OBITUARY

Paulo M. Peña

April 12, 1966June 7, 2019
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Paulo Mendoza Peña passed away on Friday, June 7, 2019 in Phoenix of a heart attack.

He was a loving father, son, uncle, brother and friend. Paulo was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to Mary Mendoza and Hernando Peña. He was the youngest of their five children. He moved to Arizona in 1988 and has lived in Phoenix ever since. He is survived by his seven sons — Tony, Nickolas, Vincent, Paulo, Frankie, Benny, and David, as well as two grandchildren, Nicky and Arya. His sons were his life. He was a jack of all trades, a great friend, and always down for a good time. He was a lifelong Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. His life will be celebrated on Friday, June 14 at the Chapel of the Chimes at 7924 N 59th Ave in Glendale. Visitation will be from 3-6pm with a rosary at 4pm. There will also be a memorial service on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at Pure Heart Church at 14240 N 43rd Ave in Glendale. Please visit www.chapelofthechimesmortuary.com to leave a tribute, which will be published in his Life Remembered Book.

  • FAMILY

  • He is survived by his seven sons — Tony, Nickolas, Vincent, Paulo, Frankie, Benny, and David, as well as two grandchildren, Nicky and Arya.

Services

22 June

Memorial Service

11:00 am

Pure Heart Church


Glendale , Arizona

22 June

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Pure Heart Church

14240 N. 43rd Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation Friday, June 14, 2019
  • Rosary Service Friday, June 14, 2019

Memories

Paulo M. Peña

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Biography

Paulo Mendoza Peña passed away on Friday, June 7, 2019 in Phoenix of a heart attack. He was a loving father, son, uncle, brother, and friend. Paulo was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to Mary Mendoza and Hernando Peña. He was the youngest of their five children. He moved to Arizona in 1988 and has lived in Phoenix ever since. He is survived by his seven sons — Tony, Nickolas, Vincent, Paulo, Frankie, Benny, and David, as well as two grandchildren, Nicky and Arya. His sons were his life. He was a jack of all trades, a great friend, and always down for a good time. He was a lifelong Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. His life will be celebrated on Friday, June 14 at the Chapel of the Chimes at 7924 N 59th Ave in Glendale. Visitation will be from 3-6pm with a rosary at 4pm. A reception will follow. There will also be a memorial service on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at Pure Heart Church at 14240 N 43rd Ave in Glendale.

This is not a typical wake & funeral arrangement, so I will give a sort of eulogy and then allow anyone who wants to say a few words, share some memories, or talk about what my dad meant to you to come forward afterward. I usually wing most of the speeches I give, but given the situation I figured it would behoove me to prepare a little something for my dad. I’ll spare you his whole entire life story and instead focus on what my dad meant to me and my brothers and the kind of man he was. Of course, it’s impossible to cover the complexity of my father in this short time, but I hope I do him justice. Fair warning, my dad was quite the character.

My dad was born on April 12, 1966 to Mary Mendoza and Hernando Peña. He was the youngest of their five siblings. Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, he attended Gering High School, where he was a standout football player and wrestler. He also was a golden gloves boxer in high school, and put those skills to use as often as he could, especially when he was a young buck. My dad was always getting into shenanigans as a kid. He got into lots of fights, chased lots of girls and generally just tried to have fun as much as he could. He moved to Arizona in 1988, and within a couple years he had married my mom. How they met is a story in itself, but we’ll save that for another time. Together they had seven boys. Luckily for all of us they eventually got divorced, but together they raised seven truly outstanding men and always could agree on one thing, which is that we were the most important parts of their lives.

My dad was a jack of all trades. Over his lifetime, he held a wide array of jobs. Most of you knew him as a salesman, either selling cars as he had been for the last decade or so, and before that selling furniture. Or just selling you a line of bullshit. My dad could sell you the shirt off your back. But my dad was also a contractor, and could do anything involving construction or remodeling. Electric, plumbing, painting, roofing, drywall, yada yada. Of course, many of us kids also learned a lot of these by default, as we generally had to “work” with him. And by that I mean we had no choice in the matter. My dad loved to say he had seven boys so he had seven workers he didn’t have to pay. My dad at certain points in his life was a produce manager at fry’s, a bouncer, and even a male stripper in his younger days, back when he rocked the mullet. but you didn’t hear that from me!

Obviously if you’re here you know my father, and you probably feel some sort of way about him. My dad has this ability to make you feel so incredible, but he also had the ability to make you feel so incredibly mad. He’s the only person I knew who could walk into a room full of people and simultaneously elate and enrage everyone. His personality was infectious. People loved being around him, because you knew you were about to have a good time. My dad looooved to party, and if nothing else you were never bored being around him. he always walked into my mom’s house and yelled HI EVERYBODY! I always liked to say that you didn’t meet my dad, my dad met you. He always introduced himself to everyone whenever he went to a new place, and always made us do the same.

He was supremely proud of his boys. It didn’t matter what it was, my dad would brag about us to everyone who would listen. Whether it was my brother Nick’s cooking, Frankie’s size and strength, Paulo’s intelligence, Benny’s kindness, David’s athleticism, or Tony’s, well, I’ll think of something. Whenever I met a friend or coworker of his, it was as if they already knew everything about me. Sure, my dad might not have always known what my teachers name was, or what grade I was in, but he sure as hell was proud of whatever me or my brothers were doing. That always made us feel loved. We were truly his everything.

I also always felt proud of my dad. He seemed like he knew everything, and until I became a teenager, I actually thought so. He was cool and confident and didn’t take anything from anyone. He could dance. He could sing, and he loved singing karaoke, although I usually didn’t like his song choices. Sorry Billy Idol. He could even roll joints with his wrists! Swear, I’ve seen it. He was also the most resilient person I knew. He had this innate ability to fall into a pile of shit and come up smelling like a bed of roses.

Everything I know about being a man I learned from my father. How to be confident in myself. How to be funny. How to talk to women. How to dress. How to carry myself. How not to take shit from anybody. How to defend myself. But most importantly I learned how to love and how to make sure I knew my brothers were the most important people in my life.
It was quite a privilege as a young boy growing up with a dad that exuded and exemplified masculinity. He was tough, braggadocios, smart, big, assertive, gregarious and confident. I mean the man had seven boys for Christ’s sake. I’m pretty sure King Henry VIII killed a few of his wives to try and get one boy, and my dad had seven.

I always felt safe with my dad. As a child walking home from school, I truly never feared anything would happen to me. I never worried about my safety, but only for the safety of whoever was dumb enough to mess with Paulo Peña’s boys. Like “guy you just wait until my dad gets here”

My dad was a man with many sayings. Mijo, you must’ve fallen and bumped your head. That’s like trying to go to Texas through Canada. Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are. I can’t handle all this toxicity. Okay well, that one’s not so much a saying as it was something he said whenever he didn’t want to argue with us. But among his (and my) favorites was in regard to how he measured how good of a person he was.

My dad always said that dogs, babies, and old people knew best. Very scientific, I know. Sometimes I felt like that was just an excuse for everyone outside of those three groups seeing through his shit, but on second thought I think it was because there was truly a real,

genuine kindness in him. He made people feel welcome and important, even if he barely knew you.

My dad never really had a father growing up, so he never had an example of what a father was supposed to look like. And of course my brothers and I had our criticisms, but by damn he was one hell of a father to us. He was far from perfect, but then again that’s true for most everyone in this room. He was complex, imperfect, and temperamental, but he was also kind, sensitive, and caring. He always made sure to say he loved us, no matter if we just saw him, or were seeing him later, or only spoke on the phone for thirty seconds. And I’m glad he stressed that, because I know my dad didn’t go without my being able to say I loved him the last time I spoke to him.

If you ever have called my dad and got his voicemail then you probably heard his most memorable saying, and I think it’s a good place to end this. “And hey, make a difference today, and God Bless you.”