Mendel

In Memory of Lee Mendel

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Lee Mendel

Lee Stuart Mendel May 4, 1937 - May 13, 2020 Lee was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to the late Rose Slosky Mendel and Nathan Mendel. He enjoyed his High School years there playing football, baseball, bushwhacking and being the epitome of a rambunctious teenager in a small western town. It was in Colorado Springs where his father introduced him to golf which became one of his lifetime passions. His happy childhood was shared by his older sister Juanita (Jonas zl,) Silberstein, Austin, Texas and Maurice (Lisa) Mende, Memphis, Tennessee. The three visited often and had pictures taken of their gathering every time they were together. Lee’s college days began in Austin where he attended University of Texas. He also met his first wife Ethel zl at U of T. They moved back to Denver after a year where Lee finished is degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at University of Denver. Ethel and Lee had 2 children, Neal (Katie) and Jodi. Ethel passed away in 1999 after bravely fighting Non-Hodgkin’s small cell lung cancer in 1999. In 2001 Lee married Barbara Sadwith Emery Mendel, a longtime friend of Ethel and Lee’s. Many of their mutual friends take claim for the “shittoch” (match making). Lee was a tremendous leader in the business worlds. His company Mendel Allison Construction was responsible for creating and building many multi Family low- and medium-income housing projects and small shopping centers throughout the state. Lee loved his profession and the community loved Lee and his employees. He received many awards and was highly recognized as an honest and successful businessman. He was proud to serve as a governor appointed member of the Colorado State Housing Board. One of his favorite accomplishments was acquiring the land for the second Allied Jewish Apartment (KAVOD) building for $1.00. He sat on the KAVOD Board for many years. One of his other proudest building projects was the Springwood Senior Housing Campus in Arvada. He even brought his skill and love of building home where he spent hours building with big and small wooden blocks creating all kinds of castles, race tracks and imaginary villages with his grandchildren. Of course everyone wore a hardhat during these “construction” projects. Lee’s philanthropic involvement was quiet but meaningful. He and his family hosted an annual climb, “See You At The Top” of fourteen thousand foot Grays or Torreys Peak every summer for 7 years to raise money for lung cancer in honor of Ethel Mendel. The climb which attracted up to 150 people annually donated funds establishing the Ethel Mendel Integrative Medicine Center at The University of Colorado Medical Center at Anschutz . Massage Therapy for cancer patients has always been free as part of the program founded by the family. Lee also was one of the early members of Temple Sinai and served on the Parkinson Association of the Rockies Board for many years. He served on the Bloom Foundation Board and supported Jewish Family Services and The Jewish Day School. He was a strong supporter and avid golfer at Green Gables Country Club until its last day. With several of his long time Green Gables golfing buddies, Lee joined Lakewood Country Club where he enjoyed meeting new friends, participating in golf and social activities and leaving his mark on hole #5 with a hole in 1. In 2011 Barbara and Lee were introduced to a small peaceful ocean village near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They fell in love with Punta Mita and in 2013, began renting a condominium there for 4 months during the winter. They befriended many Mexican, Canadian, European, and American friends from all over the country. Punta Mita became their second home. Located on two golf courses, the Bay of Banderas, and the Pacific Ocean, experiencing only 8 days of rain in 8 years, and with wonderful friendly people, great fresh food, gorgeous sunsets and caring help for Lee’s diminishing health, It became Lee’s Paradise. Lee was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2004 and with Lewy Dementia in 2007. Lee was a warrior in every way. Throughout his adult life he practiced daily strengthening, cardio and weight exercising along with yoga. When he was diagnosed with PD he added a Parkinson’s exercise class with a specifically trained Parkinson’s trainer to his regime. He added tandem biking and of course never ever stopped playing golf and always maintained socializing with his weekly poker group buddies of 50 year and his Monday lunch bunch group. We were constantly told that along with his meds, the correct type of exercise and socialization were the most important components to keeping Lee ahead of the Parkinson’s battle and that formula worked for 16 ½ years. Lee is survived by his loving wife Barbara Sadwith Emery Mendel, son Neal Nathan (Katie) Mendel, daughter Jodi Mendel Asarch, son Timothy Scott Emery, daughter Dawn Ptarmigan Emery, sister Juanita (Jona ‘zl) Silberstein, Austin Texas, brother Maurice (Lisa Lucks) Mendel, Memphis, Tennessee; grandchildren: Ari, Eli, and Emi Asarch, Colette Mendel, Cooper and Isabelle Emery. In addition, he leaves many cousin, nieces and nephews. Donations may be made to The Mendel Family Physical Activity Fund at the Parkinson Association of the Rockies 1325 South Colorado Blvd. Suite., 204B Denver, CO 80222 or Temple Sinai 3509 South Glencoe St. Denver, CO 80237 or to the charity of one’s choice. Private graveside services Sunday May 17 MST. It will be conducted by Rabbi Richard Rheins of Temple Sinai.