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07/29/2022    Sloan Gordon, DPM

The Passing of Samuel S. Mendicino, DPM

Samuel S. Mendocino was a very close friend for 40
years. I remember Sam in so many different
capacities, not the least of which, is that he was
the first resident I trained in private practice
when I arrived in Houston. From our very first
case I knew Sam was a super-star. Brilliant,
funny, technically advanced, innovative and the
guy you want in the OR next to you.

Over the years, Sam and I became very close
friends and last Thursday, July 21, 2022 he called
while I was on vacation in Brazil. I was at dinner
with my traveling buddy, and I thought “should I
take this call or call him back”. I decided to
take the call and it was the last time I will ever
speak to Sam. Thankfully, it was an upbeat and
funny conversation. We laughed, we howled and we
talked shop and ‘stuff’ as well. After about 20
minutes, it was time to go, and I said “Sam I love
you … I’ll call you when I’m back in Houston”.
That day will never come.

It's hard when you lose someone close to you,
someone who is ‘there’ but not always right near
you if you get my meaning. Sam and I were always
together in spirit. I called him with questions
and issues, and he did the same. For years, he
was my go-to guy for dealing with hospital issues
as he was the Program Director of the Harris
County Podiatric Residency – a program he ran and
developed to be very prestigious and known all
over the USA. Sam was a wonderful teacher ..
patient, caring, smart. I think he knew how to
get the best out of people. I think in so many
ways he was just a people person. I think he
enjoyed the company, enjoyed the accolades. Sam
leaves behind his former wife and two children.
He often spoke to me of his children, and I know
he loved them.

Sam will be missed. He leaves a void not only to
his patients, students, friends, family (brothers
and parents) but to all of those who knew him and
had the time to talk. The older I get, the harder
it is to lose each little piece of the puzzle that
made up my life. Rest in peace, Sam. I know
you’ll be on a beach somewhere, pina colada in
hand, cute companion; but life is short my friend.
I think you lived yours well, but you left us too
soon. As I said in Brazil: I love you.

Sloan Gordon, DPM

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