Hector R. Mendez, M.D., passed away peacefully on March 2, 2020, at the age of 96, in Orlando, Florida.
Dr. Mendez was an admired member of Central Florida’s medical community, devoted to his many patients, often serving multiple generations from the same family. His medical practice touched a broad range of community members, from priests and nuns of the Orlando Diocese, to players from the Orlando Jai Alai Fronton.
Time away from his medical practice was rare, but he cherished vacationing with his family at New Smyrna Beach, tending his extensive rose garden and family dinners at the Villa Nova. Upon his retirement in 1994, he discovered a love for travel by cruise ship. He and his wife of 66 years, Juanita, enjoyed many adventures abroad culminating with a 65-day cruise around the world.
He was a doting husband and a devoted father to his daughters. He loved telling jokes, listening to Cuban music and discussing sports and politics. He was never happier than when he could share these passions with family and friends.
Hector was born on October 21, 1923, in Matanzas, Cuba, the youngest of seven children, to Adolfo Mendez Guedes and Cristina Diaz Garteiz.
He graduated from Havana University Medical School and completed his internship and residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. He practiced medicine briefly at W.T. Edwards Tuberculosis Hospital in Tallahassee, Florida, and at Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Virginia.
He was a physician at General Practice Clinic in Orlando, Florida, for 35 years; practiced at Florida Hospital, Orlando, where he was Chief of Family Practice and a member of the hospital's Executive Committee. He served as President of the Orange County Medical Society as well as holding other leadership positions within the organization. In 1989, Dr. Mendez was honored as Florida's Family Physician of the Year.
He is survived by his wife, Juanita Mendez; two daughters, Ana Ware (Tony), and Maria Ganio (Michael); three grandchildren Kyle Ware (Ashley), Tara Feindt (Chris) and Natalie Delfosse (Kevin); and one great-grandchild, Dane Feindt.
Hector Mendez was a gift to his family and the people of Central Florida. His passionate personality and dedication to his patients will never be forgotten.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 10:00 in the Chapel of Collison Family Funeral Home.
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