WUD Mourns the Loss of Fellow Dairyman Jimmy Mendoza
Jim was a husband, father, and lifelong dairyman who passed away on August 17, 2023. Born in September 1948, Jimmy was also a devoted husband to Luci Mendoza for 54 years.
Jim’s family roots stretch back to the early 1900s in Pt. Reyes. Every day was an adventure for him. He spent many hours swinging through cypress trees and working on the dairy.
In 1966, Jim met his bride at California Polytechnic State University (SLO). By Christmas 1968, Jim and Luci were engaged and married in 1969. Jim joined the National Guard and, after training, moved into the family beach cabin on Tomales Bay until their home on the B ranch was ready to move into. For the next 10 years, Jim and Luci raised their 3 kids out on the Pt. In 1979, they moved to Petaluma and started the JLT Ranch. It was there where Jim and Luci worked endless hours on the dairy. The years were filled with hard work, kids, and community service.
Jim was a board member for many years for the Sonoma County Farm Bureau. He was a member of the North Bay Ag Alliance, Western United Dairymen, Western Organic Dairy Producers, YMI, and Petaluma Elks. One of the original giants of protecting dairy farmers, Jimmy spent his years organizing dairymen up and down the coast of Ca to develop an all-inclusive looking system for farmers milk, which eventually led to the development of the Ca Milk Pooling Act signed by then Governor Ronald Regan. A titan among the first voices of dairy farmer advocates, Jimmy never gave up his activism for a better milk price for dairy families in the state. He never missed a meeting and always showed up.
Jim loved to support his kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews in their sporting activities. He would drive for hours to see the kids play. He spent endless hours on the golf course and of course, adored his wife unconditionally. Jim loved to travel with his family. On his most recent trip, he took his entire family to the Azores. Jim was a storyteller. He never met a stranger. He had a heart of gold.
Jim is predeceased by his parents, Joe & Scotty Mendoza, and his sister and brother, Sharon & Joey. He is survived by his wife Luci, son J.V., son Jamie (Tammy), and daughter Teresa Hatcher (Kelsey). He is also survived by his 5 grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and dear friends.
WUD’s condolences go out to his family and friends.