John Frederick Mendoza

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November 15, 1947 - July 29, 2020
Born in Moline, IL
Resided in St. Louis, MO

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John Frederick Mendoza, of Saint Louis, MO, passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at the age of 72. Beloved son of the late Frank and Carolina Mendoza; devoted father of Julie (Shawn) Merideth; cherished grandfather of Chloe Merideth, Lily Merideth, and Emery Merideth; loving companion of Marilyn Bass; dear brother of Frank (Michelle) Mendoza and Diana (Wendell Carver) Cook; brother-in-law of Terri Mendoza. John is preceded in death by his brother, Richard Mendoza.

John was a known legendary expert close up magician for over 50 years. He has performed and entertained throughout the world from local venues to countries such as Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Germany and others. Throughout his career he has performed for the United States military troops, held lectures where he performed and taught many of his best routines and has written several books and manuscripts that can be found in just about every magician’s library. John was also an avid reader and enjoyed watching movies. John’s greatest love was spending time with his three grandchildren whom he adored. John was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospitals.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Baue Funeral Homes does require all family members and guests to wear a mask while visiting our facilities. Social distancing is required, and guests should stay at least 6 feet apart. Thank you for your understanding.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Jeff Goldstein August 2, 2020 at 2:19 am - Reply

    candle 7It is with deep sadness that I was informed about John’s passing. John and I were good friends in high school in Rock Island. In fact, I would say best friends during our junior and senior years. He had the most incredible sense of humor, which I think shaped some of my outlook on life. I have a lot of wonderful memories of John, and there are some great stories I still tell about him even today. In the summer after high school we did a road trip together out west. John did magic shows along the way to earn us some spending money. It was a memorable trip with just me, John, and two doves. It was during that trip that we both learned to drive a manual transmission — me with my foot on the break, and John pushing the gas pedal with his hands. I also knew his parents, and worked with him and his Dad at a steel fabrication plant in Moline. The only way to describe John was that he was just a very nice guy — to everyone! He always had my back! I have a huge regret that I lost touch with John, and had not seen him in many, many years. I offer my sincere condolences to John’s family and friends.

    • Marilyn August 12, 2020 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      Hey Jeff, this is Marilyn…John’s significant other (19th anniversary was yesterday, 8/11). FYI: In case you revisit these entries…John told and retold the amusing story of you two guys making the road trip out west. He was SO animated & it obviously brought him SO much joy to narrate/recall the adventure of making this trip with you! He told me all about you!!!
      Feel free to email me:

      Be well!

  2. Dan Fleshman August 2, 2020 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Our condolences to John’s family and friends. Having known John for many years to hear of his passing makes us all sad. Not only was John a friend but one of my magic mentors when I was younger. He was truly one of the greatest magicians of our era and will be remembered fondly. We will miss you John.

  3. Shep Hyken August 3, 2020 at 7:47 am - Reply

    candle 7My condolences to John’s family. I met John when I was a teenager. That was back in the 1970’s. He was a legend in the magic world back then and will continue to be so into the future. I remember buying my first book written by John. I was so excited and he was willing to sit down and spend several hours with me discussing principles, sleight-of-hand and more. It was a master class in the art of magic.

    I want to share a fun “John Story.” I have a nice magic poster collection, and people ask how got started collecting. John would buy and sell magic collections. One day at a magic convention I saw an old magic poster that was printed in 1915. I ask John if he ever had posters like that. He said, “That’s something I don’t have interest in. I happened to get about a dozen posters in the last collection I bought, and I have the one you saw at the magic convention. If you want it, I’ll make you a great deal.” And, that’s exactly what he did. I ended up buying all of them. (It really was a great deal!). That’s what started me on my magic poster collecting adventure. I don’t know if I would be collecting magic posters, if it weren’t for him selling me that first one. Thank you, John!

  4. Ray Jaegers August 3, 2020 at 10:17 am - Reply

    I am deeply saddened by John’s passing. Although I hadn’t seen John recently, I have many fond memories of spending time with him, watching him perform miracles and having him help critique effects I was working on. Yes, John was always honest, but it was because he truly loved magic and wanted it always to be presented in its best light. His books are among the most important and loved on my shelves.

    Magic has truly lost a shining star.

  5. John DeMeester August 3, 2020 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear of John’s passing. He helped me get my start in magic in the mid seventies at The Thinkers Emporium. He was a patient and kind mentor.
    I credit him with me staying in magic for over 45 years. I will keep his family in my prayers. Rest In Peace my friend.

  6. SIlvia Cesarini August 3, 2020 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    candle 1John io l’ho conosciuto online, perchè io avevo imparato dei suoi giochi e gli ho scritto su facebook. Così è iniziata la nostra amicizia. Poi quando ha fatto il tour magico in Italia io l’ho accompagnato e lui mi è stato molto riconoscente per questo. Era venuto a pranzo a casa mia e mi raccontava della figlia e delle nipotine. Mi sarebbe piaciuto venire in America per trascorrere del tempo insieme. Anche quando è tornato in USA continuava a ringraziarmi. Per me si trattava di gentilezza e ospitalità. John era molto generoso e riservato. Ci legava una grande amicizia, un grande affetto e stima e mentre scrivo non riesco a capacitarmi che non ci potremo più sentire.Ho tradotto la sua biografia e l’ho intervistato: per me è stato un grande onore. Io so da alcuni mesi della sua malattia, ma io ho rispettato la sua volontà, di tenere segreta tra di noi la notizia….Ma ho sempre pregato e sperato in un miracolo.John ogni tanto mi telefonava per un saluto e se non poteva rispondere subito ai miei messaggi lui si scusava. Un amico davvero speciale che ha avuto per me una stima, una riconoscenza e un affetto come mai nessun altro in Italia. Addirittura ogni anno lui mi inviava un magic trick per il mio compleanno. Quest’anno il più bel regalo. John, sarebbe stato la tua guarigione. Ciao John un mago speciale. ma soprattutto tu eri una persona speciale!

  7. Edie Holmstrom August 3, 2020 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    I went to school with john from grade school thru h.s. i remember in grade school he was always joking and laughing. Such a nice boy. Im so sorry to all his family n loved ones.

  8. Karen Wade August 4, 2020 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Julie- please know that you are loved during this difficult time. He was surely a great man to have you as a daughter. God bless!

  9. Mike Steele August 5, 2020 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    candle 7The world of Magic Will never be the same thanks for all your hard work and contributions in the magic world and making everyone’s lives a little better.

    • Giuseppe August 6, 2020 at 3:21 am - Reply

      Da semplice appassionato di Magia e puro amatore, ho avuto modo di conoscere John attraverso The Magic Cafè, sia con thread pubblici che attraverso qualche PM. Sempre disponibile e cordiale. Il grande contributo alla Magia di questo eccellente performer è indiscusso e indiscutibile. Un’altra stella si affianca al firmamento celeste di grandi Maghi che non sono più fisicamente tra noi ma che hanno segnato la storia della Magia. Condoglianze alla famiglia. R.I.P. John.

  10. Giuseppe Nastro August 6, 2020 at 3:25 am - Reply

    candle 7Da semplice appassionato di Magia e puro amatore, ho avuto modo di conoscere John attraverso The Magic Cafè, sia con thread pubblici che attraverso qualche PM. Sempre disponibile e cordiale. Il grande contributo alla Magia di questo eccellente performer è indiscusso e indiscutibile. Un’altra stella si affianca al firmamento celeste di grandi Maghi che non sono più fisicamente tra noi ma che hanno segnato la storia della Magia. Condoglianze alla famiglia. R.I.P. John.

  11. Clay Rhine August 6, 2020 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    candle 7Sad news…i used to go to his Apartment and buy antique magic props ..he always had a story….truly missed…..

  12. Kendrix August 6, 2020 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    candle 7I will truly miss John’s immense continuing contributions to the field of Magic. His routines were brilliant. His books will be read for years. A true master now has “”Broken Wand”

  13. Harold Cataquet August 7, 2020 at 4:15 am - Reply

    candle 6“The Book of John” is one of my all time favorite books on magic, and John’s dice stacking routine has been a cornerstone of my closeup act for over 30 years. If John published a routine, you knew he had thought about every aspect of it. He was a hero of mine, and I will miss him.

  14. Luca d'Agostini August 8, 2020 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Ho conosciuto John in occasione della sua prima conferenza a Roma. Dopo la conferenza era al bar dell’hotel con Giampaolo Morelli. Io, timido ragazzino, che avevo divorato il suo Book of John, mi sono avvicinato per fargli alcune domande. Alle cinque di mattina eravamo ancora a parlare. Mi ha insegnato la sua versione dell’Open Traveller con pazienza e gentilezza e poi, tante idee, consigli, aneddoti. Una notte che ha segnato indelebilmente la mia crescita magica. Ho incontrato John poco tempo fa sempre a Roma e, ora maturo professionista, ho trovato ancora quel fantastico John Mendoza. Modesto, gentile e tanto bravo. Siamo rimasti ancora a parlare fino all’alba e ho imparato ancora tanto tanto tanto.
    Sarai sempre nel nostro cuore.
    Ld’A – Italy

  15. Jimmy L Rhodes Jr. August 10, 2020 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    candle 8One of the greatest Magicians I’ve ever had the privilege of learning from. His memory will live on in all of us who had the honor of learning from John. Rest Well my friend ❤️

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