Ella “Frankie” Mendenhall was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Savior on June 1, 2023, at the age of 81 after a courageous battle with cancer. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
Frankie was born on August 3, 1941, in Burlington, North Carolina. In 1957, she met Larry, the love of her life. They married on March 27, 1959, and shortly after, moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana where they started a family and raised three children. Frankie was employed by General Telephone, for 23 years until her retirement.
She and Larry decided that they were ready to trade the snowy, cold winters of the Midwest for the warmth and sunshine of Fort Myers, Florida. Even after retirement, she kept very busy working as an administrative assistant at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.
She was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers for 17 years where she was actively involved as a deacon and also worked with the Stephen Ministries program, caring for others through grief support. She was an avid book reader who loved to kayak, enjoyed bird watching and attending the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre shows.
She and Larry loved to travel and were able to visit many international destinations (Scotland was among her favorites), go on several cruises as well as make trips to Hawaii, Yellowstone National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Las Vegas.
Frankie loved her children and grandchildren and was recently blessed with two great-grandchildren. She had a giving heart and always put her family and those she cared about, first.
Frankie was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Thelma Strickland Godwin and stepfather, Ellis Morrison; sister, Estelle Evans, brother, Linwood Godwin, and granddaughter, Holly Miller.
She leaves behind to cherish her memory, her husband of 64 years, Larry, of North Fort Myers, Florida; daughter, Leslie Miller (Edward) of Grand Rapids, Michigan; sons, Ken Mendenhall (Deb) of Land O’ Lakes, Florida and Dennis Mendenhall (Lora) of Wheatfield, Indiana; five grandchildren: Scott Miller of San Francisco, California, Tyler Miller of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Benjamin Mendenhall (Molly) of Cincinnati, Ohio; Kenneth Mendenhall II (Shannon) of Dade City, Florida; Kari (Zach) Justis of Dade City, Florida; two great-grandchildren, Henry Justis and Lucy Mendenhall; sister, Josephine Tew, of Burlington, North Carolina and brothers, Reverend Lindell Godwin (Shirley) of Gallipolis, Ohio and Edward Godwin, of Burlington, North Carolina. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Hope Hospice for their compassionate care for Frankie during her final days. A memorial service will be held on June 24, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, with Pastor Paul de Jong officiating. Following the service, there will be an inurnment from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m., at Hodges Funeral Home - Lee Memorial Park, 12777 State Road 82, Fort Myers, FL 33913.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Frankie’s name to First Presbyterian Church, 2438 Second Street, Fort Myers, Florida 33901.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.leememorialparkfuneralhome.com for the Mendenhall family.