Cover photo for Joseph Ian Mendenhall's Obituary
Joseph Ian Mendenhall Profile Photo
2012 Joey 2023

Joseph Ian Mendenhall

June 29, 2012 — December 11, 2023

Our sweet Joey returned to his Heavenly Home on the afternoon of Monday December 11th 2023. He was surrounded by his parents and siblings as he left this world, and was welcomed into the arms of his Heavenly Father, along with many dear family members including his Maternal Grandparents on the other side of the veil.

 

Joey was born on June 29th, 2012 to Don and Holly Mendenhall of West Point, Utah. He is the middle of five children. Joey now paves the way for his parents, older brothers Isaac (14) and Jacob (12), younger brother Daniel (8), and little sister Aliza (3).  In addition to his immediate family, Joey leaves behind his Paternal Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and a Community of Classmates, Friends, Teachers and Earthly Angels who love him dearly.

 

Joey lived a full, but short 11 years on this Earth.  When asked how old he was, he would often refer to himself as “eleventeen” pushing the limits and stretching to be and sound just a little older. How we wish we could have enjoyed so many more years.  In the meantime we will pray to feel of his presence and Spirit each day in our lives.

 

Joey was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, which relapsed and turned into Leukemia this past summer. He spent the last two years of his life as a valiant and courageous warrior. Fighting, enduring, and setting an example of undying faith and perseverance to the rest of the world. In October, he developed a brain injury from chemo toxicity. While rare, this sort of thing is not completely uncommon even among some of our cancer warrior friends.  May we never stop fighting to find a cure and develop less toxic and less harmful treatments for our children.

 

Joey was a lover of many things. He had a natural curiosity, and desire to learn everything he possibly could.  He was fascinated by all things science and engineering.  He wanted to understand the “Why” and “How” behind everything.  He loved experiments, building, creating, observing, questioning and understanding. He and his brothers spent a lot of time focusing some of that energy into creating worlds in Minecraft.  How we long to see and understand what Joey is doing with all of his energy now! We can only imagine the things he will be doing with those skills in Heaven!

 

Joey’s absolute most favorite thing in the entire world (besides his little sister) was books! Books and books and books! He would spend nearly every waking hour of everyday with a book in his hands. He would eat, sleep, play, and even watch movies with a book in his hands. The library was one of his favorite places on Earth!  He would check out as many books as he could possibly carry, and then some.  We always brag about our boy that can read 800 page books in 2 days…and that’s the absolute truth!  Some of his favorite books include: Fable Haven, Dragon Watch, Candy Shop Wars, the Janitors Series, Keeper of the Lost Cities, Ranger’s Apprentice, BrotherBand, and so many others we can’t even scratch the surface. He also enjoyed checking out large stacks of non-fiction books, mostly focused on science and experiments. Throughout Joey’s cancer journey, he was able to use this gift of reading to distract, escape, and take his mind and body on adventures to places far away from the hospital.  Away from all the difficult things in life.

 

Outside of the library, one of Joey’s favorite places to be was outside and in nature.  He loved rocks, crystals, gemstones, plants, flowers, and gardens.  He and his Grandma started a succulent collection this last summer. They dug up volunteer succulents from her garden and re-potted them so Joey could bring them home.  Then they went to the nurseries and bought even more!  Joey thought it would be fun to eventually set up a succulent stand on the side of the road where he could make his fortune selling his plants, once they reproduced and got bigger. 

 

Joey also loved fishing and water.  His Dad recently created a pond in the backyard that will forever be known as “Joey’s pond.”  Joey had big plans to catch fish from this pond and sell them on the side of the road, like you would a lemonade stand! During his final days, we were able to bring Joey home from the hospital, and he was able to sit and overlook that pond, the nature, the birds and ducks that would visit it. What a beautiful, and sacred gift this was for our family.

 

Joey has a love for music.  He spent a lot of time listening to music, enjoyed playing “Name that Tune” with Disney songs, and even got to participate in the Elementary School’s Musical, “Mary Poppins Jr.” this past Spring with his brother Jake. What a joy to see this boy who was battling cancer, up on that stage performing, singing, dancing, and kicking up his heals to “Step in Time!”  One of our better hospital days, was when Joey went to clinic and threatened his oncologist, nurses, and anesthesiologist with a NERF gun if they couldn’t spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  It was the absolute best day!

 

Joey has the most mischievous smile and incredible sense of humor!  Nothing could get past this boy.  And when we thought he wasn’t listening, he always was!  Jokes and riddles were some of Joey’s favorite things.  They brought a lot of joy and connection to friends, family, and community, especially these last few months.

 

In addition to this wonderful legacy, Joey had an incredible spiritual side.  He was quiet about it, but he had such a tremendous testimony and understanding of God’s plan and His goodness.  Although he spend a lot of time sleeping though church services, sprawled across the pew or several chairs lining the back of his Sunday School class (compliments of not feeling well and chemo)… This kid got it! He knew everything he needed to know, and more!  One of his favorite scriptures was Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.” 

 

Our family would like to express so much gratitude to the army of supporters near and far.  To our extended family for the tremendous support and never-ending love and service. To our friends and neighbors, to our church community, teachers and leaders.  To the magnificent school teachers who went out of their way so many times to let Joey feel involved, included, educated, and loved.  To the friends and classmates at school who have written letters, sent care packages, shared jokes, and offered friendship.  To the librarians everywhere who gave Joey so much light during these dark days. To the doctors, incredible nurses, physical and occupational therapists, music, child-life specialists, hospital housekeepers (or garbologists as Joey would say) and all of the other medical staff that worked tirelessly to provide care and comfort to our boy and family during this difficult journey.  To those seen and unseen who have offered up so many prayers for blessings, sustaining, and miracles in behalf of our wonderful son.  We Thank You, We Love You.  We are Appreciative Beyond Words!

 

Dear Joey,

Our hearts are broken.  We feel such an emptiness in your absence.  We miss your laugh, we miss you smile, we miss the trouble you made, and we miss your hugs.  We find comfort in knowing that the cares of the world are no longer yours. You are free from the burdens and pains of this world.  You fought so courageously and YOU WON!  Our Dear Son, Brother, Friend, and Teacher, may you soar free above and beyond all that ever held you back!  But don’t forget to visit!  We Will Miss You!  We Love You Beyond Measure!

 

In lieu of flowers please consider making a blood or platelet donation. These donations helped sustain Joey and many of our fellow warrior friends on a regular basis. We would also like to request Book Donations in Joey’s honor. The books will be donated to the Family, West Point Elementary, a local Public Library, and a “Little Free Library” that will be constructed in front of the Mendenhall Residence.  We want to create a space where we can share books and celebrate one of Joey’s greatest loves in life.  We can all learn a thing or two from a good book, enjoy an adventure, and like Joey, find a way to smile in the middle of our hardest days.

 

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the West Point 1st Ward. 4383 West 300 North. A gathering of friends, family and neighbors in Honor of Joey, on Friday, December 15, 2023, from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, December 16, 2023 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church. Interment, West Point Cemetery.

 

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Celebration of Life

Friday, December 15, 2023

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Saturday, December 16, 2023

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Saturday, December 16, 2023

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

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