Danelle Mendoza passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 12, 2016 from natural causes stemming from a severe car accident on April 18, 2013.
In that accident she suffered many injuries, the most severe was the head trauma. She was in a coma for 53 days and then she began her journey of waking up to us and fighting for her life.
It was a miracle that she woke up and a miracle and evidence of her determination that she went from a coma state to her own apartment in such short time. She was making plans to attend school in Provo at the time of her death.
Danelle was born in Monticello, UT on December 14, 1980. She was raised in Blanding until she moved to Winnemucca, NV at the age of 15.
While there, she met her husband, Billy Mendoza. When they married they returned to Blanding, UT to begin their family. Born to them were Alexus and Mercedeez on Christmas Eve, 1998, giving her the “best Christmas present ever!” They were joined in 2001 by her first handsome boy, Davis Mendoza.
At that time they purchased their home and she ran a daycare business there, so she could be with her new baby boy and growing girls. She truly enjoyed being surrounded by children and made daycare fun care.
In 2006, she retired from the daycare business as Talon joined the family. Danelle and Billy later divorced and they both made raising their children a priority. She loved planning their birthday parties and would spend much time and thought in coming up with ideas to make each birthday special.
In May of 2011, Danelle earned her certificate in medical coding from Southern Utah University, and began working at Mountain West Medical Supply, where she was employed at the time of her accident.
She loved her job, but looked forward to going back to school to fulfill other goals she had in the medical field.
Though she never had that opportunity, she often fulfilled the role of family pediatrician for all of her siblings.
She was a bright star at the theater when she began working the ticket booth. She really enjoyed doing that and greeting the guests.
Danelle loved spending time with her family and extended family. Some of her favorite things to do with them were camping, rapelling, 4-wheeling, and just hanging out and eating! Danelle loved food! We could always count on her for help with finding the best recipes and for advice on preparing just about any food item.
Later on in life, Danelle became very passionate about running. After running in a few smaller scale races, she enthusiastically took on the challenge of training to run the Huff to Bluff Marathon.
All who have trained for such a venture know of the focus, discipline, and dedication that goes into that. These traits were already a part of who Danelle was, but blossomed in her and were manifest in her daily living as a mother.
She served in the Primary and in the Young Women auxiliaries. Her testimony was always clear and strong. Even after her accident, she went from sharing it from her wheelchair, to her walker, to her canes, to her own two feet.
She loved visiting teaching and she loved the sisters that came into her home. Danelle has touched many lives, around the world and blessed the medical field by helping them with their faith and hope in miracles and even medical discoveries as a result of her injuries.
Soon after she woke up from her coma she said that she was an answer to prayer, and she was so grateful for every single one.
Danelle is survived by her children, Alexus, Mercedeez, Davis, and Talon; her parents Clark and Ann Hawkins, and Jeri and David Burt; her siblings Joe, Debbie, Cassie, Michelle, Etsy, Nichole, Abby, Kylie, Kelly, and Lindsey; her brother and sisters-in-law; many dearly loved nieces and nephews; and her grandparents, Edwin and Betty Hawkins, Madalyn Bills, and George Low.
In a recent resume that Danelle had put together she wrote the following: “In April of 2013 I was involved in an extreme motor vehicle accident which left me in a coma. The doctor’s prognosis was that I would remain in a vegetative state requiring care with daily tasks such as diapering and being fed.
“I now live alone in an apartment and have surpassed all expectations by far. That is just the type of person I am. I strive to progress continually.”
Card of thanks
The family of Danelle Mendoza send out their heartfelt thanks to each of you. From the prayers and tender mercies from the day of her accident to her gentle rest at the Blanding Cemetery on March 18, 2016 and beyond.
Danelle fought so hard to live her life the past three years and has taught us we can all be better people if we fight even half as much.