Joseph Anthony Mendez, of Tucson, passed away June 29, 2019. Joseph was born on February 19, 1992 in Tucson, along with his twin brother Michael. Joseph lived a happy childhood along with Michael, in Solomon. They attended the Solomon Schools and then earned their GED in Safford on March 20, 2009.
Joseph always had a way to make others laugh, like his made up words to describe something and imitations he was so good at. He was so kindhearted and generous with what he had and what he could do for others. If he made a promise, he always kept it.
He had a wide variety of interests that he dearly loved, from his collection of anything; turtles, pottery and antiques, to his pet fish, “Fanny”, his love for animals, for example, when a baby bird fell out of its nest, Joseph nurtured it back to health, and was very concerned about feeding the hummingbirds, or his courageousness in saving our little dog “Bella” from a rattlesnake. Joseph loved taking his little sister Tricia, or as he would affectionately call her “his little lady”, on hikes or to look for rocks for her rock collection.
As a family, we remember when Joseph used to say he had to take care of all his girls in the famila. He always had a way of making you feel special. Even on a bad day he would brighten your day with his big bright smile or his words of wisdom. His family and friends meant everything to him and he had a special bond with his twin, Michael, whom he loved so much. He also had a deep love for God and had a life of prayer. Because of an addiction to drugs, he willingly went to the Salvation Army Rehab in Tucson. He met great friends who helped him through his recovery. The program consisted of Chapel & Devotional Services, work and life skills that helped him on his journey. He attended devotion services at the Salvation Army regularly.
Also as a family, we would plan trips to visit him in Tucson. For the most part of his stay at the Salvation Army, he worked as a laborer and then advanced to assistant manager for the Salvation Army Thrift Store. He would proudly say “now I can wear my good clothes to work”. He would call or text everyday to tell his family how his day went, to talk about what's new, what his future plans were or about the new movie he just saw and always to tell us “God bless you, sleep well, and talk to you tomorrow”.
Joseph struggled with the loss of his twin brother Michael in 2018 and sadly after 18 months of sobriety, his life tragically ended with his death on June 29, 2019. We will forever remember him for his kindness, concern, love for all, his beautiful smile and love for God. He is now in God’s care and reunited with Michael, his cousin Brandon and his Grandfather, “Papa”, as we called him.
He is survived by his parents, Jesus Mendez & Rachelle Barriga, siblings Selena & Trisha Moreno, Jesus Mendez Jr. and Tomas Christian Mendez, Aunt Dana, cousin Celeste Garcia and Grandmother Mary Ann Barriga.
Joseph was preceded in death by his twin brother, Michael Mendez, his cousin Brandon Garcia, his Grandfather Tony Barriga, Great-Grandparents Joe & Rachele Armijo and Great Aunt Nancy Cervantez.
The family of Joseph would like to thank Leah & Tom Ranelli for their support of Joseph during his recovery, Ramon Salazar and his family for welcoming Joseph into their family, all of his good friends and to the SAlvation Army for giving Joseph & Michael many years of happiness before their deaths.
Services will be held on Friday, July 12, 2019 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Parish with a viewing at 9:00 a.m. followed by the Recitation of the Rosary at 10:00 with the Mass of Christian Burial beginning at 11:00 a.m. with Father Robert Rodriguez as Celebrant. Interment will follow in the Solomon Cemetery.