LTC Thomas Elroy Mendel (Retired)

August 10, 1928January 2, 2021

LTC Thomas Elroy Mendel, US Army, Retired, age 92, of Kempner, Texas passed away on January 2, 2021. He was born on August 10, 1928 in Lewistown, Montana to Lewis Emmet Mendel and Florence Josephine Mendel.

Tom grew up in the Winifred, Montana area, graduating from Winifred High School in 1946, followed by graduation from Montana State University (Missoula) in 1950 with a degree in journalism. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the U.S. Army (1950 – 1953), deploying to Trieste, Italy as part of the TRUST (Trieste United States Troops) Command, where he met his late wife of forty-nine years, Anita, a native of Trieste. After his discharge in 1953, he worked at a local paper in North Dakota before re-enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1954 and subsequently attending OCS and obtaining his commission as a Second Lieutenant. Tom continued his Army career in various stateside and overseas commands for the next 27 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from FT Hood, Texas in 1983 with 31 years of service.

Tom enjoyed spending time with his family, his morning walks, bird watching (especially cardinals), baking his world-famous muffins, model shipbuilding, reading military history and savoring a good glass of Cabernet.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife Anita, his parents and two of his siblings John “Jack” Mendel and Bill Mendel.

Tom is survived by his children, Ermanna Latham and husband James and John Mendel and wife Laura; grandchildren, Lorrie Miller and husband Gene, Sarah Mendel, Jennifer Mendel and Thomas Mendel; great-grandchildren, Kayla Johnson and husband Hunter and Blake and wife Chelsey Miller; great-great grandchildren, Russell, Lincoln and Parker. Tom had seven siblings, five of which survive him – Florence Mendel Kettering, Mary Mendel, Martin Mendel, Edward Mendel and Kathy Mendel Phillips (Dwight). Burial will be held at FT Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas on January 20, 2021 at 10:00am with full military honors. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, flower arrangements are not allowed at the cemetery at this time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given in his name to the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund or the University of Montana Alumni Association, Missoula, Montana.

A celebration of his life will be held in August 2021 in his hometown of Winifred, Montana.


  • Committal Service

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021


LTC Thomas Elroy Mendel (Retired)

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