By October 12, 2020 0 Comments Read More →

The Passing of a Local Legend

By Chris Murphy

So very sad to learn that my good friend and mentor Al Menshew passed away. Al was such an inspiration to me for who he was, how much he loved our community and how he gave back. Al was a storyteller’s storyteller and could regale even the toughest crowd with great history, insight, humor and flat out kindness.

Al was a Veteran, serving the USA in the Navy, enlisting when he was just 17 in 1948, serving two tours in the Korean War and earning multiple awards. Al worked at Gallo glass plant and in purchasing for over 33 years and was pretty much the MC and toastmaster of everything. He even announced a bicycle race for me in 1983. Al was also named Citizen of the Year by the American GI Forum that was an honor that he nominated me for last year. It was a privilege for me to be able to thank Al for all he has done and when I moved back to Modesto in 1996, I wanted to be like Al in many ways.

He enchanted our kids as Santa for so many years and made so many memories. His smile, quick wit, epic storytelling and helpful assistance on the Shriner and Clamper vocabulary during the 4th of July parade were just a few of the things that made Al great.

He was a true leader and I have learned so much and I am beyond grateful to have tried to step into his oversized shoes as the July 4th Parade announcer over the last few years. Thank you Al for al you have done and our hearts go out to his amazing better half, Loretta who was right there in the middle of everything for so many years. I great man always has a great woman to navigate together.

He paved the way for so many, and our community is richer, smarter and more fun thanks to Al Menshew.

We will miss you Al.

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.