Obituary of Henry Von Der Mehden (1930 – 2022) – Santa Rosa, CA

Henry “von” from the Mehden
January 27, 1930 – May 12, 2022
Henry Von der Mehden, 92, died peacefully at home on May 12, 2022. Born at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco, Henry was the first premature baby to use the hospital’s new incubator. His parents moved their young family to a ranch in the Santa Cruz mountains, where he and his two brothers grew up working on the ranch and fishing in the local streams. It was there that Henry discovered his passion for fishing and the outdoors.
Henry graduated from Los Gatos High School in 1948 and the University of Santa Clara in 1952 with a degree in business administration. During his college years, he and his brother would travel to pick up used cars their father had bought for his San Francisco used car repair shop. Many of these trips included fishing, of course.
In college, he enrolled in ROTC and was sent to Korea upon graduation. Family legend has it that the North Koreans heard of his arrival and signed the armistice while he was away.
After the army, Henry attended the GM Institute in Michigan and then returned to San Francisco to work as a salesman for Les Vogel Chevrolet. He had a talent for selling sports cars and founded the Northern CA Corvette Club and later the Northern California Chevy Sports Car Club. At Les Vogel he also met the love of his life, Rosemarie. They married in 1964 and moved to San Bruno where they started a family. Seeing opportunity in Santa Rosa, he opened a Leslie Leasing branch and moved with his family in 1978. He later moved to Manly Automotive Group where he sold and leased vehicles until his retirement in 2008.
In Santa Rosa, Henry joined the West Santa Rosa Rotary Club, the Sonoma County Executives’ Association, the Empire Breakfast Club, and the Russian River Fly Fishers. He also volunteered at Cardinal Newman High School while his son was there.
Always the optimist, Henry lived life to the fullest, enjoying time with family and friends; work in his garden, grow vegetables and tend his fruit trees; he took every opportunity to fish and hunt; and he loved to travel, touring Europe several times and later Africa and New Zealand with his daughter.
Henry is survived by his wife Rosemarie, brother Lloyd (Alice), children Eric (Kass) and Heidi (Matt Harris), and grandchildren Elise, Alex (Bailey), Stephen and Michael.
A celebration of Henry’s life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Santa Clara University, Save the Redwoods League, Cardinal Newman High School, or planting a redwood tree in Henry’s honor.

Published by Press Democrat June 11-12, 2022.

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To plant trees in memory, please visit the sympathy shop.

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