Welcome to the memorial page for

Louis John Mensonides

September 3, 1937 ~ August 2, 2017 (age 79)

Dr. Louis John Mensonides went to be with his Heavenly Father on August 2, 2017. He was born on September 3, 1937 in Exmorra, Friesland. He lived there in the early years of his life during which period the Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1940 to 1945.  In 1953 along with his family Lou immigrated to the United States and Bellflower California at the age of 16.  His love for the Netherlands and his heritage would remain for the duration of his life. 


Lou graduated from Calvin College with degrees in History and Political Science in 1959. He entered the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and received his Master’s degree 1961 followed by his Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Kentucky in 1964.  In 1962 Lou accepted a position as a professor of political science at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. During his tenure there he was instrumental in developing the study abroad program and led hundreds of college students on extensive trips throughout Eastern and Western Europe and the Middle East.


Travel was in Lou’s blood and became engrained in his life both professionally and personally.  He could navigate every angle of the system – including behind the ticket-counter. Lou and Letty visited over 40 countries and six continents during their marriage, often bringing family and friends along on their adventures.


In the early 1970s Lou, Letty, and the boys moved to California where he served as a visiting professor at Stanislaus State University in Turlock while he transitioned into self-employment as a real estate / investment consultant.  In 1976 three of Lou’s books on international politics were published.


Lou appreciated excellence.  He had a gift for education as a student and as an instructor.  With an insatiable appetite for culture he was often reading multiple books at once and he loved the arts. He was also an avid sports fan, never missing the World Cup, Golden State Warriors, SF Giants or his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.


He faithfully attended the Modesto Christian Reformed Church and loved the congregation. Lou loved to teach, provide counsel, and preach at the Modesto Gospel Mission.  He had a gift for hospitality, generosity and thoroughly enjoyed hardy fellowship or a party.  Lou regularly provided meals he cooked to family and friends and those in need or with an appetite.  His pots of soup, signature meatballs and peach flips will surely be missed.  In the spring and summer Lou could be found tending to his garden, harvesting flowers and arranging beautiful bouquets, baskets or pots of flowers for friends and family.   


Second only to his relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Lou treasured his wife, family and close friends.  He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Letty; children: John (Kathleen), David (Debby), Mark (Pam), and Joel (Kristin); grandchildren: Kendra (Brian) Visioli, Krista (Adam) Serpa, Kelsea, Jason, Adam, Grant, Zack, Luke and Anneke; great grandchildren: Simon, Elliott, and  Ethan Visioli; and siblings Pete, Corrie Jacobi, Raymond (Carla), Geraldine (Jelle) Van der Hoek, Ted (Clara), and Jim; and many nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents John and May, his brother Riemer and in-laws Eleanor, John Jacobi, and Terry.


Visitation will be at Franklin & Downs on Monday, August 14th from 6-8 p.m. and the Celebration of life will be Tuesday, August 15th at 11:00 a.m. at Modesto Christian Reformed Church. Flowers are appreciated or donations can be made to the Modesto Gospel Mission.                                                                                    

 Service Information

August 14, 2017

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel
1050 McHenry Avenue
Modesto, CA 95350

Celebration of Life
August 15, 2017

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Modesto Christian Reformed Church
2620 College Ave
Modesto, CA 95350

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