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Christopher James Mendez

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LAUREL — Christopher James Mendez, 49, Laurel, died suddenly March 6, 2023, at his residence.

Funeral services were March 11 at United Lutheran Church, Laurel, with the Rev. Matthew Quanbeck officiating.

Military rites were conducted outside of church following the funeral by the Laurel VFW Post #4504 and the Laurel American Legion Post #54.

Burial was at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery, Norfolk, following a luncheon at the church.

Pallbearers were Trace Naeve, Travis Holz, David Badley, Royce Fairley, Jeff Schlecht and Jake Jensen.

Honorary pallbearers were the Employees of Freightliner Truck Center.

Visitation was Saturday, at church, until service time.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home, Laurel. Christopher James was born Feb. 22, 1974, in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, to Joseph Michael and Gloria Jean (Volquardsen) Mendez. He grew up with military parents and moved to Norfolk, at the age of 5 to live with his grandparents, Henry & Shirley Volquardsen. He graduated from High School in 1992. Chris then joined the Navy, serving for four years from April 19, 2000, until April 30, 2004. Upon his honorable discharge, Chris attended Northeast Community College, Norfolk, and received a degree in diesel mechanics.

He was formerly married to Tamara Brabec, Fremont, from 2007-2010. Chris began working for the Hansen Brothers, Laurel, and continued with Yvonne Hansen. Chris was presently working for Freightliner Truck Center Company, Norfolk.

Chris really enjoyed fishing, playing video games with Mason, keeping up on all the latest world and U.S. news and was an excellent cook. The most important thing in his life was his son, Mason, for whom he would do anything.

Chris is survived by his son, Mason Mendez, Winside; father, Mike Mendez, Leavenworth, Kan.; Mason’s parents, Mike and Sarah Naeve, Winside; and Mason’s eight siblings, Nathan (Laura) Hancock, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Terence (Whitney) Hancock, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Narelle (Sean) Burns, Omaha; Kayli, Trace, Stephanie, Anna and Gracie Naeve, Winside; brother, Patrick (Julie) Boardman, Waukee, Iowa; aunts and uncles, Linda Becker, Lincoln; Keith Volquardsen, Ankeny, Iowa; Jerry Volquardsen, Lincoln; and Peggy Wegner, Norfolk.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Gloria Jean Volquardsen; grandparents, Henry and Shirley Volquardsen, Joe and Eileen Mendez, and Alice and Owen Boardman.