He was born in Elmhurst, Ill., to Otto and Alma Mensing.
He worked for Western Electric (a division of AT&T) and retired from AT&T after 35 years working in telephone engineering. He became a radio operator while in the U.S. Army, and later became a radio amateur, also known as a ham.
After retirement he worked as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity for about 20 years, first in San Mateo County, later with Silicon Valley Habitat. He did all kinds of construction work with them but especially liked finish carpentry, such as doors, windows, cabinets and trim.
He also was a rare-type blood donor with the Red Cross, and gave more than 16 gallons of blood over the years.
He loved the outdoors and enjoyed camping with his family and back-packing. He and his wife Virginia were square dancers in the valley since 1963. He also enjoyed gardening and was especially proud of his tomatoes, which he started from seed every year.
He and Virginia enjoyed traveling the world and visited many countries in Europe, Asia, Central and South America, as well as Egypt and New Zealand.
He drove from Palo Alto to El Salvador in 1992, just after the civil war ended there. He was part of a caravan delivering 15 trucks and a school bus, which were left in small villages where Salvadorans were returning from refugee camps in Honduras.
He was active in St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Palo Alto, serving on the maintenance committee and doing many hands-on projects in their three churches. He also was a lector and usher for 30 years.
He will be sorely missed by family and friends, whom he loved and of whom he was very proud.
He is survived by his sisters, Elaine Fischer and Lois Voska; his wife of 57 years, Virginia Mensing of Palo Alto; children Ken Mensing (Cheryl) of San Jose, Janet Barnard (Jim) of Shingle Springs and Paul Mensing (Marcela) of Benicia; and 10 grandchildren.
A memorial mass was held at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Palo Alto.
Memorial donations may be made to Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity.
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