M. Eleanor Mendes, age 93 of Moultonborough, NH and Ayer, MA passed away on Sunday, December 5, 2021, peacefully in her sleep. She was the wife of the late John S. Mendes of Arlington.
Eleanor was born on June 15, 1928, in Cambridge, MA, the daughter of the late Charles and Helen (Becker) Evans. Raised and educated in Somerville, Ellie graduated from Somerville High School in 1946. She went on to work in business, managing accounts payable departments for several corporations. After a hiatus to raise her children, she return to the work force as an Administrative Assistant for the Guidance Department at Arlington High School in the late 70's and retired in 2001 at the age of 72.
In her youth Eleanor loved to dance (ballet, Irish Step, and tap), crochet and play baseball. One of her favorite memories was attend the Red Sox games in the bleachers with her dad. She went on to be a lifelong Red Sox fan. In high school she volunteered with the Red Cross to help with the War Effort and enjoyed roller skating with her brother Bob, eventually meeting her future husband John while skating. They continued to skate through their late 30's, and also enjoyed ballroom dancing once a week.
Elie got her private pilot's license in the early 1950's and enjoyed flying with her pilot husband who had flown during WWII. The family took up skiing as she turned forty which lead them to Lake Winnipesaukee where they could enjoy winter sports and their boat in the summer. Eventually they bought a cottage which she later retired to, and continued going up to the cottage whenever she could. Most recently Eleanor lived at Nashoba Park Assisted Living Center where she was an active and happy participant in their events. The family can't thank Nashoba Park enough for making her last years enjoyable.
Mr. Rogers said, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'' Well, Ellie was a helper. She helped where she saw a need at church or in PTA or at the high school where she worked. She loved to help kids and teens, she helped young immigrants assimilate into America, the very poor children who lived around her husband's business got clothing, boots and toys, high school students knew they could come to her for any kind of help, and of course she was one of the neighborhood moms who helped all the kids have fun while growing up. Six months before she died she was still crocheting Prayer Shawls for her church to give to the sick. She had a life-long strong faith and lived that faith helping others whenever she could.
Eleanor is survived by her children, John C. Mendes and his wife Ellen of Derry, NH and Margaret Geanisis and her husband Anthony of Littleton; her grandchildren, Melissa Anderson of Justin, TX; Don Geanisis of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; the late Jacob Mendes; Adam Mendes of Derry, NH and Michael Mendes, stationed in Florida. She is also survived by her four great grandchildren, Makayla Garcia, Anthony Geanisis, Haylie Geanisis; and Faith Anderson and two great, great grandchildren, Cayden Geanisis and Ivan Garcia. In addition to her parents, Eleanor is also predeceased by her brothers Robert W. Evans Sr. and Howard C. Evans Jr. and their wives, Rosemary and Mildred.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Eleanor for a period of visitation from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 164 Newtown Rd., Acton. A funeral service will take place immediately following the visitation in the church at 11:00 a.m. The funeral will also be live streamed via Zoom. Eleanor will be laid to rest privately at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Arlington.
To attend the service remotely, please activate the Zoom link below on the morning of the service.
All floral gifts will be given to the residents of Nashoba Park Assisted Living Center in Ayer following the funeral to brighten their day.
For those would like to make a donation, Eleanor requests all donations to go to:
Saint Jude's Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105