Virginia Stannard Mendoza, 86, of Loma Linda, Calif., and formerly of Cortland, N.Y., passed away Friday, June 24, 2011.
She was born Dec. 16, 1924, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the second of three children of Walter and Golda James Murray, who were missionaries. The family lived in South America for most of Virginias childhood. When she was a teenager, she returned to the United States to attend Forest Lake Academy near Orlando, Fla. Virginia later enrolled in Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University) in Berrien Springs, Mich.
In 1950, Virginia settled in Cortland with her first husband, Dr. Earl Stannard, and raised a family in the area for 25 years. Throughout those years, she volunteered her time to numerous organizations, including: CMH Hospital Aid, Hospital Auxiliary, Cortland YWCA, Homer Garden Club and others. Virginia enjoyed playing the piano and organ and shared her gifts at church and community events. She also had a talent for flower arranging and event planning, lending her talents to the wedding receptions of many friends and family.
Virginia moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1974 and began a career. She rose to become the Personal Assistant to the President of Grocery Manufactures of America, Inc., a political lobbyist group. Once retired, she volunteered in Vice-President George H. W. Bushs Office of Communications during the Reagan Administration, working in future first lady Barbara Bushs office.
Virginia married Dr. Mario Mendoza in October 1980. The couple enjoyed travelling and visiting different cultures around the world. After Dr. Mendoza retired, they split their time between homes in Cortland and Guadalajara, Mexico.
Virginia is survived by her husband, Dr. Mario Mendoza; her daughter, Deborah (John) Nadolski of Cortland; her son, Dr. Jeffrey Stannard of Syracuse; her grandchildren, Nicholas and Lora Nadolski; and her sister, Cloey Murray Niemack of Hendersonville, N.C.
A celebration of Virginias life will be held, Wednesday, July 27, 2011, at 4:00PM in the Gibson Chapel at Cortland Rural Cemetery.
Contributions in Virginias memory can be made to the Cortland Memorial Foundation, 134 Homer Avenue, Cortland, which will be restricted to the H.E.L.P. scholarship program.
Funeral arrangements are being coordinated by Wright Beard Funeral Home.
To offer one line condolences visit www.wright-beard.com
To Jeff and Debbie: my sincere sympathy for the loss of your dear Mother. I know how much she meant to both of you; I also know that she is now at peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you both at this very sad time. Blessings. Kathy Klamm