Alfred (Al) E. Menshew
November 15, 1931 – October 9, 2020
Born in Lexington, Oklahoma, on November 15, 1931 to Jesse A. and Addie Mae (nee Martin) Menshew.
Al Menshew was born into a family in a small town in Oklahoma, they moved to California in 1936. His father Jesse was working and supporting a family of four on a wage of $1.00 for a ten hour workday at the time. For a sixty hour work week, he received the magnificent sum of $6.00. To make sure they got their money’s worth, the farm foreman had a tower built so that she could watch the workmen to be sure no one slacked off. The father supplemented his paycheck by working a twenty acre cotton patch on shares with the property owner. He was a sharecropper.
Al graduated from Ripon High School in 1948 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy shortly thereafter. Subsequently he was sent to Korea and served in that theater until a few months before his honorable discharge.
Al went on to enroll at Humphrey’s College in Stockton, CA and earned his BS degree in Office Management while working in Stockton at Stephens Brothers Boat Builders and Colberg’s Boat Works. His skills were recognized, and he was added to the first purchasing department at the new Gallo Wines in Modesto. A few years later he was promoted to purchasing manager at Gallo Glass. While in this position, he continued to add to his professional experience and credentials, becoming one of the first certified purchasing managers in the United States. He retired from Gallo Glass Company, Modesto in 1994 having established the purchasing and storeroom as highly organized and well-respected parts of the Gallo Company.
Over his many years of service to Gallo, Al Menshew also served his community tirelessly. A member of many organizations that supported his fellow citizens and community, he was:
Past Noble Grand Humbug of ECV Chapter 58 and Past Sublime Noble Grand Humbug of all Clamperdom and “the Civilized World”
Past President of the McHenry Museum and Historical Society, the McHenry Mansion, Modesto Jaycees, J.C.I. Senators (Life Member) #9435
Past President and Kiwanis Kiwanian of the year of Modesto,
Past President of the Turlock Shrine Club
Past President of the Old Fisherman’s Club
Past President of the Easter Seal Society for Stanislaus County
Past President of the American Heart Association Stanislaus/Merced
Chairman of Stanislaus County United Way
Past President of the Doctor’s Medical Foundation
Past Commander of the American Legion Post 74, Past Citizen of the Year, Past Chef de Gare for Voiture 653-40/8
Parade announcer for the Ripon Almond Blossom Festival 20+ years,
Parade announcer for the Modesto 4th of July Parade 20+ years
Parade Grand Marshal, Modesto, 4th of July Parade
Parade Grand Champions (with wife Loretta) in 2011
Al was a 32nd Degree Master Mason of the Turlock Masonic Lodge
He was also a minister for the Universal Life Church and performed many marriages and memorial services. As he was fond of saying, “everyone I ever married is still married, everyone I buried, is still buried.”
Al was a contributor of photographs and articles to many publications including the Stanislaus Stepping Stones, “Our Turn” for the Modesto Bee and the ECV Hewgag.
His community activism earned him many, many recognitions from organizations, local, county, and state governments.
Al was an avid reader, photographer and enjoyed panning for gold in the foothills and enjoyed traveling, weather by auto, cruise ship or train. He lived in Turlock for the past 24 years doing some historical research as required by an organization he belonged to, gardening, playing Santa Claus along with Bette Belle Smith as Mrs. Claus for many charitable groups at Christmastime.
He leaves behind his wife of 40 plus years, Loretta Menshew, his son David, (wife Sharon), of Modesto, sister Janice (husband Ray) Horn of Chico, Nephews Scott, (wife Ellen) Menshew of Port Angeles, Washington, Bruce (wife Cathe) Menshew, also of Washington state, Adam Horn of Panorama City (wife Annette), Nieces, Patricia, (husband Rodney) Weflen of Bothell, Washington, Hayley Horn of Chico. Sisters in laws, Marlene Amesquita (son David), Dianne Costa of Modesto and brother in law Manuel Costa and son Evo of Turlock.
Close friends and relatives not mentioned above include George, Papadopoulos, Kayla and Sean Jefferson, Jake Thornberry, Nancy Smallwood, Sandy and Steve Waggle.
He was preceded by his parents, Jesse and Addie Mae (Martin) Menshew, Brother Arnold Menshew and Brother in law Joe Costa.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a celebration of Al’s beautiful and impactful life will be held at a date to be announced. Memorial contributions may be made to:
Shriners Hospital for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95817, Attention: Donations Dept. Re: In memory of Alfred E. Menshew
McHenry Museum and Historical Society, 1402 I St., Modesto, CA 95354 Re: In memory of Alfred E. Menshew
Viewing on Oct. 22nd 4-7 pm at Allen Mortuary 247 N Broadway in Turlock. Memorial Service at 10 am on the 23rd at the same location. Brief graveside service at San Joaquin National Cemetery 32053 West McCabe Road, Santa Nella. Reception to follow. Masks required throughout.