Robert “Bob” L. Mendenhall ’76

Robert L. Mendenhall of Davidson, NC died peacefully on Thursday, July 14, 2022, one day short of his 68th birthday, surrounded by family and friends. He was born and raised in Greensboro, NC, the third son of the late Margaret and Charles Mendenhall.
Bob graduated from Grimsley High School in 1972, and from Davidson College in 1976 with a degree in economics and great stories from being a Wildcat cheerleader. He spent several special summers in the 1970s as a swimming instructor and counselor at Camp Alleghany for Girls in the West Virginia mountains. After Davidson, Bob worked for NCNB as a field auditor in eastern North Carolina. He then earned his MBA and law degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1983, where he was a member of the Law Review.
Bob had a distinguished career as a tax lawyer in Charlotte, practicing at Helms Mulliss & Johnston, Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore, Mayer Brown, and Holland & Knight. He was highly regarded by colleagues and clients not only for highly sophisticated legal work in the areas of tax credit transactions and non-profit organizations, but also for his servant leadership and unsurpassed collegiality. Bob was an important model for younger lawyers in his firms by leading innumerable pro bono practice efforts and projects. For more than 32 years, he served as pro bono general counsel of DreamKey Partners (formerly the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership), an organization committed to equity in housing to which he was deeply devoted.
The undisputed light and love of Bob’s life was his daughter, Lauren. He loved her deeply and made sure everyone knew it. Bob was devoted to his bonus children and grandchildren (who knew him as “Pop Pop”): Kristen Fresco (Charlie) and their children Jackson and Mikayla of Fayetteville, NC, and Matt Miller (Liz) and their children McKenna, Brayden and Lucas of Morehead City, NC, all of whom returned that devotion in full measure. Bob is also survived by his brothers, Chuck Mendenhall (Laura) of Austin, TX and Ray Mendenhall (Ann) of Versailles, KY and beloved nieces and nephews Maury Mendenhall (Andrew Miller), Matt Mendenhall (Marcy) and Sheena Roller (Ben) and their progeny. Bob was preceded in death by his nephew, Nathan Mendenhall (Shanna Dickens). Special cousins and lifelong friends to Bob were Ward Pritchett (Karen) of Charlotte and their children Sarah Branham (Drew) and Jack Pritchett (Letra Baehr), and Kay Motley (Dwight) of Mt. Holly, NC and their daughter, Leigh Pitman (Josh).
Bob appreciated Seagrove pottery, ran a marathon, gave enormous poinsettias at Christmas, was a tad messy, a dear uncle and godfather, and a great companion for his dog, Bo. The recent words of two dear Davidson friends are echoed by everyone who knew, and therefore loved, Bob Mendenhall: “he was the kindest, sweetest friend I ever had,” and “if the world had more people like him, it would be a better place.”
Bob’s family and friends are grateful to the team of skilled caregivers at the Atrium Main Cardiac ICU and the Sanger Clinic for their compassion and care in Bob’s last days.
A service celebrating Bob’s life will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, August 5, 2022 in Lingle Chapel at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, with a reception immediately following in the Lilly Family Gallery in Chambers Building at Davidson College.
Memorials may be offered in Bob’s honor and memory to DreamKey Partners, 4601 Charlotte Park Drive, Suite 350, Charlotte NC 28217.
Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at