Christopher James Mendez


Christopher James Mendez, 49, of Laurel died suddenly on Monday, March 6, 2023 at his residence. 

Services will be on Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m. at United Lutheran Church in Laurel with the Rev. Matthew Quanbeck officiating. Military rites will be conducted outside of church following the funeral by the Laurel VFW Post #4504 & the Laurel American Legion Post #54.  Burial will be at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Norfolk following a luncheon at the church.  Visitation will be on Saturday, at church, from 10 a.m. until service time.  

Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Laurel. 

Pallbearers will be Trace Naeve, Travis Holz, David Badley, Royce Fairley, Jeff Schlecht, and Jake Jensen.

Honorary pallbearers will be the employees of Freightliner Truck Center.

Christopher James was born on Feb. 22, 1974 in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan to Joseph Michael and Gloria Jean (Volquardsen) Mendez.  He grew up with military parents and moved to Norfolk, Neb. at the age of five years to live with his grandparents, Henry and Shirley Volquardsen. He graduated from High School in 1992. Chris then joined the Navy, serving for four years from April 19, 2000 until April 30, 2004.  Upon his honorable discharge Chris attended Northeast Community College and received a degree in Diesel Mechanics. He was formerly married to Tamara Brabec of Fremont from 2007-2010. Chris began working for the Hansen Brothers in Laurel and continued on with Yvonne Hansen. Chris was presently working for Freightliner Truck Center Company in Norfolk.

Chris really enjoyed fishing, playing video games with Mason, keeping up on all the latest world and U.S. news and was an excellent cook.  The most important thing in his life was his son, Mason, whom he would do anything for.

Survivors include his son Mason Mendez of Winside; his father, Mike Mendez, of Leavenworth, Kansas; Mason’s parents Mike and Sarah Naeve of Winside; and Mason’s eight siblings Nathan (Laura) Hancock of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Terence (Whitney) Hancock of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Narelle (Sean) Burns of Omaha, Kayli, Trace, Stephanie, Anna and Gracie Naeve of Winside; his brother, Patrick (Julie) Boardman of Waukee, Iowa; aunts and uncles Linda Becker of Lincoln, Keith Volquardsen of Ankeny, Iowa, Jerry Volquardsen of Lincoln and Peggy Wegner of Norfolk.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Gloria Jean Volquardsen; grandparents Henry and Shirley Volquardsen; Joe and Eileen Mendez and Alice and Owen Boardman