentor to a generation of new leaders who now have taken up the torch on behalf and within in the communities he so proudly, passionately and effectively served.
Mendoza’s wry sense of humor, sharp wit, and love of Hawaiian music with his trusty ukulele at his side and deep appreciation of jazz as “America’s classical music” will be missed. Mendoza is survived by his amazing, loving wife Candy, daughters Pam (Rian), Cori (Richard), son Scott (Sandra), stepson Steven (Lindsay), stepdaughter Michelle, grandchildren David, Brandon, Emily, Jordan, Daniel, Dylan, former sister-in-law Cheryl Mendoza and numerous other in-laws, nieces and nephews.
Kevin Acebo is former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor.