PS Magazine 1st Edition Cover - June 1951
In Dec 2020, we received a small parcel from a Tom Mendel of Kempner, TX. Inside was a rare 1st Edition of PS Magazine
. Uncertain who Mr. Mendel was but deeply thankful for his gift, we sent a thank you note. A few months later, we heard from his son, CAPT John Mendel, US Navy (Ret), who informed us that in Jan 2021, LTC (Ret) Thomas Mendel unexpectedly passed away. He was 92 years old.
In this, our 70th year, it’s amazing to realize the impact PS Magazine
has had over seven decades and how often Soldiers have held on to copies as a keepsake from their time of service.
As a way of commemorating our 70th and thanking LTC Mendel for his gift, we thought we’d publish his biography and a few pictures. Rest in peace, sir, and thank you for your service.
Thomas Mendel: A Soldier with his family; as an honor guard; as an armor officer
LTC Thomas Elroy Mendel, US Army, Retired, was born on August 10, 1928 in Lewistown, Montana to Lewis Emmet Mendel and Florence (Fogarty) Mendel. He joined his older brother Jack, and he would be followed by six additional siblings over the next several years – Bill, Flossie, Mary, Martin, Edward and Kathy.
Tom grew up in the Winifred, Montana area with his seven siblings and grandparents living just down the street. He attended Rose Creek Elementary thru the second grade before the family moved into town where he attended Winifred schools. As he entered his teenage years, the farm work he had been responsible for as a youngster, such as tending the cows, became a little bit harder—pitching hay bundles and hauling grain on various farms throughout the area—the work was strenuous, but it paid his tuition for the first year of college. He graduated from high school in 1946 and during those years, he was on the basketball team and in the band and took an often-despised typing class which unbeknownst to him at the time, would prove invaluable in his future college and military career.
He attended Montana State University (Missoula) where he was a reporter, copy editor and associate editor for the school paper, The Kaimin, in addition to posts as associate editor of the Montana State College Farmer agricultural magazine and state publicity director of the Christian Rural Overseas Program, graduating in 1950 with a B.A. in Journalism. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the U.S. Army (1950 – 1953), initially being stationed at Ft. Worden, Port Townsend, WA as part of the Engineering Battalion and ultimately deploying to Trieste, Italy as part of the TRUST (Trieste United States Troops) Command, where he met his late wife of forty-nine years, Anita, a native of Trieste. After his discharge in 1953, he worked at a local paper in North Dakota before re-enlisting in the US Army in 1954 and subsequently attending OCS and obtaining his commission as a second lieutenant. Tom continued his Army career as an armor officer at various overseas and stateside commands in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Turkey, California, Kentucky, Georgia and Texas for the next 27 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel from Ft Hood, Texas in 1983 with 31 years of service.
Tom enjoyed spending time with his family, his morning walks, bird watching (especially cardinals), baking his world-famous muffins and sugar cookies, model shipbuilding, reading military history and savoring a good glass of Cabernet.
He was laid to rest with full military honors at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas next to his beloved wife Anita.