Magnolia City Administrator Paul Mendes died in his sleep and was found in his home Aug. 22, city officials announced Aug. 22 in a statement on the city's Facebook page.
"He was always the first here and the last to go, and he was always thinking of others. Every time we had a council meeting, he would go up to the council members: 'Do you need something to eat; do you need something to drink?' That's just the way his nature was," Council Member Matthew "Doc" Dantzer said.
Mendes had served as city administrator in Magnolia since July 2010 and previously as city manager of Oak Ridge North, for which he was hired in 1993, Community Impact Newspaper reported. He also served in the military for 26 years.
"Municipal service was a second career for the retired Lt. Colonel who served in the U.S. Army," city officials said in the statement. "Mr. Mendes was beloved by City Council and city board members, and especially city staff."
In an April 2011 profile, Mendes said the most rewarding aspect of his job was being able to do things that help residents.
"Paul was a manager that his door was always open. He always had a smile, a welcome, a 'come on in,'" Dantzer said. "He was a humble servant leader."
Dantzer said he believes there are too many words to describe Mendes, but "integrity," "work ethic" and "honorable" top the list.
Dantzer said he believes the ongoing construction in the Magnolia Ridge and Mill Creek subdivisions as well as the proposed Audubon Magnolia master-planned community and H-E-B at Spur 149 were largely made possible by Mendes' work within the city.
"He's done so much over the years that most of it's been forgotten. He is such a humble person that he never took credit; he never self-promoted," Dantzer said. "I don't know if those things would have happened without Paul's guidance and leadership."
Sandy Barton, the president of the Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce, spoke of Mendes' character.
"Paul Mendes was a rare human being: kind, thoughtful, intelligent, caring and helpful. He was extraordinarily well-liked and well-respected not only in our community, but throughout the area and beyond," Barton said in a statement. "He was one of those special people who could 'walk the walk and talk the talk.' He knew his business and made a positive impact on the Magnolia community and all the people he worked with. His presence and leadership will be sorely missed."
According to information from the city of Magnolia, visitation services will be held 4-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, and 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at Forest Park - The Woodlands Funeral Home, located at 18000 I-45, The Woodlands. A funeral service will be held Aug. 31 from 2-3 p.m. at Forest Park - The Woodlands Funeral Home as well.
More information can be found here.
Community Impact Newspaper previously featured Paul Mendes in its April 2011 edition. Read more about Mendes' time as city administrator below.