Funeral services for Lother Mendenhall, 91, of Tatum, will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at 10 a.m. at First Un[auth] ited Methodist Church in Tatum, with Steve Lord and Johanna Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at Tatum Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Kirby-Smith-Rogers Funeral Home. Lother was born on Sept.18, 1922 in Porum, Okla., to Daniel Winon and Martha Ann (Fisher) Mendenhall, the 10th of 11 children. He passed away at his residence in Tatum on Dec. 30, 2013. At the age of 3, Lother moved with his family to Portales. Although the family moved several times around Eastern New Mexico, it was in Portales that he met the love of his life, Virginia Caroline Lorah, the daughter of Isaac Lewis Lorah and Carrie Steele Russell. Virginia and Lother were married on Feb. 19, 1944, and shared over 69 years together.
He was a WWII veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps, enlisting in 1944. He served at Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. After discharge from the service, he worked as a baker in Portales and for the railroad in Clovis. In 1952, he moved to Lovington and worked on the construction of the electric plant. He and Virginia operated the Wildcat Kitchen near Jefferson Elementary for several years. In 1964, he moved to Tatum, making it his permanent home. In Tatum, Lother worked for the state of New Mexico, Tatum Builders and Flag Redfern Oil Company.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son: Lonnie Ray Mendenhall; five sisters: Ada May Tolar, Clara Mendenhall, Mary Ora Owens, Nora Hagan, Florilla Morgan; and four brothers: William Mendenhall, Debs Mendenhall, Jake Mendenhall and Glen Mendenhall.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia, of the home; his children: Carrie and husband, Karl Reeve; Larry and wife, Gayla Mendenhall, and Santita Mendenhall. Eight grandchildren: Cameron Reeve, Virginia Ann and husband, Ron Cooper, Barbara and husband, Allen Yeager, Tonie and husband, Shelby Ragland, Chantillee Mendenhall, Crystal and husband, Dan Bell, Ryon and wife, Kate Groesbeck, and Trey Groesbeck; also 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Lother lived long and well. He always enjoyed a good joke or a prank and was an avid “junk yarder.” He loved nothing better than a good auction. Lother was deeply loved by his family and will be greatly missed.
Visitation will be held on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the funeral home. Condolences may be sent to kirbysmithrogers.com.