Arthur was born on August 9, 1929 in East St. Louis, Illinois; a son to the late Jack and Pilar (Vasquez) Menendez.
Arthur (Art) Menendez passed away peacefully early morning on November 1, 2017. Art’s life was defined by family, athletics and education. Born to Spanish immigrants, one of six children, he grew up in E. St. Louis during the Great Depression. Upon graduation from E. St. Louis High School, he attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale on a baseball scholarship. He served as President of the Letterman’s Club, presiding over the transition at the school when they went from being the Maroons to the Salukis and purchased the first Saluki pup, King Tut to commemorate the change. He also met his wife Carolyn Jane Menendez (nee: Raymond) there, with whom he shared 65 years of marriage. They married in 1952 and Art entered the US Army during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed in Germany in the Signal Corps, and played baseball in goodwill exhibition games across Europe. Following his discharge, Art obtained teaching and coaching positions in Pinckneyville, IL, and began a long career as an Educator. Notable professional achievements include being the first principal at Lake Elementary School in Granite City, serving as principal of Mitchell school for 27 years and ending his education career as principal of Maryville Elementary school in Granite City. He coached numerous school and youth athletic teams, and helped initiate many sports and education activities and organizations in the area. Art maintained physical fitness well into his golden years, playing on a Senior Olympic Softball team “The Old Rookies”. He enjoyed painting, telling stories, and making people laugh. Art was an active member at St. Margaret Mary/Holy Family Church for over 50 years, where he served as lector. He mentored many teachers, administrators and inspired countless students to cultivate a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.
Arthur is survived by and will be missed by his wife; Carolyn (Raymond) Menendez, whom she married on February 9, 1952; his sons, Michael and Karen Menendez of Edwardsville, Illinois, John and Christy Menendez of Glen Carbon, Illinois, David Menendez and Scott Durkin of New York, New York; daughter-in-law, Lisa Menendez of San Antonio, Texas; his grandchildren, Marisa (J.C.), Christopher, Colby, Jack; great-grandchild, Jack Arthur “Artie”.
In addition to his parents, Arthur was preceded in death by his son; Arthur R. Menendez; his brothers, Jack and Julius; his sisters, Pura, Mercedes and Rosemary.
Friends may call on Sunday, November 5, 2017 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City. In celebration of Arthur’s life, services will be held on Monday, November 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. with Father Daniel Bergbower officiating at Holy Family Catholic Church, 2606 Washington Ave., in Granite City. Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Edwardsville. Memorials are suggested to Father McGivney Catholic High School, 7190 Bouse Road, Glen Carbon, IL.
To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Arthur Menendez, please visit our Tribute Store.