Ernest Mendoza Mendoza,

Ernest Mendoza Mendoza, age 70, of Thatcher, peacefully went to be with the Lord, Saturday afternoon, July 2, 2016, at the Tucson Medical Center, following a brief illness.

Ernest or “Sunshine” as he was affectionately known by many, was born April 26, 1946, in Morenci, Arizona, the son of Epifino and Elena Mendoza. He was spent his youth and grew up in Old Morenci. Following his graduation from Morenci High School, Sunshine obtained work with Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation as a locomotive engineer. In 1976, he met Shirley Collins. Together they began their family. In the early 1980’s, the family relocated to Phoenix where Sunshine began working with PMC Trucking and the city of Avondale. In 1990, he relocated his family back to Morenci where they resided until finally settling in Thatcher in 1999. Throughout his lifetime, Sunshine enjoyed working and tinkering on cars. He often shared his talent by helping family, friends and from time to time, complete strangers in getting their vehicles back on the road. He will be remembered for his record in the Ward Canyon Hill Climb in his famed Ford Mustang. Sunshine was loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Ernest is survived by: his wife of 40 years, Shirley, of Thatcher; his son Ernie, of Juneau, Alaska;

Funeral services for Ernest were conducted Thursday morning, July 7, 2016, at Vining Funeral Home’s “Chapel of the Valley”.

Online condolences may be offered at Arrangements were entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.