Ismael Mendoza “Smiley”

Ismael Mendoza “Smiley”, entered into rest on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at the age of 89.  He was born on November 15, 1931 in Morenci, Arizona to parents Epifanio M. Mendoza and Elena H. Mendoza, with siblings Epifano, Reynaldo, Margarito , Ernesto, Dimas and Yolanda.

 He attended and graduated from Morenci High School,  joined the United States Marine Corps and later, worked as a copper miner .  On June 5th, he married the love of his life, Maria Natalia Gonzales at St. Rose of Lima Church in Safford, Arizona. They were blessed with 4 children.

 He loved the great outdoors, camping, spending time with his family, woodworking, playing the guitar and attending church. Smiley took pride in his family and all of their many activities. He had a great sense of humor, never met a stranger, was outgoing as they come and was always happy. Laughter was a must. His favorite saying was :Yo creo   que si George”.  He was a hard working man that loved his family and his Catholic Faith.

Smiley is survived by his 3 children; Dolores (Oscar) Cardenas, Ismael Mendoza and George Mendoza, his grandchildren; Rhiannon M. Morales, Selina Mendoza, Annissa (Jennifer) Mendoza, George Ismael (Brandi) Mendoza and his great-grandchildren; Clarrissa, Franky, George E, Walter and Lucy.

 A viewing and visitation will be held at McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel located at 112 E. Main Street, Safford, AZ on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 beginning at 9:00 a.m. with the recitation of the Rosary at 10:00. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Rose of Lima at 11:00 a.m. Following the services, the interment will be at Bunkers Cemetery in Morenci. A live stream will be available for those who cannot attend on Mcdougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel Facebook Page.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.  Online condolences may be extended at